Relationships throughout history have been problematic. From interbreeding between Neanderthals and homo sapiens to the Brangelina split, almost every relationship has issues in some way. But is it inherently more problematic for society today?
Relationships throughout history existed to continue the human race and throughout different cultures, developed into furthering one's status. While we may not hear of selling off brides in modern Western culture, it could be argued that this is still happening every day.
To think about this, we need to consider the fact that monogamous, straight relationships are quite simply giving ownership of oneself to another person, even if only in part. It is handing ones sexuality and exclusivity to another. As women, by agreeing to a relationship, we agree to terms and conditions that restrict our freedoms. We are agreeing to devote time to a person simply due to how they feel about us, we are agreeing to dedicate certain elements of ourselves to that person only and we are agreeing that person has the right to dictate certain behaviours we may or may not exhibit.
For example, we agree not to 'flirt'. While "locker room talk" is still a widely accepted behaviour, as women in straight relationships, we agree to not hold ourselves to the same standards. If we were to point out that a male is attractive, we are in breach of our relationship T&C's and are expected to be responsible for our male partner feeling insecure or jealous. Meanwhile, he may objectify and dehumanise our fellows sisters at his hearts leisure.
We are expected to be submissive to his sexual needs, while sacrificing our own sexual freedoms. If a man has sex with another woman whilst in a relationship, his partner is said to be at fault for not satisfying him. However, when a female cheats, she is seen as untrustworthy and promiscuous.
Being in a straight, monogamous relationship is signing one's life away to a man and allowing him to obtain ownership. Our bodies are not up for sale and should we allow another to touch or please our bodies, it is not up to the dictation of a man to tell us otherwise. We are the only ones who make these choices. This is the true sense of freedom and liberation from the patriarchy.
We, as women, need to take control of our bodies and our lives and say no to straight, monogamous relationships. There is no reason to shackle ourselves to the likes of the straight male. We are stronger, we are bolder and we are the only ones who make choices about our bodies. Long live woman kind.
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