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Old 11-29-2009, 06:45 AM
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Joreth Joreth is offline
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Originally Posted by Quath View Post
I don't think this issue boils down to such simple logic. I think we are more in the shades or grey realm. For example, if I said that men are stronger than women, that could be taken many ways. On average men are due to the differences in hormones. However, there are many women stronger than me (a male). This is mostly noting a correlation or trend.
In your example, strength is actually a defining feature of the category, and therefore not a non-sequitor (although, again, the differences between the genders are much smaller than the differences among each gender).

However, I am a female who works in manual labor, so I have often been denied work because "a girl just ain't as strong as a guy". Correlations and trends are interesting to sociologists but are very rarely relevant in social conversation.

Here's a story for you:

I am a video technician, and I was on a gig once with a very large crew. The client came over and asked our crew chief for the video crew and I was among those selected. The client took one look at me and said "no, I need someone strong. I'll take the truck loaders instead." There was some debate, but in the end, I was shuffled off to the scenic crew.

At the end of the gig, when we came back to dismantle everything, my crew chief apologized and said that I would be put on the video crew no matter what because they just did not have enough people to fill the slots without me. The client frowned when I showed up, but didn't say anything ...

until I went to lift one of the giant projectors that he thought I couldn't lift. Not only could I lift it just fine, but I also knew how to handle the sensitive equipment and fragile lenses.

The client was shocked and actually apologized to me. He said he was wrong to have dismissed me earlier and that the big, burly truck loaders he took in my place had no sense of the fragility of the equipment. They could lift the projectors, but they banged them around as if they were the protective road cases the projectors came in that can handle a beating.

My point here with this story is that a pervasive cultural atmosphere of "girls aren't as strong as boys" and a societal acceptance of making such statements has real world consequences. It leads to very real discrimination.

Making a statement like "my monogamous nature makes me close-minded" is both an avoidance of responsibility for being open-minded and a contributing factor to stereotypes and discrimination. That fact that he is also a monogamous man does not excuse the statement from being discriminatory, nor does it excuse it from being factually incorrect.

We see our world through the lenses of that we are familiar with.
Yes, but "monogamousness" is not a lens that people see the world through. The state of being monogamous, much like the state of being male, is hugely varied. Contrary to popular stereotypes, all men do not think and feel the same simply because they all have penises, and all monogamous people do not think and feel the same simply because they all have one lover at a time (nor do they all even have one lover at a time).

As I've already said, it might be appropriate to say that one's close-mindedness is responsible for one being monogamous. Being "close-minded" might be a lens that one sees the world through (but I'd be willing to put that up for debate too). But being monogamous is not because there are too many different ways to experience monogamy.

I read Mono's point as pointing out that the Ethical Slut is very sexualized compared to books more focused on building poly relationships. To someone who has thought about poly, this book is not too revolutionary. It covers a superset of nonmonogamy. But to someone new, this book may be a bit too much.
As a poly person, I don't like the book at all. I think it focuses too much on the sex, but then again, it's not a book about polyamory, it's a book about non-monogamy, of which polyamory is, as you said, a subset. It is not my polyamory that makes me dislike the book, since so much of the poly community does like it, just as it is not Mono's monogamy that makes him like the book. Polyamory and monogamy are too widely encompassing and include too many variables to make sweeping statements like that. It is not "my poly wiring" that makes me think the book has too much new-age spirituality, it's my rational thought processes that makes me think the book has too much new-age spirituality. Rationality is a lens through which I see the world that DOES affect my view of spirituality because rationality (in this context) specifically addresses spirituality. Polyamory is not. Gender is not. Polyamory does not direct what kind of music I like, what kind of clothing I wear, what kind of movies I hate, or what kind of spirituality I have. Polyamory addresses how many loving, romantic relationships I have. Being a country-music lover addresses what kind of music I like. Being an atheist addresses what kind of spirituality I have. Polyamory does not address one's spirituality. Monogamy does not address one's spirituality.

"Wiring" may not have been the best choice of words as it implies a lot about what makes a person poly or mono.
And that was the whole point of the dissent. Mono claimed that it was his monogamous nature (biological or learned is irrelevant) that made him agree with a book's new-ageyness. Ceoli and I were both pointing out that what makes a person poly or mono is not what makes Mono as an individual agree with or not agree with "new age" spirituality. Mono stood by his word choice and that was the argument.

Last edited by Joreth; 11-29-2009 at 06:53 AM.
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