Sunday, June 17, 2007

Reactions to Salon.com polyamory article

As follow-up to my most recent post about "Whole Lotta Love", this week's article on Salon.com on polyamory, a subscriber issued the following challenge:

"Answer the question please. Come on just answer the question.

Couple A's 55-year old husband lusts after Couble (sic) B's nubile 20-year old daughter.

Is that OK within this whole polygamy? Come on you can't tell me it hasn't happened. What about the children rolling in the hay with the other kids? Or mixing it up some more with the parents and kids? Should be OK right?

Come on answer the question(s)."

I responded that I am not aware of the first scenario happening, and I know the polyamory community very well. It's possible but improbable. As one respondent said,

".... probably not, in my experience, because it would almost certainly make B uncomfortable and likely C as well. But the definite answer will depend on the specific people involved. And if A persists when B does not like it, B can always tell A to walk west until their hair floats."

Also, in reality, a 20 year old is well past the age of consent in any state you can name - that makes it no one else's business but that of the consenting adults involved.

As for the children rolling around in the hay with other kids, this presumes that polyfolk do or speak about things sexual in front of kids that are not age appropriate, that they give permission and encourage sexual activity amongst children, or at the very least, that they are negligent in their parenting by failing to discourage sex at too early an age. Pure hogwash. Poly people are just as responsible as parents as any other parents. There have been no studies that come anywhere close to the conclusion being made here.

Mixing it up sexually between parents and kids? Insulting, quite frankly. There is no evidence whatsoever to support the suspicion or conclusion that polyamorists are more likely to sexually abuse children. If you look at the deplorable statistics on child sex abuse in our society, it is clear that so-called traditional families have no claim to being a safer environment in which to raise children.

Polyamorists on the whole tend to be highly ethical people who only engage in relationships that are egalitarian in nature, where all involved have equal power to set their own boundaries on what is and is not OK in their relationships. Children can't give consent to sex with adults by law.

You really have to wonder what motivates people who go to such extraordinary lengths to sensationalize someone else's private life. It's obvious that sex makes some people uncomfortable, and these people should deal with their own issues instead of casting spurious allegations on people who are doing nothing wrong.

2 comments:

Marc Garvey said...

Thank you for this response and for this blog. Have taken a look around and bookmarked it. Good work, here.

I think you are hitting on a point of substance when you mention and question the need for others to sensationalize private life. Sex does make most people in the US uncomfortable on some level. We have been bred to be a highly religious culture which here translates into a highly anti-sex culture.

That seems to be at the root of the resistance and condemnation of the polyamorous lifestyle.

Sree said...

I am not comfortable with monogamy. I have a thousand reasons for it. It makes me lonely and constrained and burdened to live committed to another single individual and kids depriving myself many things that i really wanted.
I agree with the statement that children of monogamous marriage is not safer than that of polygamous marriage. In our state in India there are a number of family suicides (meaning father or mother or both decide to call it a day and kids are killed) and the society tries to play it down because it is blasphemous to criticise monogamy.
I am trying to put down my thoughts in my blogsite (along with other thoughts)
http://joyfulworld.wordpress.com/
Sreekumar