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September 15th, 2008


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05:15 pm - Thing of the day I hate
The assertion that polygamous relationships are "better" than monogamous ones with the implications that monogamous relationships involve one or more of the incomplete following set: ownership of someone, sexism, a high rate of failure.

It's extremely difficult to calculate any sort of expected value. It is also difficult to speculate effectively on the outcome if a different factor had been present. Statistics are fraught with difficulties, up to and including the incomplete following set: cultural differences (secular and clerical), incomplete studies, incompatible definitions, ineffective reporting.

I *hate* elitist poly folk.

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:lishd
Date:September 16th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
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i hate when the polygamist in question is poly because s/he hasn't met the right person. the idea of "if i can't find someone who suits me, i'll just date 347892 people who each suit a small piece of me." it's like an excuse to stay in a relationship with a bad match you don't love.

i also hate when it's seen as a socially-"acceptable" way to fuck anything that moves. "well i'm poly, so it's natural for me to be a giant whore."

i think it's sad.
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From:anarchodandyist
Date:September 16th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
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Wholly agreed.
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From:beethatbumbles
Date:September 16th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
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Well said. I agree.
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From:philled2thebrim
Date:September 16th, 2008 07:58 am (UTC)

i also agree

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oh, p. you had me at "I *hate* elitist".
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From:level_head
Date:September 16th, 2008 09:25 am (UTC)
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Hmm.

Elitist folk are tedious to be around, as a general thing, quite independent of the topic.

The notion of polygamous relationships is interesting to me; it is a feature, as you know, of a number of science fiction stories such as those by Robert Heinlein. Those in particular are polygamous/polyandrous committed relationships -- typically called "group marriages" or "line marriages" -- and as families providing continuous care and economic support for children (and the family itself) they would be very good.

Good examples are "Time Enough for Love" and "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" -- both of which I think you've read.

My perception is that these arrangements would be difficult for most people to put into practice, though, humans wired they way we are. Perhaps in this manner, too, culture will overcome instinct eventually.

I know that some people now can handle such a situation in a mature and positive fashion -- and many others can't even seem to hack a comparatively mundane marriage.

The metrics that would make it work are ... as you said, not easy to quantify.

===|==============/ Level Head
From:fusilliban
Date:September 17th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
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The Heinlein examples are mostly semi-closed sets, which is different from how most people I know practice polyamory.
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From:level_head
Date:September 17th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
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Agreed -- they're generally described as marriages.

Still, there are early glimpses of other arrangements, such as the very open marriage practiced by Lazarus's parents. That becomes the focus of later works such as "The Cat Who Walked Through Walls".

===|==============/ Level Head
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From:ebugle
Date:September 16th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
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I've never met an elitist poly person!

...Well, I have, but they weren't elitist because they were poly, and never elitist about being Poly.

But anyway, while there are advantages to both (and non-ogamy \o/!), I'd never consider one to be better all arround. Sure, one may be better for a certain individual, but that's hardly a basis for claiming it's better all around.

ANd yes, Statistics are tricky. They are, after all, the third type of lie..
From:fusilliban
Date:September 17th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
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This pisses me off too, but... eh, I'm elitist at them in a mirror-image sort of way, so I can't clearly claim the high ground.
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From:chibalerasui
Date:September 18th, 2008 09:42 am (UTC)
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Ugh. Being poly, I hate people who insist that poly is 'better' than monogamy. One works for you, the other doesn't, that doesn't make it -wrong-, or -unfair-. Being in a monogamous relationship doesn't mean either of you -owns- the other, or any other such nonsense. And it's certainly got nothing to do with sexism! If there's sexism -in- the relationship, that's not the fault of it being monogamous, but of those involved. IT's also rather hard to tell if there really is sexism involved. I mean, if it's one of those 'the woman stays home and cooks while the man works' types of relationships, what if that's how they -want- it to be? What if they're -happy- that way? Then it's not sexist at all, it's what they want.

And poly relationships don't exactly have a small rate of failure, either. I dislike people who argue that one or the other is obviously better because if fails less. Because that's stupid. Relationships fail, they all do, no matter what type of relationship they are, for various reasons. Some last longer than others, sure... several years in a happy poly or monogamous relationship doesn't mean your relationship is never going to end and, therefore, better than the other. There are very few relationships anymore that last 'until death do us part', and the types of them are probably very mixed, including even abusive relationships. And that sure as hell doesn't make -them- any better.

As for expected value... that's entirely up to the individuals in question. And a lot of the reasons relationships of any type fail is because someone in the relationship was expecting something entirely different than what they found, and decided to move on and try to find that elsewhere, rather than accept what they have and be happy with it. Now, I'm not saying that's wrong, really. If a person can't accept what's given and be happy, then they should move on. But a lot of people in any relationship expect so many things that it's very difficult to ever find the relationship they -truly- want. And that has nothing to do with being poly OR monogamous.

They're simply two different styles of relationship that work for seperate individuals for whatever reason. If that reason is to be able to fuck whoever they want... and their partner is OK with that... what the hell, who cares? They can cope with it, so why should it matter to anyone else? Personally, I'd call that more of an 'open relationship', where your partner is your partner and anyone else is just a friend with benefits, where 'true poly', to me, would be putting actual effort into more than one (and you can't really manage that many!) specific relationship.

People think monogamy is more difficult, others think poly is more difficult. It really depends on the persons involved, though, and on how they work, emotionally and mentally. And uh, I think I'm done half-awake rambling now. :P
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From:testing4l
Date:September 18th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
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And uh, I think I'm done half-awake rambling now. :P

It's rare that I incite a comment longer than my entry. It's sort of a compliment, really.
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From:childlike_fancy
Date:September 23rd, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)
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I also *hate* elitist poly people, and can agree with most of the opinions that followed your post, without further cluttering this thread with my own.

-Alaina
[User Picture]
From:testing4l
Date:September 25th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
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Hush -- your thoughts are never clutter in any space of mine, dear.

I need to go to Seattle for a longer period of time to see all the keen people I know up there. You're definitely near the top of that list. 8)
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From:babe_of_beyazit
Date:September 29th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)
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I find it strange that poly people would try to argue that monogamy involves ownership of someone or sexism, but polygamy doesn't. I mean, the human species is classified as a predominantly polygynous species by primatologists, meaning the so-called traditional relationship is actually fairly uncommon historically, and as I think we are all aware, most polygynous societies past and present are not shining examples of equality. In fact, they usually are characterized by ownership of people in what might be classified as slavery, and rather extreme sexism. I doubt that most poly people you're meeting practice *that* kind of polygamy, but I just thought I would point out the obvious...

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