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-   -   Polyamory and Oppression (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1649)

LovingRadiance 12-03-2009 10:27 PM

Polyamory and Oppression
 
Oppression:

1.The exercise of authority or power in a burdensom, cruel or unjust manner.
2. an act or instance of oppressing.
3.The state of being oppressed.
4. The feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.

Oppress

1. to burden with cruel or unjust impositions or restraints; subject to a burdensome or harsh exercise of authority or power: a people oppressed by totalitarianism.
2. to lie heavily upon (the mind, a person, etc.): Care and sorrow oppressed them.
3. to weigh down, as sleep or weariness does.
4. Archaic. to put down; subdue or suppress.
5. Archaic. to press upon or against; crush.

Polyamory

The word "polyamory" is based on the Greek and Latin for "many loves" (literally, poly many + amore love). A polyamorous relationship is a romantic relationship that involves more than two people.


For the sake of clearing up confusion I put definitions on here of the two words. I don't personally care how a person defines a word in their life-but in order to discuss anything in productive conversation we need to have a common understanding of meaning.

Please share how you feel that you have been or are oppressed in your life due to being involved in polyamory.

;)

Erosa 12-03-2009 11:26 PM

I personally was opressed by being expected to repair relationships that were already very messed up. I also was expected to automatically fix the exsisting sexaul problems for the couples I tried to be with.

And lastly, I was opressed in that I was denied love but expected upon pain of wrath and emotional beratement to give it.

redpepper 12-04-2009 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Erosa (Post 14397)
I personally was opressed by being expected to repair relationships that were already very messed up. I also was expected to automatically fix the exsisting sexaul problems for the couples I tried to be with.

And lastly, I was opressed in that I was denied love but expected upon pain of wrath and emotional beratement to give it.

Oh that's awful Erosa:(

I hope those days are over.

Oppression to me is always present. I see it everyday. Feel it everyday and no doubt dish it out everyday. Perhaps some perceive me to be oppressive because of unconscious actions I take or just how I express myself. To me it is a completely human trait that is not seen in nature. It's that niggley thing that makes us cruel to each other. Of course that can be on a larger scale with larger populations also.

As a poly person I try and keep tabs on my feelings of self righteousness that poly rocks! It's a bit of a balance however as I see people in my life struggling with their relationship dynamics and I have to keep myself in check about giving them space to receive my way of life rather than shove it down their throat as I think I am "right" about their relationships. Sure I feel like I am a bit of an authority on relationships and good communication. As it is a passion of mine and a life goal to perfect it for myself, but that doesn't mean others have chosen that. In fact a lot of people seem to be just trying to get through that aspect of life in order to balance out their comfort.

As a woman I experience oppression daily. As a poly woman I experience it also in terms of what traditional roles are and how I have two men to satisfy. Some of my female friends chose to think I am crazy. They see men as children that need to be coddled and in some way forgiven for their short comings about not being able to multitask, or for whining that they don't get to go out on their motorbike because they have to mow the lawn etc... talk about reverse oppression! If that is a term? I dunno, maybe I made it up?!

Some of my women friends think that I am a princess in a gilded cage that is taken care of by her two men. They think I am somehow owned by them as a toy they play with. These women I wonder, might wonder, what makes me so special that I have two men? What's her secret that she can be waited on hand and foot in some kind of condescending way. What has she given up in order to do so... in other words they think I am oppressed by either version they believe.

I could go on, as I have a lot more to say, but I will leave it at that for now as I want to hear others first.

Besides Mono is here chatting my ear off ....grrrrr :p;) he's oppressing me by with incessant talking. Hahaha! heh

(thanks LR for starting this thread, made me happy :D)

MonoVCPHG 12-04-2009 12:17 AM

No I'm not :p

I'm going to do a little sexy oppression for that comment;) Prepare yourself!!

Ceoli 12-04-2009 12:55 AM

It seems a lot of oppression that's experienced by people is borne on the assumptions other people make about them. The tricky part with that is that most people who are creating and perpetuating such oppression don't even know that they're doing it and what the effect of it is. And it is a difficult and sometimes painful process to come to the realization of one's personal role in perpetuating the oppression of others.

redpepper 12-04-2009 02:01 AM

My question is, what do I do that is oppressive and what can I do about it. Sure I have been a victim and am a victim but I find I learn about my own oppression by looking at what I can do to change what I do. That way I can ask for the change I need and advocate for myself and others.

Any ideas on how to not be oppressive?

Ceoli 12-04-2009 02:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 14408)
My question is, what do I do that is oppressive and what can I do about it. Sure I have been a victim and am a victim but I find I learn about my own oppression by looking at what I can do to change what I do. That way I can ask for the change I need and advocate for myself and others.

Any ideas on how to not be oppressive?

That's a fantastic question. Especially since most people ask it a different way. Most people ask, "How can I combat oppression?" as if it's a great outside force that they are not a part of. The very fact that you're framing it as "How can I be less oppressive?" suggests that you're starting off having already taken some significant steps.

One thing that doesn't get talked about very much is privilege. Wherever there is one group being oppressed, there is another group that is privileged as a result of that oppression. This privilege is often unintentional by the people who experience it but it is always unearned. The hard part is starting to unpack what privileges we do have without feeling judgement by others or judging ourselves. But the first step to unplugging from the oppressive systems we live in is to understand the privileges bestowed upon us by those very same systems.

Another thing to realize is that because we have privilege in one area, that doesn't mean we have it in others. I'm white, that certainly gives me privilege. But I'm also a woman, where I experience oppression at the hands of male privilege. This could go on an on...sexual orientation, class, size, level of beauty, etc...Our other identities all weave into a tapestry of privilege and oppression all wrapped up together. But regardless of the identity being challenged, the dynamic that causes it is always the same.


This is a great essay that explains the many obvious and less obvious ways privilege manifests itself. It's framed in the context of race but I find it to be a great eye opener about how "default" things can be so much a part of the landscape that we don't even see them.

http://www.uakron.edu/centers/confli.../whitepriv.pdf

A lot of other people have written about Peggy's essay. This is a good one about how male privilege can be seen in such light.

http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-mal...ege-checklist/

Rarechild 12-04-2009 02:57 AM

Boggled
 
Sometimes it's amazing how all of the stimulus in my life seems related- interpersonal, school, my work, and sometimes this forum, like now.

As I'm sure we all are, I've been getting pretty heavy all over again into finding my own viewpoints clearly as of late, and trying to decide what's important, what deserves time, and what my limits are.

What strikes me as a widespread underlying factor in power structures and institutions as they relate to modern society is the Victorian Era and the schizophrenia that has rippled out all over the world as a result of that morally hysterical period and the class structure of the time that we certainly are not free of yet.

Obviously there have always been class/privelege/master vs. slave structures encouraging oppression for some and status for others, but i am currently overwhelmed with the lack of progress from Victorian times in this century.

Sorry, that has nothing to do with how I've been oppressed as a result of poly or how to remedy it, but you'll have to forgive me- I'm reading Nietzche, Oscar Wilde, and James Baldwin at the same time. :)

AutumnalTone 12-04-2009 03:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ceoli (Post 14409)
A lot of other people have written about Peggy's essay. This is a good one about how male privilege can be seen in such light.

http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-mal...ege-checklist/

I had to laugh at this one, not because I disagree with the basic premise, but because it also perpetuates stereotypes that harm people. The best data we have available on domestic abuse shows that women abuse men more often than men abuse women. The spectacle of the man beating the woman bloody is what gets attention, however, and so many people assume most domestic abuse is aimed at women by men because of that. It's supposedly OK for women to abuse male partners because "she's just a woman" and can't "really" hurt him. A man, I guess, is supposed to suffer the abuse gladly.

It illustrates the point well that a lot of oppression happens because folks don't understand what they're doing.

MonoVCPHG 12-04-2009 04:01 AM

What does it mean if I draw a blank at this word? I can point to examples of oppression, but don't feel it. I can imagine what it would feel like.

I don't even feel like I am oppressed in my relationship from an external view point...the scary thing is I know why. It's because I feel I chose to live outside the norm so any oppression is brought on by myself. Does this make any sense? Am I so conditioned to be within the norm that I find it my fault if I am judged and therefore I have no right to complain?

Is this why, although I love being open about my relationship with my family and community, I shy away from promoting it even outside my personal concerns of mono/poly couplings?
Am I self oppressed?


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