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  #41  
Old 11-29-2009, 05:28 AM
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Joreth Joreth is offline
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Originally Posted by windmarkbob View Post
Could be this is primarily a problem of *assumed* definitions on both sides. And while I understand that even if the terms were agreed to, it wouldn't necessarily no longer be a non sequitor in general terms, it's possible that it might not be a non-sequitor at all in terms of Mono specifically. Or is that a literal impossibility? You logicians feel free to educate me on this one. ;-)

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Whether the "wiring" is biological, social conditioning, or anything else, is irrelevant. Mono made a statement connecting 2 unrelated events.

He claimed that his monogamousness was responsible for how he perceived the new-ageyness of a book.

This is a factually incorrect and logically fallacious statement. Period.

This is also dangerous ground to tread.

If you say that Trait A created in a person Trait B, then one can assume that everyone with Trait A will be likely to also have Trait B.

If you say that the reason why Sarah sucks at math is because she is female, that implies that all females suck at math because it is her femaleness that makes her bad at math.

If Trait A and Trait B really were related, for instance, if you say that Mark would be very unlikely to carry a fetus to term because he is male, those two traits really are related to each other and would therefore not be a non-sequitor.

But the fact of the matter is that regardless of whether being monogamous is a biological or learned trait, not all monogamous people are close-minded, hence, the non-sequitor. Unlike all males, which, by definition, cannot carry a fetus to term (for the sake of simplicity, the definition of "male" here does not include transgendered or hermaphrodites).

On top of that, his initial argument was that he was *more open-minded* because of his monogamousness, and then turned it around to argue that monogamous people are more close-minded than poly people.

No matter which way you look at his argument, he was making incorrect statements.

The problem is that some people cannot distinguish between saying that one's statement is wrong and saying that a person is a bad person for saying it.

Some people are so attached to their position that any dispute, particularly a well-thought-out, difficult-to-contradict dispute, feels like a personal attack when it's not. When a person's identity is wrapped up in the claim they are making, a dissenting opinion on that claim is seen as an attack on the person making that claim.

For example:

Let's take a Christian who believes that the bible is literal and infallible and has lived his life entirely according to his interpretation of that text. If another person comes along who doesn't live exactly according to his interpretation of that text, and even dares to question its validity, that dissent is felt as a personal attack because that Christian has attached his identity to the claims he is making. In his mind, a dispute on the claim itself is an attack on his person because he has created his persona according to that claim.

And because I know some people here will not read everything I said carefully, I will say explicitly that I am not making any claims whatsoever that all Christians are like this. I am using an illustration, so if you happen to be Christian and you don't do this I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU. There are lots of different types of Christians, and that's sort of the point. There are lots of different types of monogamous people, and they are not all close-minded.

But apparently, making a statement that not all monogamous people are close-minded is mono-bashing. Maybe that's what I've been doing wrong ... sticking up for people and fighting against stereotypes is actually bashing those very people I am sticking up for!

Sorry, the sarcasm switch must be stuck in the on position tonight.

Last edited by Joreth; 11-29-2009 at 05:34 AM.
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  #42  
Old 11-29-2009, 06:18 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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I hope Mono doesn't leave over something like this.

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Originally Posted by Joreth
If you say that Trait A created in a person Trait B, then one can assume that everyone with Trait A will be likely to also have Trait B.

If you say that the reason why Sarah sucks at math is because she is female, that implies that all females suck at math because it is her femaleness that makes her bad at math.
I don't think this issue boils down to such simple logic. I think we are more in the shades or grey realm. For example, if I said that men are stronger than women, that could be taken many ways. On average men are due to the differences in hormones. However, there are many women stronger than me (a male). This is mostly noting a correlation or trend.

I don't think anyone is insulting monogamous people, specifically a monogamous man. It came across to me that he was pointing out cultural and sexual biases. We see our world through the lenses of that we are familiar with.

I read Mono's point as pointing out that the Ethical Slut is very sexualized compared to books more focused on building poly relationships. To someone who has thought about poly, this book is not too revolutionary. It covers a superset of nonmonogamy. But to someone new, this book may be a bit too much.

I do agree with you on the pure logic of the issue. However, I saw that Mono was talking more about monogamous people who were new to the concept and trying to learn about it. "Wiring" may not have been the best choice of words as it implies a lot about what makes a person poly or mono.
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  #43  
Old 11-29-2009, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Quath View Post
I don't think this issue boils down to such simple logic. I think we are more in the shades or grey realm. For example, if I said that men are stronger than women, that could be taken many ways. On average men are due to the differences in hormones. However, there are many women stronger than me (a male). This is mostly noting a correlation or trend.
In your example, strength is actually a defining feature of the category, and therefore not a non-sequitor (although, again, the differences between the genders are much smaller than the differences among each gender).

However, I am a female who works in manual labor, so I have often been denied work because "a girl just ain't as strong as a guy". Correlations and trends are interesting to sociologists but are very rarely relevant in social conversation.

Here's a story for you:

I am a video technician, and I was on a gig once with a very large crew. The client came over and asked our crew chief for the video crew and I was among those selected. The client took one look at me and said "no, I need someone strong. I'll take the truck loaders instead." There was some debate, but in the end, I was shuffled off to the scenic crew.

At the end of the gig, when we came back to dismantle everything, my crew chief apologized and said that I would be put on the video crew no matter what because they just did not have enough people to fill the slots without me. The client frowned when I showed up, but didn't say anything ...

until I went to lift one of the giant projectors that he thought I couldn't lift. Not only could I lift it just fine, but I also knew how to handle the sensitive equipment and fragile lenses.

The client was shocked and actually apologized to me. He said he was wrong to have dismissed me earlier and that the big, burly truck loaders he took in my place had no sense of the fragility of the equipment. They could lift the projectors, but they banged them around as if they were the protective road cases the projectors came in that can handle a beating.

My point here with this story is that a pervasive cultural atmosphere of "girls aren't as strong as boys" and a societal acceptance of making such statements has real world consequences. It leads to very real discrimination.

Making a statement like "my monogamous nature makes me close-minded" is both an avoidance of responsibility for being open-minded and a contributing factor to stereotypes and discrimination. That fact that he is also a monogamous man does not excuse the statement from being discriminatory, nor does it excuse it from being factually incorrect.

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We see our world through the lenses of that we are familiar with.
Yes, but "monogamousness" is not a lens that people see the world through. The state of being monogamous, much like the state of being male, is hugely varied. Contrary to popular stereotypes, all men do not think and feel the same simply because they all have penises, and all monogamous people do not think and feel the same simply because they all have one lover at a time (nor do they all even have one lover at a time).

As I've already said, it might be appropriate to say that one's close-mindedness is responsible for one being monogamous. Being "close-minded" might be a lens that one sees the world through (but I'd be willing to put that up for debate too). But being monogamous is not because there are too many different ways to experience monogamy.

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I read Mono's point as pointing out that the Ethical Slut is very sexualized compared to books more focused on building poly relationships. To someone who has thought about poly, this book is not too revolutionary. It covers a superset of nonmonogamy. But to someone new, this book may be a bit too much.
As a poly person, I don't like the book at all. I think it focuses too much on the sex, but then again, it's not a book about polyamory, it's a book about non-monogamy, of which polyamory is, as you said, a subset. It is not my polyamory that makes me dislike the book, since so much of the poly community does like it, just as it is not Mono's monogamy that makes him like the book. Polyamory and monogamy are too widely encompassing and include too many variables to make sweeping statements like that. It is not "my poly wiring" that makes me think the book has too much new-age spirituality, it's my rational thought processes that makes me think the book has too much new-age spirituality. Rationality is a lens through which I see the world that DOES affect my view of spirituality because rationality (in this context) specifically addresses spirituality. Polyamory is not. Gender is not. Polyamory does not direct what kind of music I like, what kind of clothing I wear, what kind of movies I hate, or what kind of spirituality I have. Polyamory addresses how many loving, romantic relationships I have. Being a country-music lover addresses what kind of music I like. Being an atheist addresses what kind of spirituality I have. Polyamory does not address one's spirituality. Monogamy does not address one's spirituality.

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"Wiring" may not have been the best choice of words as it implies a lot about what makes a person poly or mono.
And that was the whole point of the dissent. Mono claimed that it was his monogamous nature (biological or learned is irrelevant) that made him agree with a book's new-ageyness. Ceoli and I were both pointing out that what makes a person poly or mono is not what makes Mono as an individual agree with or not agree with "new age" spirituality. Mono stood by his word choice and that was the argument.

Last edited by Joreth; 11-29-2009 at 06:53 AM.
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  #44  
Old 11-29-2009, 07:00 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Just as a point of information, the book in question wasn't The Ethical Slut, it was Love Without Limits. Mono recommended it, SeventhCrow disagreed with the recommendation because of it's overly new aged flavor. Mono replied with:

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Your comments are echoed to me by many poly people I know Seventh Crow. Fasciniating how a mono mind can look at the same words differently.
This is the statement I took issue with and where the debate began.
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  #45  
Old 11-29-2009, 07:20 AM
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Thank you for the clarification on the book and the specific quote, Ceoli

My comments regarding my feelings on the Ethical Slut are just as valid for Love Without Limits. I also think it's too new-agey, and it is not my poly-ness that makes me think that way, it's my rationality, since that's the lens that addresses issues of spirituality.

Love Without Limits is even less likely to be embraced by the mainstream monogamous culture precisely because it is more about loving multiple people and less about multiple sexual partners than Ethical Slut since mainstream monogamous society has a place for multiple sexual partners (cheating, playing the field, pimps, studs, dating around, fuckbuddies, etc., even swingers are understood to some degree).

So in addition to the non-sequitor of monogamy being the reason for Mono's "open-mindedness" of new-age spirituality, in a sociological trend sort of way it's also not likely that whatever it is that makes someone monogamous will also make that same person like a book that recommends new-agey polyamory.

Last edited by Joreth; 11-29-2009 at 07:57 AM.
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  #46  
Old 11-29-2009, 02:33 PM
Quath Quath is offline
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Originally Posted by Joreth View Post
My point here with this story is that a pervasive cultural atmosphere of "girls aren't as strong as boys" and a societal acceptance of making such statements has real world consequences. It leads to very real discrimination.
I agree that it is too easy for people to be prejudice based on ignorance and small correlations.

Quote:
Making a statement like "my monogamous nature makes me close-minded" is both an avoidance of responsibility for being open-minded and a contributing factor to stereotypes and discrimination. That fact that he is also a monogamous man does not excuse the statement from being discriminatory, nor does it excuse it from being factually incorrect.
It seems that I was reading the wrong posts since I thought it was the Ethical Slut and not Love without Limits (Thanks Ceoli). So I am not sure how it was used. However, statements like that can also be viewed as recognizing a pattern of thinking that he is correcting for (since who wants to admit to being closed minded). By some polls, monogamous people are closed minded on the subject of polyamory. I heard one in which people were more comfortable with a married person committing adultery rather than someone into polyamory. (I can't remember if the poll was about politics or something else.)

I am pretty active in promotion of women's, gay's and atheist's rights, even though I really only belong to the atheist group. I encounter many closed minded people in my discussions. But far from seeing it as an excuse, I see it as an obstacle that must be overcome. Unfortunately, people are not very rational in general. They want to be perceived that way and rationality may leak through at times.

The way around closed mindedness is usually by a personalized example. Your story is a great point. You could have argued a logical case for why you would should be on the crew, but you showing that you were good on the crew made a strong difference.

So I am not sure how Mono was using the concept of closed mindedness since I must have been looking at the wrong thread. So I am not sure if it was just to mark a common way of thinking wuth the idea that it needs to be changed. Or if the message was that it is always a difference and we should not expect it to change.

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Yes, but "monogamousness" is not a lens that people see the world through. The state of being monogamous, much like the state of being male, is hugely varied. Contrary to popular stereotypes, all men do not think and feel the same simply because they all have penises, and all monogamous people do not think and feel the same simply because they all have one lover at a time (nor do they all even have one lover at a time).
I tend to look this as more of identifying trends. If you took a poll on a group of people with characteristic X, do you get a bias on viewpoint Y? If the answer is "yes" then something is going on. Now, it may be a small or large bias. For example, men will be more likely to admit to being a sports fan than women (75% to 50%). Understanding this is not easy. It could be cultural. It could be genetic (some analogize that watching sports is to war what porn is to sex). But there is something to "maleness" here to describe the bias. It marks a trend, but it doesn't mean that all men like to watch sports (I don't and my best friend is a female that does).

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As I've already said, it might be appropriate to say that one's close-mindedness is responsible for one being monogamous. Being "close-minded" might be a lens that one sees the world through (but I'd be willing to put that up for debate too). But being monogamous is not because there are too many different ways to experience monogamy.
I think monogamous people can be broken up into three groups. One group is closed minded people (thought about it and rejected irrationally), open minded people (thought about it and finds it just doesn't suit them) and people who never thought about it and just took on the societal norm. Polyamorous people are mostly (I won't say all) made up of just the open minded group. Now this is just openminded in just the area of sexual and loving relationships. But I am pretty sure that open mindedness in one area correlates to open mindedness in others.

So if something comes up in which is tied to being open minded, I think we are going to see a difference in the two groups. But within the monogamous group, there will be open minded people.

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Rationality is a lens through which I see the world that DOES affect my view of spirituality because rationality (in this context) specifically addresses spirituality. Polyamory is not. Gender is not. Polyamory does not direct what kind of music I like, what kind of clothing I wear, what kind of movies I hate, or what kind of spirituality I have. Polyamory addresses how many loving, romantic relationships I have. Being a country-music lover addresses what kind of music I like. Being an atheist addresses what kind of spirituality I have. Polyamory does not address one's spirituality. Monogamy does not address one's spirituality.
There does seem to be correlations between polyamory and spirituality. Atheism and paganism seem to be over represented in the poly community more than in the general population.

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And that was the whole point of the dissent. Mono claimed that it was his monogamous nature (biological or learned is irrelevant) that made him agree with a book's new-ageyness. Ceoli and I were both pointing out that what makes a person poly or mono is not what makes Mono as an individual agree with or not agree with "new age" spirituality. Mono stood by his word choice and that was the argument.
I guess for me to know the right answer, you would have to survey monogamous people and ask them if a spiritual approach to presenting polyamory makes it more agreeable to them. If most answer "yes", then Mono has a point. Now it could be correlation without causation. It could also mean that many poly people would also agree with that statement.

But I am not sure what the original conversation was. If Mono was saying that monogamy causes the viewpoint, then I would disagree. If he was saying it was correlated with the viewpoint, then I may agree.
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  #47  
Old 11-29-2009, 03:46 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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But I am not sure what the original conversation was. If Mono was saying that monogamy causes the viewpoint, then I would disagree.
This is what Mono was claiming, and the point I took issue with. That type of reasoning is a major cause of stereotyping and marginalization and while it may have seemed benign in the context of taste in books, it has very real and hurtful consequences for many people.
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  #48  
Old 11-29-2009, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Quath View Post
I agree that it is too easy for people to be prejudice based on ignorance and small correlations.
I tend to look this as more of identifying trends. If you took a poll on a group of people with characteristic X, do you get a bias on viewpoint Y? If the answer is "yes" then something is going on. Now, it may be a small or large bias. For example, men will be more likely to admit to being a sports fan than women (75% to 50%). Understanding this is not easy. It could be cultural. It could be genetic (some analogize that watching sports is to war what porn is to sex). But there is something to "maleness" here to describe the bias. It marks a trend, but it doesn't mean that all men like to watch sports (I don't and my best friend is a female that does).
Funny enough, I did look these trends, specifically. So I'll repeat myself with this context to make it clear.

The difference among men and the difference among women is significantly greater than the difference between men and women. Even for those traits culturally associated with the gender, like sports, and even for those physical traits that really do have something to do with gender, like strength.

The same goes for monogamous people, poly people, religious people, atheists, people who like rock music, etc.

One of the big problems with this particular issue here is that we are not a group of sociologists objectively studying trends. The comment was made (repeatedly in various contexts) in a forum of regular people with a range (but I'd be willing to bet very little on average) understanding of how trends and statistics and correlations work.

If you wanted to go off and discuss this somewhere as an act of curiosity among folks who have studied statistics and the psychology and biology of relationship orientation, that's one thing. But comments made in a place like this, in the context in which they were given, are not idle curiosity of learned specialists, they are statements that reveal an ignorance of statistics, of trends, of correlations, of the impact that stereotypes have on cultural behaviour, of the actual research being done to determine what is "nature" and what is "nurture", of logical fallacies, and seemingly designed to relieve himself of the responsibility for changing.

People do actually admit to being close-minded, but they tend to do it in a way that they think is most flattering to themselves and they tend to excuse it. My grandfather is racist, and he and everyone else in my family excuse it by saying "it's just the generation he grew up in". Here's an example of something that was "wired" culturally and not biologically, btw.

Sorry, but that's no excuse. It might be the explanation for why he is racist, but that's little more than interesting factoid. It might also illustrate a trend towards racism in a particular demographic. It doesn't mean that he shouldn't learn why the things he says are wrong and that he shouldn't work to change them, nor does it mean that people like me shouldn't point out when he does it. My grandmother grew up in the same era and the same location and she's not racist. That's probably one of the reasons why they divorced when my dad was a kid.

Last edited by Joreth; 11-29-2009 at 06:21 PM.
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  #49  
Old 11-29-2009, 09:52 PM
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Does anyone even know what Mono said or are you all just going to carry on talking about him without bothering to find out and have some compassion for him. What he said can be taken one of two ways and it has been taken in the negative even after he has written the top number of threads and posts on these forums. Even after we have heard him many times before talking about himself.

He has just been ostracized, is this not part of oppression?
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  #50  
Old 11-29-2009, 10:37 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Mono removed himself from this conversation and is free to rejoin the conversation at any time. That doesn't change the issues raised with what he put in his post about mono wiring being responsible for other characteristics that have nothing to do with monogamy. If he's viewing my disagreeing with his claim and my not accepting his subsequent dismissals of my disagreement as an attack or too full of negativity then honestly, there's nothing I can do about that.
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