Friday, January 13, 2006

Polygamy, Polyandry, Polygyny, Polyamory

This post by Tim at TABaker resurrected an argument that first appeared 'way back during the discussion about same-sex marriage (he's not the only one bringing it up, but I'm picking on him because I read him on a regular basis, and he does good blog).

I have never, ever understood the propensity for otherwise normal, thinking, and feeling human beings to try to micromanage one anothers' lives.

Pierre Trudeau, on perhaps the only issue where I agreed with him, said that the government does not belong in the bedrooms of the nation.

I'm going to go him one further.

Your neighbor does not belong in your bedroom, either!

Unless you and your neighbor are involved in a fully consensual, adult relationship, of course.

Key word here is "consensual."

This is the news item that has been re-sparking this rant-fest. I'd call it a debate, but you don't bring emotional rhetoric into a proper debate, and most people can't seem to keep emotion out of it.

First, let's change the word "polygamy" to "polyamory" and what happens? You change the focus a bit. Polygamy is defined as one man with several wives, and popular myth is that he is the Lord And Master and they are all his Slaves.

Polyamory is the practice or lifestyle of being part of more than one long-term, intimate, and, often, sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.

I did a Google search on polyamory and found a Wiki entry that pretty much has all the information I'd been looking for. This is unusual, because the nature of Wiki is that it can be editted by anyone with a password (I'm an editor in a different arena), and so can be slanted by the individual entering the information. Whover it was that did this entry has all their ducks in a row, and all their emotions tucked safely away from the facts.

Okay? Okay.

Canada does not recognise polygamy or polyandry (one woman with several husbands -- and I have to wonder if she would automatically be seen as a slave to the group, or would you see her as cracking the whip on all of the men?). The terms "wife" and "husband," are legal terms, and are defined in the provincial marriage acts. You may have one or the other. You may not have more than one, and you may not have both.

Why does it feel like asking for a cookie before dinner?

But polyamory is here, and has been here for a long time. People involved in poly relationships (they are NOT "swingers," they'll have you know) tend to keep it to themselves and just go about their lives minding their own business. They keep it quiet because they know that their neighbors just can't wait to start minding their business for them.

I don't like blanket-thought. I don't like the homogenization that happens when something like the controversy at Bountiful pops into the news. For one thing, the community at Bountiful is being seen as a religion-based community. And if it is religion-based, that's fine. But poly relationships are not usually based on religious beliefs.

In this article from a year ago, one wife from Bountiful left the poly community and took her children with her, citing abuse.

I particularly noticed that she left without having to fight her way out, and her children went with her, also without her having to fight for them. This is abuse? Slavery? She got tired of being there and left. Nobody stopped her from leaving. What the hell is the big issue, here?

Her complaints were refuted by other women in the same community: "In October 2004, the women of Bountiful dismissed claims that they had been brainwashed and needed to be rescued from their husbands.

"Their statement came after eight women in British Columbia launched a complaint with the human rights tribunal on behalf of the Bountiful women."

And go to the bottom of this article to get my point: "Linda Price, a Creston resident who has followed events in Bountiful, calls it 'Canada's dirty little secret.'

"'If anybody cares about children, they should be concerned about this,' she told CTV Vancouver.

"While the children protest this assertion, Price isn't buying it. 'They're brainwashed,' she says. 'They're going to tell you they're happy.'"

Linda Price is a perfect example of your neighbor who wants you to live your life according to her wishes. If she were a vegan, and she saw you eating meat, she'd very likely try to bring your children into the equation. And if your children say they, too, like meat, she'd acuse you of brainwashing them. She has no regard for opinions that disagree with her own.

Sadly, she is not alone. She is only one of millions of people who want you to live your life according to their values.

She and those like her are not going to be happy until they've managed to get into your bedroom and dictated how you may live, whom you may love, and how your children are to be raised. Anything that does not comply with their narrow view of the world will be railed against with vitriolic vituperation.

So, for those of you who are not interested in entering into a polyamorous relationship -- good for you. Go ahead and live your lives according to your values. Just please have a little respect for those who have different values.

And for those of you who are in a poly relationship -- good for you. Live long and prosper. And try not to take it too seriously when those of us who disagree with your lifestyle tend to run off at the mouth/keyboard.

14 Comments:

Blogger DazzlinDino said...

Oh man, are you gonna take heat on this one.....lol

Pray Candace doesn't see it.....

Sunday, January 15, 2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Psychols said...

Fascinating post Chimera and one that leaves me a little confused as to my own feeling.

Perhaps the state has little choice but to recognize poly relationships simply because it is up to the state to resolve disputes among the individuals in any type of relationship, poly or otherwise. That said, I must admit to a slight feeling of suspicion about poly relationships that probably stem from reports about certain religious sects such as the FLDS that practice enforced polygamy and the supremacy of a single religious leader.

You’ve given me something to think about. Thanks.

Sunday, January 15, 2006 5:02:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

cycles -- "You’ve given me something to think about. Thanks. "

Oh, thank you! This was my aim -- getting people to think rather than blindly following someone else's dictum.

And whether you end up agreeing with the concept of consensual poly relationships or not, at least you will have exercised your own brain cells on the matter, rather than depending upon someone else's telling you what to think.

I, too, really dislike and distrust forced polyism, especially the kind that claims to have a religious, political, or cultural fiat. When it comes to something that should be a personal choice without coersion, group-think and group-mandate get my blood boiling.

Dazz: 8=D Why shouldn't Candace see this? She's a thinking person who will decide for herself whether or not she could live in a poly relationship (and who would I be to tell her what to think?). The point of it is individual choice, without coersion, and with full knowledge and consent.

And to my e-mailer who wishes to remain anonymous: No, I'm not advocating that naked trios group-grope their way down Yonge Street at high noon in the middle of tourist season. What happens in the bedrooms is none of my business, either. And your children, if you have children, are no more likely to "find out" about their bedroom activities than they are to find out about yours. Less likely, actually, since your children would be living in the same house where your bedroom is...

Monday, January 16, 2006 6:05:00 AM  
Blogger none said...

Its amazing, people talk about not interfering in the bedrooms of Canadians. Fortunately, this isn't a bedroom issue. When homosexuals force their "pride" parades, is that in the bedroom? No. Change the name of marriage, is that left in the bedroom? No. Keep what is in the bedroom in the bedroom. Silly comments like chimera's just don't stand up to the facts and logic.

Anyways, when homosexual marriage was proposed, the proponents all claimed that this won't lead to polygamy which is universally frowned upon. Ooops, looks like they lied again and now its coming to the forefront by the libs. Decent people want our country back and want morality back in our government, first step is to boot the libs out, real hard too.

Monday, January 16, 2006 9:36:00 AM  
Blogger none said...

Um, another thing, husband and wife are being removed from provincial marriage acts.

Monday, January 16, 2006 9:37:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

none, I see you migrated here from WarBicycle's blog. You are welcome to state your opinions here, but...

...choose your words carefully. If you are going to state that something is a lie, be prepared to state why, and back it up, please. And no name-calling. That's just plain rude, and I dislike rudeness. Also, be careful how you denigrate someone else's argument. When you say things like: "Silly comments like chimera's just don't stand up to the facts and logic." you must then provide what you deem to be the facts and logic.

In other words, no hit-and-run comments.

But you are off topic with the same-sex marriage issue. We are not talking about same-sex marriage. We are talking about polyamorous relationships. I take it you are against them.

But how are you going to stop them?

How are you going to legislate what people are allowed to think and feel? And even if you manage to legislate against such a thing, how are you going to enforce it? Who are you going to put in jail? And on what charges?

Remember, this is not about having a government-sanctioned multiple-partner marriage ceremony with seven wives and seven husbands, all neatly accounted for in some government database. This is about leaving people alone to live their lives as they wish, without interference from anyone with a religious or cultural objection to their lifestyle.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 7:12:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Sorry it took me so long to drop by and read your post on this. I have been busy trying to figure out a way to get you to see that it is not this issue that bothers me. It is the one comment I keep refering to that I have trouble with... "In light of the fact that we have a fairly permissive society. Why are we singling out that particular form of behaviour for criminalization?"

Forget about the issue and just look at the statement... and again I will say... why bother singling out any particular behaviour if we are fairly permissive.... we should just let everyone do as they darn well please... a bloody free for all for one and all... where do we as a society draw the line? Should we only criminalize things when someone is hurt physically or when it is monetary? If that is the case then I should never get a speeding ticket unless it results in some kind of injury to someone else. I could give more examples but I hope this one gets my point across.

PS... I completely agree with your points in this post.... when it comes to issues such as polygamy and or the same sex marriage issue.. its none of my business what people choose to do. Its their life and they can lead it any way they choose as long as it does not encroach on my rights... which neither of these do.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 9:01:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Welcome, Tim (been waitin' for ya -- I dusted and vacuumed the place a bit; just ignore the empty pizza boxes stacked in the corner with the blanket thrown over them, okay?).

Oooh! thanks for the example (speeding ticket), Tim! I think I know now what you're getting at: regulatory laws. Laws that govern the speed limit, even if no one gets hurt by your speeding. Laws that govern how much you can drink before you're prohibited from driving, even if you have never hurt anyone by driving when drunk.

Yes, I see your point, in a way. The reason we have these, I think, is because there exists the potential to physically harm others, according to the statistics that have been compiled and studied over the years. These are issues of public safety, as opposed to private lifestyle.

I remember going back and forth over two laws that have come into existence during my tenure as a driving instructor (since 1973): mandatory seat belts, and mandatory helmets for motorcyclists. At first, I was against both, on the basis of personal choice. My car, my choice, right?

But then I took a driving course with the Vancouver Police Department (and if you love to drive, and you really want to learn some neat stuff, see what your local PD has for you in the way of driving courses). I found out that I was in much better control of the car when that belt was holding me in my seat, and I was able to focus all my energy and strength on the manual controls -- I didn't also have to fight centripital and centrifugal forces in order to stay behind the wheel. In a hazardous driving situation, there was a definite advantage to being belted in, and it won me over on the "yes" side for seat belts.

I'm still not completely convinced that mandatory helmets for motorcyclists are necessary; but since I have always worn a helmet when I'm riding, just because I want my head to stay in one piece, if not necessary in one place (if only for the purposes of identification after a crash), I just kinda followed along. I've got no argument against those who want to ride bare-headed. That's one where I would prefer to maintain personal choice. I'm not convinced yet that helmets are a public safety issue. Bit I'm open to arguments from the other side of things...

Did I "get it?"

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 6:11:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

I do believe so... although you have opened up another can of worms with the driving thing.... lol

I was a professional driver for several years... class one ... all over North America... Rules and regulations changing on a daily basis in every state, province, county ect... is what "drove" me out of the occupation... I still do a lot of driving in my current job but nowhere near what I use to do. I have taken many different driving coarses over the years and learned something new from almost everyone of them. I am a firm believer in seat belts! I had an unfortunate incident with a tornado back in 1987... the tractor trailer unit I was driving did 3 complete 360's in the middle of the hiway and then rolled twice. I had never worn a seat belt before that day.. don't ask me why but something told me to put that thing on that day... and is probably the only reason I am here today... both the truck and trailer were complete right offs... I walked away without a scratch.... As far as helmets go... I'm not sure there is much of an argument regarding that they will save your melon and possibly the healthcare system a ton of money... which are two good enough reasons for me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 9:28:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Crap... I totally forgot about this part.. damn driving rants get me soooooo upset....lol

I was listening to Adler on the radio today and to my surprize he had some lady that just wrote an article in the globe reguarding this same topic... she also used the Polyamory angle... I could not help but wonder if she had visited your blog.... I have not found the article online yet but if I find it I will send you the link to it...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 9:34:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Yes, please, Tim. It doesn't surprise me that others are writing about polyamory. I have found a few other blogs, most of them not linked to mine in any way, that are also discussing it. This is one I linked to a couple days after I had posted this piece:

http://www.safiyyah.ca/wordpress/?p=217

On driving: I have always seen the big rigs as the wardens of the freeways. In the early seventies, just five months after I got my driver's license, and about a year before I started teaching, I was driving solo across the country to Vancouver, and outside Lloydminster, just after midnight, I ran into a torrential rainstorm. Almost zero visibility. A couple of truckers tucked me safely between them, and using our lights for communication, they got me safely into the city so I could sleep safely in a motel rather than a hospital. They wouldn't even let me buy them a cup of coffee by way of thanks!

And what were you thinking, getting cozy with a tornado *grin*! I'm glad you decided to listen to the voice that told you to wear your belt that day.

Ach! Durn o/t! How does this happen? Ah, well -- you and I could probably spend a few hours swapping driving anecdotes and horror stories, huh?

Thursday, January 19, 2006 5:55:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

I have deffinately seen my share of horror stories on the hiways... I can also give you many examples just like the one that happened to you... however I honestly believe that todays profesional drivers are a far different breed and not as willing to offer that helping hand. Hell most wont even pull over on the shoulder to allow people to pass never mind anything else......

Thursday, January 19, 2006 9:59:00 PM  
Blogger none said...

Chimera, I quote this from your blog entry, Canada does not recognise polygamy or polyandry (one woman with several husbands -- and I have to wonder if she would automatically be seen as a slave to the group, or would you see her as cracking the whip on all of the men?). The terms "wife" and "husband," are legal terms, and are defined in the provincial marriage acts. You may have one or the other. You may not have more than one, and you may not have both

Now, I quote you, ...choose your words carefully. If you are going to state that something is a lie, be prepared to state why, and back it up, please. And no name-calling. That's just plain rude, and I dislike rudeness. Also, be careful how you denigrate someone else's argument. When you say things like: "Silly comments like chimera's just don't stand up to the facts and logic." you must then provide what you deem to be the facts and logic.

In other words, no hit-and-run comments.

But you are off topic with the same-sex marriage issue. We are not talking about same-sex marriage. We are talking about polyamorous relationships. I take it you are against them.


This was not a hit and run, this is fact, and it was attributed to part of the post in this thread, again, if I am off topic, maybe you shouldn't have put that in the thread???? If I am lying as you seem to be suggesting here, as well I do not stoop to insults/name calling. My first post does question your comments by posing questions that dispute your opinions. If you want my comments to stay on topic, I will then have to refuse to answer your last paragraph.

Monday, January 23, 2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger none said...

Shoot, blew my last paragraph. I mmeant to say, If I am lying as you seem to be suggesting here, why is it that the province of Ontario has removed any reference to husband and wife which is in direct opposition to what your thread has stated?

Monday, January 23, 2006 11:01:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home