The different between privilege and being a jerk.
Reading through the responses makes me realize why I wrote this thread in a clearer way. I had some serious questions about why people were using the term 'couple privilege' with an almost accusatory tone. A 'holier than thou' attitude has been creeping into forums and chat groups that borders on shaming that chafes at me. I enjoy certain privileges by being part of a couple. That's a recognition of something that has been built over centuries amongst the human community. Recognized. There's no shame in it, nor is there shame around privilege of being a caucasian woman - I'm aware of it.... so now what?
It seems to be the equivalent of saying that someone is more likely to be a racist if they are caucasian. Having travelled extensively and listened to others in different countries, reading extensively, it becomes apparant that EVERYONE has the capacity to be racist, and that being caucasian has nothing to do with that human tendency. Being of Anglo-Saxon descent doesn't inherently imply that I am going to be a racist, and being part of a couple doesn't mean I'm going to be a jerk about it, but it seems that I am being lumped in with people who are with the way that the term 'couple privilege' has been used in various places.
It seems that the idea of couple privilege is being married to the idea of bad behaviour, and that is something that I will actively speak against. The naive or idealistic approach of 'unicorn hunters' is not the same thing as 'couple privilege'. Certainly there may be overlap for those that are not particularly conscious, and I can see trying to draw attention to selfish and alienating behaviour by talking about privilege, but to unify the two as though they belong together doesn't jive with me.
So when did people start associating one with the other? And how does couple privilege go from a recognition to an inflammatory term? When I offer perspectives against, say, living in Tunisia, it's not to imply that "you should be grateful to be with me" it's to shine some light on the fact that these are pretty nice challenges to be having. It doesn't mean, "be happy with what you get" it's more a statement around the extent of the privileges that we all enjoy in our developed lives (BG made a great point about even being able to go on a computer and talk to other likeminded people - talk about an amazing gift there). It's about perspective, for me and when there is suffering in my world, it DOES help to zoom up to a bigger picture. I like the quote, 'when you point a finger at someone, there are three pointed back at you' and I feel like it's applicable to the idea of privilege. Nobody is exempt from some form of privilege over another demographic in our world; and absolutely, it's immportant for me to have the perspective to recogize those privileges. Having perspective doesn't mean I'm exempt from working to be a better person - if anything it allows a deep sense of gratitude to sink into my being, and gratitude cancels out entitlement and creates humility, no?
I feel like there is a big difference between educating someone who is floundering in bad decisions, and attaching the words 'couple privilege' to their behaviour. Selfish is as selfish does, and I believe there is a big difference between being a jerk, and having privilege. Absolutely, the two CAN go together, but they're not inherently linked, and I think the 'holier than thou' attitude has got to be removed to prevent alienation within the poly community.
Last edited by CherryBlossomGirl; 04-27-2013 at 04:42 PM.