Sunday, October 26, 2008

Poly Values and Poly Bashing in the Illinois Review

The Illinois Review is a blog that describes itself as "the crossroads of the conservative community." Laurie Higgins, Director, Division of School Advocacy, Illinois Family Institute, posted a handwringing oppositional blog post regarding Chicago's proposed LGBT high school.

Note: The Illinois Family Institute is closely affiliated with Concerned Women for America and other religious extremist group with a long history of directly interfering with the rights of sexual minority groups. Most notably they threatened to prompt their religious conservative followers to boycott Chicago area hotels as a way of pressuring hotel owners to cancel legal contracts with organizers of conventions that serve sexual minorities.

In her post, where Higgins attempts to demonstrate that establishing an LGBT high school is a bad idea, she draws a hypothetical comparison to a high school for polyamorous students, and she writes...

" least for now, society largely holds the moral conviction that polyamory is immoral ..."

Of course, I couldn't let this stand without comment. I began by referencing remarks made by polyamory author Tristan Taormino on October 4, 2008 at polyamory pride rally in NYC's Central Park:

"....what is scariest of all to our enemies: we practice what they preach. We have values. We have many of the exact same values that they claim over and over we don’t. Values is such a loaded term, it has become laced with religion and morality and the conservative right wing has tried to equate values, like family values, with a heterosexual, 2-parent, married, nuclear family. We need to reclaim the word values. We need to rip it out of the hands of pundits and bigots and stand up to defend OUR polyamorous values."

As the number of polyamorists continues to increase and greater awareness of what polyamory is and is not is achieved, that goal will be accomplished.

Polyamorists love their partners, their children, and value their intentional families just as much as monogamists value theirs. In our sex-sick culture, where sex is openly feared and denigrated while billions are spent behind closed doors on viewing pornography, it is not a surprise that it is the sexual aspect of polyamorous relationships on which sex-obsessed opponents choose to fixate. Polyamorists value healthy adult sexuality in a much more positive way than much of the rest of society, but we are no more sex-focused than monogamists.

It is downright bizarre to see how in other instances our opponents sensationalize our sex lives when in reality we are regular people who focus on sex no more, and possibly even less, than our opponents. Contrary to what some gutter-minded opponents say about us, we are no more likely to sexually abuse our children or expose them to inappropriate sexual activities than anyone else - keep in mind also that this happens at an alarming rate in so-called traditional families. Yet we are frequently referred to by our opponents in the same breath with pedophilia and bestiality. No one segment of society singles out monogamous sex lives for degradation. Multiple partners notwithstanding, polyamorists' sex lives are just as normal, and focusing on them is just as unwelcome, intrusive, and inappropriate.

Polyamorous values include openness and honesty with one's partners and reject outright as unethical and immoral the societal status quo of sneaking around and having secret affairs. Check the statistics on cheating in mainstream society - it is rampant.

The claim that society largely holds the conviction that polyamory is immoral is true only to the extent that it is blind to its own hypocricy. With that in mind, can anyone say with a straight face that the status quo of traditional marriage is more moral than polyamorous relationships? Clearly not.


PolyCheckUp said...

Very often whenpeople talk about Polyamory, they sound like they are talking about Polygamy. Do you think they might be confused? Because you don't see them criticizing unmarried folk dating around and sleeping around. "Single" people are expected to date a lot and are free to have sex with whichever consenting adults they choose; yet they are not criminalized. What do you think?

Anita Wagner said...

They aren't focusing on single people because their sights are on protecting marriage. If you were to ask them what they think of single people and extramarital sex, i.e. sex outside of marriage, believe me, they'd condemn that just as quickly. Regligious extremists believe that sex can happen only inside a marriage between ONE man and ONE woman.

Thanks for commenting!