Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Is Jenny Erikson Stir Crazy?

Jenny Erikson decided to spew confusion and ignorance at in a piece titled "Forget Gay Marriage & Polygamy -- It's Open Marriages That Destroy Families"...

You know the story: Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy invites another girl into their bed, and girl is strangely ok with it, because she has her own lesbian lover on the side anyway.

Wait, what?

Welcome to polyamory, the strange perversion of what love in marriage looks like.


The situation described is only one example of polyamory. Polyamory takes many, many forms.

She references Showtime's Polyamory series.
They claim that polyamory is the answer to our “divorce woes.”
Greater acceptance of polyamory, but even more so full marriage equality and relationship right for all adults, is one thing that will reduce divorces. Fewer people will be pressured into marriages they shouldn't get into. Fewer married people will feel a need to divorce.
Half of all marriages end in divorce, so the best way to combat that statistic is to eradicate the stability of marriage between committed partners?
She makes the mistake of equating polyamory with destabilization. In many cases, polyamory increases stability. Need a word picture? OK. How stable in a bicycle? How stable is a tricycle?
Agree or not, at least gay and polygamous marriages show some sort of committed union between adults -- promises to stay together for life. Of course promises get broken, but how can you raise children in such chaos that no promise is ever even made, let alone attempted to be lived?
Ah, so her problem (or so she wants us to believe) is that they are not legally married. Well, support the polyamorous freedom to marry and you'll see more polyamorists get married. Meanwhile, many monogamists are together, many raising children, while unmarried.

Kids with gay parents or more than one mom will have some stuff to overcome, even if for no other reason than it’s not the societal norm -- but at least they know where they belong.
So do children of polyamorists.
When parents are committed, the child’s home life is stable. But what happens when Dad’s girlfriend, who is acting as a surrogate mother, decides it’s time for her to move on? I can only imagine the psychological damage to a child who has to live with a revolving door of his parents’ various love interests.
By "committed" she means "legally married." And yet, there are many children in unstable homes with parents who are married and professed monogamists. She writes as though there is no such thing as unilateral no-fault divorce, when it is happening every day, in every neighborhood. Many children of  "monogamous" parents "live with a revolving door" of parents' various love interests. Where is her evidence that children in polyamorous homes are suffering? She doesn't have any, because there isn't any; rather, the studies so far appear to demonstrate that children in polyamorous families do quite well. I've seen it personally. Has she bothered to see for herself?

Then readers get this question tagged on to the end...

Do you think open marriages are a viable alternative to divorce?
Open marriages and polyamory are not synonymous. But to answer the question, some divorces are going to happen regardless. Perhaps in some divorces can be avoided by opening up the marriage or transitioning to polyfidelity.

Then I saw this "about the author"...
Jenny Erikson is a conservative chick living in Southern California with her two daughters.
Two daughters. No husband? No wife? What happened to monogamous stability? What happened to commitment?

The opinion piece focuses entirely on imagined detriments to children. What about polyamorists who do not have children? What does Erikson have to say about them, I wonder?

People who equate polyamory with a lack of commitment are speaking either from ignorance or hostility. Polamory often involves more commitment than monogamy.

Polyamorous family exist, including with young children. The sooner we recognize in our laws and our lives that an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage (or any of those without the others) with any and all consenting adults, the better off those families, especially the children, will be. Rather than snidely attacking the parents of these children, why not help us reach full marriage equality sooner rather than later?
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1 comment:

  1. This really caught my eye. "I can only imagine the psychological damage to a child who has to live with a revolving door of his parents’ various love interests."

    This right here really has nothing to do with polyamory. Actually it sounds a lot more like what my older childhood was like. When I was in my teens after my mother divorced her abusive husband, and my, at the time step-father, she dated other men. Sometimes she dated them for long times and sometimes she dated them for short periods. Some of them had their issues, hence why she would quit dating them, so up until my eleventh grade of school, you could consider her relationships somewhat of a revolving door.

    Here's the thing, while at times things were a little unstable. It wasn't because of her moving on to other men, the problems were the men themselves. By moving on, she was dumping trash, trying to find a guy that was better than all of that, and she eventually found a man who she is happy with. But she never would have found him had she stuck with any of the jerks in an attempt to keep a "stable" life.

    And stable isn't exactly the word I think this person is looking for. Instead, consistent is the word. When we still lived with my ex-step-father. We had a consistent life. It masked itself as stability, but none of us were happy. It was consistent, but consistently bad.

    So if say she dated more than one guy, I don't think my life or our life in general would have been all that destabilized. It might not have been consistent, but it would have been preferable to that douche who used to be her husband.

    Of course, to be honest. I saw that and immediately wrote this, I went back up and saw that you talked about the revolving door as well.


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