Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Update on Newsweek Polyamory Article

It seems that Newsweek caught so much heat from the leaders of the (Save Traditional) Marriage Movement as a result of last week's indepth article on polyamory that the subtitle "America's Next Romantic Revolution" has been removed from the article and is replaced with the words "Polyamory—relationships with multiple, mutually consenting partners—has a coming-out party."

Clearly the article has struck a nerve. With all the debate it has fostered and counter-articles it has inspired, polyamory, until now something the conservatives kept an eye on but did not take as a serious threat, has been catapulted into dead center of the culture war as it relates to the desperate attempts being made to shore up societal value for traditional marriage.

This is not to say that I see no value in monogamy and traditional marriage. For those who want it and feel it works for them, then by all means have at it. It's a fine choice for many people. I just want people to know they have a legitimate alternative that works better for some.

It will be interesting to see if the article makes it into the print magazine. We were told last week when the article was published to the website that chances were fairly good for that happening in a few weeks. I hope Newsweek sticks to it's guns and doesn't yield any further to pressure.


Bitsy said...

So, we should write letter supporting the article, and the publication of it?

Anita Wagner said...

Bitsy, absolutely. Jessica Bennett did a great job. I have only one nit to pick, and that's what appears to be her erroneous assumption that Terisa Greenan is someone who needs a lot of attention. The rest of the article is unbiased, and that's all we can ask for.

If you look at comments, of which there are over 700, you'll see many, many hostile ones, plus some good ones from poly people refuting the assumptions and aspersions be cast by other commenters. There are also a fair number that say it's not for me, but live and let live, etc. The more positive comments the better.

Anonymous said...

i don't understand how it is that the conservative movement hasn't yet figured out that its efforts to stop time are futile. humanity keeps progressing despite them...just more slowly than it otherwise would.

maybe that's their value: to keep those of us who *aren't* afraid of living life from progressing so fast that we inadvertently create chaos or something.

Anita Wagner said...

Tiger, it is definitely about control more than anything else. Controlling others' behavior to conform to someone else's notion of what is right, proper, valuable, etc. It is the direct enemy of personal freedom, upon which polyamory is based.

Anonymous said...

right, Anita...i'm just wondering if there's some reason for me to be glad conservatism is there as a mitigating factor. i get so tired of resenting it.

regarding the nit you have to pick about the Newsweek article, do you know the author's reference to Terisa's "powerful need for attention" to be an erroneous assumption? that might be something Terisa told the author herself, or something the author observed (one can often very quickly and accurately identify a person with such a need just by their behavior in a group of people). while such journalistic liberties are not unheard of, i doubt the author would put that statement in there with such emphasis if she had no grounds for it whatever.

Anita Wagner said...

Tiger, I can see why you might think that, and it's possible, I suppose, but I doubt it. I know Terisa, have a good sense of who she is, and she's so *not* emotionally needy. To the contrary, she is a poly role model who created the "Family" webseries and via that creation she demonstrates very well via how polyamory works. Also, this wouldn't be the first journalist who made assumptions about the motives of poly people they encounter and expressed them in their article. It doesn't happen as often as it used to, but everyone has biases, and that includes journalists. Their ethics say they shouldn't let them interfere with their work, but it happens.