Redefining Our Relationships: An Interview with Wendy-O Matik
Revolution By the Book
I attended a workshop of yours back in ‘08 at the Longhaul and recall you speaking of open love not only positively transforming the ways we live our individual lives but also having an impact on the larger injustices of capitalism and the patriarchal pyramid of oppression and exploitation. Tell us a little about how you see one having an affect on the other.
Radical love has the potential to shift the dominant paradigm, to embrace institutional change and to dismantle systems of oppression, such as capitalism, greed, and patriarchy, but only if we’re interested in smashing the system and rebuilding it with a more holistic paradigm to replace it. As a feminist and anarchist in spirit, open relationships go to the very core of patriarchy and threaten to disrupt men’s historical control over how we love, who we love, how many we love, and so on.
The societal and cultural reality is that we are a far cry from sexual equality in this day and age. Men, straight or gay, have benefited from the luxury of sexual liberation without so much as their moral values being scrutinized by society. Women, whether straight or queer, have no such freedom. Labels such as “slut” or “nympho” continue to plague women who seek sexual autonomy. These stereotypes and misconceptions are perpetuated in the media, government, educational system, religious institutions, and even within the women’s movement. We still have a long way to go before we can dismantle these derogatory perceptions and liberate ourselves from the social constraints that have been imposed upon us since birth. The first place to start is with one’s self, confronting your own self-imposed guilt and your fears of stepping outside the standards of societal norms. It starts with freeing your mind, body, and heart to love openly despite judgment.
Who are some of the most influential authors in your approach to relationships & love?
To name just a few:
1. The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities by Dossie Easton & Catherine A. Liszt
2. Gaia and the New Politics of Love: Notes for a Poly Planet by Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
3. Living My Life: An Autobiography by Emma Goldman
4. Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino
5. Polyamory: The New Love without Limits by Dr. Deborah M. Anapol
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