At the Base of the Tower of Babel
I've come to a very recent acceptance that there are two languages at play all around me. I see this here and at the monthly Poly meetings I attend and even in my discussions with Redpepper. There is essentially two languages being spoken when the mono world meets the poly world. Words that have immediate and understandable meanings to one world are different for the other.
This is an interesting dilemma as we attempt to move poly into the mainstream so that it in effect becomes mainstream.
There will inevitably be long drawn out debates about what a single word means. People will be passionate on both sides. Reclamation will face off against tradition. Societal norms will be questioned and challenged while others will be judged and marginalized.
This is a fascinating time to be a part of the expanding poly world as it spreads in openness and understanding. Hopefully both sides will be able to communicate to the point where there is no longer the presence of "both sides" and all is left is acceptance.
There are already warriors in play on both sides in the media, in public forums and in person. And me?...Talk about a torn soldier!
I think the idea of a mono world and a poly world is a bit misplaced. Mono people and poly people live in the same world. I also don't see a huge difference in the language.
Can you give me some examples where the differences in language fall along a mono/poly divide?
These are key words that are emotionally/mainstream defined by many monogamous people. They are also emotionally/literally defined by many poly people.
Even though the same words are used, they are internally defined very differently. It would be great if we could see passed our internal definitions and stick to the dictionary definitions but that is extremely hard at times.
Great direction to take this Ceoli! I hope others join in but we focus on how to bridge the gaps instead of spinning our heals trying to define words yet again. Let's look for solutions instead of problems!
Thanks Ceoli..you're insightful challenges promote growth and constructive developments of our ideas. I've learned a lot from you :)
Yeah, one big argument I had with my wife was the definition of "cheating." She said that swinging was cheating. I could not understand how she could see that and she could not understand how I could see it as not cheating.
So for awhile, we talked two different languages. It was frustrating. She was not placing a specific bad judgement on swinging. But after awhile, she did see that someone in an open marriage can lie to their partner and "really cheat." So we went for awhile when my "cheating" meant "really cheat" to her. Now, i think we have settled more on the poly view of this term.
I think in a sense, a lot of the poly vs mono arguments will go this way because polyamory group has put a lot of effort into thinking about such concepts whereas the monoculture just inherited the words. For example, in mono culture, jealousy is treated at the symptom level where the insecurity itself is treated in the poly community. There are some mono people who buy polyamory books just for concepts like this.
But there may be some mono/poly concepts/words that are no so clear cut like "marriage". And there is a lot of word definitions in the poly community that still have not been sorted out. I think the important thing is to talk about definitions with your partners. Get that clear first.
Oh, and another tough word to define is "sex." I think people need to clarify what they mean when they use it in a relationship. Once you hear, "We didn't have sex; I just gave him a blowjob" and then you are already dealing with an issue that could have been avoided.
1. the act of committing.
2. the state of being committed.
3. the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
4. a pledge or promise; obligation: We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time.
5. engagement; involvement: They have a sincere commitment to religion.
1. strict observance of promises, duties, etc.: a servant's fidelity.
2. loyalty: fidelity to one's country.
3. conjugal faithfulness.
4. adherence to fact or detail.
5. accuracy; exactness: The speech was transcribed with great fidelity.
6. Audio, Video. the degree of accuracy with which sound or images are recorded or reproduced.
1. strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.
2. true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.
3. steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends.
4. reliable, trusted, or believed.
5. adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate: a faithful account; a faithful copy.
6. Obsolete. full of faith; believing.
1. lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt: He is plagued by insecurity.
2. the quality or state of being insecure; instability: the insecurity of her financial position.
3. something insecure: the many insecurities of life.
1. the practice or condition of having more than one spouse, esp. wife, at one time. Compare bigamy (def. 1), monogamy (def. 1).
2. Zoology. the habit or system of mating with more than one individual, either simultaneously or successively.
How does the poly or mono definition deviate from the dictionary definition?
Here's another one.....
Amazing you tossed this out now. I was thinking of starting a thread myself yesterday along similar lines - but not quite. It's below.
I think most (?) of us would agree with what Ce's dictionary research points to - that there isn't really any difference - and least "I" don't see much Never did.
But now here's one I'd like to add to your list...........
It's "LOVE" !
Hmmmmmmmmm what's that ? It's at the root of the whole discussion.
When I say to you "I love you" - what do I mean ?
And....what do YOU think I mean ?
That's awesome GS! Hard to believe I missed that one! Hmm..I'll have to think about that and give it the answer it deserves when I get more time...Thanks!
If you take two poly people together and ask them to define what love means to them, you are just as likely to get two different answers as if you were to ask a mono person and a poly person together.
If you take two mono people and asked them to define what love means to them, you are just as likely to get two different answers as if you were to ask a poly person and a mono person together.
This seems more like a people issue than a mono/poly issue.
I think mono people will mention loving one special person and be more likely to be heterosexual oriented definition.
I also think that "mono" group is being used in two ways. One is a person beought up in a monogamous culture and one is a person who feels monogamous upon internal introspection.
A lot of this sounds very analogous to the human races. The average difference between any two races is greater than the difference between any two members of any race.
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