In seeking a committed partner of interpersonal intimacy do we projectively tend to seek reflections of ourselves in others but we also typically seek reflections of our parents and others with whom we were raised. Not only do we typically seek in a desired other a personality and a psychological gender similar to our own but we also typically seek a reconstitution of some kind of familial relationship from childhood.
What does this mean? We may consciously/subconsciously desire a future partner for interpersonal intimacy to become some sort of parental gender to us. We may consciously/subconsciously also desire a parental gender for ourselves in relation to a potential or actual partner for interpersonal intimacy.
This of course opens up the question of illegal intergenerational interpersonal intimacy as sublimated in interadult relationships, including in same-age inter-adult relationships. This also opens up the Jewish science of psychoanalysis in ways that might compel us to reconsider traditional understandings of psychoanalysis.
What we may appropriately describe as interage is thus more than simple the question of the spectrum intergenerational intimacy from what is traditionally described as “gerontophilia” to what is traditionally described as “paedophilia”.
Of course some truly, genuinely and sincerely seek an egalitarian relationship between symmetric equals but this is an exception as even lesbian relationships tend to be asymmetric in terms both gender and usually subconsciously desired reconstitution of some kind of childhood familial role.
This is underscored by the fact that nearly all feminists of all ages and genders practically speaking are hypocrites as very few feminists actually implement strictly egalitarian gender in relationships of interpersonal intimacy. Even radical feminists usually do not practice egalitarian gender in bed. The egalitarian political impulse for similarity in social roles constitutes sublimation of repressed sexual desire between siblings and while legitimate must it not be coercively imposed but rather strictly elective only and must therefore become also be made socially possible which it at present mostly is is not.
Why is this so? The threat of police intelligence persecution by plainclothes police agents who see it as their task to extrajudicially crack down on gender bender expression (such as by means of honey traps, sexual entrapment, sexual extortion whether directly or indirectly by police intelligence; all geared towards coercive intelligence recruitment to thoroughly criminal police intelligence) is of course an important explanation but surely not the only one. The gendered fear of non-approval from a desired other is another explanation. The most fundamental explanation is however that we seek asymmetric social roles as regards relationships of interpersonal intimacy and irrespective of whether such a relationship is actually/potentially temporary and/or lasting. There are many other examples of eroticization of structural asymmetry in social roles. BDSM obviously comes to mind but behavioral asymmetry exists throughout the full spectrum of human sexual expression, including in all subcultures of so called “paraphilia”.
Why is this so? The Freudian explanation is that asymmetric social roles are reproduced in diverse ways as sublimation of the generally traumatic experience of surviving patriarchal and/or patriarchal-style family life. The Derridean explanation is that we are attracted to tout autre, the radical other, someone similar to ourselves yet also completely distinctive from ourselves. Is not that after all what interpersonal desire is about? The Nietzschean explanation is that we as individual herd animals naturally desire to be at center of attention and interpersonal approval and hence the desire for behavioral asymmetry in social roles. The feminist explanation is that this is simply how ethnocratic patriarchy perpetuates its own structures of structural oppression by eroticizating behavioral asymmetry. Of course this is not preclude further and no less true explanations as the historical emergence of a social phenomenon is typically diverse in origin as including multiple socio-historical factors.
In ethico-political terms does this open a number of interesting and important questions. Are asymmetric relationships of interpersonal intimacy inherently non-egalitarian? Are asymmetric relationships of interpersonal intimacy inherently unequal? Are asymmetric relationships of interpersonal intimacy necessarily structurally oppressive? Are asymmetric relationships of interpersonal intimacy necessarily unethical in nature?
The first answer to all is this that interpersonal desire is not entirely rational and ethical although it surely ought be and certainly can become so by means of Social Behavioral Training (SBT).
The second answer to all those questions is that there are always interpersonal behavioral asymmetries as even between so called “identical” twins who are actually anything but “identical” but only seemingly so as they each have a distinctive idiosyncratic personhood. Yes, identical twins do not have identical personalities!
What do we seek in an imagined/actual desired other? We certainly in cognitive terms seek an “identical” twin but we also seek someone different from ourselves whether as expressed in anatomy, various social roles etc. We hence typically seek someone who is internally (psychologically) similar to ourselves yet outwardly different from ourselves.
Once we understand this can we also commence redesigning our own individually expressed yet socially constructed and socially structured desires for interpersonal intimacy.
This is not to imply that virtue should be coercive in nature whether in Christian style or Para-Christian style as virtue rather needs become eroticized indeed. Once any particular virtue becomes eroticized does it also become desirable. The eroticization of the virtue of beauty is after all what propels so many females to spend so much time, money and effort on beautification of varying kinds whether daily or more permanent such as coloring of hair and cosmetic surgery.
The essential feminist challenge hence is to eroticize ethical virtue generally. Why should we consign ourselves to eroticization being a tool of structural oppression of ethnocratic patriarchy when it ought rather become appropriated as a strategic tool for feminism? How do we attain that? Well primarily by artistic means whether through production of mass cultural expression or by becoming ever-evolving feminist performance artists who express ourselves in ethico-aesthetico-politically diverse ways as social role models for others. We should also attain that by means of applied gender science carefully and rigorously investigating and understanding how both mass cultural production and ourselves as individual social agents can learn to eroticize virtue rather than vice.
This is not to advocate for sexual repression as regards vice-based desire but rather that the virtue-based desire ought energetically outcompete vice-based desire. Both virtue-based desire and vice-based desire appear in two main forms, one is coercive as expressed in e.g. social terror and bad conscience in cultural hegemony. The other main form is founded in desire for nobility, sophistication, grace and divinity. This of course is not to deny the existence of complex, contradictory and intertwined motivations but rather that simply that the coercive type is structurally oppressive and therefore ethico-politically illegitimate and inadmissible indeed. Complex motivations furthermore typically cause cognitive dissonance and are therefore usually severely unhelpful and profoundly undesirable indeed.
Feminism and gender science needs hence engage in ethico-aesthetico-political, distinctly non-masculinist applied psychology of helping ourselves becomes mistresses of our lives and destinies and certainly not out compulsion but rather out of love of virtue.
All this opens up the ethico-aesthetico-political question of the individual/structural motivations for desiring others. The zoological explanation is that animal group behaviors constitute subclinical versions of zoological parasitism. The feminist answer to that explanation is that we ought become motivated by elevated virtues of nobility rather than base parasitism. Thus need we become incentivized by genuine, selfless and non-coercive love of virtue rather than by the social tyranny of structural oppression in cultural hegemony. There is both auto-coercion and externally imposed coercion and of course obviously combinations of the two as variously socio-culturally expressed, the point being that coercion is the destroyer of noble pleasure in turning virtue into vice. How is this so? Well, a coercive “virtue” is already half-vice in creating a despicable, tragic and painful reality of undermining virtue though a process whereby virtue is undermined and gradually transformed into vice, process of evilization indeed.
A further question relates to the nature of virtue; what constitutes virtue and what does not and of course who gets to define what constitutes virtue? Virtue is intrinsically ethical, aesthetic and political and of course that opens up further questions as to the meaning of those very terms. The answer to the those questions is summed up in the term nobility. Then what is nobility? Nobility is the state of unselfishness, whereby human herd animals realize that our purpose in life is to help deserving others help themselves. And so needs feminist princely/royal/imperial etiquette become an ever-evolving universal human social practice of conduct and raising future generations in dignity, respect and liberty.