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Old 08-14-2010, 12:17 AM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
What is it about these people that is so offensive to some that they feel they can't bare talking to them? Is it that we are suppose to be in someway sorry? That we should in some way admit we are privileged and step aside? I don't get it.
I don't think it's quite so straightforward as that. But yeah, there are offensive things, and there are things we should be sorry about, and there are also probably times when people should step aside.

Sometimes someone says something that I genuinely find offensive. And I may say "Hey, that's offensive" or I might not. I'm not offended by the fact that people who disagree with me exist! I'm offended by something in particular that was expressed. Now, if someone were to come around here and say a bunch of really weird, nasty things about poly- people, I'd get a lot of support for saying "Hey, that's offensive!", right?

But that's not always the case. People can say a bunch of really weird, nasty things about other groups of people, and I wouldn't get a lot of support for saying "Hey, that's offensive!". I think that's obvious... but maybe I need examples here? I'm worried that examples would get in the way, because then we'd get into a discussion about whether saying any particular weird, nasty thing was "actually" offensive or not.

So yes, sometimes people should be sorry. For instance, I'm sorry that I made some weird prejudicial comments about couples opening up a mono- relationship. I think Ygirl should be sorry for making some weird prejudicial comments about people who work as strippers. But, sorry or not, we all have dumb prejudicial ideas that we express from time to time, and that's not a huge problem as long as they don't just go unchallenged. When they do go unchallenged, the environment becomes one in which those groups of people are going to feel alienated and unwelcome.

Which leads me to the stepping aside thing. Remember when you and I were first talking about the issue about younger poly- people being marginalised? One of the better things to come out of that conversation was the idea that people who feel marginalised should be deliberately encouraged to have their voices listened to, whether that be through actively setting up a space to discuss their concerns the way that you did in your community, or through encouraging them in leadership as I suggested. Sometimes doing that means deliberately cultivating some uncomfortable dissenting voices, and sometimes it means just, you know, listening for a while (or "stepping aside"), instead of using the social capital we have to shut down the conversations.

Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
-firmly comfortable in their belief that poly-fi relationships are working for them
Incidentally, I thought it was odd that polyfi- people got lumped into the 'well-represented' camp, since I haven't experienced a lot of polyfi- people speaking up here (in fact, here's a thread where a polyfi- person is expressing that they feel like a minority n this forum).
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