"Polyamory is like the tech industry? WTF?!?"
Remember that CNN Money piece about poly becoming a trend among Silicon Valley techies/ life-hackers/ entrepreneurs?
Emily Rush at 429 Magazine ("for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender business leaders") goes on a rant about it. It seems to have hit some triggers of hers.
Polyamory is like the tech industry? WTF?!?
Polyamory seems to be having a big boom as of late — it’s almost like you can’t throw a rock without hitting poly this and open that. It seems like it’s everywhere, especially when you look at television: From American Horror Story to Big Love to Showtime’s Polyamory, it really seems like it’s becoming quite predominant.
Another place that seems to have picked up on this is in the tech industry. CNN Money recently did a report about a tech worker who also happens to be poly…and there’s so much that feels wrong about the article.
Let’s start with a direct quote: “I think that in technology, people have higher appetites for risks. Opening up your relationship is really risky, kind of in a similar way that starting a company is really risky.”
This is what Miju Han thinks poly is.
Ohhh… where do I start?
There is so much flawed thinking in this statement that I can’t even.
So, let’s start with my poly credentials. I’ve been poly now for… oh, going on twelve years. I’ve been in a functioning poly relationship for ten years, and I’ve had another committed partner for five. I’ve read virtually every book on poly that you can imagine.... The vast majority of my friends are also poly. So, I think I might know a thing or two about it.
How about we look at calling poly “an experiment”?... First, the word “experiment.” Now, let me think where else experimentation has come up in sex and sexuality…Oh, right! Isn’t that what they say to dismiss people who are bisexual? That they’re experimenting, that it’s just a phase? Yeah…
After twelve years, I can’t say that I’m “experimenting” anymore....
Well no. An "experiment," to us techie-sciencey-geeky types (a big subset of poly) is trying something to see what happens. Because you're curious. Curious people are cool.
To say that this is an experiment is pretty insulting to those of us who have done this for years (or even decades).
Han was referring to this as a social experiment. Can modern poly work on a societal scale? That's never been tried, and it would be cool to find out.
Come on, if you’re going to claim to be poly, don’t be so ignorant of the community you’re supposedly a part of. Even worse, it might actually be insulting to your own partners, especially if they’ve been doing this longer than you.
Now, let’s talk about risk.... Calling poly “risky” is the statement that I have a bigger problem with. You know what else is risky? Job interviews. Walking down the street. Driving a car.... Is there a greater risk in poly (that would be tantamount to, say, starting a new business)?
Uh, that’s basically saying that monogamy is safe.
...Then there’s the comparison to poly being like the tech industry [and starting a company]…
I shake my head when I read this.... It once again compares poly to business.
You know what other group of people has a higher appetite for risk? Gamblers, people who play the stock market, venture capitalists.…wait, does that mean that you’ll also find a lot of poly people in the financial market as well?
In fact, surveys do find that self-identified polys tend to score high on measures of adventure-seeking and appetite for risk.
Read the whole article (Feb. 26, 2015).
Rush's previous article at 429 Magazine was the perfectly fine Polyamory: A Primer two weeks ago.
P.S.: Regarding experiments, a warning from xkcd: