Saturday, March 8, 2014

Response to Polyweekly's: Everyone is Doing it Wrong


Just listened to Polyamory Weekly's Episode 385: Everyone is Doing it Wrong. Minx does a great show and everyone should be listening to and supporting her contributions to the Kink and Polyamorous community.

I agree with @cunningminx that we're all one big diverse community; I agree that diversity in thoughts and opinion should be respected; I agree that it's indecent and harmful to use pejorative, hyperbolic language when disagreeing with somebody; I agree that we, as individuals, have the right to define for ourselves what marriage and commitment means ...

Where I disagree, however, is when somebody vehemently defends their membership in a community even though their practices and behaviors defy the tenets of that community.

Examples:

1. I could call myself Jewish and yet do very non-Jewish things. Those who are Jewish would look at me and insist that I'm not Jewish, and I really don't have a right to call myself Jewish. Are the observations of the Jewish community nullified for the sake of my insistence that I'm Jewish? [2014.03.09: Jewish - both a culture and an ethnicity - okay, maybe not a great example.]

2. I could call myself a practicing Dommy Kinkster and chronically violate the consent of my play partners. Those within the Kink community would likely ostracize me for not practicing ethical, safe, respecting, and sex-positive practices. Should the Kink community bend to my insistence that I'm in any way associated with them?

3. I could call myself Polyamorous but engage in cheating on my committed partner who has no knowledge of my other affairs; or I'm a religious Polygamist preying on 12-year old girls and I declare I'm Poly. Should any Polyamorous person tolerate the use of the label 'Polyamory' to be assigned to unethical and harmful behavior?

I think your conversation has to make room for standards, Minx. There are community standards for Jews, for Kink, for Polyamory, that a majority of these participants agree are core values and tenets of their practice. If anyone can walk in and violate those tenets - and then make use of our community to justify their actions - then I feel that's heavily disruptive to the brand (or idea) of Polyamory ... or Kink, or being Jewish, etc.

I like the messages of inclusiveness, tolerance, and acceptance, but I truly believe that we've the right and expectation to declare vehemently "You're doing it wrong" when their practices violate our community's standards.

R

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