Thursday, June 4, 2009

On Monogamy

This post has been percolating in my head for a while. I've been having a hard time properly wording exactly what it is that I'm trying to express. I fully anticipate not doing so especially well, and offending/angering people, and for that I apologize in advance. (not that I have much of a readership to offend.)
Let me first say that I have the utmost respect for polyamory, and polyamorous people and relationships. I think that its really, really, great that there is an increasing amount of space for, and understanding of, all kinds of ways of having and engaging in relationships in our society. I am completely and totally in support, of healthy, informed, consensual (and ideally, happy) relationships of all kinds.

I'm am familiar with the sociological and psychological arguments for, and reasoning behind non-monogamy. I'm also aware of the evolutionary anthropological evidence that monogamy in human romantic relationships are a relatively recent phenomenon and strictly speaking, not entirely 'natural.'*

What I do not understand is this: the fact that I get the distinct impression that in a lot of communities to which I think I belong, monogamy is NOT ALRIGHT. Non-monogamy is the norm. Being a norm isn't an issue as far as I'm concerned, what is an issue is the treatment of what falls outside the norm, being monogamous relationships. Being in the minority is fine by me. What is not fine is being treated as though I am some kind of behind-the-times, prudish, uptight, un-liberated, freak for having a monogamous relationship. It's like Mon Amore and I are dinosaurs, or the last unicorns or something.

We have discussed it. We considered making our relationship work in that way. M.A. and I came to the conclusion that that is not who we are, how we work, or the way that we want to have our relationship. It's not for us, as individuals, or as a couple.

So why is that not alright!? People inquiring do not ask 'Are you two monogamous,' or 'Are you in an open relationship?,' but rather they say, 'You guys are open, right?' or, 'So you're poly.' They also seem genuinely shocked and disgusted that no, actually, we're not.


Honestly. Creating a new dominant paradigm and marginalizing/persecuting people outside of it is not at all better or more alright than the old paradigm and systems of oppression against which you are fighting. The oppressed becoming the oppressors. The subject has been deeply explored over the past couple of centuries, in regards to things like revolutions: a minority gains power over the majority population that was oppressing them, or a less privileged socio-economic class overthrows an upper-class minority that has been keeping them down, and then proceeds in no time at all to engage in all the same kinds of discriminatory, keeping-people-down, FUCKED UP activities as the people that they overthrew did against them.

Alright, I'm done now.

*I might point out that a heck of a lot of the things we do nowadays bare no resemblance to anything natural whatsoever, but I digress.