The new millennium: what a time to be alive. Memes are everywhere we look, Netflix makes obtaining a movie to watch for the evening as simple as a few presses of a button, and coffee machines dispense single cups of coffee with ease, all the while, people are as confused as ever about their relationships, and non-monogamy is gaining a foothold, albeit slowly, increasing in popularity from the years and decades prior. What a time to be alive, indeed.
And, with change comes changing social attitudes, as well as new frontiers in the way of moral and ethical questions we must, both individually and as a collective society, ask ourselves, so that we may figure out the best way to approach certain situations — and, non-monogamy is no exception.
The Family Research Council, an American fundamentalist non-profit organization, is demonstrating just how reactionary people can be when discussing, well, the possible prejudices that people who practice ethical non-monogamy might face. It seems, with a rather astonishing quickness, that ethical non-monogamy is quickly rising to become the new face of marginalized class, or so says the American Psychological Association. The APA has decided that they would create a task force for investigating the notion that practitioners of ethical non-monogamy might be subjected to social discrimination at the hands of some monogamists, stating:
Finding love and/or sexual intimacy is a central part of most people’s life experience. However, the ability to engage in desired intimacy without social and medical stigmatization is not a liberty for all. This task force seeks to address the needs of people who practice consensual non-monogamy, including their intersecting marginalized identities.
The goal of the task force will be to conduct research, to raise public awareness of ethical non-monogamy, a group of people which makes up more than the entire LGBTQ population in its entirety. The goal is to try to open minds a bit to the possibility that non-monogamy might be a good way for people to achieve intimacy, which could hardly be described as a bad goal. Yet, people are angry with this goal…and I tend to agree with its aims, having experienced quite a bit of hostility for my own practicing of non-monogamy.
This task force might sound a little extreme at first, admittedly, until we observe the responses already coming from the religious right and conservative-leaning groups, like Family Research Council, who seem to have a knack for oppressing people who don’t jive with their worldview, in order that they may attempt to keep the fantasy they live in as pure as possible. The Council replied:
Just as it’s tried to tear down the social norms for transgenderism and other sexual proclivities, it’ll start in the usual place — soft targets, like children.
They refer to The American Psychological Association as “supposed ‘mental health experts,’” yes, even putting the last three words in quotes to sarcastically jab at people significantly more credentialed than a church organization. We non-monogamists have obviously touched a nerve, here, simply by existing.
To them, this is quite clearly a war, and how polyamorous and other non-monogamists practice their forms of love in the privacy of their own home, is apparently deemed some magical infringement upon the rights of the religious right — which is really just code for the desire to oppress people and tell them what to do…and here I thought we lived in a ‘free’ country?
The battle lines have been drawn and the stage is set. Now that transgenderism is gaining a much more widespread acceptance (though there’s still a way to go and much to be discussed), the non-monogamists are next, but unlike the other groups, non-monogamy, while it comprises of the largest of the marginalized classes based on sexual orientation, actually does get the most flak of all.
They mention a Gallup survey where polygamy only enjoys only an 18% of moral approval from those surveyed, and then express disbelief at the idea that they, “can’t believe the organization is fighting to give swingers “protected legal status.” And they’re supposed to be the psychologically healthy ones.” The dehumanization is striking. What seems to be the most bothersome for those who want to assault ethical non-monogamy is the idea of non-monogamists becoming a protected class, meanwhile, their knee-jerk reaction to the idea only serves to evidence that there actually might be a need for such legal protections.
So typical and cliche of American oppression, when people love and enjoy themselves in ways that you don’t approve of, ways which harm you or anyone else in no way whatsoever, you’re somehow the victim. This is the same play that’s been run many, many times by the same groups of people.
One thing can be for certain, that there is a certain group of people, namely American conservatives, who will gladly try to tell everyone else what to do who doesn’t fit their little mold of what they consider perfect, and when they fail (as they inevitably do) at forcing one group into submission, they’ll simply find another. I say it’s time we laugh the oppressive among us out of existence. Like other forms of sexuality, I fear for them, polyamory and other forms of non-monogamy are likely here to stay.
Whether you’re religious or a conservative or not, if you feel there is something wrong with non-monogamy, feel free not to practice it, and in the meantime, keep your nose out of our business; other people’s bedrooms that you haven’t been invited into aren’t your place to comment on or pass judgment, we shouldn’t need a task force to tell us that, but thanks to the judgmental people out there, I fear that we do.
© 2019; Joe Duncan. All Rights Reserved