Ideology Misunderstood and Diluted

Ideological extremism (and extremism in this case need not be something dangerous necessarily, only something that stands to push the rational limit of an ideology) irritates me. A lot.

One issue I see among well-meaning people is often a bastardization of a concept. The example coming to mind is that of sexual liberation; unfortunately, “sexual liberation” often refers to people indiscriminately engaging in promiscuity while snubbing monogamy or commitment of any sort.

In other words, in a culture where monogamous sexual relationships are the favored ideal and promiscuity frowned upon, sexual liberation so often only means the inversion of this equation- monogamous sexual relationships are frowned upon and promiscuity idealized.

That cannot be the real definition of liberation, sexual or otherwise.

Liberation must refer to the agency and autonomy of the well-informed individual making the best decisions for themselves and accepting the responsibility of those decisions. Liberation cannot mean simply demonizing one thing and while praising the other in an never-ending cycle of inversions. That simply doesn’t work.

There are pros and cons to monogamy, open relationships, polyamory, sleeping around, or whatever situation one might find themselves in. That’s how life works. There are always things you cannot have by virtue of what you do or do not already have.

But despite the pros and cons to any given sexual and romantic situation, the reality is that it must be in the well-informed individual’s domain to decide for themselves, not in the realm of another person guilting or shaming them on how they should live their lives.

Sexual liberation is but one situation where I decided to touch upon this. Certainly, I’ve seen the above attitude encroaching into the realm of ideological extremism among other gay men, and frankly, that won’t fly with me.

Also, allow me to explain that the “well-informed individual” would include people who understand concepts like consent, the potential for pregnancy, the reality of STIs, the complexity of human emotions and relationships- someone, in other words, who enters into sexual encounters with a working knowledge of the full possibilities that can erupt and make life sweeter, more complicated, both, neither, bitter, and so on.

And those are my thoughts for today.

Steve

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