|Respectability||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Joaniblank (Joaniblankaol.com)|
|Date: Tue, 31 Jan 95 14:12 CST|
I find it interesting that someone has suggested that we not get into a discussion of polyrelationships here because we want to keep the image of cohousing "respectable" I agree that we don't need to discuss sex and relationship here now, but I am uncomfortable with his reason. Yes the co- in cohousing does often raise eyebrows and comments, about political and economic issues as well as around personal relationships, but part of our task in promoting cohousing is thinking about speaking to those questions, explaining exactly what it means to us, this odd (to some) concept. Also I think that this brings up a larger issue; namely, how, in our communities do we deal with a number of life issues that might be considered private matters when people are living in conventional housing arrangements. Many of us feel that one of the very important characteristics that draws us to cohousing is that, unlike any other kind of shared housing I have ever heard of, in cohousing households have as much privacy as they want inside the walls of their homes. But because of the way we do choose to share our living space and lives, we do learn more personal stuff about one another. My guess is that individuals are all over the map in terms of how much they talk about ususally private stuff and in terms of how they feel about being open on a variety of issues. In addition to openness about sex and relationships, there are other potentially touchy issues that can get opened up (for good or ill or both!). I might mention a couple here: 1. How we relate to our children including how we discipline them, what we teach them about living with other kids and other adults who are not their parents, how do "rules" in our house differ from those in the common areas or in the outside world. 2. How we spend money. How do people in the community feel about how extravagent or frugal they perceive others to be. You might say what I spend in my own household is not anyone's business, but if, for example, I make economic choices for myself that regularly affect my ability or willingness to spend money for the common good , others will undoubtedly have feelings about it. 3. What our political or religious beliefs or practices are, essentially private matters, unless we pressure others to be more like us. I expect that most communities will find a way of distribuing issues and concerns into individual/private(household)/cohousing group/cohousers in other groups/larger community/larger world boxes in their own way. What fun!
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