Originally Posted by Ariakas
That said, maybe people argue so vehemently for a global standard so that is can be recognized outside people who aren't poly. If the definition is vague and misunderstood, explaining it to people outside the community, and thereby getting public acceptance, would be almost impossible. That is the only reason I can see to lock the definition down into a nice tidy box.
And for those of us with quite real concerns about the potential repercussions of not being adequately understood, this is the key.
I live in the smallest, most rural county in New York State.
It's a definite red streak politically and that conservatism runs through the judicial system.
If the law guardian of the children for whom I am currently legally responsible gets the impression from someone with a different definition of polyamory than I have that my lifestyle includes massive orgies or a constantly rotating cast of characters in and out of my life, I will be facing an uphill battle with the entire system in order to keep these kids safe.
It won't matter that their mother is an incarcerated addict - that's an understood disease, the system is used to dealing with that.
It won't matter that their father is a convicted felon and has also been found guilty of neglect previously - that again is a known enemy.
But let it get out that their grandmother is *gasp* polysomething and immediately red flags will be raised.
So these discussions on finding a definition, on being able to present to mainstream society a non-threatening picture that clarifies who I am and how I love have a very serious and very real potential to impact not only my life but the lives of four young children.
Personally, I don't wish to define how anyone lives their polylife, just as I don't want mine defined. But the reality for those of us who live under the threat of persecution is that there does need to be some sort of basic definition, not only for the outsiders to understand but for those within the community to rally around to remove that threat.