¶ … family, friendship and love are addressed by the collection of authors in the readings. Specifically, these include issues of sexuality, gender, homosexuality, and the relationship between parents and children. All these issues have changed as the world developed sociologically and technologically. Current technological and informational developments for example have a profound effect on the morals and norms relating to the above issues.
In terms of sexuality, Erich Fromm suggests that erotic love is frequently deceptive, as it is mistaken for the phenomenon of love itself, rather than an extension of the emotion. When the union is however achieved, no barriers are left to conquer and the tendency is to crave a new union with another stranger. This urge is however frequently curbed by the ethics of sexuality imposed by society as described by Bertrand Russell. Although the structure of society favors polygamy, monogamy is often imposed by the subconscious that is programmed with the ethics of monogamy in childhood. This, according to Russell, is why people often remain in relationships that have become dysfunctional. The reasons for this often combine elements of social stigma and moral upbringing.
These include the conflict between the impulse to jealousy and the impulse to polygamy. In order to curb disfunctionality, Russell calls for a compromise between the two, suggesting that young people should be allowed relative sexual freedom, while married or otherwise committed persons should be allowed to dissolve the bonds of the relationship with greater ease than is currently the case.
The implication is that sex, as stated by Fromm, is separated from love. This is the separation of sex from love, as dealt with by Olson in her poem. This is the deception of sexuality -- it is often mistaken for love itself, rather than an extension of it.
Gender issues closely relate to the sexual evolution of society. Women have entered the workplace, and demanded equal rights to men. The implication of this is however that women can no longer rely on being entirely supported by their husbands or indeed ex-husbands. According to Russell, the disintegration of any relationship between two persons should also mean the disintegration of financial support from either party. Women can now enter the workplace without fear of discrimination as a result of social evolution. Thus women should be expected to support themselves and whatever children resulted from previous unions. This is the kind of self sufficiency called for by June Jordan. This author demands a certain element of pride that appears to be lacking in her gender. Indeed, she derives greater pride from her race than her gender. In the same way, Barbara Ehrenreich berates the tendency of certain women to rely on their gender for financial gain in terms of alimony, when they are…
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