Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ownership in Relationships

During our discussion in class about The Awakening I thought about Edna's problem with feeling objectified in her marriage. I especially thought about this when we questioned if Edna would be in a committed relationship with Robert. It seems that her problem with any relationship is feeling like she is an object that is owned by a man. This lead me to question relationships in general. What I mean is, when we get into a monogamous relationship or even marriage don't we submit ourselves to some implied objectivity? When you chose to be with someone in a committed monogamous relationship, as bad as it may sound you do submit to becoming the object of some type of ownership. That is implication is made through the language we use to describe relationships. In a marriage you become someone's husband or wife, in a relationship someone's boyfriend or girlfriend. When you fall in love with someone one way of expressing that love to other other person is telling them that your heart BELONGS to them. When you take your vows at your wedding part of it is to HAVE and to hold. Even when some people have sex, they speak of owning their partner's genitalia. Although it may not be extreme as looking at someone solely as a piece of property, in my opinion their is no way around implications of ownership in a relationship. I also believe it is not problematic as long as it is reciprocated by both parties. Some may agree with me, but these are just some thoughts that I have been trying to work through since the last class discussion.

1 comment:

  1. Greg, you have brought up something that I kind of wanted to mention in class but did not really have the time to discuss. One of the most important discussions I've had in my life, and certainly one of the most memorable, was the conversation that I had with alum Matt Brimm in New York City on our immersion trip a couple years ago. At first, I was highly resistant to the concept he brought up that, especially within gay culture because it deviates from the standard norm, that there is a possibility of open relationships. Basically, he stated that you can be in a relationship with someone you love and have sex with someone else. I think we would all agree that you can have sex without love and vice versa, but two mix the two together simultaneously with differing partners complicates the situation a slight bit. In the beginning, not only myself but the entire class was entirely resistant to this idea; however, I have thought about it constantly over the last year or so and have come to the conclusion that Matt is right. I do think it is possible to be whole-heartedly in love with someone and fulfill carnal desires with someone else, as long as you are able to keep emotion out of it.
    This can also be tied to our reading of The Awakening. We question Edna when she has sex with Arobin but is in love with Robert and when Robert seems to have relations with the Mexican woman. Despite this fact that they both had sexual intercourse with another person while clearly exchanging vows of affection for one another, I feel that they still could have had a successful relationship. The bringing in of outside partners for intercourse should have relieved the tension, rather than increase it, showing them that they sex is only a minor part of the equation and can be added despite what is considered proper by society (adultery).