Originally Posted by BrigidsDaughter
In all of the arguing and confusing refusal of Serial to accept what polyamory really is, I keep reading him talking about polygamy as a back up for his idea that serial monogamy is poly. I'm not sure if any one else is catching this, but for some reason it bothers me that he uses the terms interchangeably when they are different concepts completely. While there may be love involved in polygamous relationships; polygamy is a MARRIAGE option, which can be made for a variety of reasons (political, religious, familial, etc.) besides wanting to have multiple loving relationships at one time. Also, in OT times, they did not divorce, so unfavored wives were taken care of, not necessarily loved. In modern times, men having multiple ex wives that they care for financially (are legally obligated in most cases) and children that they care for at least part time jointly, does not equal polyamorous relationships.
Using terms interchangeably implies they mean the exact same thing. Terms mean exactly what they mean, but what they represent sometimes overlaps. Polygamy does indeed refer to marriage (although monogamy isn't typically used to refer only to marriage despite the "gamy"). Polygamy has normative connotations of being primitive, muslim, or mormon, among other things, but those are just ethnicist examples, imo.
Polyamory is inherently about marriage insofar as it is about love, imo. What I mean by that is that people who truly love each other are united in a special way regardless of the legal status of their relationship. Just because the law won't allow people to marry more than one person doesn't mean they aren't committed to them at a marriage-level, right? This doesn't mean that all polyamorous relationships are or must involve marriage-level commitment. Thus I wouldn't use polyamory and polygamy interchangeably. My main issue is that relationships aren't always cleanly contained and aspects of them may overlap in people's lives and this is often the case in serial monogamy as well as polyamory. I'm really not trying to offend anyone. I'm just trying to address the wider reality of relationships despite the labels used to classify them as one thing or another.