Monday, October 22, 2012

Still Much Ignorance of Polyamory

Carter West writes at, which is "University of Toronto's Student Newspaper Since 1880" that "Schools shouldn't be promoting polyamory."

Just responding to that title, I want to know what is meant by "promoting?" In so far as relationships and family are discussed at school, it would be negligent of academia to deny that polyamory exists, and that some people find polyamorous relationships to be the ones in which they function best. It is destructive for schools to ignore polyamory or any other consensual adult relationships. Some students are polyamorous, even if they aren't in any relationship at all.

But it turns out that the piece is referencing the poster I blogged about that was actually attempting to depict bisexuality...

Last month, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) began hanging posters for their “safe and positive spaces” campaign. The content of these advertisements for equity were washroom stick figures in love. Entitled “Love has no gender,” the poster sports the rainbow of possible couplings: male stick figures with female stick figures, male sticks with male sticks, female sticks with female sticks. Two couplings are triplets of bathroom signifiers: one female figure with two male figures and two male figures with one female.
At least Carter West caught that. West then goes into an explanation of GRINDR. Then, with a sad lack of solidarity, West writes...
The purpose of this diversion into GRINDR is to illustrate a development that appropriately reflects the truths of polyamory. It is a sex-based practice that fulfills the libido and satisfies the heart about as much as a mirage. I make no exceptions to this claim. If the polyamrous can demonstrate that they can stay with their people, raise many children, and show that this arrangement is capable of making useful contributions to society as a long-term effort, then showing the next generation TDSB’s “love has no gender” poster will be perfectly appropriate. Until then it is irresponsible for the School Board to promote a lifestyle that has its advocates in the classroom but none as living examples of the success of multi-party stable relationships.
They should give love with the heart the value of two and stay well out of the bedroom guest list.
What tripe. It is bad enough West dismisses the fact that the poster was trying to depict bisexuality, but to make such an ignorant statement about polyamory and polyamorists when there have never been more positive examples, is extremely disappointing.

West is now in the process of being informed that polyamorists are diverse and are everywhere, and many polyamorists have lasting, happy relationships that are about much more than sex. Here are some of the comments left on the website when I checked...

Wow… You clearly haven’t done much research on polyamory, as there are many people in polyamorous relationships that are not just about sex, long term, and raise healthy children.
Connor Alexander...
By your standards monogamy shouldn’t be on the poster either. It certainly hasn’t met your criteria for ‘successful’ relationships. My advice would be to do a little more research on polyamory. From what I’ve read here, you have a very poor grasp on it.
You do realize, of course, that as long as the public discussion about polyamory looks like this — strongly stated but uninformed opinions that it can’t work and is inappropriate to even mention in front of children — it will be very hard for those who successfully live with multiple loving relationships to be comfortably out, proving they exist and aren’t a threat to the greater culture of monogamy. The “polyamorist agenda” is not coming to get your children or your partner. But don’t expect to see successful polyamorous folks begging to be scrutinized under your moral microscope. Force them to remain at the margins, and you get to claim they are a fringe subculture that threatens the core values that define society. Neat.
Alan M...
Criminy, your lack of the *slightest* research about polyamory before pompously saying you know it all is embarrassingly pathetic. You come off sounding like a privileged 12-year-old who’s never seen a library or the internet.
J. Doe...
The Varsity published this crap? Seriously, come on. Some freshman thinks hooking up with guys on Grindr = polyamory? Jeez.
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