Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #261  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:30 PM
ladyslipper ladyslipper is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 47
Default

Yeah, I guess I thought we were just fleshing out our ideas about things. Sorry you felt like I was picking a fight with you.
__________________
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
Reply With Quote
  #262  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:42 PM
ladyslipper ladyslipper is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 47
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
When I mentioned culture, I was actually thinking of the culture that many polyfolk have created, where there is a often a lot of dogma about how to properly be poly, and which teaches that monogamy is automatically less evolved, a prison, lacking in autonomy, etc. ... While I want to and prefer to practice polyamory, I don't feel a need to see people who embrace monogamy as weaker, stupid, or unenlightened, as so many poly hardliners do.
So maybe we have two things going on here, Marcus has brought in a hard-line approach that you're responding to, and I misinterpreted that as a response to the original question of the thread. Honestly, I thought you hit on something worth pointing out. Maybe you haven't struggled with cultural norms but I have and cultural conditioning exists in my view. No disrespect meant. Do you think I am a poly-hardliner? or someone who thinks less of monogamy-oriented couples?
__________________
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
Reply With Quote
  #263  
Old 03-20-2013, 10:15 PM
kdt26417's Avatar
kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
Official Greeter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 5,111
Default

Suffice it to say mainstream society does have a bias in favor of monogamy, which can exert pressure on some of us to be monogamous. "Well, I don't like monogamy ... so there must be something wrong with me ... so I'll just try to learn to be monogamous and accept it." If a person is influenced by mainstream society in that way, then they have compromised a bit of their autonomy.

At the same time, it's a fallacy (I think) for a polyamorist to think, "I belong to a superior society (the 'polyamorous community'), and anyone who practices monogamy is a slave and/or a slave-owner." Some monogamists may have been pressured into monogamy which puts a ding in their autonomy, but other monogamists have chosen to be monogamous quite on their own free will, and thus their autonomy remains intact.

I guess the point is that mainstream society's bias affects the percentage of monogamists who have a ding in their autonomy, however it is not monogamy's fault per se that this ding occurs; rather it is the "fault" of the bias that mainstream society has. (That combined with the tendency some of us have to let mainstream society push us into things.)

Many polyamorists have also developed an "us versus them" mentality, and have reacted to the imbalance mainstream society contributed to by formulating their own "counter-imbalance" (namely, the idea that all monogamy is bad). "They say all polyamory is bad? Well, we say all monogamy is bad, so there!"

The solution, then, in my mind, is to try to practice more tolerance overall between the monogamous and polyamorous "groups." Just as we hope being "gay" or "straight" can be considered equally valid options, so it would be nice if everyone could think of "monogamous" and "polyamorous" as equally good options (assuming all else be equal).

Hope that wasn't too incoherent.
__________________
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
Reply With Quote
  #264  
Old 03-20-2013, 10:41 PM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,130
Default

I also have to say that autonomy is not, in my opinion, the be-all-end-all goal it's being made out to be. I believe that certain social problems and societal needs outweigh the individual's so-called right to autonomy.

I personally like living in a taxed society. I like that I can get surgery without a huge hospital bill. I like that my roads are maintained, however poorly that may be at times. I like that if I lose my source of income, I won't be left out in the cold. All those things require that people give up some autonomy by paying taxes, thus removing their autonomy over the spending of every dollar they earn.

I like that I can walk in the streets with minimal worry that my head will be blown off, because the state has removed your autonomous right to kill me for looking at you funny.

I like that grown men can't autonomously choose to have sex with prepubescent girls.

Living in a society fundamentally requires giving up all kinds of autonomy. Likewise, having a harmonious relationship often requires voluntarily giving up certain kinds of autonomy that single people retain. No one forces you to get into a relationship or stay there, so even when you make an agreement that you're not entirely thrilled with, you have to admit that it's still an autonomous choice to make that agreement.
__________________
Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."

Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 03-21-2013 at 12:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #265  
Old 03-20-2013, 10:46 PM
kdt26417's Avatar
kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
Official Greeter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 5,111
Default

Yes, technically we are all autonomous, even when we let ourselves get pressured into things. I guess you're a little less autonomous if you get hit in the head from behind and then lashed to a chair while you're unconscious. In just about every other kind of situation, though, there are always choices to be made.
__________________
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
Reply With Quote
  #266  
Old 03-21-2013, 07:51 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 354
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyslipper View Post
Maybe you haven't struggled with cultural norms but I have and cultural conditioning exists in my view.
Of course cultural conditioning exists. The evidence seems to be that for social creatures like human beings, pressure to conform and be part of the group makes it hard for us. Have a read of Stanley Milgram's obedience to authority experiments and Phillip Zimbardo's Stanford prison experiment. People can be convinced - with very little prompting - to do things that they would normally find troubling.

Given that, it makes absolute sense that there is pressure to live the life that most people see as the 'correct' one in whatever society you live in. In the UK, this seems to be: Grow up, marry a single opposite sex partner, have kids and spend your life buying lots of stuff.

If you choose to any of that differently, then there is a ton of questioning from lots of people about why you would choose to do so.

I have found that the best answer is to say that the lifestyle I choose suits me, that I've thought about it and the possible long term consequences and that I still choose it because I believe that it allows me the most happiness and allows me to be better to be around for the people and animals close to me. Also - that I'm open to possibility that I may feel differently one day depending on what happens in my life. And to the possibility of feeling regret one day about the choices I make. I also tend to acknowledge that my life is not perfect - I don't think that anybody's is - but the lack of perfection in my life isn't a reason to think that I'm doing it wrong.

Quote:
I believe that certain social problems and societal needs outweigh the individual's so-called right to autonomy.
I absolutely agree. Human beings are social creatures and that means that we need each other. In spite of what modern governments, mainstream psychology, the media and big business might have us believe, we should not aim to go around in a little self interested bubble.

Just because I choose not to have children doesn't mean that I should go around moaning about people who do having time off work for maternity leave or to care for sick kids. Instead, I should do what I can to help and support my colleagues in their life choices - and I do.

IP
Reply With Quote
  #267  
Old 03-23-2013, 11:27 AM
JustUs JustUs is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 71
Default

While walking through a store one day, my wife's mother told her she had to choose between me and her bf...
My wife looked at her and simply said, J is happy, I'm happy, and S is happy, it works for us and no reason to choose one....
Made me proud of her saying that!
Reply With Quote
  #268  
Old 03-23-2013, 06:45 PM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,130
Default

Gotta love that. "You need to choose." "Nope. No, actually I don't."
__________________
Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
Reply With Quote
  #269  
Old 03-24-2013, 12:03 PM
Nadya Nadya is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 174
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustUs View Post
While walking through a store one day, my wife's mother told her she had to choose between me and her bf...
My wife looked at her and simply said, J is happy, I'm happy, and S is happy, it works for us and no reason to choose one....
Made me proud of her saying that!
Love this too This could quite as well have been posted to the "Poly Vignettes" thread.
Reply With Quote
  #270  
Old 03-28-2013, 02:58 AM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Haltom City, TX
Posts: 1,289
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
No one forces you to get into a relationship or stay there, so even when you make an agreement that you're not entirely thrilled with, you have to admit that it's still an autonomous choice to make that agreement.
It's a shame that this conversation always leads to this point. I'm not sure I understand what is so controversial about saying that the structure of monogamy has one more rule about how partners are allowed to behave than polyamorous relationships. I also am unclear what coercion has to do with this conversation but it necessarily seems to devolve into that... "well no one is forcing you". It is true that life is made of decisions, one of those decisions is what kind of relationship type a person wants to be in... and?

I'm not sure why someone would need to force something for the statement that monogamy (sexual exclusivity as a dealbreaker) is more restrictive on a persons ability to live their life free of rule than polyamory (sexual and romantic exclusivity are not necessarily required). Just because of that one rule in monogamy that is not present in polyamory makes my statement necessarily true. How is what I just said "just an opinion"? Do I have the definition of these words wrong? "Well that's just an opinion" is not valid when what is being said is not a value judgment and is based on the facts available.

Further, the argument from intimidation that if someone makes a statement like this they have somehow fallen prey to an "us vs them" or an "I am more enlightened" mentality is beyond me. Having a reasonable discussion about the fundamental difference between monogamy and polyamory puts me among the unreasonable hardliners? I can't remember who said that one but I call bullshit.

BTW, SC I used your quote above but only as a starting place for the post. I realize I have not quoted you making any of the claims but coercion. Didn't want you to think I was putting words in your mouth "opinion" or arguments from intimidation.
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boundaries, cheating, coming out poly, commitment, defintion, description, descriptions, discovery, dissatisfaction, first time, happiness, history, introduction to poly, learning, mono poly, mono/poly, new to polyamory, opening a relationship, poly, relationship issues, scale

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:04 AM.