I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

593. Commodification And Trust

593.  Commodification And Trust

A correct assessment of trustworthiness is very important when interacting with others, especially when deciding on future interactions.    The better the assessment of trustworthiness, the better the prediction of behavior.  

Consciously paying attention to consistent, congruent and plausible behaviors is one method, but there is more:

"Certain nonverbal gestures trigger emotional reactions we're not consciously aware of, and these reactions are enormously important for understanding how interpersonal relationships develop,"

"Nexi is a humanoid social robot  ....  While conversing with the participants, Nexi -- operated remotely by researchers -- either expressed cues that were considered less than trustworthy or expressed similar, but non-trust-related cues. Confirming their theory, the team found that participants exposed to Nexi's untrustworthy cues intuited that Nexi was likely to cheat them and adjusted their financial decisions accordingly."

While too much trust bears the risk of being harmed, there cannot be any close relationship without or with insufficient trust.   

A close relationship is symmetrical between equal partners based upon mutual trust and reciprocal trustworthiness.  
Trust is based upon the expected trustworthiness as a trait, whenever somebody is considered to be a person and a human being.   Only persons are checked for being trustworthy, and clues as in the research for trustworthiness are only perceived and expected from persons (or robots imitating them).  

Commodification is asymmetrical between a user as a subject and a used utility as an object. Utilities are functional or dysfunctional and the prediction of their reliable functioning in the future is a question of probability and experience.  In the case of inanimate objects, this is logically not a question of trust and trustworthiness.  A utility like a vacuum cleaner is not asked, if it intents and is able to function the next day, followed by the assessment, if the answer is honest or a lie.  

Due to trust not being a relevant factor when using an inanimate utility, the commodification of women as if they were inanimate objects creates a distorted situation.  
The owner has full control over a utility.   When he puts the vacuum cleaner in a closet, he can expect to retrieve it in an unaltered state, whenever he wants.   He has no need to trust the vacuum cleaner to not leave the closet.
When a man has established control over a commodified woman, he expects to have once and for good ascertained her availability for being used at his convenience without this being a situation requiring to consider trust.

It the comparison with a vacuum cleaner appears a bit too drastic, here is another metaphor:   When a man commodifies a woman, she is for him, what a dairy cow is for a farmer.   

A farmer's dairy cow is valuable possession under his full control. 
The cow brings him lots of benefits, as long as she receives careful maintenance for her physical wellbeing.  He is aware that appropriate maintenance is in his own self-interest.  
The farmer learns, how to handle a cow, from instructors and books, by observing her for signs of dysfunction, by using trial and error and by consulting a veterinarian.
The farmer does not expect to get any information from the cow by asking her questions, nor does he bother about intellectual or emotional needs.  She is a body and he gets the benefits from her body.  
Trust or any personal traits do not contribute to his prediction concerning the amount of future benefits or the assessment of the cow's value.   

But a woman is not a utility, and in contrast to a vacuum cleaner or a dairy cow, external and physical control does not include control over her mind, having full control over her is only the controlling man's illusion.    Neglect, oblivion or denial of the importance of the woman's trustworthiness and personality does not annihilate their impact.   

Whenever the woman wants to trust, to be trusted, to find trustworthiness in a partner and recognition of her own trustworthiness, then being kept outside his protective defense of control dooms the relationship.     

Omitting any focus on or attention for the assessment of trustworthiness makes commodification even also risky for the man himself.   If he is unfortunate or stupid in whom he picks as a utility to be used, he does not get control as expected over a suitably helpless victim.   In the worst case for him, he gets commodifed in return, for example by a breeder, whose priority are her children and who only exploits him materially as a provider. 

Trust and control are mutually exclusive, while control is a behavioral consequence of or ingredient in commodification.    

This leads to distinguishable dynamics:  
  • If a man lacks the ability to assess trustworthiness and gets harmed too often by trusting the wrong persons, resorting to the replacement of trust by control is his method of coping, the result is commodification.   
    It could be called secondary commodification, because it is a side effect of control as a coping mechanism.
  • If a man is driven by instincts to perceive women principally as commodities, control is the method to establish the commodification.   In this case trusting and the perception for any information serving the assessment of trustworthiness are deactivated as not needed and they may have never been trained and developed. 
    This could be called primary commodification.  Control is used, because women do not opt to be commodified, as long as they have a choice for an alternative.  
This distinction is of no practical significance to the woman, who is helplessly under the control, until she removes herself. This distinction would only be important, if such a man ever attempted to overcome the commodification.   But as commodification means, that a man subjectively has the power to get the benefits he wants, unfortunately he lacks any motivation to end it.   

Trustworthiness as a human cognitive trait and trusting as a person's reactive attitude have both an impact upon behavior, even though they are ignored when replaced by control.   There are many more traits and attitudes having an important reciprocal impact upon the interaction between cognitive humans, but which are not expected from commodities, no matter if inanimate objects or animals. Their denial is as detrimental as is the denial of trust. Responsibility, consideration, empathy, caring, intellectual appreciation are just a few of a long list.