[LMB] Monogamy

Beatrice_Otter beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com
Mon Jun 25 15:44:00 BST 2018


From: Louann MillerI am probably influenced by the fact that I have no yen for poly myself at
all, so when I imagine myself in such a relationship it's as something
imposed on me by others. AND not being allowed to complain.

Beatrice Otter:So, basically what you're saying is that you envision a world where poly people treat monogamous people the way monogamous people currently treat poly people, i.e. by forcing them to live in ways they find difficult and uncomfortable at best, and punishing them for being different? You hear that some people feel oppressed and excluded by society, and your gut reaction isn't "let's create a society where everyone is free and nobody is oppressed or excluded, a society where either pattern is okay as long as you aren't hurting or deceiving anyone," your gut reaction is fear that you yourself will be oppressed and excluded. While such a reversal is possible, of course, it is neither likely nor certain.  And it's EXACTLY the sort of argument that racists use to justify continued oppression: if we don't keep oppressing them, they will take power and oppress us! It says a lot more about the people making that argument, than it does the people they are arguing about.  I'm not judging you, but I do think you should take some time to think about that gut reaction and if it is healthy, true, or useful. 
Let's look at what we get of Betan attitudes.  Obviously, poly is normal, there, from lots of details mentioned in the thread. And when Cordelia comes to Barrayar, she gets confused by a lot of sex things, but not by monogamy. She thinks it's stingy that you're only ALLOWED one partner (i.e. the social pressure forcing it) but doesn't seem to have any problems with it as a general concept or as applied to her relationship with Aral.  ("Now he's monogamous.")  She's neither offended/sad/regretful that she can't have poly relationships publicly (so she's not a heavily poly person being forced into monogamy because Barrayar) nor relieved that she is now free from poly pressure (so she's not a monogamous person who was forced into polygamy because Beta).  Her general attitude seems to be that relationships should not be straight jacketed by culture into any particular form, but left to the inclinations of the people involved.
Beatrice Otter


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list