Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kat Cox Says You Can be Poly and Feminist

Kat Cox had a reader who wrote that he considers himself a feminist, but says that he’s romantically an “inveterate cheater” and that he has “been accused on more than one occasion of being a womanizer.” He asks “Can one be both a feminist and a womanizer?”

In her response, Cox brings up polyamory.

People who cheat have their reasons for doing so, but if you’re a long-time cheater, it may just be that you’re actually polyamorous and won’t admit it.

It is important to make this distinction. A cheater is someone breaking an agreement instead of sticking to an agreement or informing the other person or people that he or she is ending the agreement. There are monogamists who are cheaters and polyamorists who are cheaters, and there are people in both categories who maintain fidelity. It is mean-spirited or ignorant to label polyamory as cheating.

Yes, I know, what a dirty word, polyamory. It’s an ugly mix of Greek and Latin roots and it’s got a terrible reputation. It’s hard to be polyamorous, because most people (especially women) in our society think monogamy is the highest standard of sexual relationships, and by saying you’re polyamorous from the get-go, you’re basically saying you’re not interested in pursuing that higher standard, ergo hardly anybody will want to get into a relationship with you.

Part of the problem is the ban on polygamy. It prevents polyamorists from being able to marry everyone they love. Not all of them want to, but the ones who do should be able to.

But if you have absolutely no qualms with sleeping with multiple partners or being in multiple relationships beyond the qualms of a partner who only values monogamy as a relationship status, you are probably polyamorous. And it ends up, being polyamorous can be a very feminist occupation.

Cox goes on to explain. Of course someone can be poly and a feminist, even when that person is one man with multiple female partners. If that is what the females want, if they aren’t being deceived, then it is just as much their choosing as his. And there are women with multiple male partners she has freely chosen. Isn't feminism about empowering women to do what they want to do?
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