This is a topic that I’ve been thinking about for a long time now. We have a society that prides itself on telling everybody else what to do. The main subject that is on everyone’s lips is sex. You shouldn’t wear revealing clothes. You shouldn’t “flirt” with someone outside of your relationship. (Of course, these people never define flirt. If you are speaking to someone of the opposite sex, they assume you are “flirting.”) You shouldn’t have pre-marital sex. You shouldn’t naturally feed your baby in public. There are all kinds of things you shouldn’t do in this society. What I want to know is: why?
I spoke about beauty in an earlier blog. By telling others what they can and can’t wear, society is trying to define beauty in its own image. Beauty is a very personal thing. Each person has to define beauty for themselves. Part of that definition includes how they present themselves. Society should not be able to limit that expression.
Every human interaction is intimate in some way. Each person has a bubble of personal space that surrounds them. When people interact, their bubbles merge. That immersion into another’s personal space is an intimate act, regardless of the purpose for that interaction. Simply saying, “Hello,” to a stranger in a grocery store is intimate, because those bubbles have merged. As the conversations are prolonged, the bubbles intertwine, and the interaction becomes even more intimate. It does not matter if the relationship is completely platonic, the interaction is still intimate.
Since the nature of all human interaction is intimate, many people see sexual tension or interest where there is none. A person will see two people interacting, and assume that there is “flirting” going on, simply because, like all human interaction, the conversation is an intimate exchange of ideas.
People who have read my blogs already know my feelings on marriage, but even if I were to go in for an archaic institution based on slavery, and doomed for failure to begin with, I have a real problem with the concept of others telling me not to try it before I buy it. Whether people like it or not, sex is a big part of a long-lasting relationship. It does not matter how well-balanced every other aspect of a couple’s life is, if that area is not satisfactory, the relationship will not survive the long haul.
I see such animosity towards the concept of public breastfeeding. Even people who believe that breastfeeding is the best thing for a child, often balk at feeding in public because of negative reactions in this society. Members of my own family have commented that the practice is rude, and should on be done behind closed doors. So, babies only get hungry at home, behind closed doors?
What I find ironic is that this culture objectifies the human body, then criticizes people for following the example set by the media. Everywhere you look there are billboards with half naked men and women plastered all over them. Television shows near nudity, sexual prowess, blatant infidelity, and pretty much everything that the society claims to abhor. Of course, if anyone follows in the footsteps the media sets, the society condemns them for immoral acts.
What if the society was a little more honest with itself? The truth is, this society does not find these things as abhorrent as it claims. If it did, our billboards would not be lit up with sensual images, our television shows would not be full of infidelity, and people would not be so drawn to the concept of sex.
If our society were to accept its sensual nature, what would it look like? To begin with, there would be a lot more acceptance of alternative lifestyles. Polyamory, Polygamy, and other such multi-partner relationships would not be scorned. People would not be afraid to be themselves. The concept of being “in the closet” would not exist, because people would freely accept others for who they are. People would be less judgmental. Since these lifestyles would not be considered “immoral” or “against” any societal code, there would be no reason to judge them harshly. The sensual nature of people in general would lead to a more loving and compassionate society. By dropping the judgmental attitudes, and embracing the truth that we all enjoy beauty, intimacy, and love, the whole society would benefit.