Jessica Benjamin’s Psychoanalytic piece argues that society creates hierarchies and that the problems that come with those hierarchies exist because of a lack of mutual recognition. She believes these binaries continue when the dominant individual in the binary uses their power and the submissive individual accepts the dominance and doesn’t stand up. Benjamin values equality and asserts that one’s identity shouldn’t rely on the absence of being something, for example, a man is a man because he is not a woman.
Benjamin’s perspective gave me a new awareness of the binaries in my life. An example of one of them would be the binary of a man and a woman. I took away from Benjamin’s writing that it is essential to not submit to power dynamics and view others as the same, full human being as yourself. Her writing is significant because it can help change people’s views on their everyday behavior no matter what side of a binary someone is on. Silencing the idea of power and who holds it can lead to a much more equal and balanced life for everyone.
One thought on “Response to Jessica Benjamin’s “Bonds of Love””
I also was impacted by Benjamin’s idea that for there to be a balanced power dynamic, both sides have to contribute. It was very insightful when she mentioned that the oppressor of the power dynamic should not be given full responsibility for the imbalance, because that itself is giving the oppressor power and feeding into the dynamic. That is not something I had thought about before, and I will look to apply that in my life.