We apply this particular understanding of scarcity to romance and love, and most of us internalize that feeling of scarcity pretty deeply. One of the things I see myself doing in thinking about this stuff is examining how lots of people I know are really awesome, but then show their worst side, their worst behavior, to the person they date. So much insecurity surrounds the romance myth and the world of shame in which sexuality is couched in our culture, we can become our monstrous selves in those relationships.
To that person, they will be overly needy or dependent, or dominating, or possessive, or jealous, or mean, or disrespectful, or thoughtless. I also see people prioritizing romantic relationships over all elseditching their friends, putting all their emotional eggs in one basket, and creating unhealthy dynamics with the people they date because of it.
by Dean Spade In the past five years or so, increasing numbers of people I know have started talking about and practicing polyamory.
Queer and trans people in the communities I participate in have been spending more time discussing these ideas together and generating analysis about them.
It becomes simultaneously the most important relationship, and the one where people act out their most insecure selves.
One of my goals in thinking about redefining the way we view relationships is to try to treat the people I date more like I treat my friendstry to be respectful and thoughtful and hav boundaries and reasonable expectationsand to try to treat my friends more like my datesto give them special attention, honor my commitments to them, be consistent, and invest deeply in our futures together.
You can never be too rich or too thin (greed) or rich enough or thin enough (insecurity).
Capitalism is fundamentally invested in notions of scarcity, encouraging people to feel that we never have enough so that we will act out of greed and hording and focus on accumulation.
Suddenly, this thing that has always been a given in our culturethat all people are male or female their whole lives, and that this difference is inscribed by nature in our very genes-- falls away when some people perceive you as a woman and others as a man, and when gender starts to come apart in pieces: hair, chest, clothing, walk, voice, gesture, etc.
I also think about this in terms of capitalism in the sense that capitalism is always pushing us toward perfection, creating ideas of the right way to be a man or a woman or a mother or a date or whatever that people cannot fulfill.
The goal is that well constantly strive and buy things to fill this giant gap of insecurity that is created.
When I think about this topic, I often start with feminism, where so many of my first political inquiries came up during my teens.
Im always heartened to think about the anti-romantic propaganda of the 70s feminist movement. One piece that comes to mind is a postera photo of a man and a woman walking hand in hand through a park on a beautiful fall day with pies smashed on both their faceswith text saying something about killing the romance myth below them.
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The sexual exclusivity rule is focused on scarcity, too: Each person only has a certain amount of attention or attraction or love or interest, and if any of it goes to someone besides their partner their partner must lose out.