What does poly activism mean for me?
It’s not evangelism. I don’t feel the need to “convert” anyone and it’s not a “success criteria” when interacting with anyone. I do feel pleasure when someone decides to explore it further after hearing about it from me, but that’s about as far as it goes.
For me it means quite simply that I want to spread the information that there are alternatives (plural) to the default monoamory that we generally grow up with. I wish to also spread the word that some of the concepts of default monoamory are blatantly wrong – things like jealousy is a sign of true love or it’s acceptable to act violently or abusively due to jealousy.
Why? There are two distinct reasons:
- I believe that people should have a choice on how to structure their relationships.
- I believe that people should not use falsehoods to justify acting badly (especially towards their loved ones).
This really stems from my own experience that I struggled to fit in to the default monoamory model. I really would have liked there to have been a selection that I could have chosen from.
I am not against monogamy in general.
I am against structuring my relationships that way.
I would be very happy to see more people be polyamorous, but I don’t think that everyone is and I certainly don’t think that it should be legally enforced.
Actually, I think that a lot of people don’t know that there’s any choice other than monoamory and I also think that many who find out about polyamory would like the concept. I also think that even without the overall social conditioning of monogamy, most would still reject it.
This is all of course total conjecture. It would be far more interesting to do a survey and collect real data on initial reactions. Even more interesting would be to do a follow-up survey to find out if opinions change after some time mulling it over.
In her book, The polyamorists next door, Elisabeth Sheff introduced a new term to me that sums up my goal perfectly:
Once people become aware of the potential to negotiate openly conducted, non-monogamous relationships, whether or not they actually wish to engage in them, they have realized the polyamorous possibility, and they can never unthink it again.
That’s it. I would like that everybody knows that it’s a possibility and that they can choose between all the different forms without being negatively impacted by their choice. Wow… just writing that gives me a really good Utopian feeling.