Re: Owning as cultural baggage (was: Is Eugenics Really A Bad Thing?)

From: Dana Hedberg (
Date: Thu Jul 06 2000 - 17:03:59 MDT

altamira wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:
> >
> > On an issue like "owning", I think it's many-layered, and one might
> > want to try to separate the:
> >
> > * hardwired aspect
> > * personal preference aspect
> > * cultural aspect
> > * government aspect
> > (if the two have a legal arrangement i.e. legal marriage)
> >
> > and then see where the "owning" come from. I suspect the
> > cultural aspect is very big.
> The "owning" is not all on the part of the men, of course. Many women want
> to "own" their spouses or SO's as well. The lesbian couples I know have
> this same problem with owning each other. I've said that I prefer having
> women as housemates, but this may well be because the women I've lived with
> have been friends rather than lovers. Where I've had male housemates who
> were not lovers, they were as pleasant to live with as women, except that
> they didn't tend as much to do things like pick bouquets of flowers for the
> house and make scones and trifle.
Hmm. I would hazard that there are many things, I call them pet peeves
=), that all people who live in proximity do (or don't do) that make
life a little bit of a chore. By the same token, there are probably
little things that both men and women do that you would find extremely
pleasant in your living arrangement. Indeed, you've mentioned some

> What I found difficult to bear about marriage, and why I bailed even though
> my husband was a wonderful person, was the way in which it made
> can I say this?...predictable? stable? These are things that many people
I've heard this claim many, many times. In fact, you could say this
about any aspect of your life that needs to have consistency. When you
decide to enter into an entertwined life arrangement, you need quite a
bit of consistency, that is predictability, in order for that
relationship to function. Now, you can (with some work to be sure) make
a relationship more dynamic, more chaotic, but what this needs is
primarily two things: 1) A strong understanding of the *type* of
commitment you and the other want to have, and 2) Communication. I can't
stress number two enough. It is the only route by which problems will
ever be resolved.

> WANT in their lives, but I hated the feeling that I couldn't decide on the
> spur of the moment to take off for a weekend in Mexico, and especially I
> hated never being alone. I seem to have a requirement for a certain minimum
> amount of solitude, but when I tried to go off by myself my husband would
> think I was angry with him--which I soon would be when he kept pressing me
> to be with him.
Pardon my presumption, but if you honestly talked to him about this and
no progress was made, you made the rational choice by vacating the
relationship. Regret shouldn't ever enter into it. And, imo, as a side
note, regret is a useless concept in general.

> A lot of this is personal to me, and though it may have something to do with
> the cultural position of women relative to men, it may have more to do with
> my own greater than usual need for solitude and self-direction. When I left
> my husband, I resolved never to inflict myself on another man ever again,
> and I've pretty much held to that resolution. Sometimes, though, I wish it
> didn't have to be so.
It doesn't. There are people out there who have what they consider to be
perfect relationships (marriages even) where they frequently go days
without seeing or speaking to one another.

Your use of the word 'inflict' is curious. Care to elaborate? =) Sorry,
it's that psychotherapy thread that's bleeding over into my keyboarding.

> Bonnie


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