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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Everyone wants to eat.

Yesterday, I was hard at work on hub about dominance. Dominance is not my favorite topic, because I am still struggling with it, but it certainly comes up a lot when dealing with a chimpanzee. The truth of the matter is that it's a tricky thing, and that all is not as it appears. I do have to stand up to Bow and not let him walk all over me, but at the same time, he lets me know in all sorts of subtle and not so subtle ways that when he does cooperate with me, it's because he chooses to, and not because he has to.

Even when Bow gets in trouble and has to be disciplined, the only reason I can stick to my plan of discipline is that Bow allows it. He respects me, and he demands that I respect him, and it's just not that easy to explain to outsiders. People who pick up on it and instinctively understand this concept, like Lawrence, get to have a fine relationship with Bow. But others, some who are too soft and others who are too harsh, just don't make it in the program.

Meanwhile, on Hubpages, all sorts of people have been sounding out about dominance. Some of the things they said were so bizarre! For instance, that one person can "give" dominance to another person. So I went and wrote a hub about it. And in  the process of writing the hub, I watched a video clip from Capra's Meet John Doe. In that scene, Gary Cooper is an unemployed, homeless man on the verge of starvation, and Barbara Stanwyck, a savvy newspaperwoman, hires him to perpetrate a fraud on the public, in order to sell newspapers. Watching the scene, I wondered: "Who is dominant?" After all, Gary Cooper is bigger and stronger than Barabara Stanwyck, and he could just take what he wanted from her, rather than making a deal. But somehow he doesn't. He defers to her power and her position. Does he do this because he has to or because he wants to?

Bow watched the scene with me. So I asked him: "Bow, who is dominant in that scene?"

He spelled: "Everyone wants to eat."


  1. That is a good question. I am not always good at being in the dominate position, and I had some weird guy tell me on my blog I need more confidence. It is not confidence I am lacking, I am just not a dominate kind of person.

  2. JewelandtheSun, I can certainly relate to what you say. I am not an aggressive person, either, under normal social conditions. I never felt very comfortable as a lawyer, partly because of that. But I can stand up to people when I need to, because that's what has to be done. I bet you are that way, too!