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TotD: Emma Goldman on Love

Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful molder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage?

Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere.

Anarchism and Other EssaysEmma Goldman, "Marriage and Love," Anarchism and Other Essays (1911)

What Can All Couples Learn From Same-Sex Marriages?

From
Gay Unions Shed Light on Gender in Marriage

A growing body of evidence shows that same-sex couples have a great deal to teach everyone else about marriage and relationships. Most studies show surprisingly few differences between committed gay couples and committed straight couples, but the differences that do emerge have shed light on the kinds of conflicts that can endanger heterosexual relationships.

The findings offer hope that some of the most vexing problems are not necessarily entrenched in deep-rooted biological differences between men and women. And that, in turn, offers hope that the problems can be solved.

One of the things the article points out is something I've definitely noticed, that how people handle resolve conflicts is far more important than how often they experience conflict.

One well-known study used mathematical modeling to decipher the interactions between committed gay couples. The results, published in two 2003 articles in The Journal of Homosexuality, showed that when same-sex couples argued, they tended to fight more fairly than heterosexual couples, making fewer verbal attacks and more of an effort to defuse the confrontation.

Controlling and hostile emotional tactics, like belligerence and domineering, were less common among gay couples.

Poetry: Michael Blumenthal

For my Sam

A Marriage
You are holding up a ceiling
with both arms. It is very heavy,
but you must hold it up, or else
it will fall down on you. Your arms
are tired, terribly tired,
and, as the day goes on, it feels
as if either your arms or the ceiling
will soon collapse.

But then,
unexpectedly,
something wonderful happens:
Someone,
a man or a woman,
walks into the room
and holds their arm up
to the ceiling beside you.

So you finally get
to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
the blood flowing back
to your fingers and arms.
And when your partner's arms tire,
you hold up your own
to relieve him again.

And it can go on like this
for many years
without the house falling.

From Against Romance: Poems by Michael Blumenthal, Penguin Books, 1988

I hate it when that happens

I had an entry almost com­plete­ly writ­ten, and it was good. Then I hit some­thing bad­ly with my numb hand, and my brows­er backed up a page. Now the entry is all gone. Yes, I should have saved some­time while writ­ing, but I was on a roll.

So you’ll have to set­tle for know­ing that I spent the day recov­er­ing from yes­ter­day but my body is still pis­sy at me. Oth­er­wise, I think the ACLU is very con­fused about what “pub­lic” means. Accord­ing to the APA, I am not myth­i­cal (which is a big relief), and researchers at the Uni­ver­si­ty of San Diego say that same sex rela­tion­ships may be health­i­er than oppo­site sex cou­plings. Final­ly, the Queen is firm­ly “low­er­ing the ‘chav’ fac­tor” at Roy­al Ascot, which is sure to make the world a far safer place. Or something.

Procreate or else!

Ok — if het­ero­sex­u­al mar­riage is so sacred because it takes a man and a woman to pro­cre­ate, those het cou­ples had best be prov­ing that’s why they’re mar­ried, right?

Or at least, that’s the log­ic behind a bal­lot mea­sure pro­posed in Wash­ing­ton state.

Pro­po­nents of same-sex mar­riage have intro­duced a bal­lot mea­sure that would require het­ero­sex­u­al cou­ples to have a child with­in three years or have their mar­riages annulled.

The Wash­ing­ton Defense of Mar­riage Alliance acknowl­edged on its Web site that the ini­tia­tive was “absurd” but hoped the idea prompts “dis­cus­sion about the many mis­guid­ed assump­tions” under­ly­ing a state Supreme Court rul­ing that upheld a ban on same-sex marriage.

The mea­sure would require cou­ples to prove they can have chil­dren to get a mar­riage license. Cou­ples who do not have chil­dren with­in three years could have their mar­riages annulled.

Note: Quotes are from the CNN arti­cle that was at http://​www​.cnn​.com/​2​0​0​7​/​U​S​/​0​2​/​0​5​/​g​a​y​.​m​a​r​r​i​a​g​e​.​a​p​/​i​n​d​e​x​.​h​tml, but has gone 404. See Ini­tia­tive ties mar­riage, pro­cre­ation for fur­ther infor­ma­tion on bal­lot ini­tia­tive 957.

What I learned from my past relationships

So I actu­al­ly heard from some­one via Orkut. I can’t remem­ber if that’s ever hap­pened to me before or not.

Any­way, I went to check out this person’s pro­file, and real­ized mine was way out of date. Some­day, I swear, I’m going to repro­duce all the ques­tions all those dif­fer­ent places ask right here on my own site, keep that up to date, and refuse to fill out any oth­er profiles.

Any­way, one of the fields was “From my past rela­tion­ships I learned…” I found the ques­tion more inter­est­ing that most, so I’m repro­duc­ing my answer here, expand­ed a bit.
from my past rela­tion­ships i learned: Some­thing dif­fer­ent every time 🙂 A few of them:

Hon­esty is the only way to relate that’s worth both­er­ing with.
Love isn’t enough.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is priceless.

Rela­tion­ships take lots of work from every­one, and some­times they just aren’t sustainable.

Sex is often the canary in the rela­tion­ship mine. Bar­ring health issues that make sex impos­si­ble or unlike­ly, a decrease in sex­u­al inti­ma­cy is usu­al­ly due to a decrease in over­all inti­ma­cy, which is Bad.

There’s no under­stand­ing crazy. Just walk away with as much of your san­i­ty intact as possible.

Nobody deserves abuse.

Stay­ing togeth­er is sel­dom “best for the kids.” In fact, I’ve yet to see a sit­u­a­tion in which it was best for anyone.

There’s no way one (sane) per­son in a cou­ple or oth­er group­ing is hap­py if the oth­er is miserable.

If some­one changes in a big way right after you get mar­ried, start try­ing to get an annul­ment. He isn’t the per­son you thought you knew.

While an adult can lie to you eas­i­ly, his kids can’t. Nei­ther can his pets. If either doesn’t behave con­sis­tent­ly with what she says, or she doesn’t treat them the way she says she believes in rais­ing kids or pets or what­ev­er, she’s a liar. Leave before you get any closer.

Some things are worth the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a bro­ken heart.

“If you real­ly loved me you’d…” means that the speak­er is an abu­sive ass­hole try­ing to get you to do some­thing that’s unhealthy for you.

Play­ing togeth­er is essen­tial. So is work­ing together.

Peo­ple are not projects.

Knights are noto­ri­ous for set­ting up new tow­ers with you inside them. The only safe “res­cue” is the DIY ver­sion, where you just walk out of the prison

What are yours?