Why poly is so feminist: The version to give the clueless
Wonder why modern poly is so feminist? Why most of its leaders, organizers, book authors, bloggers, public spokespeople, and other movers-and-shakers are women? And have been ever since Deborah Anapol and Ryam Nearing got the movement rolling 30 years ago? And since Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart coined, and Jennifer Wesp popularized, the word polyamory?
Lotsa reasons. But for the clueless males that you encounter (including perhaps your cousin visiting for Christmas), save this little gem of a clue-by-four that even they will get.
It's from Poly.land, "your daily polyamory blog for navigating life, relationships, and more," by the prolific Page Turner of the Cleveland poly and kink communities. She also defines for newbies a lot of our in-group terminology. From the start:
The Switcheroo: When Openers Become Benchwarmers
“You’re poly?” he says. “I feel kind of bad for you.”
A switcheroo. Who would fall for it?
I raise an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“Everyone knows that polyamory is just a thing that straight dudes made up so their girlfriends will let them have some extra sex without looking like a creep.”
“What?” he asks. “You’re not gonna argue?”
“Well,” I say. “Even if that’s the case, that’s not really the way it plays out. Joke’s on any guy who thinks otherwise. He’s in for a switcheroo.”
“What do you mean?”
“In the game of poly, straight male is basically the hardest setting you can play on. It’s kind of the opposite of normal privilege patterns,” I say.
“So the extra sex?”
“It takes some doing,” I say. “And meanwhile, they’re likely gonna see their female partner overwhelmed with takers and rejecting offers.”
“Oh shit,” he says. “Just like monogamous online dating.”
“Exactly. Except he’s going to be sitting alone while she’s out on the town.”
“Huh,” he says. “Never thought about that. What about evening the odds?”
“How?” I ask.
“Well, what if you can only date people together, as a couple? A package deal.”
“Ah yes,” I say. “Unicorn hunters. That’s even harder in some ways.”
“A unicorn is a bi woman who will date both of halves of a couple,” I explain.
“Awww yeah,” he says. “That’s what I’m talking about! Living the dream. That sounds perfect. What’s so hard about that?”...
...“Wow,” he says. “So poly women really do have a lot of power.”
I nod. “Polyamory is a matriarchy.”
The whole article, to bookmark (December 20, 2016).
She didn't get around to one of the movement's in-group tropes: It's the men who first drag their reluctant women into this poly idea, then when their fantasy turns real they freak and can't handle it, and the women take over and make it work.