Poly and Everyday Feminism: 3 weeks, 3 articles
The modern polyamory movement continues to carry forward the feminist outlook of its female founders 30 years ago. Increasingly onboard of late is the popular online magazine Everyday Feminism, boasting 4.5 million visits a month. It posted four polyamory articles in October, after putting up about one a month for most of 2015 and only one or two a year before that.
Here are snips from the three new ones since I noted Sian Ferguson's 5 Myths About Love, Sex, and Relationships That Stop Us From Accepting Polyamory.
3 Ways Polyamorous People Are Excluded in Queer Communities – And Why It’s Wrong
By Sian Ferguson
Finding a queer community saved my life. I’m not exaggerating.... Finally, I could live out my truth as a pansexual person while being supported and loved by a large, beautiful group of people I felt connected to and in alignment with.
Queer communities are incredibly important... But they can be oppressive too.... After coming out as polyamorous, I encountered yet another source of exclusion in the queer spaces I used to navigate....
Heteronormativity promotes certain kinds of sex, relationships and families as ‘normal’, ‘natural’ and ‘acceptable’. Namely, it privileges monogamy, heterosexuality, sex between married partners, and sex for reproductive purposes.
...Homonormativity, on the other hand, is the assimilation of queer people (especially homosexual people) into a heteronormative system without challenging the core ideas of heteronormativity.
Homonormativity is heteronormativity repackaged and tied up with an elaborate rainbow ribbon.... Queers often assimilate to heteronormative ideals because we want the same kind of privilege that is afforded to straight people.... But instead of aiming for assimilation into a system, we should be challenging the system itself.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways polyamorous people are excluded and marginalized by some queer communities.
1. We’re Ignored In The Push For ‘Marriage Equality’....
2. We’re Harmed By The Promotion of Normative Family Structures. All families are structured differently. What matters is not the quantity of family members, but the quality of the relationships between those families.
I grew up in a home with an interesting familial structure. My mother was a single parent and I was raised mostly by her and my grandparents. My older siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins and other extended family members were very involved in my upbringing....
3. We’re Harmed By Sex-Shaming Sentiments. ...Queer communities can be sites for radical change, acceptance, love and healing. But when these communities reproduce oppressive ideas, they perpetuate the status quo instead of challenging it....
Here's the whole article (October 25, 2015)
Three days earlier, a long one:
15 Comments Polyamorous People Are Tired of Getting
By Miri Mogilevsky
When people find out that I’m polyamorous and that I prefer to date multiple partners with everyone’s knowledge and consent, I get a variety of responses....
Here are 15 assumptive statements people say to non-monogamous people, and why they are misguided and hurtful.
1. ‘That Could Never Work’. Often accompanied by an anecdote about a friend who tried polyamory and totally hated it, this comment seems like a well-intentioned statement of opinion, but it’s actually very invalidating.... How can you claim that polyamory “doesn’t work” when speaking to someone like me, who’s been happily polyamorous for three years?...
2. ‘You Must Have a Lot of Sex’. ...The fact that someone is polyamorous says nothing about how much or what types of sex they have.
3. ‘So Which One Is Your Main Partner?’...
4. ‘Well, My Partner Is Enough for Me’....
5. ‘Oh, You’ll Find The One Someday’... This is similar to telling a lesbian that she’ll meet the right man someday....
6. ‘You Just Want to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too’. Statements like these reveal some resentment....
7. ‘But What About Kids?’ Some people, including some polyamorous people, are not interested in having children. Many polyamorous people do raise children with one or more of their partners.... If you’re interested to know how a polyamorous friend sees their future, ask them.
8. ‘You’re Polyamorous So You Can Have Both Genders, Right?’ ...If you find both redheads and brunettes attractive, does that mean you always need to be dating at least one of each?...
9. ‘I’d Never Let My Partner Do That’ (Or ‘Wow, Your Partner Lets You Do That?’). A partner is not a child.
10. ‘Your Partner Just Wants to Take Advantage of You’. It’s valid to worry about someone you care about. Abuse can happen in any relationship. But suggesting that someone is being manipulated or taken advantage of simply because their partner has other partners denies their agency.
11. ‘Oh, So You’re Available!’
12. ‘Sounds Like the Polyamorous Thing Didn’t Work Out After All’. ...Like monogamous relationships, open relationships end for all sorts of reasons.
13. ‘But Don’t Your Partners Get Sad When You’re On Dates With Someone Else?’
14. ‘Why Do You Have to Talk About Polyamory All the Time?’ The short answer is because of everything I’ve just written about.
15. ‘But Don’t You Get Jealous?’ Vegetarians and vegans sometimes talk about how frustrating it is to be asked, “But what about bacon?” The jealousy question is the what-about-bacon of polyamory.
Rather than making comments like these, consider taking the opportunity to learn more about polyamory and about your polyamorous friends.... Even if you’ve chosen monogamy, you can pick up some helpful relationship skills from them – or at least hear some great stories.
The whole article (October 22).
And a week before that,
More Than Two: Examining the Myths and Facts of Polyamory
By Laura Kacere
...Often described as “consensual and responsible non-monogamy,” polyamory can characterize anyone who engages in intimate relationships with multiple people in a way that is consensual and communicative of all relationships. (That is, cheating on a partner doesn’t count as polyamory!)
These definitions are broad, and polyamorous relationships come in all different shapes and sizes....
The ways of organizing relationships are endless – and so are the myths surrounding it....
Myth #1: With the right partner, you only need one person.
Myth #2: Polyamory means you love your partner(s) less.
Myth #3: Polyamory is for people who “just want to sleep around” and avoid attachment and intimacy.
Myth #4: Polyamory is for people who don’t get jealous.
Myth #5: Polyamory is for enlightened people. While there are a lot of prejudices against poly people, there can also be a romanticization of it, seeing polyamory as the truly evolved way to live. The truth is, poly people are not perfect. People hurt each other in polyamory just like they do in monogamy.... Polyamory comes with its own set of challenges, requiring a process of unlearning and challenging our cultural conditioning around love and relationships.
Fact #1: You are already complete.
Fact #2: Valuing all of your relationships.... Sometimes monogamy can close people off because of how the parameters of all other relationships are defined – the relationships that aren’t romantic are denoted to “less-than.” In polyamory, the distinction of a new relationship can be blurred and less defined, allowing more space to nurture new friendships....
Time is a factor in platonic relationships as well, and because poly people may have a different sense of how to allocate time, they often come to recognize that they need to share value and affection with friends and lovers alike.
Fact #3: Other people are not your competitors....
Fact #4: You have the right to choose.... No one should ever feel pushed into polyamory by a partner or by those around them – that choice should always be completely yours....
Read the full article (October 15).