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Old 06-17-2015, 11:19 PM
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Default Monogamist / Monogamism

I have hesitated thus far to pick nits about the use of the term "monogamist" in this or other threads. But then I wrote this -- http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showt...933#post299933 -- in another thread, and now the time has come for a little nit picking.

Because we have the words ...
  • racism
  • sexism
  • heterosexism
  • agism
  • etc.

... it follows somewhat logically that "monogamism" is NOT best understood as the practice of monogamy, but rather as wish to impose monogamy on others--, or the contempt, disregard or other variant of mistreatment of those who are not monogamous.

In other words, a monogomist is one who believes (and behaves in accordance with the belief) that non-monogamy is repugnant, less than, unworthy, disgusting, inferior, etc.

We could choose to break from the form of aligning the usage of monogamism with the usages of ...
  • racism
  • sexism
  • heterosexism
  • agism
  • etc.

... if good reason is present to do so. In which case we will be requiring a word for "monogamist" in the sense provide by this list of usages.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:01 AM
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We have to change the dictionary definition of monogamist? Really? and this idea will just catch on and spread.

So what monogamist used to mean is now meant by ... monogamite? (I feel a minor headache coming on.)
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Old 06-18-2015, 04:26 AM
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Monogamism is not a word. If people have coined it as a word, and are using it, they are doing so incorrectly. The correct word is monogamy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
. . . a monogomist is one who believes (and behaves in accordance with the belief) that non-monogamy is repugnant, less than, unworthy, disgusting, inferior, etc.
A monogamist is simply a person who practices monogamy. The word "monogamist" does not describe any beliefs that person has, nor how that person feels about non-monogamy in general (or anything!), nor how that person regards any kind of non-monogamy practitioner. Nor does it necessarily imply that the monogamist is imposing monogamy on anyone else!

Plenty of people in monogamous relationships don't give a shit about non-monogamy, don't hate it -- it's not even a blip on their radar -- nor do they think that people who practice it are disgusting. They may be confused, turned off, frightened by it, misinformed, or just ignoring it and going about their business. Of course, many monogamists do indeed think non-monogamy is repugnant, but the word alone does not make a blanket statement about all monogamists. It simply means someone who practices monogamy, and that is all.

Likewise, a polyamorist is someone who practices polyamory, but we cannot know what that polyamorist believes nor how that person feels about monogamy just by one word that describes what they are doing with their love life.

The whole premise of your argument, based on meaning you are ascribing to a suffix, is flawed and comes off as a little bit wacky, actually. Consider:
Hypnotist - someone who practices hypnotism. Does being a hypnotist categorically mean that one feels disgust at being awake? Must a hypnotist consider awake, conscious people to be repugnant in order to practice hypnotism? I don't think so.

Nudist - someone who practices nudism. Does being a nudist automatically mean one is repulsed by being dressed? Must a nudist feel contempt toward clothed people in order to practice nudism? I don't think so.

Idealist - someone who practices idealism. Does being an idealist mean that one hates realism? Must an idealist feel disdain for realists and rationalists in order to be an idealist? I don't think so.

Extremist- someone who practices extremism. Does being an extremist mean that one always and absolutely rejects taking small steps or conservative measures? Must an extremist look down on those who are cautiously acting incrementally in order to be an extremist? I don't think so.

Sensualist - someone who indulges in their senses, and in their appetites for sensuality and sensationalism. Does being an sensualist mean that one eschews intellectualism? Must a sensualist disapprove of all intellectuals and intellectual pursuits in order to be a sensualist? I don't think so.

Canoeist - someone who travels on water in canoes. There is no such word as canoeism, but does every canoeist categorically abhor being on dry land or in another form of boat? Must a canoeist consider other forms of travel to be repugnant in order to be a canoeist? I don't think so.
See where we could go with this? I don't understand the value in applying your own meaning to words that do not mean what you say they do, and then arguing to use a different word because of the meaning you used to describe it, but which does not actually apply!

To me, it isn't logical at all to say that the word "monogamist" describes one who believes that the practice of non-monogamy is repugnant, less than, unworthy, disgusting, and inferior, and is trying to force monogamy, and their beliefs, on others. I see no logic at all in this idea.

It simply means the practice of having one love relationship at a time! That's all, folks!
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Last edited by nycindie; 06-18-2015 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:55 AM
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I agree with nycindie in this one.
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:46 PM
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I (as a Monogamist) still find the word a bit jarring. Not in a bad way, but more in a "grabs my attention in a distracting way" way.

To me, I think it's because it's a word to define a practice that didn't really have to be defined (socially) before. Monogamy was the norm, thus anything *outside* the norm was what needed a label, or explanation. To have a word for it now implies a shift in norms. While it can strike me a bit odd to be called "a monogamist", it's not really a bad thing, IMO. It seems to be a subtle linguistic way of expressing that shift.

NYC's comment on "nudist" reminded me of a friend who went to look at an apartment being shared/subletted by a "naturist". He thought it meant "person who enjoys nature"... until said person dropped trou during the showing. Whoopsie. (And no, he didn't rent that one)
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:04 PM
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Where did monogamist appear in threads? I haven't noticed it at all.
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:29 PM
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Opal,
It showed up in the "Is Polyamory more evolved?" thread, but I've also heard the term used by Minx in the Poly Weekly podcast. That may be the place I heard it first.
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Hypnotist - someone who practices hypnotism. Does being a hypnotist categorically mean that one feels disgust at being awake? Must a hypnotist consider awake, conscious people to be repugnant in order to practice hypnotism? I don't think so.

Nudist - someone who practices nudism. Does being a nudist automatically mean one is repulsed by being dressed? Must a nudist feel contempt toward clothed people in order to practice nudism? I don't think so.

Idealist - someone who practices idealism. Does being an idealist mean that one hates realism? Must an idealist feel disdain for realists and rationalists in order to be an idealist? I don't think so.

Extremist- someone who practices extremism. Does being an extremist mean that one always and absolutely rejects taking small steps or conservative measures? Must an extremist look down on those who are cautiously acting incrementally in order to be an extremist? I don't think so.

Sensualist - someone who indulges in their senses, and in their appetites for sensuality and sensationalism. Does being an sensualist mean that one eschews intellectualism? Must a sensualist disapprove of all intellectuals and intellectual pursuits in order to be a sensualist? I don't think so.

Canoeist - someone who travels on water in canoes. There is no such word as canoeism, but does every canoeist categorically abhor being on dry land or in another form of boat? Must a canoeist consider other forms of travel to be repugnant in order to be a canoeist? I don't think so.
These are great counter-examples which argue effectively against my examples for the contrary position.

My examples include...
  • sexism
  • racism
  • agism
  • Ableism
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Heterosexism
  • etc.

The fisrt list above, provided by Nycindie, is a list of examples of "-isms" which are NOT also examples of forms of oppression. Nycindie wins the argument if it comes down to (a) the number of examples of each case, and (b) current popular usage as attested to by most dictionaries.

But my argument was never silly or ridiculous. I'll accept that Nycindie is the debate winner. But I still think we need a proper name for folks who seek to oppress those who practice non-monogamy. It's a shame it can't follow the logic of ...
  • sexism
  • racism
  • agism
  • Ableism
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Heterosexism
  • etc.

... but it is quite true that not all "isms" are forms of oppression.

But SOME are!
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:17 PM
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At the risk of being vulgar (oh, who am I kidding?), I think "asshole" does a great job of classifying anyone who pushes oppression, in any direction.



("Jerk" also works in a pinch)
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Monogamism is not a word. If people have coined it as a word, and are using it, they are doing so incorrectly. The correct word is monogamy.
If we judge the accuracy of this statement on the basis of widespread use, as discovered though internet search engines, Nycindie is at least mostly correct. But not entirely, utterly correct. The question does remain open, somewhat. If monogamism is a word, it is an emerging word, a new word.

Quote:
It is used here to explain monogamy's position as the only acceptable form of relationship before highlighting some pockets of resistance to the grip that monogamy has over our romantic-sexual lives. Keywords: hegemony, monogamism, monogamy. Dedication.
Monogamism - Oxford Scholarship
http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/......1-chapter-0008
https://www.google.com/#q=Monogamism

Whether one is using the word "incorrectly" (by merely using it) is not an entirely settled matter. It is true that a canoeist is one who enjoys canoeing and not (necessarily) an oppressor of bicyclists. But it is NOT true that a racist is someone who enjoys their race and is indifferent toward people of other races. Same principle applies to sexism, etc....

Who ultimately wins this portion of the argument will be unknown for up to a decade or two. What appears in future dictionaries -- or does not -- will probably settle the question. Until then, we can only speculate.

I'll add to a list of usages of "monogamism" below as time goes on.

Quote:
Monogamism is commonplace. And it is bigotry. Monogamism is no more justifiable than racism or sexism or homophobia, and one day, it will be as reviled.”
-- https://lucidmystery.wordpress.com/2...ed-monogamism/
Quote:
" ... The cultural forces and ideological mechanisms that deter people from non-monogamy and reward monogamy... Many names in literature: mono-normativity, compulsory monogamy, mono-centrism, monogamism, polyphobia...." - http://www.pepperminty.com/writing/c...y-monogamy.pdf
Quote:
" .... I analyze the results through two complimentary theoretical lenses. I first utilize hegemony theory, calling monogamy’s privileged social position
monogamism. I then show that, as part of the operation of hegemony, a cultural reverence for monogamy prevents critical scrutiny concerning the
costs inherent in monogamy (Drigotas & Barta, 2001). ...." - http://www.academia.edu/2874553/_At_...terosexual_men
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Last edited by River; 06-18-2015 at 03:35 PM.
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