Greetings, fellow comrades! In light of Pride month I thought I would write a little something about a marginalized style of love relation. Aside from surface structural critiques of the actual term, polyamory (along with other non-monogamous forms of love relations) has often been shamed for a variety of reasons stemming from religion, to conservatism, to general ignorance/lack of understanding, and such the like; all of which can be directly linked to social conditioning (implicit or otherwise). From birth, most of us have been raised to want to find the one for us, to find our soul mate, or our one and only. Serial monogamy seems by far more commonly accepted than a polyamorous love styles.
Let’s Think on This:
Trigger Warning: The next thing I’m going to say might be dangerous. Know that this is coming from a loving place. Polyamorous relationship styles have often been relegated to the salacious zone, where sexual deviants and nymphs all go to do their shady creeping, and spread corruption to future generations. I have to say, anyone aligning in the least with the previous statement has been greatly misinformed. Polyamorous relations are those that include completely open communication, trust, love, friendship, and attraction on many different levels. Sure, people engaging in polyamorous relationships have to navigate issues of trust, fidelity, and jealousy like anyone involved in a normative, monogamous, loving relationship. What’s the difference? The ability to want to love and be loved by multiple people.
Although polyamory has been around for much longer than the term we created for it, there has also been an increased visibility of polyamorous love styles recently, most of which have been sensational and generalizing to say in the least. With reality shows seemingly exploiting polyamorous love in voyeuristic and generalizing ways (what really hasn’t been exploited by now though?), It’s hard NOT to become biased and uncomfortable with something you haven’t come to understand the lot of. This is in NO WAY excusing bigoted and ignorant marginalization, however, this is to emphasize the adage I tend to advocate, Visibility is a trap. Once something marginal begins to gain visibility from normative culture, there must be a moment of critical hesitance. What is the benefit of this visibility to those marginalized? To normative/hegemonic culture? Be wary of the hegemonic beast.
There has also been discussion raised on the question of whether polyamory is the next sexual revolution, as well as whether or not being polyamorous is an identity or sexual orientation to claim and advocate such as being straight, bi, lesbian, gay, pansexual, asexual, and the like. In regard to these issues, I would just suggest another moment of critical hesitance as to why it is important to assess these things. What is the benefit of this to those marginalized? To normative/hegemonic culture?
So, What’s Next?
Critical thought, open minds and hearts. Don’t be so quick to relegate something not fully understood (which has also been commodified). I’m not advocating that poly-minded people stop seeking visibility, respect, or camaraderie. I am simply trying to scrape the surface here, to ignite critical thought on the depth of non-monogamous relationships as something to be more than simply exploited and considered. I’m also not here to privilege non-monogamous relations over monogamous ones, or vice versa. I am compelled to point out the major hegemonic privileging of monogamy over non-monogamy in our culture. LGBTQ Pride seems prominently visible now, and in that vein I think we should use our queerness in solidarity with those who otherwise remain silenced, relegated, and discriminated against, which was the opus of this post. Whatever your love formation, remember what is at the center of it all! LOVE.
For more information on polyamory, here is a link to a good place to start. Happy Pride Month!
Until Next Time, Comrades,