Romantic Love and Personal Autonomy

Marilyn Friedman

in Autonomy, Gender, Politics

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195138504
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785902 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

 Romantic Love and Personal Autonomy

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This chapter focuses on the ideal of a merger, fusion, or union of lovers in heterosexual romantic love. It explores a recent cultural ideal of love that places value on personal autonomy in romantic relationships, and sketches out some persistent gender asymmetries that compromise those trends. It is argued that even women who place overriding importance on romantic relationships need some degree of autonomy in love.

Keywords: mergers; lovers; heterosexual romantic love; women

Chapter.  12733 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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