Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

September 25, 2009

Jenny in the Lion's Den

ABC's Nightline

You gotta admire her pluck.

Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage (see my review) will march into the most hostile situations to speak up for honesty in open relationships and the possibilities of poly in marriage. She went on Fox News during Fox's mini-jihad against triad relationships last May. And last night, as broadcast by ABC's Nightline, she went onstage at the enormous Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, for a Nightline-sponsored "Face-Off" with the church's pastor — about adultery and the Ten Commandments. In front of several thousand of the pastor's charged-up, cheering followers. On national TV.

Moreover, she shared the bad-guy role onstage with an actual creep: the CEO of the Ashley Madison cheat-on-your-spouse dating site. (He was intelligent and well-spoken, but IMO still a creep.) Sharing the stage on the pastor's side was another evangelical, a self-described reformed sex addict who founded a ministry to help fallen souls like himself — further diluting Jenny's time to talk.

"It was an hour and a half long and it was wild," says Jenny on her blog. "The paper reported that more than 4000 people were there and I'm here to report that only a handful took a liking to me."

Nightline's half-hour edit of the debate aired 11:35 p.m. (Sept 24, 2009). Watch it here. Nightline also put a video of the entire debate on its site.

Jenny didn't get time to say much. But when she was on she handled herself very well. Nightline also put up a short introduction clip in which she has a chance to explain herself excellently.

Also on the Nightline site is an article about the event:

Born to Cheat? Tempers Meet Testimony at Debate on Adultery

..."I don't believe that what I'm doing is committing adultery, because everyone knows what's going on," [Block] said. "We consider our relationship an open marriage. I don't think there's anything wrong with outside sexual relationships in marriage, [but] I do think there is a lot wrong with lying inside of a marriage."

...Block, who said she thinks adultery is a terrible thing, also isn't sold on the ideal of marriage.

"I don't think it's a bad idea," she said. "But I think the way we've designed it, this Cinderella fairy tale -- happily ever after -- that 40 percent of people fail at, and one out of three men cheat on, it doesn't work for everyone. It works for some people fabulously! Some of my very best friends are monogamists. But it doesn't work for everyone."

Read the whole article (Sept 24, 2009). As you can guess, comments are pouring in. Add yours.

In anticipation of the show, Jenny got a nice writeup in her original hometown newspaper:

“I think they wanted me to be the bad guy, but they really didn’t know what to do with me,” she said [of the debate format].

Block has gotten a barrage of “mean, nasty, poorly-written” e-mails, including people saying she was destroying her family.

But she has also had people say, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know how to thank you. I thought I was a weirdo.”

Growing up in Aberdeen and Bel Air, Block, who graduated from John Carroll, always dreamed of a traditional, “Cinderella” marriage and never expected to be disillusioned by monogamy.

...The book chronicles her discovery that monogamy just wasn’t for her when, three years into her marriage, she ended up having an affair.

That event set her on “the path of inquiry,” and Block, 39, is in a relationship with both her husband of 12 years and a woman whom she has been with for the past three years.

...“I really had a fantasy that, in sharing my story, other people would feel comfortable coming forward and sharing their stories,” she said about the book. “I have accomplished what I think I was supposed to, which was just to let people breathe easier.”

Read the whole article (in The Aegis of Harford County, Maryland; Sept. 23, 2009).




Anonymous Carra said...

I just watched the show and I just want to say kudos to Jenny Block. She held her own in the arguments, even if she was cut off a lot and th audience wasn't very receptive or understanding ot her points all the time her arguments for the most part were really level headed and valid. So especially in such a tight situation it's great to see she's able to keep a level head and keep her points, it's a great example of grace under pressure :)

September 25, 2009 4:42 PM  

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