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-   -   Why Poly Gets A Bad Rap (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21894)

AnnabelMore 02-29-2012 12:18 AM

Why Poly Gets A Bad Rap

A post about poly by the popular blogger The Ferret. I thought I'd leave it here in case anyone has thoughts to share. Personally, I just think he makes a really good point.

onoma 02-29-2012 05:35 AM

I don't know, I see what he's saying... but betting the "bad rap" comes a lot more from social norms/belief systems and peoples' lack of willingness to move against them.

Really, it seems like the people I know who are against poly haven't even really seen other poly relationships. Maybe.

nycindie 02-29-2012 05:53 AM

Really? He's a "popular bogger?" With whom? I wonder why he's popular. Don't much care for his writing, and he makes lazy assumptions.

AnnabelMore 02-29-2012 06:47 AM


Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 127057)
Really? He's a "popular bogger?" With whom? I wonder why he's popular. Don't much care for his writing, and he makes lazy assumptions.

Considering that he posted that less than 24 hours ago and there are currently more than 50 comments on it, none of which are his own responses to other people's comments, I can only say that I think my use of the phrase "popular blogger" can't be wholly inaccurate. He posts on LJ, fetlife, and on his website at www.theferrett.com. I called him that because I wanted to give some context that this isn't a personal friend's journal, just a writer whose stuff I see around.

The essay resonated with me because I've heard folks who don't practice poly but who've dabbled in non-monogamy, or who have friends who have tried open relationships, talk about poly derisively as something that "doesn't really work", that nigh invariably creates drama, or that tends for whatever reason to disproportionately attract drama-prone people. I think the logic he lays out for why people would get that impression makes a lot of sense. And I liked the Star Wars analogy.

BrigidsDaughter 02-29-2012 05:47 PM

I did too Annabel. Runic Wolf's new girlfriend and I were discussing first forays into non-monogamy and poly the other night and this resonated with me as well. We were both glad that we've got enough experience under our belts to know what works for us and how to handle NRE etc. This is especially important, I think, because between her and her husband, Runic Wolf and I, and Wendigo there are 6 kids ranging between 3 and 15. They need us to keep our heads on straight, avoid drama, and have realistic expectations.

freyamarie 02-29-2012 07:35 PM

Serious Rant, be forewarned
Tripe. Nope, I don't agree with him at all.
Poly gets a bad rap because so many people don't do their homework. Instead, they stumble onto this poly word and see a PC label they can flash while really just looking for some new strange to do the horizontal mamba with. Inherent in this phenomena is a huge sense of entitlement and lazy, self centered thought processes.
Poly gets a bad name because these are the same people who will trumpet all their business to whomever is within ear shot. "Look at me, I am so great that all these people want me"! ---Of course when their house built of bullshit melts under the the rain of reality, they are also the first to cry "Poly doesn't work!".
Sure, currently most of the 'peeps' with this problem may seem to be in their 20s but I know it is just that the older self absorbed type has learned not to air everything in public.
Okay, since I am ranting and likely not being very articulate I will sum it up.
Poly gets a bad name because:
1)people don't do their homework and learn what poly really means
2) usually these people are 'doing' poly for the wrong reasons (my judgement)
3)the ones that do 1 & 2 are the ones most likely to scream their angst to the world when it all explodes.

AnnabelMore 02-29-2012 10:34 PM

Wow, yeah, harsh Freyamarie. I know, in my personal life, multiple people who are smart and good hearted -- including the woman I'm dating -- who've had bad first experiences with poly and made classic mistakes. To try to imply that they're all just lazy drama queens who should've known better seems WAY over the top. I think a lot of times people don't even realize that there's research they need to do, they just assume the relationship experience they've gained from mono dating will carry over. And people can do research and STILL make mistakes and not be horrible humans... we all make mistakes. Geez.

AnnabelMore 02-29-2012 11:04 PM

When you know about a topic, its easy to stigmatize those who don't as lazy, willfully ignorant, or otherwise inferior, and forget about your own areas of ignorance.

It's fair to be exasperated when people don't have the knowledge you do and make mistakes because of it, but it's simple arrogance to look down on them and assume that they've had all the same opportunities to gain that knowledge that you have, especially when we're dealing with a topic that the public at large knows basically nothing about. It's only when people have been faced with their mistakes and choose to turn away from the possibility of learning more that I think it's worth throwing up your hands about them. AND EVEN THEN people can come around... learning is hard. I said it above and I'll say it again because when we've gotten to the point of shaming folks for trying something new and getting burned I think it bears repeating:

We all make mistakes.

Anneintherain 03-01-2012 04:40 AM

I liked the article, especially after reading a fetlife thread posted by one of the more..vocal members...about how nobody should do poly if they aren't INNATELY" poly (which for him includes having no capability to experience jealousy). The author talked a lot about the harm people do in the learning curve relationships and said these people had no damn business being poly. Also said if they weren't born poly they had no right to try it, going as far as telling people who wanted any structure to how they did poly in THEIR relationship, or said they were jealous of an OSO, that they had no business dating. I can see how to a lot of outside observers that poly isn't going to work for people, even some other people were agreeing with a lot of his points. Let alone the fact that on fetlife I regularly see people think that poly ONLY means you must all live together in a house with the people you date (and ONLY date each other). So many erroneous viewpoints are going to lead to some negative opinions on the subject.

I agree that that first poly relationship for a lot of people can be hard, and some go on to have more drama and more crazy because they don't figure their shit out then and just keep making the same mistakes. Lots of people do learn and go on to have more balanced and healthy relationships but that's not what people tend to hear about. So many people come here asking for help in that first confusing poly attempt I can see why the author says so much of what he does, my observations are that people I meet that are new (as in brand new, whether it be first date or 3 months in new) to poly often are totally unrealistic about their expectations of how things will be and make all the mistakes that the people on this forum will gladly point out to them.

Now I'll admit I really only have observed coupled, generally long term married couples in this position of naivete/brand new poly in person, I don't know that his generalizations or my generalizations apply to singles people trying it for the first time, as I only know about that subject what I read here, and I know people come here for help and not to share how awesome they are doing right out of the gate. If I came to this forum to learn about poly I think I'd go away with the belief that its a stupid idea for at least 95% of the people who attempt it.

Jericka 03-02-2012 07:57 AM

From my cubicle at work I can see four divorced monogamous women. Married young, didn't work out, their problems are out in the open for me to see. Do I think that all mono relationships are doomed because of those and other mono relationships that I know didn't work?

Nope. They just went in too fast and without the tools or the open eyes to either pick a good partner for them, or fix whatever was not working. Hopefully their next relationship of whatever kind works out better.

I like Ferret, though I can see that he isn't everyone's cup of tea and that's ok.

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