"Will the bonobos in our midst make monkeys of us all?"
A columnist in Canada's conservative National Post harrumphs that the country's polys will "make monkeys of us all" when they eventually seek group marriage — picking up on an organizer's remark in the paper's recent article about Polycon, the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association's convention coming up this weekend in Vancouver.
Remember, if you don't want it quoted out of context, don't let it come out of your mouth. Speak to the media, in particular hostile media, using the sound bite formula, in which every bit you say can stand by itself. Another pro tip: don't answer the question that was asked, answer the question you wish was asked. Listen to politicians and corporate flacks and you'll hear them doing both these things; that's why they sound so good.
What would the bonobos do?
By Barbara Kay
Should we be surprised that “polyamorists” — mixed-sex threesomes or foursomes in open “relationships” — have come out of the closet, clamouring for their slice of the matrimonial pie?
This week, the new Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA) will be discussing its claims for family legitimacy at its first conference in Vancouver. Zoe Duff, a director of CPAA, says: “As a long-term thing, I can see a desire to have the right to marry.”
The law against polygamy was upheld in 2011 by the Supreme Court of Canada, but the Court didn’t put the kibosh on informal sexual arrangements that fell outside its bounds. Now some polyamorists are looking for the glittering prize of legal validation.
...and her opponents.
I’m no Cassandra. But in 2006 I warned in a column: “Don’t panic … about polygamy … Save your panic for “polyamorous” marriage … Thanks to such ‘advances’ as the recent Supreme Court of Canada’s ‘swingers’ ruling [which legitimated group sex as a for-profit business that did no “harm”], polyamory is acquiring respectability, thus paving the way for public acceptance.”
...In 2010, at Toronto’s “Idea City” conference, I attended a presentation made by a married academic couple, Cacilda Jethá and Christopher Ryan. They were billed as “monogamy mythbusters.” Their research specialty was the mating behaviour of bonobos. These creatures are sexually promiscuous, especially the females, who will couple anytime, anywhere, with any male bonobo except their sons (even primates have taboos, it seems). Bonobos do not pair bond. Sex for bonobos is a social activity, and all the bonobos seem happy.
The presenters made no attempt to disguise their underlying thesis that bonobos have lessons to teach human beings. Specifically: be promiscuous, be happy, be non-violent.
...No, they were not kidding. The presenters made no attempt to disguise their underlying thesis that bonobos have lessons to teach human beings. Specifically: be promiscuous, be happy, be non-violent.
...I admit that I look somewhat smugly forward to the rhetorical cirque de soleil of polyamorists’ eventual Supreme Court challenge. Will the bonobos in our midst make monkeys of us all?
Read the whole article (May 29, 2013), and join the comments.