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  #11  
Old 03-24-2013, 05:57 PM
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I read an article on Franklin Veaux's blog recently that touched on this. The definition given was something along the lines of "a hierarchical relationship is a relationship in which at least one partner has more say over their partners' relationship than they do".

Let me find the blog and link to it. It was very interesting.

Here you go. The definition actually was: A poly hierarchy exists when at least one person holds more power over a partner's other relationships than is held by the people within those relationships.
It was this article that started the discussion about this. Franklin is on my fb group along with other poly heavy weights. I also know him personally and while I agree that there is validity to his definition, its one sided. Understandably so for him and his life. He's a good writer and speaks the truth for many poly people. He just doesn't speak the truth for all poly people. Great guy though. Fun to hang with when I've had a chance.
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  #12  
Old 03-24-2013, 06:45 PM
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It should be noted-Franklin didn't write that post. It was a guest post.

I happen to have been part of that conversation on facebook as well.

I think there were valid points brought up in both directions.

I am also one of the people who HAS experienced heirarchy by SOME definitions and been accused of living heirarchy by some of the highly negative connotations of it.

I also happen to be one of the posters who agrees that this definition was better than MOST of the definitions of I have encountered.

The only one I've seen (thus far) that I liked as much or better-was written on here, by Mono.

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Regarding labels AND definitions:
It's important to remember, that just because someone writes something, doesn't mean it is all-inclusive. It's IMPOSSIBLE for ANY definition to be all inclusive.
Somewhere, someone on this topic used the "define a chair" example; which is used in college psych classes frequently.
It's a great mental process to help a person understand why
NO DEFINITION IS GOING TO BE ALL INCLUSIVE.
Not ever.

If this definition is fitting for SOME people, then it's good for them to claim it.

If it's not fitting for others-they shouldn't claim it.
__________________________________

NYCindie and I are polar opposites in SO MANY WAYS.
And yet-I respect and appreciate NYC's posts SO VERY MUCH because they allow me to see and learn from the perspective of someone who IS very different from me.
The things that are "poly" to me-are not for NYC and vice versa.
That doesn't mean either of us is using a "wrong" definition of poly.

The same is true for heirarchy.

At the end of the day;

the reason these topics are so important comes down to one tiny little detail:

IT IS NOT OK TO START A RELATIONSHIP ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT YOU BOTH HAVE THE SAME DEFINITIONS.
You need to DISCUSS, communicate, contemplate, commune with one another(s) over what YOUR definition is.

You say you are bi, what does that mean to you? Is it what I mean when I say I am bi? How does that play out in real life?
You say you are poly-what is poly to you? Is it compatible with what poly is for me?
You say you have (or don't accept) heirarchies-what IS that to YOU? Is it compatible with what it is for ME???


There is no final definition.

What is love to you?
What is marriage to you?
What is dating to you?
What is commitment to you?
What is BDSM to you?
What is D/s to you?
What is parenting to you?
What is EVERY DAMN THING YOU CARE ABOUT to you?

Before those conversations can happen, you have to ask yourself all of those questions. What is ___________ and___________ and____________ to ME?
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  #13  
Old 03-24-2013, 06:45 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I didn't get any feeling of trying to exclude people from being polyamorous from the article, only reminders to treat people with respect and not place your insecurities as more important than other people's happiness. I'm actually pretty surprised by your answer as I saw nothing you mention in the post, but I guess it resonated differently with you.
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  #14  
Old 03-24-2013, 06:47 PM
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Ton-I assume you are responding to II and not me. Let me know if I'm wrong.

Having read the conversation that led to the guest post of what is heirarchy-I would say that it would be almost impossible to get a good handle on why people got so... spirited... without reading the thread.

There were some... strong words shared in both directions... heated.
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  #15  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
IT IS NOT OK TO START A RELATIONSHIP ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT YOU BOTH HAVE THE SAME DEFINITIONS.
You need to DISCUSS, communicate, contemplate, commune with one another(s) over what YOUR definition is.

You say you are bi, what does that mean to you? Is it what I mean when I say I am bi? How does that play out in real life?
You say you are poly-what is poly to you? Is it compatible with what poly is for me?
You say you have (or don't accept) heirarchies-what IS that to YOU? Is it compatible with what it is for ME???

Before those conversations can happen, you have to ask yourself all of those questions. What is ___________ and___________ and____________ to ME?
That's a big reason why I reject labels and buzz words beyond shorthand conversation movers with strangers or acquaintances.

When you're dealing with people you actually want to be with (as opposed to intellectual discussions for the sake of conversation), you can't afford those confusions. You can't spend six months with someone only to find that you have a completely different understanding of a fundamental concept.

In the time it takes to define all your labels, you could just as easily say "this is how I do relationships, this is what kind of people I'm interested in, this is how I'd like my kids to be raised, these are the kinky things I'm into, etc." Turning that into a deep discussion about definitions seems to detract from the real point, which is learning about the other person.

I was TA'ing a lab the other day, and 3 students asked me if they had to do a sample calculation for taking the natural log of a number. I told each of them, "Yes, and in the time it took you to ask, you could have just done it."
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  #16  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:57 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Yes, Loving, you are right that I was responding to II I understand that if I'm missing out on the whole context I probably wouldn't interpret things the same way.

I understand that when you start out polyamory you need to start somewhere, and it might be smarter to extent your comfort zone slowly rather than jumping into the water without learning to swim, to mix my metaphors a bit.
I think everyone in a relationship network needs to be able to put themselves in one another's shoes and understand why some things might be challenging, and work together. So while I think going "the marriage is more important, that's that and other people don't have an input" seems a bit too much, I don't think you should deny the fact that it can be hard for people to start out with poly, and there should be some sympathy for them too.
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  #17  
Old 03-24-2013, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Anarchy doesn't eliminate power imbalances, it just changed the criteria for having power. Ultimately, it results in weaker people being dominated by stronger people, with all kinds of definitions for strength (e.g. physical, charismatic.)
In the colloquial definition of anarchy, yes. That definition is also incorrect; anarchy is the absence of government, not the absence of rules. Rules are enforced by the community and the emphasis is on freedom of choice, equality, and destruction of hierarchy. That's a somewhat overly-simplistic idea but you get the general idea.

Quote:
Ideally, that's the whole point of democracy: to put the power into the hands of the masses. Of course, in practice, it doesn't work out that way. I personally blame capitalism for that, but that's just my bias. Under capitalism, money is the ultimate power; it can purchase every other form (except a unified working class, fingers crossed.)
Democratic ideas are great, democracy not so much. A democracy is essentially an organized form of mob rule with no real mechanism to stop the masses from turning on whoever they please. And because we have so many people to worry about, direct democracy is not viable and thus we must turn to representative democracy.

I need not waste time outlining the problems with that particular system.
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  #18  
Old 03-24-2013, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post

I was TA'ing a lab the other day, and 3 students asked me if they had to do a sample calculation for taking the natural log of a number. I told each of them, "Yes, and in the time it took you to ask, you could have just done it."
I am LMAO! I am taking math 107 this semester and the week prior to spring break we were doing log & ln.
I read this part of your post and started giggling-because just as I finished the first sentence I was thinking "jesus-you could have been done in less time then it took to ask if you had to do it!"

You are so awesome with concrete-completely off topic examples and I love that!
When I say off-topic-it's a compliment.

I find it very helpful for example, to use electrical work examples or construction work examples when trying to explain relationship issues I'm having-if I'm talking to Maca. Because he's an electrician.

I LOVE how you come up with these "not poly" examples for why there are some things that work best in certain ways. Its refreshing.


(and yes-it's always preferable to limit defining talks to 'free time' intellectual discussions. I prefer to stick to describing my life style preferences in terms of actual actions when discussing a relationship need/change etc with someone I'm having a relationship with)
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  #19  
Old 03-24-2013, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonberry View Post
So while I think going "the marriage is more important, that's that and other people don't have an input" seems a bit too much, I don't think you should deny the fact that it can be hard for people to start out with poly, and there should be some sympathy for them too.
I absolutely agree.
That's how I ended up on the short end of being told we were heirachical.
Because I knocked the world off its axis for Maca & he was left trying to tread water with lungs full of water. Not a good scenario.

It took some time for him to even out (about 3 years actually). Now things are astronomically different from what they were when we started.

But-even now-there are some who say degrading things linked with heirarchy-because our responsibility to our kids as individual parents comes before additional relationships.
There is no "well he/she will keep the kids so I can be gone half a week". That's not the deal. We are both full time parents (as is GG) and we have full time responsibilities to the kids regardless of whether or not one or another of us is available.
We don't brush that off on each other-because it's not about "someone watching the kids" it's about maintaining our personal bond with our children.

People think it's about our marriage.
Frankly-it's not.
Regardless of how it may appear on the outside.

I don't tell him he has to be home each day to spend time with the kids after work.
HE tells himself that-because that is the dynamic of HIS relationship with the kids.

Likewise-he doesn't tell me I have to be here every day for the kids or 3 days a week for the grandson. I do that-because those relationships are THAT important to ME.

Other people seem to find it astonishing that there is a chance that individually-we are PERSONALLY devoted to our relationships with the kids/grandkids to the point that we aren't willing to prioritize a date that takes that away from us.

Shrug.
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  #20  
Old 03-24-2013, 11:20 PM
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I don't tell him he has to be home each day to spend time with the kids after work.
HE tells himself that-because that is the dynamic of HIS relationship with the kids.
That's actually what I liked about the definition I quoted: the fact that it emphasised that making decisions for yourself is fine, it's when others make the decisions for you that it's bad. At least that's how I interpreted it.

I realise now that the whole thing is confusing, because it's basically saying "let's only call it hierarchical when it does these wrong things" which on principle I don't really have a problem with (I see "hierarchical" as a negative term anyways), but I can see how if someone wants to use hierarchical in a positive way, having it associated with negative behaviours would be a problem.

Although in the end, it's always best to explain exactly what you mean. Afterwards, once you've set it up and explained what you mean by a word, sure, you can use it later instead of using the whole phrase every time, but you do have to identify it the first time.
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