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  #11  
Old 01-28-2013, 11:37 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by Helo View Post
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.
And you've been disagreed with several times as well. Historically monogamy may have been about ownership, but so were many poly arrangements: a man and his harem, for example, or the practice of one man having multiple wives. Even mistresses (in Western culture, at least) were historically expected to be faithful to their patron. At it's core, monogamy is no more about control or ownership than poly. Each has its practitioners that try to control another person and each has its practitioners that realize all parties are independent entities.

And this very quote is why sometimes your posts annoy me. Yes, you've said the same thing in many places, but no matter how many rebuttals are put up, you continue to present your stance as though it's incontrovertible FACT, when actually it's YOUR INTERPRETATION of the available evidence and information. (And I suspect there's info that you aren't taking into account, which is perfectly normal and to be expected as it's pretty difficult to consider EVERYTHING, but again that means your conclusions are not infallible.) YOU may see monogamy as authoritarian for yourself. That's fine. But that does not mean that monogamy IS authoritarian. At it's core, monogamy is about two people choosing to only be with each other. All the rest of the baggage (controlling, cheating, lying, jealousy) can happen in non-monogamous relationships as well (cheating, open, swinging, poly, whatever), due to human nature.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:07 AM
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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.
I don't disagree (big surprise) but I would say the point could be better expressed by avoiding using "polyamory" and "monogamy" as the subject of the discussion. 1) because it is imprecise and 2) because it makes it too easy to distract from the actual topic. It is an idea I have been struggling with putting into words since I came onto these boards.

The issues described in the article with monogamy are rampant in non-monogamous relationships as well. That is because the unenlightened aspect of these relationships is not related how many partners a person is allowed to have within the rules. It's the fact that there are rules governing how the people involved may spend their time, experience their emotions, use their bodies, and so on. It's the fact that these people are not respecting each other as independent and autonomous adults.

This surrender of independence constant power struggles which follow would appear to be the root of most of the chaos I see in all of the relationships I've ever been exposed to. So, in having a discussion about the merit of one relationship approach to another I find the more relevant conversation to be comparing living by right versus living by permission.
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2013, 03:11 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Marcus, have you raised children with anyone?
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:47 AM
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Marcus, have you raised children with anyone?
I have a daughter but was only directly involved in raising her the first few years. It was an unplanned teen pregnancy.
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  #15  
Old 01-29-2013, 04:23 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Okay. Thank you for answering my question.

I wonder how your views on living by right versus living by permission are affected when both or all parties are responsible for children. For myself, I can't see anything as clear cut as a right v permission dichotomy, because I do not have sole say in how I spend my time. There are kids to take care of, and in my agreement to have and raise these kids I waived my "right" to certain things. I don't feel that I'm asking MC for permission, exactly, but I absolutely DO ask him if minds being single parent for an evening while I go out (whether it's with my friends or my partner or whatever). Because we agreed to raise these kids TOGETHER, we necessarily have to come to agreements about how time is spent TOGETHER. So we are certainly not trying to control each other, but neither are we autonomous.

Though I don't know if dividing polyamory further is such a good idea, in discussions like this I find myself wondering if it'd be beneficial to differentiate between "Solo Poly" and "Family Poly". Not that "Family Poly" would necessarily depend on having kids together (or at all), but I do think the relationship needs of a solo poly person are often fundamentally different from the relationship needs of people attempting to create/build/maintain a family (however that family is configured).
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  #16  
Old 01-29-2013, 04:42 AM
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I don't feel that I'm asking MC for permission, exactly, but I absolutely DO ask him if minds being single parent for an evening while I go out (whether it's with my friends or my partner or whatever)
I like to think of it this way:

Say I make a request of my partner, "I'm feeling a little lonely, I'd like to get some more time with you this week" or "My parents are coming into town this weekend and I would love for all of us to have dinner together", or "I am dying to go out with my friends, will you watch the kids Friday night"

I know that I am respecting their independence and am not acting as though I am entitled to their compliance if the answer "No" is perfectly acceptable. That doesn't mean that I have to be thrilled about it, but I have no business laying down guilt (one of the most anti-respect things I can think of) or bullying them into compliance. That's a good gauge for me. If I start to think that I am entitled to my partner acting in a way that I want them to then I am not respecting them as an independent adult.

As far as splitting poly up into more sub-classes, I can't imagine how that would help in a conversation like this. Because we aren't talking about living arrangements, not even when it comes to having kids or not. The core difference from one relationship to another is the level of trust and respect for each others independence. That's the difference between a relationship that involves a great deal of work and one that is basically effortless.
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  #17  
Old 01-29-2013, 06:32 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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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.
This article did get me thinking about that, actually. As a result of those discussions, I've been finding myself reluctantly using the primary/secondary labels as descriptive, and I've been feeling eeky about it every time. Prescriptive or not, I can't separate the words from the notion of "better/lesser than."

Specifically, it's when people describe a partner as "my primary" or "my secondary" that sounds bad. Even if you're using the labels descriptively, it still designates it as their role. People don't tend to use these terms as an aside ("This is my partner John. Our relationship is of a more primary nature. This is my partner Jane. Our relationship is of a more secondary nature.") but rather the focus ("This is my primary, John. This is my secondary, Jane.") Even when used descriptively, the fact that they're primary or secondary tends to take precedence over who they are as a person.

In other words, there's a huge difference between describing the relationship as being of a primary or secondary nature, and actually referring to that person as My Primary or My Secondary.

This article was just what I needed to give myself permission to stop using these labels, even descriptively. She makes a valid point that "husband" and "girlfriend" accurately describe those two people and the nature of those relationships without resorting hierarchical terms.

That being said, "husband" and "girlfriend" are probably more prescriptive and hierarchical than are descriptive primary/secondary labels. My husband and I have obviously spent a lot of time and effort on building our relationship together. I am, without a doubt, more committed to maintaining that relationship. That's not to say I value, as a person, my girlfriend less than my husband. But push come to shove, there are sacrifices that I would make for him that I wouldn't make for her, e.g. moving across the country for a job offer.
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  #18  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
I wonder how your views on living by right versus living by permission are affected when both or all parties are responsible for children. For myself, I can't see anything as clear cut as a right v permission dichotomy, because I do not have sole say in how I spend my time.
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If I start to think that I am entitled to my partner acting in a way that I want them to then I am not respecting them as an independent adult.
As a parent, your children ARE entitled to you acting in a particular way (granted, not based on their wants, but based on their emotional and physical needs.) Children do not choose to have you for parents, and thus have no responsibility to respect your autonomy as an independent adult. You have the right to behave as an independent adult only so far as it does not detract from your responsibility to your children. They have every right to expect you to make certain sacrifices in order to provide a safe, loving, and supportive environment for them to grow up in.

Consequently, as a parent (partnered or not), you are entitled to expect your other co-parent(s) to act according to these responsibilities. By choosing to raise children with you, they have forsaken a portion of their autonomy. You have the right to enforce that when the children's needs require it.

Differentiating solo-poly vs family-poly misses the point. These kinds of expectations have nothing to do with poly and everything to do with family. The same types of expectations arise in family-mono. "No, you can't go out and drink beers with your buddies. You've been working late all week and our daughter needs her daddy to tuck her in tonight."
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  #19  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:26 AM
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And you've been disagreed with several times as well. Historically monogamy may have been about ownership, but so were many poly arrangements: a man and his harem, for example, or the practice of one man having multiple wives. Even mistresses (in Western culture, at least) were historically expected to be faithful to their patron.
Indeed I have been.

I would agree that the focus of both monogamy and polyamory have shifted towards a more love-based relationship rather than the traditional situation where there was often virtually no pretense about the property aspect of one or both of the people involved.

However, I would contend that while the focus of monogamy has shifted, its internal mechanism has not until extremely recently. There is still an implicit ownership that the partners have over each other. Poly has largely been able to make that shift from a harem-style arraignment to a more egalitarian focus both in the way it works and the way it looks.

Quote:
At it's core, monogamy is no more about control or ownership than poly. Each has its practitioners that try to control another person and each has its practitioners that realize all parties are independent entities.
I would agree that in every relationship, romantic or otherwise, certain concessions have to be made by those involved; things have to be given up or abstained from. In traditional monogamy, those things are far more numerous and serious than they are in modern polyamory.

It's less about active and forcible control over a partner as the structure of the relationships itself that serves to control. Monogamy is an easier car to drive, so to speak, in that respect.

Quote:
And this very quote is why sometimes your posts annoy me. Yes, you've said the same thing in many places, but no matter how many rebuttals are put up, you continue to present your stance as though it's incontrovertible FACT, when actually it's YOUR INTERPRETATION of the available evidence and information. (And I suspect there's info that you aren't taking into account, which is perfectly normal and to be expected as it's pretty difficult to consider EVERYTHING, but again that means your conclusions are not infallible.)
You're right, I've never sat down and given an exhaustive explanation for why I take the position that I do. Generally because I've never opened a thread dedicated to doing so, I figure if someone is curious they can ask me personally. I'm not here for converts and my views are on display in the marketplace of ideas alongside many others that a browser can choose to pick up or discard on their merits as they see fit.

If you're interested in an open discussion of it, by all means open a thread and I'll be glad to participate. I'm not 100% comfortable hijacking a discussion to showcase my wares.

I dont assume my point of view is inherently right or infallible and people have posited interesting counter-arguments but to this point in time, I feel that where I stand, given everything I know and understand, this is the best position for me to hold given what I know and value. I have no particular loyalty to the idea itself and would happily abandon it if I found something that fit better with new information or a new way to interpret information I already had. I'm not going to lie and say there's no ego involved at all, but its certainly less involved than most people think.

Quote:
YOU may see monogamy as authoritarian for yourself. That's fine. But that does not mean that monogamy IS authoritarian. At it's core, monogamy is about two people choosing to only be with each other. All the rest of the baggage (controlling, cheating, lying, jealousy) can happen in non-monogamous relationships as well (cheating, open, swinging, poly, whatever), due to human nature.
I dont disagree with the highlighted, but that's still above where I find the problem in the structure of the overall relationship.
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  #20  
Old 01-29-2013, 01:54 PM
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"No, you can't go out and drink beers with your buddies. You've been working late all week and our daughter needs her daddy to tuck her in tonight."
I'll admit, that made me throw up in my mouth a little.

I understand that there are things that need to be taken care of. Certainly when a dependent is involved someone is going to have to take care of its needs. When volunteering for the job of caring for a dependent one volunteers to taking on some responsibilities to one degree or another.

This is not the same as determining the other persons level or style of involvement. If I have volunteered to help raise a child with IV I could see her mentioning "The little tike could benefit from more of your time" and leaving it up to my discretion to work that out. That is far different from her giving me an order "No you cannot do what you want this evening, you need to go tuck in your child". One is recognizing that I am not an employee to be bossed around and the other is, well, treating me like an employee and bossing me around.

When people are cohabitation there are lots of concessions, tons of those little things that someone needs to take care of. The hope is that a rhythm can be discovered where each person takes care of the things they find the least irritating. As far as a child, it needs what it needs. Everyone involved has to take care of these needs and hopefully each person chooses to apply themselves to the task accordingly.
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