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Old 12-02-2009, 08:54 AM
Posts: n/a

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I did read every post-and I get that no one was trying to say anyone else was a "bad person" specifically.
BUT-there was also little attempt (I saw 3 posters do it) to show COMPASSION, CARE, UNDERSTANDING and ACCEPTANCE for differences and different perspectives.

First and foremost we are here to talk about our need/desire to LOVE multiple people. It seems to me that the most logical step then would be to treat one another with LOVE when we are on here talking.

If we can't be LOVING to our "comrades" just because we feel that we are right and they are wrong, or we are logical and they are illogical or that our beliefs are truth and theirs are based in phallacy-

If every person here took the time to consider their statements in regards to how the other person might FEEL they might find that they could in fact change the worlds opinions about polyrelationships. Because the first step in proving that you CAN love multiple people is TO LOVE multiple people.
Ok, I'm pretty sure a lot of this is directed at me, so I'm going to take some time to rant now. And I don't doubt that this rant will be the nail in the coffin for some people with regards to me, but so be it.

First, let's talk about compassion, care, understanding and acceptance of differences and different perspectives.

It may be hard to believe, but everything I do and post is driven out of compassion. I have a great deal of respect for every person where they're at in their journey. HOWEVER, that respect does not manifest in coddling or not speaking truth whenever I see it missing. In fact, if I were to do that, I would not be respecting the people I'm in dialogue with, I would be manipulating them. I don't do that.

Second, as far as acceptance of different perspectives. This is a bigger issue.

Here's the thing: Everyone is indeed entitled to their own opinions. HOWEVER, that does NOT mean that they are entitled to put that opinion out and expect it to be free of scrutiny and challenge, ESPECIALLY when they are opinions that create or perpetuate marginalization, prejudice and stereotyping. Because there are ADDITIONAL feelings to be considered: All those people who get marginalized and stereotyped by such things. Sure they may not be here on this board (though I will say there are certainly been posts on here that marginalize me and I'm sure I'm not alone in that), but I'll be damned if I don't continue to speak when I see that marginalization getting fueled. Why? Because such people don't have the luxury or the privilege of setting that marginalization aside. They don't have a choice. Where many of us seem to have the luxury to "process" or "work through our feelings" while we continue to offer up and put out opinions that perpetuate those things without ever having to see the negative and hurtful effects of them. That seems a very selfish view to me.

I simply cannot and will not let opinions that are offensive to my fundamental values go unchallenged if they are offered up to me, whether they are offered up by my closest lover or by a complete stranger. I certainly don't take those opinions personally, but that does not change the fact that I consider it necessary and part of my humanity to challenge such things. And believe it or not, it is compassion that fuels that need. It's why I'm a teacher. It's why I run anti-oppression and anti-racism workshops (which is a job that routinely subjects me to people lashing out at me). It's why I come to boards like this.

Conversely, I never take on any entitlement that says nobody can challenge my opinions either. It's the nature of a public discussion board.

Also, let me clarify something about respecting different perspectives. It's one thing to say "I don't like James Bond films because they just don't do it for me." It's an entirely different thing to say "Because I'm a woman, I don't like James Bond films, but that's just my opinion."

The first is a personal opinion expressing preference. There's no reason to say that I should or shouldn't like James Bond films and that's fine, because it's just opinion.

The second is a fact laid out in the guise of an opinion (and not only a fact, but a fact that speaks to stereotyping a large group of people and their identity). The fact laid out there is "Women don't like James Bond films." Even if I added something like "but that's just my opinion" it doesn't change the fact that it is a fact, and a wrong fact at that.

So we have two different things going on here. The first is a perspective and absolutely should be respected. The other is a statement making incorrect assertions about an entire group of people, but told from the perspective of the person saying it. As a woman, if someone made that statement to me, I would challenge it. If I wasn't around to challenge it, I certainly hope someone else would challenge it on my behalf.

I also feel the need to point out a couple of double standards here: First: We have other members of this community that use pretty blunt language and are often explained and excused when that bluntness is off putting to newcomers. Yet when a new poster comes and uses a very similar blunt language, that is interpreted as inflammatory.

Second, nobody seemed to have a problem when I took to task the VERY same issue of flawed reasoning creating prejudice and stereotypes when I brought this up in the Sexual Element thread. In fact, lots of people chimed in with lots of inflammatory language towards the OP there for his opinions. And I have to give a lot of credit to GroundedSpririt for taking such flames and sticking with it and making an effort to continue the dialogue, which honestly he has done very well both on the boards in in messages.

So how does making 1400 posts exactly excuse a person from having a similar post held to the same standard? After the number of times I've come to the defense of the mono perspective on this board, I find it really funny to be accused of mono-bashing when all I was doing was holding the same standard I hold in every exchange on this forum. I appreciate that Mono was probably going through a tough time, and perhaps a break from the boards will help, but I cannot take responsibility for that.

The beginning of respect is being authentic, even if it means saying something someone doesn't want to hear.

So at this point, if that is something people feel I shouldn't be doing on these board, then please let me know and I'll take my conversations elsewhere with no hard feelings.

Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
It's sad when we prioritize making a point over making a relationship.
This is more than a point, it's a fundamental value of mine. I cannot build authentic relationships and set aside my fundamental values at the same time, plain and simple.

Last edited by Ceoli; 12-02-2009 at 09:00 AM.
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