Polyamory solves more problems than it causes. And all the problems it causes aren’t really unique to poly.
All the reasons people might think monogamy is better (and not just for them, but for everyone), turn out not to be true, or lack evidence. And like Christian apologetics, monogamy apologetics will leave out data regarding the benefits of alternatives, in order to oversell the benefit of compliance with antiquated norms. Monogamy, after all, was invented for men to control women as property, and like a kluge, it has since been clunkily tinkered with to align more with our modern egalitarian values. But the two don’t really fit. You can’t value freedom, consent, diversity, equality, and autonomy, and insist monogamy remain the norm. Monogamy is an option. And for many, not the best.
Even when people are not specifically trying to defend monogamy as “better,” monogamy assumptions blind even well-meaning intersectional feminist efforts to make the world better. As in one example in particular: a recent debate over whether poor women need to “get married” for their own good. Which even some secular (?) feminists have argued. For good but still flawed reasons. Good, because they are calling attention to the class privilege of feminists who advocate for women’s liberation from the necessity of marriage. But flawed, because they assume selling sex for childcare resources (aka “getting married for the good of the children”) is the only option poor women have. And in this case, polyamory isn’t even the only other option being overlooked. But it, too, is being overlooked.
Today I’m going to talk about all of that. [Read more…]