Excellent Blog Post - The Problem with "The Problem with Polynormativity"

SchrodingersCat

Active member
has no problem understanding the difference between intentionally interfering with another's life who in living their's in no way infringes upon your rights, you you make a choice to infringe upon their's, even if it is only done by wrongful discrimination

I don't understand what you're trying to say.
 
Specifically

an example of what I am trying to say, has to do with privilege and ignorance, like a poly community attempting to influence peoples private, intimate relationships and when they don't succumb to the influential pressure they are shunned, afflicted, or otherwise marginalized for for exercising their rights of making their own decision on whatever matter is the issue

I am pretty much baffled by situations such as when a marginalized group (such as any form of non-monogamy, but here, specifically poly) who understands and has even experienced wrongful discrimination can ever justify wrongfully discriminated against others in nearly identical situations

specifically a couple who would like to form a triad.




or

anyone who wishes they could get married, yet won't allow others the same privileges, rights, and benefits

like any married couple who would prevent same sex marriages
the same as any same sex marriages would prevent polyamorus marriages

wherein those who claim the only issue is semantics, and it's about the word "marriage" or the sanctity of it is a moot point until there are no rights, benefits, or privileges being unconstitutionally withheld
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
I am pretty much baffled by situations such as when a marginalized group (such as any form of non-monogamy, but here, specifically poly) who understands and has even experienced wrongful discrimination can ever justify wrongfully discriminated against others in nearly identical situations

I used to be baffled at this as well. Then I thought about it a little more, and realized that we're all only human, with limitations and faults. It can be hard to project the feeling of being discriminated against onto other people against whom you are discriminating.

The truth is, on a neurological level, we see people as "us" and "others." Some people are much more accepting, with a broader definition of "us," but it's something each and every human does. No matter how tolerant you are, there will always be some group of people who are "others." It may be to the extreme of Nazis or KKK or the Ford Nation, but no matter who you are, there is some group of people that you see as flawed.

It's our tribal heritage, brain physiology carried over from a period when basic survival meant competing for nuts and berries and hunting grounds, and the only way to assure your personal survival was to help protect "us" and combat the "others."

We are getting better, though. The "us" group is growing with each generation and the "others" group is becoming a small and deliberate opposition who truly don't care for the well-being of the majority. But still, we're only human. We have flaws, we make mistakes, we act without thinking, we think without acting, we feel without reason.
 

Ashley612

New member
Thanks

Thanks so much for sharing this post. I am totally new to open/poly idea, so honestly didn't get all of that, but what I did get was information that telling me how I feel is totally ok.

I have past damage (emotional) from a first marriage, and it's the only thing that is preventing me from going into poly lifestyle with no fears. I realize it's my problem, and the line about us being used to love being snatched from us and being broken to not fix it hit the nail on the head. That's what makes me hesitant. I love my husband with all my heart and don't want my poly desires and/or the idea of him having someone else ruin our relationships.
 

Jesse

New member
What about families?

I'm a firm believer in the notion that the only people who get a vote in how a relationship works are the people in that relationship.
Yes. Some people want nothing more than to be the boy/girlfriend-on-the-side. I should hope that's not what poly is all about, but I think we can agree that such an arrangement does fall within the definition of poly, so long as each participant understands and agrees to the arrangement for what it is.

One consideration that was largely missing from this thread is that of children. Poly is whatever you agree to, but parenthood is its own sort of commitment, with its own category of moral and ethical issues worthy of debate. Many parents will choose to maintain a structured household that prioritizes a stable family environment, such that polyamorous connections must be hierarchically subordinated ("secondary") and subject to extra restrictions. When kids are involved, it would seem to me haphazard to operate with the only rule being "don't be an asshole."
 

KerryRen

New member
One consideration that was largely missing from this thread is that of children. Poly is whatever you agree to, but parenthood is its own sort of commitment, with its own category of moral and ethical issues worthy of debate. Many parents will choose to maintain a structured household that prioritizes a stable family environment, such that polyamorous connections must be hierarchically subordinated ("secondary") and subject to extra restrictions. When kids are involved, it would seem to me haphazard to operate with the only rule being "don't be an asshole."

It is, however, an excellent place to start from. Don't be an asshole with your partner(s); don't be an asshole with your partner(s)'s children. In general, don't be an asshole.

I have been a child, of course. Frankly, I hated it, for many and varied reasons, but one that sticks with me is that I was an intelligent capable person crippled in my pursuits because I was young. Other people -- adults -- often looked down and talked down to me because I was young, and discounted my knowledge and experiences for that reason. Not all of them, thankfully, but far too many.

I am trying hard not to inflict this on my own children, in their own house; sadly the social attitude persists.

My mother was divorced. Dated, at times. Had live-in boyfriends from time to time. Remarried twice. When she went out on dates, I don't recall it ever bothering me. The live-ins, though, they usually bothered me by claiming authority in the household I didn't perceive them having or deserving. (At least one was nuts, but that's a different issue entirely). At least one new husband bothered me by trying to step into the "father" role; I had one, even if he didn't live with us, and marrying my mother didn't make the man my father. (Might have been different had I been more estranged from my father.) I felt pushed out of my house by the second stepfather, and it wasn't a good start to our relationship.

Had any of them consciously thought of their effects of their behavior/attitudes on me, things might have gone better.

So I try to do the same for my children, and those I'm around. Both of my partners are divorced from previous marriages, and have children from them. Liam's children are not much younger than I am; in the course of our 14 year marriage, I've tried to see what sort of relationship they want from me. Mostly, not much, and that's been fine. Jai has two adult children and one minor one; I've met them all, but not recently.

Liam and I have three minor children. Jai has met the older one, recently, but not the younger two, mostly due to timing.

Potentially, yes, it could be a tangle. But, not worse, I think than some of the situations I encountered growing with my mom. (After she divorced my 1st stepfather, we attended his mother's funeral. With her new boyfriend. It did not feel weird to me at that time, but threw others when I described it later).

I'm sure there would be resentment and problems if, say, Jai tried to act in a father role with my children -- but that could happen if we were in a more standard mono relationship by way of me being widowed or divorced.

Treating the children as people in their own right helps, I think. Letting them determine the relationship they want with non-bio adults is important. Or, for that matter, bio-adults -- I did a surrogate pregnancy, traditional not gestational. As they live across state, we mostly maintain an email friendship. But I've visited them, and they visit at least once every year. This was not determined by contract; by contract I wanted a yearly update with a picture. This is connection, and friendship, created by getting to know each other and having things in common as well as interesting differences. Our shared child, when she visits, refers to me as her mother. She also calls her mother, who raised her, her mother, as you'd expect. This is how she sees things, and we're all fine with it. We've become an extended family, with the shared child as a hinge.

So, anyway, I've rambled on quite enough now....
 

BathedInSalt

New member
One thing I didn't see anyone mention in this thread is that the article addresses the pressure to "do poly right".
I am new. I feel that pressure. Maybe only the "new' feel this?

I like to think my desire to do poly "right" comes from a place of care, but I also feel pressure from outside of me.
Some of it may be because I will be the only poly person some of my friends will know.
Some of it is because of perceived risk of hurt. I would like to avoid that and avoid causing that if possible.

Until recently I had no names, or language to describe how I was living. I was just living my life. I'm coming around to thinking that I am lucky to have had that experience. Makes it easier to do right by my people and not get anxious about doing poly "right".
 

Ravenscroft

Banned
As addressed elsewhere. Simply do what you are seeing fit to do, with access to the info that's available.

If it's "nonmonogamy" rather than clearly polyamory... well, all is cool. Carry on. :)

If it's poly, then you have a wealth of resource here. ;)
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi channingbee,

If you mean the blog page mentioned in the original post, I have just clicked on it, and it opened fine for my browser. Perhaps some setting is blocking your attempts to open it? I'm no computer expert by any means so I don't know.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

foxyman28

New member
Very insightful and interesting discussion. I very much agree that there is no "right" way to have any kind of relationship. All that matters is that it's consensual and works for everybody involved. I also seriously dislike the idea that there's something bad or predatory about hoping to someday form a triad. That's like saying BDSM is abuse. It's only wrong if it's not consensual and agreed to. I also find it really interesting how often I see people online calling people "unicorn hunters", which is pejorative, when the couple looking involves a man, but if the couple is two women, whether they're seeking another woman to form a relationship with or a man, they recieve nothing but support. It seems that in order to combat sexism against women or people assigned female at birth or even percieved sexism, some people have swung over to being sexist towards men or people assigned male at birth, even if it's unconsciously.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
The "unicorn" triad slamming does get a little out of hand ...
 

foxyman28

New member
The "unicorn" triad slamming does get a little out of hand ...

Yeah, on some other poly forums, it seems like every couple who posts is automatically labeled "unicorn hunters" it's a bit much. It's like guilty until proven innocent, it's a problem.
 
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