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  #41  
Old 04-11-2012, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
I think that a lot of the problem with people's views of the poly community come from the fact that poly folks are "not like us". Even if you put the relationship stuff aside (which some can't), the poly community tends to have significant numbers of kink folks, SCAers, and pagans as well as the more "hippie" type.

Now I'm saying that any of those are wrong in my eyes, but they all serve to increase the feeling amongst mainstream mono folks that polys "aren't like us".
Good. I'd rather not be like every sheep out there miserably humping along in their box of "mainstream" cookie cutter ideals of interpersonal relation and interaction.

Exclusivity (so to speak) has an interesting side effect of acting as a filter for idiots in any given population.
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  #42  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:50 AM
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Ouch ...

Re (from Ivy, Post #8):
Quote:
"Most 'mainstream' and monogamous people I've spoken with think of free-love hippies, with a touch of egotistical intellectualism -- as in 'We're smarter/more thoughtful/more communicative/more enlightened than you, so you could never be one of us.'"
Now that's a public image we could do without.

Re (from KyleKat, Post #38):
Quote:
"There are too many camps for us to ever unify."
We do have a problem with that, don't we ...

Re (from KyleKat, Post #38):
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"No, the problem is our honesty. People are liars."
There does seem to be a tendancy for cheating to get more sympathy in the public eye, than polyamory. But part of that phenomenon is that polyamory gets so little public eye of any kind. Yes, it's getting better. But it's got a long, long way to go. Who knows how polyamory would be commonly viewed if more people were well exposed to it?

Re (from CielDuMatin, Post #40):
Quote:
"I think that a lot of the problem with people's views of the poly community come from the fact that poly folks are 'not like us.' Even if you put the relationship stuff aside (which some can't), the poly community tends to have significant numbers of kink folks, SCAers, and pagans as well as the more 'hippie' type."
Kind of a self-perpetuating stereotype. If more "regular folks" would try poly on for size ... but "regular folks" don't do things like that.
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  #43  
Old 04-13-2012, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
I think that a lot of the problem with people's views of the poly community come from the fact that poly folks are "not like us". Even if you put the relationship stuff aside (which some can't), the poly community tends to have significant numbers of kink folks, SCAers, and pagans as well as the more "hippie" type.
Kind of a self-perpetuating stereotype. If more "regular folks" would try poly on for size ... but "regular folks" don't do things like that.
One of my biggest complaints about the most popular local poly group here in NYC is that they always promote our events to the kink and so-called sex-positive community, but never to mainstream folks. So, for someone who is more vanilla than not, going to the monthly Poly Cocktails event is... uncomfortable, mostly. It doesn't have the kind of vibe that "regular folks" would find appealing, I think. It feels like a kinky meat market. A few months ago, a few guys got naked at the party - this was in a restaurant/lounge! The guests who show up are always talking about FetLife and "play parties." I told this to one of the organizers. I said, "Why doesn't the group promote our events, send speakers, and make our presence known at places like the Society for Ethical Culture or even The Learning Annex? Take part in mainstream workshop/conferences on relationships, etc.? Why just reach out to kink groups and set up a table at a kink event (they did this at some "leather group" street fair) and only leave it at that?"

He told me that maybe a cocktail party is not for me and I should go to the lectures or conventions instead. Now, in my lifetime, I've been to plenty of weeknight cocktail parties for all sorts of groups and no one has ever gotten naked at them before, so why make it my problem for wanting a party that accommodates non-kinksters, too? In my view, if we want mainstream society to accept polyamory as just another choice for relationships and not a kink, we need to "infiltrate" mainstream events where "regular folks" hang out.
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Last edited by nycindie; 04-13-2012 at 01:46 PM.
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  #44  
Old 04-13-2012, 05:35 AM
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Good point, nyc.
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  #45  
Old 04-13-2012, 10:04 AM
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Im not sure but it seems in th UK poly is not so visible and not so visibly "other".

It was only when I looked it up I went "I can be poly, I dont dye my hair like that."

I guess the people who will be the most open and identifiable as poly will be the most counter to the cultre the same as any newly visible cultural minority.
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  #46  
Old 04-13-2012, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
In my view, if we want mainstream society to accept polyamory as just another choice for relationships and not a kink, we need to "infiltrate" mainstream events where "regular folks" hang out.
I think that this is a VERY valid point! I know of a local poly group around us who has very strong ties with the local kink community to the point where a few years back there was a big argument where folks were asking for a little less "kink talk" at the poly gathering, because it made them uncomfortable.

I really believe that there has to be room for all in this "poly community" (although I usually hesitate at the use of the word "community" to describe us because we are so diverse).

But this thread was about public image, and I think this has a LOT to go towards it. I would also suggest that there is a vocal minority of poly folks who absolute do NOT want it to be a mainstream thing, because that would mean that they are doing something mainstream and that goes against the very essence of their beings.
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  #47  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:22 PM
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It's interesting that I stumbled on this old thread on the same day that I had an interesting conversation with a work colleague.

Someone in the office was talking about Tiger Woods winning something-or-other, which led to a discussion of infidelity. So this colleague was telling me that it would have been better for him, and incidentally for all celebrities, to never have gotten married, since the "draw of celebrity" would lead almost inevitably to cheating. It would be better, he says, for the celebrity to recognize that the temptations would be too much, sow his wild oats, and then marry only after he retires. He was saying all this very matter-of-factly, very analytically discussing how Woods's infidelity was a problem and what should be done about it.

I responded that he's basically condemning all celebrities to live lonely lives devoid of meaningful relationships. What if a celebrity, even knowing he'd probably "get into a bit of trouble", nonetheless wants love in his life ? ("Then don't be a celebrity," he says.) I suggested that Woods could have come to an arrangement with his wife before the extracurricular activities so that it wouldn't be cheating. (This colleague doesn't know I'm poly)

His response: "I know some of those people who have (scare quotes) 'arrangements,' and they're vile and disgusting." An emotional response, as opposed to the measured discussion he was having earlier of cheating. I hit a nerve.

And that's the "image problem." To my colleague, Tiger Woods cheating on his wife threatened nothing more than Tiger Woods's relationship, but the potentiality of polyamory threatens the entire concept of relationships. Cheating, at least, has a place in the mainstream social narrative. It's not a good place, but having a name and a place makes it at least thinkable. Polyamory has no place in that narrative. There's no word for it that a mainstream person would know. Even if they know "polyamory" as a word, they use it in the mandatory-monogamy-narrative context to mean cheating, sowing oats, or being a PUA or a player. It falsifies the axioms on which the mainstream narrative is built, making it not only unthinkable, but personally threatening.
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  #48  
Old 04-13-2012, 03:49 PM
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Yup, I've hit that one before - cheating, while looked down on, is still preferable to actually having folks consent to doing it without lying and breaking promises.

What is wrong with this picture, and what message is it putting out about our values in "lamestream" society.
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  #49  
Old 04-13-2012, 08:22 PM
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Re (from CielDuMatin, Post #46):
Quote:
"I would also suggest that there is a vocal minority of poly folks who absolutely do NOT want it to be a mainstream thing, because that would mean that they are doing something mainstream and that goes against the very essence of their beings."
Maybe so, but if so, they must not be too thrilled about me being poly, because my MFM vee is pretty darn mainstream. Plain vanilla, no involvement in SCA (though I used to be a D&Der, long ago), and you'd never pick us out in a crowd. We have no visibly distinguishing features. Very ordinary, mainstream jobs. Our families don't know there's anything "unusual" about us. Most of our spare time is spent watching movies/episodes/sports on TV, or playing "Words with Friends" on Facebook. We live in a cookie-cutter apartment, and chat about mundane things over dinner.

Re (from Ready2Fly, Post #47):
Quote:
"His response: 'I know some of those people who have (scare quotes) "arrangements," and they're vile and disgusting.'"
Whoah ...

Wish he could have been more specific about that; "vile" and "disgusting" are such general terms, I don't know what vile/disgusting attributes we poly people supposedly have, so I don't know how to respond to it. Are we physically disgusting? Do we need to take a bath more often? Is it (allegedly) disgusting that we agree to let our partners date other people? Is our willingness the problem, or is it our honesty? It can't be the fact that we have "extra" partners, because cheaters have that and they weren't grouped in the vile/disgusting category.

Seriously, I didn't know people's impressions/feelings about us were that bad. It's not like I haven't heard tales of family/friends being accepting (though I've also heard tales of family/friends being mean). Maybe this guy has family/friends that came out as being poly to him, so he's already in a "bad mood" about the subject.

My whole problem about people who do react angrily/offensively against us is that they won't be specific about why they don't like us (or our life choices). About the most specific I've heard is, "It's against the Bible." But that's not an image problem, that's a dogmatic-conditioning problem. People will have to learn to think for themselves before they can overcome those kinds of problems.
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Last edited by kdt26417; 04-13-2012 at 08:27 PM.
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  #50  
Old 04-13-2012, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Maybe so, but if so, they must not be too thrilled about me being poly, because my MFM vee is pretty darn mainstream. Plain vanilla, no involvement in SCA (though I used to be a D&Der, long ago), and you'd never pick us out in a crowd. We have no visibly distinguishing features. Very ordinary, mainstream jobs. Our families don't know there's anything "unusual" about us. Most of our spare time is spent watching movies/episodes/sports on TV, or playing "Words with Friends" on Facebook. We live in a cookie-cutter apartment, and chat about mundane things over dinner.
And that pretty much describes the way people would perceive me, too. I think quite a few poly folk think I/we we quite boring for that reason.
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