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  #11  
Old 08-27-2011, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
You're saying people should just accept uncomfortable words, word that make them feel less than? So you'd ask us to put up with a whole lot of hate words in this society right now? Personally I'm glad that we don't have to just get over it. It's not fear driving this or discomfort, it's anger, rejection, it's the fact that some people don't feel like they have to accept the logic behind those words.

"Secondary" has negative connotations of "less than" in our society. It does, it's not just personal "baggage." Why should anyone have to accept hierarchical language if they are working to not live their lives in that way? Hierarchy isn't "natural." We don't have to give in to rankings, competition, less than, more than. Language is incredibly important and I think AnnabelMore's question is a valid one.
Actually, what I 'said' is whats written, not your twist with hate included. I am included in the 'we' part. I am going to be a secondary or less to other partners. I don`t have a problem with being seen as such. I don`t feel 'less then' in a wrong way.
I do believe fear drives all these label changes.
Btw,...Where does anger come from ? Hmmm ?

The following thought is actually what prompted my opinion.

Think more along the lines of 'step-father' and its meaning in society.

In some families a step-father is a secondary role. It`s accepted, yet the man knows that he is a secondary role to the biological father.

In other families, the step-father is as equally important as the biological father. providing love, and needs on a equal level.

And yet, in other families, a step-father is a primary role.

By its very definition, 'step-father' does not men less then, it is simply a way to denote that A) not biological b) they came into the picture second.

For all the bad press that can happen for step-parents, I am glad that the 'title' has not been ' owhh there is negative press about us so we need to be labelled something else'. Once upon a time, the title DID have a negative meaning, as divorce was less common.

It seems time can heal a lot of wounds. We can change titles all we want, but its just running away from the time and work that society tends to need to do, before things have a positive spin.
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2011, 04:32 PM
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I guess my point about the Bible quotes was, they've been called secondaries for over 2600 years, it obviously works.

Of course, a 2ndary can be loved more than one's primary. Hey, it happens. Even after NRE fades, you could be more enamoured of your second than your first. Maybe she meets more of your needs and accepts the newer version of you better than your primary does.

Second as far as linear time goes, first in your heart...

My thoughts are so disjointed today. Hurricane fear messin with my head.
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2011, 04:52 PM
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Interesting connection with the term step-father, Sour, that makes a lot of sense. I agree that we need to redeem the inherent honor and respect of the role for those who choose it, and that's about way more than the word. It's about education, mainly. And it will, very much so, be different for every situation.

My concern is just about whether or not "secondary" gives people the wrong idea from the very start (note those less than cheery dictionary and thesaurus connotations versus "step" which doesn't really mean anything), and whether there's terminology that would be just as clear but wouldn't cause people to immediately think "less worthwhile."

A different term may or may not be called for, but I wanna see what we can come up with it. After all, ALL our terminology is so new, why not play with it?
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:17 PM
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I agree that there's no solid reason why we shouldn't consider a change in terminology. Labels change all the time including whether they're positive or negative. Negro used to be the accepted term but now its considered rather offensive. I don't hear anyone saying, oh they've just got baggage, we don't need a new word. There are A LOT of people who dislike the word secondary and for good reason. Sometimes, it can accurately describe a relationship but often it fails to do so. I see no reason why we can't continue to work through our insecurities AND find a more likeable term. If it weren't a big deal, there wouldn't be things like the secondaries bill of rights.
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:04 PM
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Some people just say OSO, other significant other. Of course, there is a poster here who is a... secondary, who was thinking of herself as the Other Woman, which obviously has mono, negative connotations. But somehow "other significant other" sounds OK.
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  #16  
Old 08-27-2011, 06:10 PM
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I suspect there are significant differences between those who are comfortable with the term "secondary" and those who are not comfortable with the term, in relation to how we conceive of loverly relationships. In my own case, if I am truly in love with someone, and we have become in some sense partners in life (which, I think, is what loverly relationships fundamentally are, at least for me), I'd want to be equal in importance, love, value... with my partner's other partners -- even if there are significant differences, e.g., if he or she lived with one or more of the partners while I did not. I'd simply want--and need--equal status in any partnership relationship. (Being equal in love status is not necessarily to be equal in time spent together, etc. This comes down to worth/value/affection/commitment.)

That said, perhaps there is the possibility that I may in some future time have a relationship which straddles a fence, which is between casual friendship and partnership, somewhere, and in which there is sexual / erotic activity and deep affection. I'm exploring whether I want or need such relationships. I do not at present have such a relationship. And yet I'm not closed to this possibility. I'm sure I have no interest in "casual sex" or "no strings attached" sex, or "fuckbuddies" and the like. My sexality is simply too much connected with my heart, emotions, feelings, spiritual life..., to treat it overly casual.

I'll have to admit, though, in this context of inquiry that I find myself quite attracted to a very new friend, whom I barely yet know. A guy, this time. And this sort of attraction sort of throws a monkey wrench in my thinking (and experience) about relationships at this time. It's impossible to know or guess how things will unfold; yet I do know I now have three people who need to be considered in all that I do, for I now have two life partners (and there is myself as the third person). And I'm committed to each of them/us profoundly. (It is not precisely clear to me how many romantic life partners I can take on, nor how wise or unwise it might be to bring two new ones in at the same time. This seems risky, at the least. But maybe I can have something "light" with this new person? and it may cause no harm(?)) Life must be some sort of grand experiment, no?
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  #17  
Old 08-27-2011, 06:55 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
You're saying people should just accept uncomfortable words, word that make them feel less than? So you'd ask us to put up with a whole lot of hate words in this society right now?
"Secondary" is not a hate term, nor has it ever been. It is a descriptor, nothing more nor less. Any baggage people bring to it themselves cannot be laid at the feet of the word--they have to take responsibility for their own shit.

Quote:
"Secondary" has negative connotations of "less than" in our society.
Nope. Unless, you're intending that as a measure of amount, as in "a secondary source of income" referring to a smaller income source, that is incorrect. Even in that instance, noting the lesser amount of income does not indicate that source as being of less importance to an operation.

You may add extra meaning to the term when you use it; not everybody does.

Quote:
Hierarchy isn't "natural." We don't have to give in to rankings, competition, less than, more than.
It certainly is natural. Do you spend an equal amount of time with each and every friend you have? No? You spend much more time with some than with others? That is the natural order of things--and it's hierarchical.

If you don't like the descriptors "primary" and "secondary," then don't use them. Use something like "base" and "additional" or "daily" and "occasional" or "live-in" and "outpatient" or some other combination of descriptors that works.

Trying to assign baggage you carry to perfectly good terms that other folks are happy to use is entirely your issue, however.
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  #18  
Old 08-27-2011, 07:04 PM
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Well for all those that feel they need to change the word, that is the beauty of freedom. You can be called whatever you wish, by those you love, and who you love.

I do implore those that have such a hatred of the word, to perhaps think a little bit more on why they have such a problem.

I see and hear ( no one in particular in this post, fyi) a lot of fear. Fear that allowing one to be labelled is a licence to others to be treated poorly, or not loved enough, or disrespected. Fear of being second-rate. The fear is controlling the logic.

I also see a lot of 'control' . It can feel easier to be fearful, and try and control the small things, when the big things seem so out of reach. Educating, and correcting people is a larger task, then simply trying to bully people into new terminology.

I think Annabel did a great job of bringing up a interesting topic. I don`t however agree, that it should be used across the board, for all.
In your own lives you have the ability to choose how you wish to be addressed and labelled, that is what makes things 'personal' and endearing to your own relationships.
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2011, 07:25 PM
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"Secondary has negative connotations of "less than" in our society."

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnalTone View Post
Nope.
Saying "Nope" with conviction has little weight as a contribution to a conversation.

It seems to me we have here a linguistics question. What connotations does this word actually have in real world usage? That's the question. It seems to me obvious that people use first and second as value terms quite regularly. Some restaraunts / wines / books / furniture are "first rate," while others are "second rate". First generally or often connotes "best" or "most important". These, I think, are linguistic facts. "Nope" doesn't change the facts.
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  #20  
Old 08-27-2011, 07:41 PM
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to say that secondary is no more or less than a descriptor is a woeful simplification of the reality. As some one who has studied linguistics, it is widely held in that field that words have not only definition but also context. Yes, baggage, if you will. If you don't personally feel that baggage of the word, great, but it is odd to say that it doesn't exist. In the poly community and in the English speaking community, the word secondary has contexts and connotations, bad, good and neutral. I don't think that anyone is suggesting that no on ever use it, especially if it works for them, but it feels like folks are trying to make those of us who'd like a new word feel badly about it. No word exists in a vacuum.
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