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What does it mean to be partners-in-freedom?

This phrase used by Damon Young has stuck with me in the years since I read the book which contained this acknowledgement in its preface. It immediately resonated yet I’ve only come to understand what it means with time, as well as what it means in living with and for another. I thought back to it when reading this wonderful short piece by Simone de Beauvoir, It’s About Time Women Put A New Face On Love, recommended by Jana Bacevic. I realise that Young’s phrase hinted at a horizon of being-with-another that Beauvoir explicated in beautiful and precise prose:

Together the lovers face the world and the future; but each is also astonished to see an accomplice looking out from those cherished eyes; there can be no other like the beloved in life, no replacement in death. It is this love that is the most complete relationship possible with another person: to see him both in his impersonal activity and in his irreplaceable reality; as builder and as object; as all that transcends himself and as finite creature. If woman becomes for man his veritable equal, she will feel no less the need to be thus marvelously confirmed within and to confirm with her love the one whose love crowns her.

If I understand correctly, this is more than allyship. It goes beyond an equality of concern in which each tries to support the other in their endeavours. This beyond is what the notion of partners-in-freedom opened to me as a possibility. I realise I’m still coming to understand it and that’s probably the way it should be.

Categories: Becoming Who We Are Things to think about

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