Polyamory and casual sexism

I consider myself to be a relatively emotionally mature woman. Open minded, considerate, hopefully intelligent….and yet I seem to have been rather naive on the old feminism front. I have taken for granted the relative equality and opportunity I was born into. I have never felt particularly discriminated against, objectified (save for the odd cat-whistle once upon a time), or socially excluded. Of course I have been aware of such plights…aware and sympathetic. Sometimes even moved or outraged, but not personally targeted.

That is until I came admitted to having had a non-monogamous relationship. I now brace myself for the repeated comments of ‘oh that’s weird’, ‘I could never do that’ (because obviously I am expecting you to conduct your life according to my preferences), and ‘doesn’t your boyfriend get jealous?’ That is, unfortunately, par for the course. But it has astounded me that a few people have been completely ok with my male partner having more than one partner, but not me because I’m female. And apparently that makes me a slut.

Wow. Really? Although I’m aware not everyone is poly savvy; society is becoming more socially aware. Gay marriage is now legal, women have equal rights; we can even vote dagnabbit. But apparently conducting my behaviour in the same way as my boyfriend opens the door to the 1950s.

Furthermore, the misconception that polyamory automatically equates to promiscuity is starting to grate. Funnily enough, that’s another view that has been reserved for my female self and not my male partners. Because promiscuity is still regarded as an aspirational freedom in a man, but a character slight in a woman. As it happens, I am not promiscuous. But if I was…so what? Why should women apologise for wanting the same sexual freedom as men?

The saddest part is, almost all of the sexist and presumptuous comments have come from women. Women who genuinely seem to think is is alright for a man to have more than one partner, but strange for a woman. And that I must have pushed *my* views onto my unsuspecting partner.

I have previously had both monogamous and polyamorous relationships, but never did the monogamy cause such interest. So to those women I would like to say no I have not convinced my boyfriends to tolerate my ‘sexually predatory’ ways. We fell in love the same way most couples do. They respect my honesty and the love and commitment that I bring to the table. They trust that I will always be open with them because I always have been before. They are happy that I know my own mind well enough to live life according to my own moral compass and not by a social label. And they appreciate the freedom they have as a result of being in a polyamorous relationship. A relationship which we jointly decided to make polyamorous.

And ladies…it is ok to be honest about your own needs and views, whatever they are. You can live by your own standards and still be morally upright. And more often than not, when you are honest and genuine the people in your life will love and respect you for it.

2 thoughts on “Polyamory and casual sexism

  1. I think it is very sad and indicative of two things in life. Doctrination of the masses rather than free thinking, due consideration and non-judgemental decision making as to what suits the individual; secondly – the need to fit in with the masses rather than trust our own instincts and integrity in relation to how we treat others and hope others treat us.

    A good point that sadly fits many “out of the box” concepts in current society.

    Enjoyed reading the blog.

  2. First of all, I’m sorry that you’ve had to put up with such nonsense. I admit that it took me a while to understand the concept of polyamory, but I did what any decent person would…I looked for more information in order to better understand and not remain ignorant. I certainly didn’t go all ‘lol u lyke sex, u cheater!’ to anyone.

    The whole ‘stud versus slut’ thing also really grates for me. And I actually feel sorry for the women who still see things in that way. The double standard is mind-boggling.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about communication, right? My partner lives in Madrid, and we’ve both had people ask how on earth that works, and how we could possibly trust one another when there’s an ocean between us. “Because communication” and “Common human decency” is usually on the tip of my tongue.

    It is sad though, to hear that the majority of comments you get are from other women. It kinda just goes to show how deep-rooted these things are. And I think a lot of men don’t realise this affects them negatively as well, since they’re almost expected to sleep with loads of women until they decide to be ‘ball and chained’ to one woman.

    Thank you for writing a great post. 🙂

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