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Old 01-28-2013, 09:21 PM
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Helo Helo is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: California
Posts: 278

Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
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.

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.

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.

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.
I am as direct as a T-Rex with 'roid rage and about as subtle. It isn't intended to cause upset, I just prefer to talk plain. There are plenty of other people here who do the nice, polite thing much better than I can. I'm what you'd call a "problem dinner guest."
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