I have a couple of friends I can sometimes talk to about drama in my life, but those are often more venting sessions to friends as opposed to conversations in which I'm asking for and receiving quality advice/thoughts from someone who has been there. Since I do not have a close/personal enough relationship with the couple of people I've met who seem like they would be able to give STELLAR advice on some of the issues that confuse me, I'm turning to livejournal. As I write this now, I intend this to be a series of posts presenting an issue and asking for thoughts. In all likelihood, this may be the only post I ever actually write within this "theme." Also, if I do continue, I hope to work in my inability to be succinct. I know I ramble, but I struggle with feeling satisfied that I've expressed my point clearly in fewer than 50 pages.
The first issue that confuses and frustrates me is the idea of "open-mindedness." I know there are some issues that I want to be okay with but have this inexplicable, illogical knee jerk reaction to. I attribute those to ideas that became cemented in me during childhood. Those are usually the ideas I have without knowing why I have them. Those ones are hard to overcome and examine and change, but I think I have a good handle on how to tell when is it one of these original, fundamental ideas that is the cause of my inexplicable aversion to some practice or idea.
However, it seems to me a lot of times that when someone is not okay with something that others ARE okay with, the person not okay with it is considered not as "open-minded" as the person who is. Why is that? For instance, I read quite a bit on issues of this nature and have had many conversations with people about this specific issue, and my impression is that many people feel that someone who is okay with, say, open marriages (or particularly those who are a part of one) is much more "open-minded" than someone who isn't. Why can't it be that someone is okay with others engaging in open marriages, but after a fair amount of thought, has made the decision that that practice/lifestyle is not something they are interested in/okay with for themselves? I don't think it necessarily makes someone closed-minded to decide that they aren't okay with certain behaviors and practices for themselves and their relationships. Am I a minority on this?
If I'm not okay with the idea of an open marriage, why is it assumed (and asserted) by people who are that I am a prude/closed-minded about sex and matters surrounding sex, that I'm a victim of the society I live in, that I haven't escaped my religious upbringing (in my case, loosely Catholic, but insert other religions popularly considered to be oppressive and "closed-minded"), that I'm insecure, or that I am not feminist enough (that last one I still don't understand, but it's one I've heard before in an article)?
To be clear, this is a hypothetical example. I actually AM okay with open marriages and think it's great for couples who are into it and can pull it off.
I just mean to express how frustrated I am with how little I understand what makes someone "open-minded" in the eyes of others. I really view myself as cool with most lifestyles/choices/etc., but does it make me closed-minded or a victim of the "fascist" society in which I was raised if I have made the decision to not be into certain practices/ideas that others have decided they ARE into? Does a person have to be into almost everything (short of those things that hurt others without their consent) in order to be "open-minded?" I never thought so before, but I'm having a hard time deciphering the messages I seem to be getting from others I know and others I don't know but read.
What do you guys think?