Jessica Benjamin’s View on Independence

Jessica Benjamin argues that true independence comes from recognizing the other person in a relationship, rather than attempting to be the dominant person in an attempt for control. A healthy relationship requires balance and mutual respect, not one person having too much or too little “power” that would instead create a divide between them. If one person aims to secure more authority or control over the other person, whether it be a romantic or platonic relationship, the bond is weakened and they both end up being harmed. The relationships that we have with others plays a role in our identity and how we continue to grow as people. Benjamin also brings up the fact that people need to feel distinct yet connected to others. Even though this pattern can be difficult to maintain, being associated with others can help a person grow and learn.

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