This is another topic that’s been doing the rounds. I think its important though, so here’s my two cents on it.
Privilege is something that just is. It’s completely normal and the way things are… unless you’re outside of the privileged group or maybe it’s pointed out to you.
Couple privilege is (amongst others):
- Invitations for yourself + partner.
- Romantic holiday offers for two.
- Questions like, “How’s your girlfriend?”
- Double rooms in hotels.
- Facebook relationship statuses.
Let’s just take one scenario: You’re in a triad. You have two partners who you consider equally important. How would you feel about each of the situations above? How would you express it or deal with it?
That’s couple privilege. Now you’re outside those shoes, you can see how difficult it is to navigate around a society that assumes it’s you + one.
I think it’s one of the reasons why communication is such a buzzword in poly circles. With couple privilege and all the assumptions that come with it, you can’t avoid talking, discussing and explaining in order to describe yourself and your feelings outside of this normative state.
Unless you literally have 2.4 children, there will be some aspect of your life where people assume things about you that aren’t true. We’ve all felt it. We all know what it’s like to correct assumptions or to feel outcast because we don’t fit in to this “normal” box. None of us are completely normal though. Normal is far too average. Most of us though experience most of these as a positives. An assertion of who we are and what makes us different from the herd.
Now take any one of those experiences and make it hard. Let’s say you actually like Marmite. No, you love it! Now let’s say that the major world religions say Marmite is evil and condemn anyone who likes it as immoral. Let’s say it’s illegal to eat it. Let’s say your friends talk about Marmiters as gluttonous, who would eat any disgusting thing that passed in front of them, shit included. Let’s say African pastors held conferences describing how Marmite eaters “eat da poo poo“.
What the? It’s only Marmite. Some vegetable extract. It harms no-one else if eaten. There’s no scientific proof that it’s detrimental to health and in fact, proof that it can be a good source of vitamins and trace elements. Why on earth is it being so punished? Have I missed something? Am I really an evil person for liking it? Must I hide my Marmite consumption for fear that employers will find out and sack me?
I really hope you can see the parallels here…