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Old 12-03-2009, 09:50 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 900

Editing note: I just chopped this off of the bottom of my previous post and turned it into a new post because I feel the points addressed here to be rather important and don't want them to get lost at the bottom of a long post.

Now ImaginaryIllusion goes on to address the larger issues with the differing underlying assumptions:

1: If someone makes a generalization about a group of people, it is implied or understood that it doesn’t mean ‘all’. Depending on context, it may be some, many, most…but there’s always exceptions.
This is a common misconception about generalizations. When generalizations are made about a group, while "not meaning all" may be implied, it is rarely understood by the people who are subject to that generalization. And even if it doesn't mean all, it is still a generalization and more often than not, generalizations are a tool of prejudice. This is an issue that comes up quite a bit in race and class problems. Now it is true that Mono was generalizing the group that he is a member of, but the effect is the same. When you make a generalization like "Women don't do well in authority", do you honestly think that women hear that thinking "of course they don't mean all of us women, so I have no problem with that"?

I could go further into how being in a position of privilege allows such perceptions around generalizations, but honestly I do a whole weekend training on how to recognize such privilege and how it works in society.

2: Most people don’t believe in –isms, or stereotypes anymore. Everyone knows they’ve been made wrong.
This is definitely not true. -Isms and stereotypes are alive and well in western societies. They may not be as obvious as the stereotypes our societies have held in the past, but they are still there and still inform a great deal of opinions around things. All you have to do is look at what the women who ran for president in the last election faced to see that they are still here.

Now Canada may have a different history and such -isms and stereotypes may manifest in Canadian society in different ways, but I'd be willing to be that they are still there. Given that it's probably hard to be openly poly without paying a big social cost, that would suggest that there are still some -isms and stereotypes about poly people.

3: If someone decides to tell you what’s going through their mind as a part of a larger group to which they themselves belong, it can be presumed to only apply to those with a similar mindset.
This is a bit of dangerous ground to tread on. I am a woman. What goes through my mind about a relationship with a man can be incredibly different than what goes through another woman's mind about a relationship with a man. That type of claim is what generally leads statements like "Women can only have sex if there is romantic attachment." or "Women only want to find a guy to marry".

Now if the group you're referring to is something like "World of Warcraft fans" you might be able to say something like just like other World of Warcraft fans, I like fantasy RPG's on the computer. But that's probably about as far as you can go. Similarly, if I'm polyamorous, just about the only thing I could speak for on behalf of all poly people is that we fall in love with more than one person at a time. I can't even speak to *how* all poly people fall in love, even though I'm a poly person who has fallen in love. The same goes for monogamous people. If I'm mono, the only experience I definitely share with other mono people is that I fall in love with only one person at a time. *How* that manifests from one mono person to another is incredibly varied.

So what goes through one person's mind can only apply to the larger group identity they share in a VERY limited way. (and this doesn't even get into how each of these identities interweaves and overlaps with other aspects of identity, adding even more variation- gay, straight, male, female, rich, poor, white, hispanic, etc....)

4. People with a brain can be reasonably expected to know what conclusions would be drawn by other people who think in a similar way on a given subject

Again, rather dangerous ground there. Again, if you mean that mono people can conclude that other mono people love one person at a time, then yeah. But a mono person cannot speak to how mono people see other poly people, or how mono people may or may lot like a book about polyamory.

Now this is where intersections of identities can confuse matters. It just so happens that most mono people identify in a sort of mainstream culture. So as members of that mainstream, they could speak to how other members of that mainstream culture perceive things (though many would argue that), but it is the mainstream culture that is the common identity in that case, not the monogamy, even though many people will assume them to be synonymous.

ImaginaryIllusion is claiming that I made false assumptions based upon what Mono wrote. My assumptions were only to take that the words written in the posts meant what those words mean. It seems that much of the context got lost in the subsequent conflict, but I still stand by my initial issue and why I posted it.

I've just spent a long time on the first post of this. When I have time, I'll go on to address the second post.
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