I know I liked him almost as much as Nite Owl.
The point isn't diversity of ideology or different strokes for different folks -- the point is what the author wished to express became distorted because of the structure of telling the story.
It is rigged to be one where someone in the Protagonist column will come off more positively than what may be warranted.
It is a judgement-based structure, where the connotation for any protagonist is for the audience to be primed to feel positively toward him or her.
But what if the author does not want a binary world of good guys and bad guys, for instance?
What if, for instance, I don't want you to root for or despise my characters because I want to express something that will get lost with placing that kind of value on my characters? What if liking or hating them is not the point -- and the act will throw off the nuances of the story, alter its intended meaning, and the cheering and booing will merely serve as a misdirection that prevents something new from happening in storytelling?
With Patriarchal Storytelling, you get what you get and that's that.
With the Matriarchal, however, we have leeway to create something other than Protagonist Meet Antagonist.
We can strip out the rigs completely and repurpose the structure so that this is not a story about weighing characters on a scale of good and evil, not because we want to sit on the fence or make sure we offend no one as we pander to everyone -- but because we want to explore a different dynamic.
Say, for instance, we wish to weigh the difference between memories and feelings by creating a matrix where each character represents a unique combination of qualities.
Because Matriarchal uses Creative Science to compare and contrast, we can have four characters who were together in one critical, but dangerous juncture together in the past -- get torn away, and then are thrown back together years later.
And what if one of the characters was shielded from this danger by the others who kept the grim nature of the event away from this person? There is no way they could possibly know what horrific sacrifices others made to ensure they were not scared or scarred by the trauma, and their memories would be happy ones.
But not for the others whose feelings are forever damaged, but they were altruistic because of their goal of making sure this bad thing wouldn't destroy everything in its wake.
The question is what is more important to a person: their own memories or the feelings of others. We can ask it in reverse, but let's say the author wants to explore a specific question: they are writing the story, after all, and authors have rights and freedoms as they are not the only ones in the world telling stories.
The Patriarchal will not allow for that subject to be explored without passing judgment one way or another. Even a Rashomon-style story doesn't give us the leeway we need as it all weaves into the same story.
The Matriarchal, on the other hand, does, and can do it in a number of ways.
We can set up a series of short stories that let us get to know each character without the reader knowing of the original incident or that these characters were together in a particular point in time. We get to know their baseline. They do not even have to be main characters. We are not setting them up to be villains, victims, and heroes: we are not quietly foreshadowing their place in a story, trying to push readers to have particular feelings toward them. They need not be bland, but they need to be fleshed out just enough: does one move around a lot, but not in search of acceptance or a place to call their own? Is one a homebody who is restless, but is dreaming about acceptance and finding their place in the world?
We do not even have to hint these characters know each other or have a big trauma in their past lives. This could be the regular postal worker always delivering mail and having a chat; a waitress who knows the gossip; an informant who can tell the detective about the city's regular grifters; or a teaching assistant who is always on time and organized. If the theme for the Target Story is about oppression/repression/suppression, then we don't try to draw attention to the unique: we want to paint a portrait of plainness. We see them as mundane through these filters as the main characters in the story do not know about them. Here, we can take them all for granted.
And then comes the fun part: taking four plain and mundane characters who give no hint of what lies inside the stuff of their souls -- and put them together. It is a Periodic Table of Elemental Characters, and now there are triggers for the past to become unleashed.
We can now throw out all the old rules of previous stories while still being true to the characters. We know their baseline reactions to things, such an unexpected wrinkle or confrontation; so we can keep them consistent, but now we get to know them from another angle -- but still without a Protagonist-Antagonist dynamic. They are not enemies. They have a shared secret and trauma -- but for each, they have different memories, and more importantly, different feelings.
And we can explore the differences among them. What happens when the one with happy memories is blindsided with the truth, but can remember the time as the happiest period of their lives? Can the ones with damaged feelings count on the one who they protected to now be able to see that the artificial paradise created was in fact a prison for each in a very different way -- and is it fair to ask of it?
If the protectors are true to form, they are not going to turn on the one they protected, and the one protected will still see the group of guardians or martyrs as such. It will not be the typical dynamic, but the outcome will have an impact and alter their lives -- and the land we wish to explore is about memories and feelings.
We can use an Epistolary style to show their feelings and experiences, such as old diary entries or legal transcripts to outline what happened and how each was impacted by the original event.
But we are not boxed in by the old ways of storytelling: we can see their worth without dividing them or judging one to be superior to the others. We wish to explore the meanings of memories in relation to other people's feelings. These are not heroes. These are not victims. These are not villains. These are ordinary people who faced extraordinary circumstances -- the same circumstance, but each who had their lives changed in four different ways.
The Patriarchal will want us to be angry at the one who was shielded from harm. It will force us, by structural convention, to see that even having an internal struggle of reconciling your happiest memories with the source of your guardian's most painful feelings as being selfish.
Because the one who is the most shielded will be, by default, the most immature and insensitive precisely because they do not have the same seeds planted in their soul; and hence, they have the least emotional experience or chance to gain insight into the defining trauma. By comparison, the shielded character will not have the same chance to be "up to speed" as the other three. It is an unforeseen rig that become blaring with binary filters.
But change the dynamic where we see the reasons for differences, and a different picture emerges: we can watch one character reconciling their memories with the feelings of those guardians as those guardians find other ways to connect to the character they will, by habit, vow, and instinct, further wish to shield.
The Matriarchal teaches tolerance and understanding by showing hidden depths and dilemmas of characters. It is not to rubber stamp a character as Villain just because they are in a different place than the others in spirit. We learn the true depth of feelings as we learn to embrace them before going back to our own memories to see if we were once shielded by those we never knew loved us more than we ever realized.
That is the beauty of the Matriarchal: it is about connection, surprises, kindness, and letting go of old filters to finally see the world around us -- and all the hidden stories waiting to be unleashed...