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-   -   excellent article on polynormativity (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39367)

NovemberRain 01-27-2013 08:44 PM

excellent article on polynormativity
 
I found this to be a fascinating and articulate discussion:

http://sexgeek.wordpress.com/2013/01...lynormativity/

LovingRadiance 01-27-2013 09:03 PM

Good article.

target 01-28-2013 01:05 AM

It is a great article. I love Andrea Zanin - she has some awesome thoughts and insights on many different things!

Marcus 01-28-2013 01:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sexgeek (Post 181268)
Here’s the thing. Rules have an inverse relationship to trust. They are intended to bind someone to someone else’s preferences. They are aimed at constraint. I will limit you, and you will limit me, and then we’ll both be safe.

Oh I'm going to like this author. That is a thing of beauty, thanks NOVEMBERRAIN

ThatGirlInGray 01-28-2013 02:12 AM

I like the comments better than the article. *shrug*

InfinitePossibility 01-28-2013 06:09 AM

Nice article. I like it. Thanks.

NovemberRain 01-28-2013 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus (Post 181303)
Oh I'm going to like this author. That is a thing of beauty, thanks NOVEMBERRAIN

I thought of you while I was reading it, Marcus. :D

And that *is* the bit I wanted to quote. I couldn't find it when I went back over it (and my eyes were bleary at that point).

Helo 01-28-2013 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray (Post 181315)
I like the comments better than the article. *shrug*

Might I ask why?

I personally like the article. The author and I share a lot of similar viewpoints (primary-secondary structure is hierarchical in nature, rules are meant to constrain others, etc) but we arrive at them via different ways.

I wonder if the author has a circle A anywhere...

ThatGirlInGray 01-28-2013 08:58 PM

In the comments several issues I had with the article are brought up. I understand that she focusing on poly as it's portrayed in the media, which is not a topic I'm well-versed in, but I feel that her definition of what a "rule" is was not adequately explained before she discussed how bad rules can be. We are all adults, no one can force us to follow a rule, so on some level ANY "rule" can be termed an "agreement". Even if it's not something you WANT to do, you've agreed to it for the sake of your partner (or the sake of the kids, or whatever). She talks later in the comments about how important communication and clarification are, but in the main article she falls back on the idea that we shouldn't need rules if we trust our partners (yes, I'm aware I'm oversimplifying. It was a long article.). I DO trust my partners, but unless I know that they are uncomfortable with x, y, or z, how can I possibly make an informed decision about whether or not to engage in x, y, or z?!?

Also, regarding her take on hierarchy, there have been extensive discussions on this board about using primary/secondary as "descriptive" versus "prescriptive". I feel her "request" of the poly community to stop using primary and secondary unless you honestly mean the "prescriptive" use of the terms is unreasonable and unrealistic. While words cannot mean just anything we choose (Boring Guy, that was for you!) there are shades of meaning within different contexts. A "submissive" wife in the media portrayals of the 1950's is not the same as a "submissive" wife in a present day D/s relationship (well, I suppose it COULD be, but odds are it's not).

Finally, her use of the word "progressive" to talk about ways of looking at relationships irritated me. Poly is not more "progressive", nor is it "enlightened". Following that logic monogamy is then "regressive" and "unenlightened", which just ain't so. What's progressive is DISCUSSING various relationship options and desires, rather than blindly following the assumed standard. It's sad that communication with one's partner(s) is the enlightened behavior, but there you go. Poly itself is not progressive, it's just a different option.

And I'm not surprised you liked the article Helo. To speak plainly, as you prefer, some of your posts irritate me in similar ways.

Helo 01-28-2013 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray (Post 181424)
In the comments several issues I had with the article are brought up. I understand that she focusing on poly as it's portrayed in the media, which is not a topic I'm well-versed in, but I feel that her definition of what a "rule" is was not adequately explained before she discussed how bad rules can be. We are all adults, no one can force us to follow a rule, so on some level ANY "rule" can be termed an "agreement". Even if it's not something you WANT to do, you've agreed to it for the sake of your partner (or the sake of the kids, or whatever). She talks later in the comments about how important communication and clarification are, but in the main article she falls back on the idea that we shouldn't need rules if we trust our partners (yes, I'm aware I'm oversimplifying. It was a long article.). I DO trust my partners, but unless I know that they are uncomfortable with x, y, or z, how can I possibly make an informed decision about whether or not to engage in x, y, or z?!?

Point taken. In retrospect I think she could have been a little clearer on the difference between rules as preferred boundaries and rules as commandments.

Quote:

Also, regarding her take on hierarchy, there have been extensive discussions on this board about using primary/secondary as "descriptive" versus "prescriptive". I feel her "request" of the poly community to stop using primary and secondary unless you honestly mean the "prescriptive" use of the terms is unreasonable and unrealistic. While words cannot mean just anything we choose (Boring Guy, that was for you!) there are shades of meaning within different contexts. A "submissive" wife in the media portrayals of the 9150's is not the same as a "submissive" wife in a present day D/s relationship (well, I suppose it COULD be, but odds are it's not).
Again, point taken but I think it goes more towards the nuances of language and the influence they have on our thought processes. Along roughly the same lines as why most of us agree that using "gay" to equate to anything being bad ("That's gay" etc) is likely to foster negative feelings towards the gay community and as such we shouldn't use the term in that way, using the primary-secondary structure is a way of creating a hierarchy at least in thought.

I am an anarchist in many things and my own personal take on that concept is that hierarchy is a power imbalance and out of that imbalance things can be done because one party has more power than another. Granted its not nearly that simplistic in the poly world and I would agree that most poly relationships actively try to work against that kind of imbalance. However as long as we keep using that arraignment, I feel that even if conscious efforts are made to keep the term descriptive, it will creep slowly towards prescriptive.

Quote:

Finally, her use of the word "progressive" to talk about ways of looking at relationships irritated me. Poly is not more "progressive", nor is it "enlightened". Following that logic monogamy is then "regressive" and "unenlightened", which just ain't so. What's progressive is DISCUSSING various relationship options and desires, rather than blindly following the assumed standard. It's sad that communication with one's partner(s) is the enlightened behavior, but there you go. Polly itself is not progressive, it's just a different option.
Hmmm. I'm not entirely certain I agree.

I take your point in that there is an implied moral superiority to poly as the article frames it, but we have to look at each system independently before we start comparing them.

Monogamy is, at its core, an authoritarian relationship based on ownership both in practice and historical context. I've explained the why of that several times here so I need not repeat it. Polyamory is, at its core, a more egalitarian form of a relationship wherein the needs and desires of one person are not controlled by another person, at least not nearly to the degree it is in monogamy.

Now, that's not to say that monogamy is inherently evil and polyamory inherently good. People can lead happy, fulfilled, and complete lives being monogamous. When the core mentality of monogamy starts to reach over into other areas of life, the idea that you can own and control others, then problems arise. I'm not accusing monogamy of being the root of all evil, in fact I think its actually an outgrowth of that notion rather than the source. We need to recognize that monogamy does not have to be as restrictive as it is in our society. A more relaxed (for lack of a better term) form of monogamy I would say is on par with polyamory.

What we have now is pretty warped in terms of fulfilling human happiness and not encouraging some of the negative tendencies in humans. I would call that form of monogamy regressive, easily.

Quote:

And I'm not surprised you liked the article Helo. To speak plainly, as you prefer, some of your posts irritate me in similar ways.
Well hopefully some of my responses helped explain why I stand where I do.


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