One can imagine that in a cooperative society, people could just be as they are, and it would be OK. In a dominance hierarchy, you have to always be comparing yourself with those around you to see where you rank, and that’s a big factor in bullying, racism, etc. So yes, the two do go together, and yes, to some extent it’s on you to find how to be authentic in a world that might not celebrate who you truly are, but I hear you. My massage therapist was laughing and shaking her head the other day about her crazy small-town cousins who are swingers, and how weird she thought that was. I just smiled and nodded and did not tell her that James and I have an open marriage. It just wasn’t a situation where it was worthwhile to try to explain it to her, so instead, I have to censor myself. I’d rather not do that, but at this point in my life, that’s something I will still choose in many, many cases.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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