(a personal evaluation)
By walking contradiction (my partner)
“Anarchism is not a concept that can be locked up in a word like a gravestone. It is not a political theory. It is a way of conceiving life, and life, young or old as we may be, whether we are old or children, is not something definitive: it is a stake we must play day after day.”
-Alfredo Bonano, THE ANARCHIST TENSION
Jealousy, And What I’ve Learned From It
Yes, I still feel jealous sometimes. I’ve had experiences before of being insanely jealous --- not just of another man, but of other things my partner loved or experienced or were excited about. Being able to come to terms with these things has been a very important in the development of my confidence and sense of self. It took me years to feel (not just understand) that if my partner loves other things or other people as well, it doesn’t mean I am less valuable. Besides, if she truly loves me, it’s not because I march up to someone list of desired qualities that someone else can outmatch me at – she loves me for reasons that are unique to me, that no one else can compare with, so I have nothing to fear.
I consider my jealousy a worthy adversary, one that can teach me a lot about myself if I confront it with rather than trying to protect myself from it by controlling others. I’ve had experiences in relationships before where we have limited ourselves in order for us to protect from jealousy, and it has been catastrophic for both of us, you can imagine.
Love isn’t a scarcity commodity --- it must increase, just like joy, the more it is permitted and shared and given away. Remember the elementary song “LOVE IS SOMETHING THAT YOU GIVE IT AWAY” and movies like “PAY IT FORWARD”?
I don’t feel like I have to hoard anyone all to myself now. I know that doesn’t work, or help to protect love (or me, for that matter) It’s just as important to me now that I help others to not be “afraid of me” as it is they learn not to be afraid of themselves.
Another Gender Rant
One of the things jealousy has taught me about is my attitude toward other men. In our society, men are conditioned to hate each other, try to “protect” womyn from other men (which often looks more like hoarding and protecting personal “property”), and this inclination makes sense when you look at how fucked up many men are when it comes to interacting with womyn. But for me to not trust any men to be something good for my partner (past the point of limited friendship) is outright paranoia and territorial bullshiting. If I trust the judgement of my partner, I should trust her to know what and who is good for her, and to not let my each-against-all male conditioning interfere.
Objections I’ve Heard Raised Against Open Relationships
“I guess that’s fine if it’s what YOU WANT (choice) to try, but luckily I only want monogamy for myself! I’m all set!” – a friend
That’s great for you, if it really is true --- for the time being, at least. We’re always so thrilled when our desires happen to coincide with social rules: then it is easy for us to feel proud of our desires, to think they’re beautiful, since they are universally accepted (indeed, everything around you is reinforcing the idea that that what you are lucky enough to feel for the moment is perfection itself) … but you might not always be that “lucky”, you know. Should you (or someone else) ever feel a need that isn’t satisfied by the monogamy system, if you haven’t explore it once, try it twice!
“It sounds good in theory, but the way people feel is more important than these abstractions…” –a friend
Some people think that we come up with ideas and theories not as solutions to the real problems of our lives, but to show off what good ideas we can come up with. If it is not clear by now that that I’ve been thinking about this as an attempt to solve rather than exacerbate the problems in my , then I apologize for doing such a poor job writing this article.
(this is a repost)