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

December 1, 2010

Poly ponderings in student newspapers

Brown Daily Herald
Daily Nebraskan
Kansas State Collegian
La Trobe University

● Writing on the future of marriage in the Brown Daily Herald, a student at Brown University in Rhode Island talks to six of her peers about their diverse family intentions. One intends a poly triad:

Brown women shape the new family

By Alexandra Ulmer

...New notions of family are growing in the United States, according to "The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families," a report released by the Pew Research Center last week.

"How many of today's youth will eventually marry is an open question," according to the executive summary. "Even as marriage shrinks, family — in all its emerging varieties — remains resilient."...

A triad of childrearers

For Aida Manduley '11, Queer Alliance head chair and Queer Coordinating Committee leader, three is the ideal number. She would like her children to be raised communally — preferably by a triad. Manduley, who said she is queer and practices polyamory, feels that society is too focused on matrimony to the detriment of other valid alternatives.

"I don't feel marriage is necessary to have a stable life or to have a long, fulfilling relationship," she said.

While Manduley said she remains open to marriage, the idea of non-monogamy is more appealing to her at the moment. But Manduley's family, which lives in her native Puerto Rico, isn't as enthused about her alternative ideas.

They expect her to maintain a career and a family, which Manduley also desires — albeit in a different structure. "But there's no shame or worry in having different opinions to my family," she said....

Read the whole article (Nov. 22, 2010).

● In the Daily Nebraskan, "the student voice at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln":

Polyamorous relationships: Right for some, not for others

By Lacey Mason

...Our relationships are changing. Or, perhaps more accurately, our mindsets are changing. We're getting to know one another in entirely new ways and evaluating our interactions more critically. We're asking questions. We're finding new ways to make ourselves happy, romantically, which is a step outside the social norms.

My friend announced this weekend that she and her husband are now in an open relationship. Also known as polyamory (having multiple romantic partners), the relationship was met with some controversy. One friend told her it would never work, could never work. Conversely, another shared her positive experience with an open relationship. I chimed in that while I wouldn't be game, I knew of two couples happily married with years of polyamory behind them.

My friend, let's call her Mabel, argued that she felt monogamy was unnatural. She defended herself by saying, "Monogamy is a bit like vegetarianism — it's a great choice for some people, but ultimately, humans are designed to eat meat."...

The discussion shifted to animals.... Even the Schistosoma mansoni, an intestinal parasitic worm that can live in humans, mates with only one partner. Our discussions went back and forth from here....

...Polyamory also isn't for the insecure or codependent. An open relationship only works when both partners are in it together. There needs to be the utmost transparency, open communication, trust and, above all, respect. The partners in a committed relationship still need to put each other first, and if one partner decides they are no longer interested in the arrangement, it needs to end for both....

Read the whole article (Nov. 29, 2010).

● In the Kansas State Collegian at Kansas State University:

Open marriages can work without love lost

By Lindsay Vannaman

I'm writing in response to Jillian Aramowicz's Oct. 28 article about how marriages have become too casual....

...I have been in an open relationship for almost two years while I attended a community college and my boyfriend was here at K-State, and while he studied abroad in Italy. This arrangement has not been easy, with plenty of jealousy and hurt and tears. I also think those things come with most monogamous relationships.

Now that we finally live in the same city, we appreciate each other so much more. I honestly think this has made us much closer. While I realize open relationships and marriages may not be right for everyone, it doesn't make it OK to condemn those who choose it as a lifestyle. I speak from experience; it doesn't make them crazy and it sure doesn't make them any less in love.

Read the whole article (Nov. 5, 2010).

● And on the website of La Trobe University in Australia:

Poly is the new gay

By Linda Kirkman

...There is a growing awareness of polyamory as a way to form relationships and families, and it is on the frontier of social change in acceptance of relationships. The more aware and accepting of diversity in relationships the more healthy our society is....

...I started reading about non-monogamous relationships as part of my PhD literature review, and for a while became immersed in finding out about polyamory. I remembered seeing a pamphlet about polyamory on campus a couple of years ago, but it had not been on my radar or in what I observed about the world. There is not much available in the scholarly literature, apart from a special edition of Sexualities 9(5) and an edited book, Understanding Non-Monogamies (Barker & Langdridge 2010).

Since my first delve into the polyamory literature at the start of 2010, I have observed the growing public visibility of polyamory, (abbreviated to ‘poly’) and now it is on my radar I am realising how widespread it is....

...I typed ‘polyamory’ into iTunes as a search, and found a regular US podcast, Polyamory Weekly, that has been going since 2005 (www.polyweekly.com). I listened to many of them, selecting from over the five years, and observed a change, including a growing inclusion of young people into the poly movement, where it had been earlier commented on that to be under 30 and poly was unusual....

....The Australian newspaper ran a story on November 20, 2010, "Three is the new two as couples explore the boundaries of non-monogamy," about a poly family of two women and a man who are having a baby. The writer, Emma Jane, used pseudonyms for the family, presumably to protect the people against discrimination, but wrote a supportive and positive article about this family’s normal and thoughtful existence, and about the growing emergence of polyamory worldwide. I hope it won’t be long before people in poly relationships don’t feel the need to protect themselves with pseudonyms. A same-sex couple having a baby would no longer feel the need to hide their identity in this way. I look forward to a society where any loving family, irrespective of how many people it includes or what sex they are, feels safe to be open about who they are.

In that respect, poly is the new gay.

Read the whole article (late November 2010).


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Blogger Tara Li said...

I'd like to suggest a possible economic reason for looking at a poly triad relationship. The traditional monogamous relationship was predicated on a wage-earner as hunter/gatherer, and a home maker who took care of kids and maintenance chores...

However, the current economic situation makes that much less viable, and it's always been vulnerable to the loss of one parent or the other with its associated negative effects on children, and on the capability of the remaining parent to handle things.

If, instead, you have a trio, you could have two wage-earners, and one home maker, and in the case of the loss of a parent, the load gets spread on two, instead of just one. Larger groups, of course, make for more redundancy and efficiencies of scale, but at the same time, increase the difficulties of managing psychological and communications costs. It may be, at some point in the future, someone will be able to mathematically show where an optimum balance lies. Until then, we'll just have to work on things the way we always have - trying our best.

December 01, 2010 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Tara's comment - how many couples do you know that actually survive today on a "wage-earner as hunter/gatherer, and a home maker who took care of kids and maintenance chore" structure? And why the insistence on polyamory promoting outdated labor hierarchies in ANY relationship, dual or triad or otherwise?

December 01, 2010 1:42 PM  
Anonymous David said...

I'm not going to put words in Tara's mouth, but I know of several long-lived polyamorus configurations, traids, vees, quads, Ws and more complex formations... one of those has a adult son who has been co-parented by all involved and I can think of at least two or three other "poly babies" in my local area who are benefiting from the adage that many hands make light work. I'm sure that every parent (no matter how many partners they have) has wished for an extra pair of hands to help out with childrearing at some point!

December 01, 2010 2:13 PM  
Blogger mz. aida said...

As the person referenced/interviewed in the Brown Daily Herald article, I'm excited to see it on here. :)

December 01, 2010 5:56 PM  
Blogger Ashbet said...

I know that, when my partners' daughter was born, having an extra pair of hands (and experienced hands, since I have an older child) made a big difference. It allowed one of my partners to go back to work after two weeks, while I stayed home and helped my girlfriend recover from her C-section.

We don't live together full-time, but I love having a co-parenting role and I adore their little girl as if she were my own!

December 03, 2010 11:20 AM  

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