Alternative lifestyles are creepy, amirite? April 26, 2010 11:16 AM   Subscribe

I feel that this question is both chatfilter and LOLpolyamory.

The title of the post, the links about polyamory being "creepy" and just an excuse for bad behavior, the entire tone of the question all seem to be pointing fingers at the polyamory lifestyle. The question, "What do I do?" is very open-ended and non-specific; the question seems to be more someone wanting to talk about polyamory and how messed up they think it is as a concept than a good-faith effort to come to terms with a specific problem.

I flagged it as breaking the guidelines, then noticed jessamyn replied in the thread. I put an answer down, and I don't have any personal issues with the question (not polyamorous, not the OP, etc.), but I guess I'm still confused about why it is acceptable for AskMe.
posted by misha to Etiquette/Policy at 11:16 AM (166 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

It's a pretty bad questions, especially since the first few answers nail it: Why doesn't the OP mind their own business?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:21 AM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


OP has a problem they would like solved. Several people have suggested solutions. That the answers are all pretty much the same suggests that it's not chatfilter, n'est-ce pas?
posted by hydrophonic at 11:23 AM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's a terrible question; I guess it has just enough of an identifiable problem that it qualifies as a valid question, but it's a long way from being good. Add in some of the turdly answers, and you have a winning recipe.
posted by Forktine at 11:25 AM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Didn't like the question but it didn't break the rules. They're trying to solve a problem even if it seems to be a general one. We allow these questions all the time. The OP could have done a much better job being politic about her own predjudices in my opinion.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:26 AM on April 26, 2010


the question seems to be more someone wanting to talk about polyamory and how messed up they think it is

Is this callout someone wanting to talk about polyamory and how legitimate it is, because I would think when a mod comments in a thread, that thread (if tenuously) has site blessing, no?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:33 AM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


sheena is a sock puppet drama queen.
posted by hermitosis at 11:45 AM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stupid question and shit presentation, but most responses seem to be along the lines of MYOFB, so everything works out!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:46 AM on April 26, 2010


Now I wanna sniff some glue.
posted by not_on_display at 11:47 AM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


This whole idea of polyamory as a sacrosanct personal identity on the same plane as being gay or Latino...it's silly. I'm sure it works for some folks, but so often it seems to be a cover story for being a terrible human being.

this person seams nice
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:47 AM on April 26, 2010 [12 favorites]


No, Durn Bronzefist, I don't have any vested interest. I just felt the question, What do I do? After OP had said she was no longer associating with the people involved, was merely an excuse to discuss/rant about the polyamory lifestyle.

I rarely post Metatalk callouts, and l even went to the FAQ page for AskMe to see if I was out of line before posting this. I wanted to see why the mods thought it didn't break the guidelines and what the community felt, so that's why I posted this here, just like it says on the tin.
posted by misha at 11:48 AM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's a question for them (now answered) but yeah, seemed narrowminded and nosy to me (I mean -- how can we be friends with them? Seriously?) but in terms of acceptable AskMe content, no different really than "How do I deal with my evangelical mother-in-law" and "How do I deal with my Republican cousin" type questions, in that, sure, it involves the somewhat disrespectful viewpoint of the OP, but carries with it an answerable question about dealing with people who don't share your beliefs.

That is, if from the start you don't believe the OP's considerable attempts to qualify his/her concerns later in the post.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:53 AM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


hm, the only thing I found odd about the whole question is the lumping of OP's issues with perceived dysfuctional polyamourous relationship with May/December, inter racial and LGBT relationships. I never knew the latter three were even considered "squicky" (wassat, o native speakers of Angrezi? the sound a windshield wiper makes?)
posted by infini at 11:54 AM on April 26, 2010


Polyamory is wrong!
posted by Plutor at 11:55 AM on April 26, 2010 [57 favorites]


AskMe: pretentious, selfish, creepy
posted by oinopaponton at 11:56 AM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah this is definitely the problem with relationshipfilter questions in general. There's usually a lot of [over]explanation and then the question is something like "Thoughts?" Which really has two problems. The first is that sometimes people's thoughts are "you seem like a terrible person" and if you open the door to that, that's what you get. The second is that a lot of people really feel that the question is more about that person complaining about their situation than about needing or wanting anything real to change.

I think that having the peanut gallery of opinions for things like this can actually be helpful since sometimes people's friends can be too invested to give more objective-sounding advice. That said when someone comes to AskMe angry in the first place, it makes it more difficult for their question to go well. People pick up on that sort of thing and then you wind up with people either feeling the need to defend poly people generally [because it seems that the OP has a problem with them] or take potshots at poly people generally [again] and that just sets up a lousy environment for people to talk about anything.

Like many choices people make in their lives that piss people off [veganism, religious options, kids vs no kids, co-sleeping] questions on the topic often come with baggage built into them. I sort of liked pazaygeek's answer. I wish there were more like that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:58 AM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


LOLmisha
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:01 PM on April 26, 2010


Thanks, jessamyn.

I guess that I am used to be people at least attempting to be a little more sensitive in their wording when it comes to touchy issues. And after last week's question about the woman who wants to bring a boyfriend into her marriage (which the Ask OP actually linked to), this seems like a touchy issue.

But I read Durn Bronzefist's follow-up here, and I get what he means by, "in terms of acceptable AskMe content, no different really than "How do I deal with my evangelical mother-in-law" and "How do I deal with my Republican cousin" type questions."
posted by misha at 12:03 PM on April 26, 2010


I thought they answered their own question in the first 4 words:

"Some now-former friends have decided to..."

but why sacrafice perfectly good drama fodder just because you don't actually, you know, have a friendship or emotional investment in the people whose lives you're butting into!!!???
posted by Juicy Avenger at 12:04 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


no different really than "How do I deal with my evangelical mother-in-law" and "How do I deal with my Republican cousin" type questions

Dunno, it seems a lot more like "How do I deal with people I've already decided not to deal with?" to me.
posted by CKmtl at 12:06 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


There is definitely a way to post personal relationship questions without turning them into "Now will everyone please pipe down and direct their attention over to me and my problems for a moment?"

One of the best ways to avoid this is by not posting personal relationship questions at all.
posted by hermitosis at 12:08 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't see how this comment answers the question in any way. And yes, I've flagged it, but I'd rather not "move on" unless someone can explain how it's relevant.
posted by Evangeline at 12:14 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bad question, bad person for asking it.
posted by fixedgear at 12:16 PM on April 26, 2010


I'm tired of all the other people's drama.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:20 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, there was really no good balance between "I am a special snowflake; here is a post twice as long as the long post it ended up as, which explains things much more rationally" and "here is a more simple question, with the disclaimer that POLYS ARE GROSS AND AWFUL, MMMKAY?"

My personal prejudices are based on the members of the poly community that I know personally. I don't think it's out of line to say that if the only people you met from a group were not to your liking, you'd have a bad impression too. But when I meet someone, poly or not, I try to get to know who they are as a person and not form immediate judgments because of some group they're associated with. "Some of my best friends are poly..." yada yada.

I truly believe that it is a legitimate way of caring for other people. But 96 comments (minus those of a couple specific posters) in this thread seemed to have many of the same ideas I did: that there are lots of people out there who are using it as an excuse and not going about it in a truly honest way that is respectful to the other partners involved. So I didn't think it was particularly out of line.

And even then, I have immense compassion for that person -- she (I think it's a she) is in a very difficult situation that will likely end with one or more people getting hurt in a big way, and nobody wants that. Particularly when you enter into these kinds of relationships to give comfort to one another.

I'm cool with LGBT relationships (and all sorts of relationships that have at one time or another been considered "alternative," hence the interracial thing), but there are a lot of people out there (not so much around MeFi) who aren't, particularly in this political climate. I brought that up because I want to find a way of discussing things people don't agree with in a logical way, and examining why someone (maybe me) might think one kind of relationship was objectively "good" and one wasn't. But logic isn't always the first thing that comes up in these discussions, so maybe I'll sit this out.

So, yeah. The main problem is that they're kind of crappy friends whose interests don't match the interests we had when we first met. The polyamory thing is an additional entanglement, one which I wish I hadn't had to include, but I really wanted to know how to talk about it.

I wish I could explain it better, but for three months now I've been trying to find good words to describe this situation, and I continue to fail miserably. So I'm sorry for that. If you're poly (or not), come on over and I'll make you cookies.
posted by sheena is a sock puppet at 12:23 PM on April 26, 2010


I think I can help. I'm sure some insight can be gleaned from this.

1. Put the car in park on level ground and apply the parking brake. Place manual transmission cars in gear. Make sure you have pulled off the road. Turn the engine off and turn on the hazard lights. You may want to open the hood to indicate to other drivers that you are stopped for repairs.

2. Place a wheel chock or a large rock behind (if facing uphill) or in front (if facing downhill) the diagonally opposing wheel to prevent the car from rolling. Do this even on a slight incline. Get out the spare, a lug nut wrench (tire iron) and the car jack.

3. Remove the hubcap, if necessary.

4. Loosen the lug nuts, which hold the wheel in place, before jacking up the car: Place one end of the lug nut wrench over a lug nut. Use a hollow pipe (about 2 feet in length) for leverage by slipping it over the end of the lug nut wrench. Turn the wrench counterclockwise to loosen the lug nut. Loosen the lug nuts in a star pattern, first loosen one a few turns, then loosen the one opposite. Work across the tire until all the lug nuts are loose and unscrewed slightly.

5. Carefully jack up the car (see 'Jack Up a Car Safely'). Check your owner's manual for the correct and safe place to put the jack. Jack the car up a little higher than is necessary to remove the old tire so there is room to put the new, full tire on.

6. Remove the lug nuts all the way and set them aside in a place where you won't lose them and they won't roll away. The flat tire should be hanging from the threaded studs now.

7. Remove the flat tire and set it aside.

8. Lift the new tire onto the wheel studs. If you're confused about which is the right way to put the new tire on, check for the valve where you add air, it always faces out.

9. Replace the lug nuts. Tighten them the same way you loosened them: Give each nut a few turns, first one, then the one opposite, working around the wheel in a star pattern. Try not to tighten adjacent nuts consecutively.

10. Slowly lower the jack and remove it.

11. Tighten the lug nuts again as much as you can.

12. Put the hubcap back on.
posted by Kskomsvold at 12:26 PM on April 26, 2010 [15 favorites]


Mind their own business? That's an interesting concept, but it more or less dissolves like Lot's wife on her first surfing attempt when you have a conversation with someone who is in a relationship, and one or more people in that relationship are not in the same room. Should your conversational topics range much deeper than the weather, the chance of hitting Other People's Relationship Issues heads towards unity. That's just how couples, triples, and whatever work unless they are extremely close-mouthed.

People complain. Relationships are a popular topic for complaint. Hearing about relationships, whether you like it or not, from a friend is not failing to mind one's own business, it's a consequence of having a functioning set of sensory apparatus and a nervous system capable of changing sounds into words.

I do not know a single one of my friends in a relationship where I have not heard some ongoing, varying level and subject of complaint, utterly unsolicited. Well, I suppose I was asking for it, having ears and all. The only question is at what level do you stop smiling and nodding and making supportive noises and switch to saying "You could maybe talk to your spouse/body-fluid-buddy about this."

OP has, in the question, already given one instance of what appears to be unsolicited volunteering of drama — MYOB ends at that point and the question becomes gracefully extricating oneself from that drama.
posted by adipocere at 12:28 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


It really just came off to me, sheena, like you were trying to find a way of saying "I'm OK with people identifying with specific labels for their preferred behaviors, but I am uncomfortable and uneasy with their personal decision-making processes and resultant actions under that umbrella. Plus, I find these folks obnoxious above and beyond that and we're not even really friends any more."

If you were still friends and your particular objections were something they were willing to hear out, I would think you would get more traction leaving out the label and focusing on specific actions they performed that caused you discomfort.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:33 PM on April 26, 2010


calling out the thread, in the thread is not FIAMO. if anything, that's the thing that is against site policies.
posted by nadawi at 12:38 PM on April 26, 2010


I'm sorry, but I have to admit that I find Polymorph relationships creepy, and I'm kind of astonished at how many people think we should treat them as okay. I mean, how the hell do you even know who you're having sex with, is what I want to know?! What's to keep your sneaky uncle from dressing up like Lady Gaga? Convincingly, I mean.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:52 PM on April 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


"Polyamory is wrong!"

Is that shirt something I'd have to be fine with the word "television" to understand?
posted by klangklangston at 12:55 PM on April 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


I know what you mean but what's really creeping me out about this thread is those lugnuts and that wrench. what's it doing in the middle of our conversation? why bring that monkey wrench into these works, you know? seriously kskomsvold, if you can't keep your hubcaps under control... they'll get stolen and then where will we be...
posted by infini at 12:56 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


misha: "I guess that I am used to be people at least attempting to be a little more sensitive in their wording when it comes to touchy issues. And after last week's question about the woman who wants to bring a boyfriend into her marriage (which the Ask OP actually linked to), this seems like a touchy issue."

I'm trying to forget that that entire question even happened.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:57 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


honestly, sometimes I'm kinda annoyed by how some mefites choose to address polyamory. recently it seems like I've seen a bunch of askme answers that boiled down to "if you're into polyamory then you just want to do whatever you want without caring about other people's feelings and you're a bad person" and I really wish those people would shut up and only answer questions when they know what they're talking about. I'm not a poly type person myself, but that's why I don't answer questions about it.
posted by shmegegge at 12:58 PM on April 26, 2010 [17 favorites]


What's to keep your sneaky uncle from dressing up like Lady Gaga?

The rota? This week he's supposed to be Sexy Andy Rooney.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:00 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Most of the people I've known who have talked to me about their poly relationships have been creepy weirdos who thrived on relationship drama and had LiveJournals to prove it.

I assume that I've known a lot more poly people who haven't pinged the radar simply by not fitting my stereotype of neck-bearded Denny's denizens or renaissance faire wenches. (I'm excluding people in porn who have had poly relationships because they have been on such an entirely different relationship wavelength than I have that they don't count as evidence of anything except that people in porn often have a lot of casual sex.)

I know that there are a fair number of folks on Metafilter who I respect who have talked somewhat about their poly relationships, and there have been a couple of folks who were weird here and also poly.

My general impression is that poly relationships can work, but take more relationship sophistication; monogamous relationships are easier because they're normative, so unspoken assumptions are usually accurate.

Long comment short (too late): Creeps have creepy relationships; normal polies don't get noticed because they're normal; polyamory's not for everyone.
posted by klangklangston at 1:03 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


sheena is a sock puppet: "My personal prejudices are based on the members of the poly community that I know personally. I don't think it's out of line to say that if the only people you met from a group were not to your liking, you'd have a bad impression too."

First, you know normal poly people, you said so yourself. Second, there is the internet, where there are lots of poly people. Mistress Matisse seems to be happy and with it, but she's BDSMy so I don't know if she counts as a person for you. Or you could grab "Opening Up" which has several examples of normal, real-life, happy people in non-monogamous relationships. Or you could continue to behave as though the fact that you hang out with people you dislike has anything to do with polyamory.

sheena is a sock puppet: "I truly believe that it is a legitimate way of caring for other people. But 96 comments (minus those of a couple specific posters) in this thread seemed to have many of the same ideas I did: that there are lots of people out there who are using it as an excuse and not going about it in a truly honest way that is respectful to the other partners involved. So I didn't think it was particularly out of line. "

Wow, 96 people, (minus me and a couple of other people), when a lot of people agree with you about something, that means you're definitely right!!! And one person who is doing something means that lots of people out there are doing it!!!

sheena is a sock puppet: "I wish I could explain it better, but for three months now I've been trying to find good words to describe this situation, and I continue to fail miserably. So I'm sorry for that. If you're poly (or not), come on over and I'll make you cookies."

Not until you sincerely apologize for insinuating that I'm creepy. Even then, it's not looking too good.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:06 PM on April 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


And, as long as we're linking askme threads like they're evidence for anything, there's this one:

Are there ever happy endings for polyamorous couples? Do you know anyone for whom such an arrangement has worked in the long term?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:18 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why, oh why, internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 are you looking for an apology from sheena is a sock puppet? She didn't do anything to you personally that would warrant an apology. Why couldn't you just come out and say you are poly and tell her you were offended? The way you worded it makes you sound like you are trying to stir shit.
posted by msali at 1:20 PM on April 26, 2010


I looked at the poster's previous questions, and honestly, in one question she asks how to find someone and barely a month later she's referring to someone as a partner. Trolling?


honestly, sometimes I'm kinda annoyed by how some mefites choose to address polyamory. recently it seems like I've seen a bunch of askme answers that boiled down to "if you're into polyamory then you just want to do whatever you want without caring about other people's feelings and you're a bad person"

All I ever see is "Polyamory is the best solution ever" and "people who aren't polyamorous are deluding themselves into boring relationships and they're all unevolved" but obviously I'm a non-poly person who doesn't get it but I live and let live and just chalk it up to stuff I don't get (like how people have the energy to go jogging first thing in the morning without feeling depressed and burdened)
posted by anniecat at 1:22 PM on April 26, 2010


On the internet, nobody gives a shit if you think you are a freak.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:23 PM on April 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


What's to keep your sneaky uncle from dressing up like Lady Gaga?

Just so you know, that is Lady Gaga.
posted by spaltavian at 1:26 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am now imagining Lady Gaga saying, "I mean to have you, boy, even if it must be burglary!"

*ponder* That would make a great song lyric.
posted by adipocere at 1:29 PM on April 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


msali: "Why, oh why, internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 are you looking for an apology from sheena is a sock puppet? She didn't do anything to you personally that would warrant an apology. Why couldn't you just come out and say you are poly and tell her you were offended? The way you worded it makes you sound like you are trying to stir shit."

How so?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:32 PM on April 26, 2010


sheena is a sock puppet drama queen.

I thought we'd decided on theatrical matriarch long ago.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:37 PM on April 26, 2010


anniecat, in my first post I was looking for a writing partner. Thanks so much for the support.

fairytale, your comment is pretty much right on, and I wish that I had had the words to articulate that sort of thing better in the first place. And regarding your comment on the other side, I agree that you didn't bring those things up. BDSM is indeed a separate thing, but in this particular community and on the Web it often coexists, hence my two examples of things I've seen while out and about.

Thanks to those who have explicitly not said that I am a bad person for wanting to figure this out.
posted by sheena is a sock puppet at 1:40 PM on April 26, 2010


you know, this thread has made me think about things I never gave a thought to simply because I spent the past five years focusing almost single mindedly on my work. that's tl;dw but wrt to the topic at hand here's what I have just discovered.

I hate labels. they're narrow and freeze people or situations or contexts in one static moment of time. nothing and nobody is static. not even "lifeless" stuff like iron which oxidizes and rusts and changes.

this made me look back over the past two and half decades or so of the evolution of my thinking on relationships between human beings. what I've discovered is that none were the same and none could really, if one were to be honest, be labelled.

what I also found was that over the years I have run the gamut of very straight and narrow thinking with black and white/good and bad judgements to almost fuzzy boundaryless nothing really matters because I'm too numb to really work up the energy to care

but the bottomline is that if you step out of letting the external world decide or label or choose who you are and how you should be and instead work from the inside out, increasing your sensitivity and awareness of your self and how it responds to the energy exchanges that take place daily with your every human interaction, you can't then go wrong

there have been times in my life when simply a virtual relationship in my head was enough and there has been discovery that the reason I find myself becoming more and more careful about how I talk or project myself to the opposite sex has less to do with any external set of rules and regulations and more to do with an internal feeling of not wanting to inadvertently even accidently give the slightest hint of disrespect to someone through some unthinking word or action of mine which might be misconstrued

all the while while nobody even knows

so

how about we take a leaf from our global soul's words and approach the innate humanity of every person we meet based on their value system and their approach to life's challenges and their awareness and sensitivity to the world in which they live rather than any external media's image or society's rules or all the silly thing that the mythical "they" have said throughout humanity's existence on this planet?

be true to thine ownself and it shall follow as night unto day that thou cans't be false to no man
posted by infini at 1:41 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


What do bicycles, cat declawing and polyamory have in common?
posted by fixedgear at 1:42 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


By using that username to ask this shitty question you've ruined "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" for me for at least a week. Thanks for that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:45 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


What do bicycles, cat declawing and polyamory have in common?

Fixed gears?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:48 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


All I ever see is "Polyamory is the best solution ever"

I'd be willing to bet that we are both laboring under a certain understandable amount of confirmation bias, and that both extremes of the debate are annoying for decent reasons and not necessarily as prevalent as either of us perceive them to be.
posted by shmegegge at 1:51 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks, sheena; I appreciate the apology.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:52 PM on April 26, 2010


sheena is a sock puppet: Well, there was really no good balance between "I am a special snowflake; here is a post twice as long as the long post it ended up as, which explains things much more rationally" and "here is a more simple question, with the disclaimer that POLYS ARE GROSS AND AWFUL, MMMKAY?"

Next time, before considering matters of brevity or content, perhaps you could opt for a title that's not a (failing, imho) attempt at being cute with lulzy stereotype stuff, like the cheesy-swingers-from-the-70s hairy chests and press-on nails?

It's the first thing people see when they open your thread, and it doesn't do much but start things off on exactly the wrong foot.

msali: Why couldn't you just come out and say you are poly and tell her you were offended?

Uh, that's exactly how I read "... for insinuating that I'm creepy."
posted by CKmtl at 1:53 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


"All I ever see is "Polyamory is the best solution ever" and "people who aren't polyamorous are deluding themselves into boring relationships and they're all unevolved" "

To be fair 90% of those comments are me when I'm stoned

well, not the boring relationships or unevolved thing. I think that's pretty mean.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:55 PM on April 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is this the thread where we all get multiple spouses? :D

No?

Bit further down, ok. sorry.
posted by The otter lady at 1:58 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I wish I could explain it better, but for three months now I've been trying to find good words to describe this situation, and I continue to fail miserably."

I don't understand why you feel the need to explain it. You had some friends, you no longer have anything in common with them, you say you've moved on, so move on. All that explaining and confidante-ing and shifting alliances and choosing sides and getting involved ... that's drama, and from what you've written, the drama predates the polyamory and although you say you hate it you appear to be in the middle of it by choice.

If you've chosen to move on from these friendships (which BTW is completely natural and happens all the time regardless of people's lifestyle choices), then move on from them. No explanations are necessary, and after three months it's probably time to stop trying.
posted by headnsouth at 2:03 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


this is the thread where MeTa comes out as polyhumongamourous since everyone is spoused to everyone else along with a sprinkling of muses, crushes, sweethearts and whatnot
posted by infini at 2:05 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, but I have to admit that I find Polymorph relationships creepy

Oh, don't get me started on Polymorph relationships. There's always some kind of Inheritance issue involved, and a lot of times it's just a Facade.

And trust me, you haven't seen a creepy Polymorph relationship until you've seen one done by a Gang of Four.
posted by qvantamon at 2:14 PM on April 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


I was struck by this bit: "I live in an area that has an active community of poly people. It's generally seen as no big thing."

Where on Earth - other than perhaps Salt Lake City or Riyadh - is that even remotely an accurate description of local community attitudes? Seriously.

Yesterday, I saw Norrie (the first person recognised by the state of New South Wales to be neither man nor woman) on zer way to a party in the park for gender diversity just up the road from where I live, and even here an "active community" of poly people that's regarded as "no big thing" would still be massively overstating things.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:22 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Where on Earth - other than perhaps Salt Lake City or Riyadh - is that even remotely an accurate description of local community attitudes? Seriously.

though people are free to disagree, I could see someone saying this about nyc or certain metro areas in california.
posted by shmegegge at 2:26 PM on April 26, 2010


Astro Zombie: "It's a pretty bad questions, especially since the first few answers nail it: Why doesn't the OP mind their own business"

While I agree it's a long, bad question, when it comes to the chorus of MYOB, I've got to agree with adipocere on this one. If you're really friends with someone, you can't escape their business. For me, at least, my friends are the ones whose "business" I can suffer, and vice-versa. Maybe it's more constructive to suggest the question-asker to find their own boundaries and live within them or try to expand them— or whatever— than to tell them to mind their own business.

Unless, of course, it's been made clear by the friends that it's none of their business. That's another matter.
posted by Red Loop at 2:29 PM on April 26, 2010


Where on Earth - other than perhaps Salt Lake City or Riyadh - is that even remotely an accurate description of local community attitudes? Seriously.

A) the LDS church doesn't practice polygamy and hasn't for over 100 years. you're thinking further south in the offshoot cults. it has nothing to do with SLC.

B) polyamory doesn't share a lot with religiously based polygamy. it's under the same umbrella, i suppose - but to discuss polyamorous relationships and conflate that with strong male religious head given many wives by god...well, that helps no one.

C) portland, or - known now as home of the hipster - known for a long ass time as home of polyamory.
posted by nadawi at 2:31 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


UbuRoivas: "even here an "active community" of poly people that's regarded as "no big thing" would still be massively overstating things"

I think it is more about circles of acquaintance than geography, but from personal experience there are social circles in most cities I have lived in where polyamory is the norm rather than the exception (ie. people will be surprised that someone is monogamous and perhaps even taken aback). But of course in the same cities most people think the poly people are a bunch of yucky creeps.

And the mainstream in Riyadh and Salt Lake City is in no way polyamorous - that is why we have the term polyamory, to differentiate it from patriarchal polygamy and its attitude of spousal relations as property ownership.
posted by idiopath at 2:39 PM on April 26, 2010


Brigham made the desert bloom
With a color tv in every room

Salt Lake City
That town of righteousness and fame
Might not sound like much, but, hell what's in a name?
posted by fixedgear at 2:44 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Where on Earth - other than perhaps Salt Lake City or Riyadh - is that even remotely an accurate description of local community attitudes? Seriously.

Boston, MA, especially closer to Cambridge and in nerdier circles.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:45 PM on April 26, 2010


The communities that I've known have been in Boston and Seattle.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:45 PM on April 26, 2010


Seconding PDX, also Champaign/Urbana Illinois, Madison Wisconsin, Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota, East St. Lewis Illinois, Olympia WA, Eugene Oregon, Asheville North Carolina, Austin Texas. Really I think these communities exist everywhere with a large enough population for those so inclined to find one another. But as I said before - this is not a majority acceptance in any of these places, but rather a strong community within the city which accepts that lifestyle.
posted by idiopath at 2:51 PM on April 26, 2010


But as I said before - this is not a majority acceptance in any of these places, but rather a strong community within the city which accepts that lifestyle.

Yeah, it's a bit of a jump for people to toss off statements about how widely accepted it is in their area.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:53 PM on April 26, 2010


Wow, learn a new thing every day.

And FWIW I wasn't meaning to conflate religious polygamy with polyamoury; just that the religious model seemed to me to be the one most likely to be reasonably common & accepted within the community. Secular polyandrous, polygamous & 'multipoly' (is there a term for this?) relationships would seem to be one step further still from general acceptance.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:53 PM on April 26, 2010


Not sure what you mean by multipoly, but I'm sure there's a term for it.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:56 PM on April 26, 2010


Polygamy = 1:N men:women
Polyandry = 1:N women:men
'Multipoly' = N:N women:men
Polynorrie: none of the above
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:58 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


My favorite thing about that question is that the handy TL;DR section at the end is more than three paragraphs long. Now that's restraint.
posted by koeselitz at 3:02 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


what you call "multipoly" is what in my experience most polyamorous folks mean when they say polyamory - as long as you don't make it a requirement that all members have sexual relationships with all other members (which doesn't hold with oldschool "wives as property" style polygamy either of course).
posted by idiopath at 3:02 PM on April 26, 2010


Actually:

Polygyny = 1:N men:women
Polygamy = N:N men:women
posted by stefanie at 3:09 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, "multipolly" is the noise a bunch of very talkative parrots makes.
posted by koeselitz at 3:11 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


While I agree it's a long, bad question, when it comes to the chorus of MYOB, I've got to agree with adipocere on this one. If you're really friends with someone, you can't escape their business.

Re-read the first sentence of the question. They are no longer friends (apparently for 3 months now) and she wants to know how to talk to others about it without sounding offensive. To me, that's straight gossip and well into MYOFB territory.

I also agree with misha that this was not a question asked entirely in good faith so much as a way to rail against poly and get validation. It is dripping with scorn starting from the very title. The poster seems familiar with how poly discussions play out around here and went ahead and added a bunch of offensive stereotypes anyway. I don't know this is trolling, but it's something not OK.
posted by cj_ at 3:13 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


What with the post above this one, I keep reading "ponyamory" and it's weirding me out.
posted by boo_radley at 3:16 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


stefanie: "Polygyny = 1:N men:women
Polygamy = N:N men:women
"

Maybe to a pedant or a linguist.

The people who actually do have N:N marriages avoid the term polygamy, and use terms like "group marriage". Folks who call themselves polygamous are almost always in 1 man:N women marriages.
posted by idiopath at 3:19 PM on April 26, 2010


having read the askme question in, uh, question: someone doesn't understand how tl;dr works.
posted by boo_radley at 3:26 PM on April 26, 2010


cj_, I understand what you're saying, and maybe I'm just giving the poster the benefit of the doubt in having some sincere feelings about their friends and not only wanting to take potshots. The title and obvious prejudices aside, the first part says But how do I discuss this with them (and others) without sliding down the slippery slope of defining what other types of relationships are "right" or "wrong"? I find it interesting that the OP says that at the same time as they say what they think of as right and wrong, but that's not really what I was talking about.
I didn't post my above comments in thread because I thought it had become (kind of) beside the point, by the time I read it. People were focusing more on the prejudicial under- and overtones of the original question, which was really the more important element to address.
posted by Red Loop at 3:35 PM on April 26, 2010


All I ever see is "Polyamory is the best solution ever" and "people who aren't polyamorous are deluding themselves into boring relationships and they're all unevolved"

I think this has gotten loads better since Zambrano was banned.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:48 PM on April 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


"If you're poly (or not), come on over and I'll make you cookies."

But only one kind of cookie, right? Because no one could possibly love two or more kinds of cookies at once. :)
posted by Jacqueline at 3:49 PM on April 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


It's actually my relationship to cookies and other snack foods that makes polyamory make a lot more sense to my personally. I'm always the non-amory person at the picnic [usually with some distant barely-available boyfriend or just sort of single and okay with that] so I grok that having people hassle you about your personal proclivities is annoying as fuck, but to me a lot of this is really pretty much the same as people getting all up in your business about having/not having kids or any other personal decision that people make together or alone. Some people are just more okay about being all up in other people's business [with corresponding "well here's what *I* think about THAT" commentary] and some aren't. People taking the same old potshots is extra tiring.

Agree PhoB, also no more "you don't really have back problems!" hectoring.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:00 PM on April 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Maybe to a pedant or a linguist.

Or to someone who is looking for an alternative to the word "multipoly"
posted by stefanie at 4:10 PM on April 26, 2010


Have you considered that your hypochondriacistical back problems may be directly linked to choosing the wrong number of sex partners?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:14 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


The people who have those kinds of relationships call it polyamory. If they all get married, they call it a group marriage. These words happen to refer to specific actions by people with a certain self identity and shared culture, they are not abstract scientific taxonomies. Polygamy is technically correct for n:n but unsuitable due to implied meaning and historical usage. For the same reason that chauvanism doesn't have anything to do with patriotism any more, the word has just drifted too far to be useful in that way.
posted by idiopath at 4:15 PM on April 26, 2010


"group marriage" seems to be morphing into "polyfidelity" (or at least there is a lot of overlap)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 4:17 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if I raised "polyandry" then it's completely open & legitimate for stefanie to correct "polygamy" to "polygyny".

Apart from the fact that -andry & -gyny are antonymic suffixes, I think -gamy specifically relates to marriage.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:17 PM on April 26, 2010


No, "multipolly" is the noise a bunch of very talkative parrots makes.

You might be confusing this with polyphony.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:18 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some of the more adventurous mathematicians are into polynomials.
posted by idiopath at 4:20 PM on April 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


also, stefanie, sorry to get all back and forth about that - it occurs to me that you were talking about the scientifically correct term, while I was talking about the term that is used in practice, so there was no need for my remarks to be anything other than "yes, and...".
posted by idiopath at 4:35 PM on April 26, 2010


I'm drinking an Irish whiskey called (no shit) "Paddy." I'm going to start developing a bourbon called 'Hillbilly.'
posted by jonmc at 4:37 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


No, "multipolly" is the noise a bunch of very talkative parrots makes.

And when you get away from all those goddamn parrots, it's a Polly Holliday.
posted by scody at 4:38 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Kiss my grits.
posted by jonmc at 4:42 PM on April 26, 2010


If you mix Monogamy and Polyamory, you get MonoPoly, at which point everyone argues over who gets to play the top hat, and whether or not landing on Free Parking entitles you to all the funds collected by Chance and Community Chest cards.

For the sake of keeping drama to a minimum, let's keep Monogamy and Polyamory separate.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:45 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is a Mono/Poly in Opening Up, and also mono/poly is SERIOUS BUSINESS.

but every time I see it I want to say "yes, it is impossible to have happy marriage once you involve monopoly"

I know I would be stabbing someone if we played monopoly on the regular
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 4:49 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]



There is a Mono/Poly in Opening Up

this means "mono/poly chapter"
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 4:50 PM on April 26, 2010


tl;dr: P != NP.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:54 PM on April 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


cortex: "P != NP"

I have known too many poly dyads and cheating monogamists to be convinced of that.
posted by idiopath at 5:04 PM on April 26, 2010


FWIW, the Paddy whiskey is really tasty and complements Moro bars well.
posted by jonmc at 5:05 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the original post: This is not to say that I am 100% convinced it can't work, but considering I know only one couple who does it "right" with honesty and planning (and has problems -- as any relationship unit does), that's up there.

I know, offhand, well over a dozen people who practice some form of polyamory. All of them do it "right": with honesty, planning, communication, ethics, the utmost care for the mental/emotional/sexual health of their partners and themselves, and so on. I've met quite a creepy people, sure, but they're waaaay outnumbered by the non-monogamous people I know who have a good head on their shoulders.

At the risk of being overly provocative: if the only poly people you know are creeps, it says a lot about the pushiness/social maladaptation of creepy people, a tiny bit about the quality of people one chooses to associate with, and not much at all about the workability of polyamory as a relationship model.
posted by the_bone at 5:56 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


"'Multipoly' = N:N women:men"

Multipolly is where we're all the top hat.
posted by klangklangston at 5:59 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've decided to comment in this thread about this closed thread which is about this poop. I just wanted to say, happy birthday cortex! Thanks for all the moderation and music! You moderators really seem to do a good job. The one redeeming aspect of the front-page-shitting is that it provided a big list of cortex's songs.

And people, be warned, if you make an enemy out of one longhaired bearded man, you have made an enemy of every jesus-looking-like dude everywhere.

I'm drinking an Irish whiskey called (no shit) "Paddy." I'm going to start developing a bourbon called 'Hillbilly.'

I'm pretty sure all Tennessee whiskeys are nicknamed "Joe's" I think maybe for obvious reasons.
posted by fuq at 6:02 PM on April 26, 2010


I've seen Monopoly do some serious shit to otherwise healthy relationships. I've broken off friendships and made boyfriends cry for entire hours. I just can't be with someone so unevolved that they can't share all their railroads with me. I would insert a joke about "running a train" but I'm not that tasteless. Except now we're all thinking about it and you have to admit a board game orgy would be delightfully geekyhot.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 7:41 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]




And, as long as we're linking askme threads like they're evidence for anything, there's this one:

Are there ever happy endings for polyamorous couples? Do you know anyone for whom such an arrangement has worked in the long term?


This was linked in that thread.

LOLpolyamory is wrong, but if LOLthatguy is wrong, I don't want to be right.
posted by palliser at 9:04 PM on April 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


1980 March—first baby Unicorns. HUGE thing! We spend most of year out in the world doing interviews, etc. We apply for patent on Unicorn process.

Man I love this guy unironically

fucking unicorns! more of this please, everyone
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:18 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The method of forming a unicorn from an animal normally having a horn growing from each side of the head involving the pedicling of first flaps of skin, one on each side of the head and selected to include the horn bud at a time prior to the attachment of the bud to the skull. Second flaps of skin, one to each side of the front of the head and in alignment with the general area of the pineal gland within the skull are also pedicled. The first flaps of skin are lifted away from the skull by pivoting the flaps about the attached end and the second flaps are each moved into the position vacated by the adjacent first flap of skin. The moving of the first flaps of skin into the position vacated by the second flaps of skin positions the horn buds adjacent one another over the pineal gland at the front of the skull. Thereafter the resulting horns grow as one and connect with the frontal portion of the skull directly over the pineal gland to render a unicorn of higher intelligence and physical attributes.

posted by idiopath at 11:00 PM on April 26, 2010


ok I love the science and then

render a unicorn of higher intelligence and physical attributes.

oh man I love this guy so much I want him to be my dad (sorry dad)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:07 PM on April 26, 2010


We need to find a way to properly funnel traffic to twitter accounts as needed.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:09 PM on April 26, 2010


Hmm. Apparently there is a diversity of opinion on the subject. I always sort of assumed that people who do weird, semi-abusive surgery on baby goats and then sell them to circuses were to be categorized as quite unfortunate human beings.
posted by koeselitz at 11:22 PM on April 26, 2010


naw it's not abusive, he used anesthetic, and he made them into unicorns

also they did not get sold to the circus they toured with them and had to rub them with smelly oils and shit like that every week

man I know too much about this guy and I didn't even go to his wizard school palliser WHAT HAVE YOU UNLEASHED
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:44 PM on April 26, 2010


I've decided to comment in this thread about this closed thread which is about this poop

Holy shit, that is some timecube crazy right there. I am a bit of a drama hound (of the popcorn-eating variety), so I followed those links pretty deep expecting it to lead back to an epic blowout between c. and someone who got banned for being a jackass. What I got instead was 20 lousy tabs of random blog posts/news articles that have nothing to do with him at all. Whoever that is, they are seriously imbalanced. I think the moderators did the right thing in deleting that promptly; this would seriously worry me if I found myself at the receiving end. Honestly? I would delete it from showing up at all and kill the comments here (including mine) that reference it. Do not feed this guy, he could be dangerous. Also, hugs.
posted by cj_ at 1:55 AM on April 27, 2010


cj_, I understand what you're saying, and maybe I'm just giving the poster the benefit of the doubt

Nothing wrong with that. I'm one cynical SOB, and it serves me well until it doesn't, you know? I don't automatically assume the worst of people, but I'm always on the lookout for it, and I think sometimes I catch on to people being assholes earlier on than those who are inclined to give the benefit of the doubt. I feel this is such a case, but I'm wrong as often as I'm right. I'll try to lay out my case here:

... in having some sincere feelings about their friends

Yeah that's the thing though. These aren't her friends. sheena claims to have cut them off 3 months ago, presumably because s/he didn't approve of polyamory. I have never cut off someone I consider a friend because I disapprove of their sexual choices, but if I did I wouldn't consider them my friends afterwards. Can we agree friends don't treat each other that way? IMO, these are not her friends any longer.

and not only wanting to take potshots.

Except the entire post was potshots, starting form the very *title*. This is not a person worried about taking potshots. Please.

The title and obvious prejudices aside

I loathe to do this, but: That's like saying, "the hating blacks part aside, racists are.." or "the killing jews aside, the the nazis were..". Uh, my objection is exactly what you want to set aside. Yeah if you set aside my objection, by definition I have no problem with what remains. Please don't set aside my objection, which in this case is a blatant hostility to people who have a different sexual lifestyle.

the first part says But how do I discuss this with them (and others) without..

Yeah I get they wanted to know how to discuss it with "them" and "others". Except "them" are cut-off people, so logic dictates it's only "others" that are the actual concern here. Since, you know, they don't talk to "them" anymore.

Am I the only person (besides misha, I suppose) that sees it this way? I feel like I'm either missing something or taking Crazy Pills™, but this is blatant trolling to me.
posted by cj_ at 2:26 AM on April 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


oh man I love this guy so much I want him
posted by infini at 3:01 AM on April 27, 2010


I dunno, it didn't seem so much trolling as someone venting and wanting reinforcement for being prejudiced and trying to justify it because it felt easy to associate friends making poor decisions with the lifestyle they were choosing. I thought this sentence was very telling:
This is not to say that I am 100% convinced it can't work, but considering I know only one couple who does it "right" with honesty and planning (and has problems -- as any relationship unit does), that's up there. I admit that I can be judgmental, but dammit, what if I'm actually right?

And look. I guess I should be clear, since it seems my words were misconstrued, maybe partly because we have a different read on this thing; when I said title and obvious prejudices aside, I wasn't implying that anyone discount them at all, I was talking about one of the poster's stated reasons for posting beyond what seem to be other, more troubling reasons that I can't even tell if they realized.
posted by Red Loop at 3:35 AM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


fixedgear What do bicycles, cat declawing and polyamory have in common?

They're all better in recumbent form...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 4:35 AM on April 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


damn, that quoted text was meant to be followed by a snark, wtf?
posted by infini at 6:51 AM on April 27, 2010


Sexy Andy Rooney

I know those words, but that sign makes no sense.
posted by zippy at 9:16 AM on April 27, 2010


Let's not forget the Sexy Andy Rooney Game, where clip out everything except for Andy taking off his pants and then putting them on again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:20 AM on April 27, 2010


Andy Rooney is not allowed to take off any article of clothing ever and you are a bad person for suggesting otherwise.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:22 AM on April 27, 2010


You haven't experienced bij until you've experienced it with Andy Rooney.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:23 AM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Furries have been at the bottom of the bizarre fetish pecking order for far too long. Finally, they can now look down on Andy Rooney fetishists.

In the long term our best stable solution is a heterarchy of fetishes, where the Andy Rooney lovers can look down on the otherkin who look down on bug crush fetishists who in turn look down on Andy Rooney lovers in an endless circle of "at least we aren't as messed up as those other guys".
posted by idiopath at 9:48 AM on April 27, 2010


cj_: "Am I the only person (besides misha, I suppose) that sees it this way? I feel like I'm either missing something or taking Crazy Pills™, but this is blatant trolling to me."

It could have been trolling but I know too many people who would say this stuff if they had a sock puppet. And it's a sock puppet. So...

Go look at the old thread about polyamory being creepy, plenty of people said they would nod and smile and lose respect, or think it was totally fucked up, a disaster, whatever, and not say anything. So under the cover of the internet and anonymity, I can easily see people saying this kind of thing with all sincerity.

Especially after the other thread that was linked, which obviously made the OP feel like this is the kind of place where you can be nasty about polyamorists. And it was, indeed, a nasty thread that got rather personal.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:56 AM on April 27, 2010


I share the same reservations cj_ has that the claim of wanting to talk differently, well, if not in bad faith, will fail without her trying much, much harder.

I was willing to almost ignore it in the AskMe and assume the question was "I am very upset by all this behavior which incidentally is polyamorous." So I was disappointed to come here and find the stereotypes defended in the name of brevity, or... what does this even mean:

Well, there was really no good balance between "I am a special snowflake; here is a post twice as long as the long post it ended up as, which explains things much more rationally" and "here is a more simple question, with the disclaimer that POLYS ARE GROSS AND AWFUL, MMMKAY?"

Maybe I'm not up on my South Park or secondary meanings of the word "disclaimer," or maybe a few words were omitted, but the more I try to figure that out, the more it bugs me. The question about having a stereotype was shortened by us taking the truth of that stereotype as a given? I'm not sure if the question was, "is it true that all polyamorists are creepy," "taking my prejudice as a given, how do I talk about this with others," "how do I deal with my feelings towards my friends," or what. But I did take another stab at answering the question based on my revised understanding of how central the stereotype is to the OP's thinking.
posted by salvia at 9:56 AM on April 27, 2010


The question was really "I hate polyamory, let me prove to you why you should hate it to, okay now that said, help me feel like less of a bigot!"
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:00 AM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Using the word "bigot" to describe someone who does not like polyamory is really not all that useful.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:03 AM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't call her a bigot, I said that she wanted to feel less like a bigot because that is the fear she had:

"But within all this, as I'm trying to explain why this squicks me out, I have this nagging fear that some of the things I'm saying are very similar to objections that other people have raised about other nontraditional relationships -- LGBT, May/December, even interracial ones. "
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2010


ah, tradition. what has thou wrought?

~ adult survivor of an arranged marriage

I'd rather date a 30 year old first than consider any tradition again
posted by infini at 10:13 AM on April 27, 2010


1.) Oberon Zell's unicorns are ancient history. His picture with one of the little goats (the goat appears very well cared for) is in Margo Adler's Drawing Down the Moon which is an excellently done book if this sort of thing interests you. (It is the NPR Margo Adler.)

2.) Zambrano got banned? There isn't any flame out type stuff in the most recent posts on his user page. Did I miss some schadenfreude filled entertainment?

3.) If you are crushing on Zell he still makes public appearances. If you met him in real life you might be very disappointed.

4.) That ask me question seemed pretty two faced; to be two faced is human. We get a lot of two faced questions that do not generate so much controversy as this.
posted by bukvich at 10:32 AM on April 27, 2010


The question was really "I hate polyamory, let me prove to you why you should hate it to, okay now that said, help me feel like less of a bigot!"

No it wasn't. Oversimplification of people's questions to put them in the worst possible light isn't really terribly useful here, could you try again? The word "bigot" was all you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:35 AM on April 27, 2010


2.) Zambrano got banned? There isn't any flame out type stuff in the most recent posts on his user page. Did I miss some schadenfreude filled entertainment?

There was no flameout, there was just yet more threadcrapping and failure to respond to any mod communications about it. Enough was enough.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:47 AM on April 27, 2010


I didn't call the OP a bigot. I said that she wanted to feel less like people who "[raise objections about] other nontraditional relationships -- LGBT, May/December, even interracial ones." Those people are bigots.

In my answer I made the distinction very clear:

I'm going to use the word discriminatory here but I don't mean to imply that anti-polyamory discrimination is on the same level as other forms of systematic discrimination. I don't have any desire to minimize, say, racist bigotry against interracial relationships, which has been enforced by law and by violence.


I did not try to oversimplify the question in the worst possible light. I understand how you're seeing it that way, but it's not my intention.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:58 AM on April 27, 2010


Okay, reading it again, I see how it sounded in my summary like I was implying "less like the bigot [that I am]".

Sorry, sheena is a sock puppet. I hope it's clear that I am not trying to call you a bigot, even if I am annoyed at you right now.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:01 AM on April 27, 2010


(...and sorry if my summary is oversimplifying something that is painful and complicated for you. I hope everything works out for you and that you are able to repair a friendship with the Boyfriend at a later date)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:04 AM on April 27, 2010


Using the word "bigot" to describe someone who does not like polyamory is really not all that useful.

Making sweeping pronouncements about people, using lazy stereotypes, and claiming that those aren't out of line because they're either widely held or stem from a few prior bad impressions is a bit more than "not liking".
posted by CKmtl at 11:18 AM on April 27, 2010


bukvich: This is the Zambrano (and, as an added bonus, jock@law) banning thread, if you're curious. Not exactly a compelling read, as these things go.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:19 AM on April 27, 2010


> I think it is more about circles of acquaintance than geography, but from personal experience there are social circles
> in most cities I have lived in where polyamory is the norm rather than the exception (ie. people will be surprised that
> someone is monogamous and perhaps even taken aback)

I still live in 1967 too. Hey, let's go panhandle a couple bucks and score some crabs shampoo.
posted by jfuller at 11:31 AM on April 27, 2010


jfuller: "I still live in 1967 too. Hey, let's go panhandle a couple bucks and score some crabs shampoo."

Just to make sure we are on the same page here, you are mocking me for being out of fashion and shaming me by insinuating that I probably carry a sexually transmitted disease, correct?
posted by idiopath at 1:05 PM on April 27, 2010


I think it's just a joke about hippies.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:06 PM on April 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


1967
posted by Burhanistan at 1:07 PM on April 27, 2010


dirty hippies
posted by Burhanistan at 1:07 PM on April 27, 2010


fuck you burhanistan
posted by dirty hippie at 1:23 PM on April 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


Yes, I am aware of the significance of that year, and that associating polyamory with that specific year is a common way to mock poly folks as being out of date, and referencing sexually spread parasites like crabs is a common way to insinuate that someone is not sufficiently chaste and shame them for that lack of chastity.

As a person who has not had a girlfriend in years and hasn't even gotten laid in over a year it is a refreshing change to be mocked for sexual promiscuity, but it still seems unkind given the subject of our conversation here.
posted by idiopath at 1:29 PM on April 27, 2010


I have a bottle of Kwell under my mattress.
posted by y2karl at 1:46 PM on April 27, 2010


I knew this would end Kwell.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:49 PM on April 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


idiopath: "As a person who has not had a girlfriend in years and hasn't even gotten laid in over a year it is a refreshing change to be mocked for sexual promiscuity, but it still seems unkind given the subject of our conversation here."

Yeah, it does not seem to be the height of tact and consideration, also it is a really really bad joke.

Anyway idiopath if you come to New York say hello so I can quiz you about the polyamorous scene in Portland (if you are involved in it). Apparently it is full of rabid polyamorists who throw stuff at the monogamous and accost them at BBQs until they're forced to post snitty things about polyamory on the internet??
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:04 PM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should move to Portland.
posted by koeselitz at 3:39 PM on April 27, 2010


Apparently it is full of rabid polyamorists who throw stuff at the monogamous and accost them at BBQs until they're forced to post snitty things about polyamory on the internet??

This reminds me of an old joke we tell around the BBQ in Seattle: What's the difference between rabid polyamorists in Portland who throw stuff at the monogamous and accost them at BBQs until they're forced to post snitty things about polyamory on the internet and Seattlites? There are no monogamous in Seattle. How do you want your veggie burger cooked?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:50 PM on April 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


good plan, the Denver polyamorists don't even bother to GO to BBQs
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:50 PM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


The L.A. polygamists can't even get our orgies off the ground -- we're too busy fighting over whether we're willing to go to the West Side or not.
posted by scody at 5:08 PM on April 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


How do you want your veggie burger cooked?

In San Francisco, we like our veggie burgers the way we like all our food: raw. Same as our polyamory.
posted by salvia at 7:00 PM on April 27, 2010


Not that I have any polyamory myself these days.
posted by salvia at 7:11 PM on April 27, 2010


In San Francisco, we like our veggie burgers the way we like all our food: raw.

In Staten Island, you don't get it a choice. It's always "Raw, I'm a give it to ya, with no trivia."
posted by shmegegge at 10:06 PM on April 27, 2010


fuck. get it a choice. sure. that's what I meant to say.
posted by shmegegge at 10:06 PM on April 27, 2010


in literal terms doesn't poly = many and amory = to love?

by which standard, i'm in a polyamourous relationship with all of you. so there ;p

and no veggie burger for me thanks ;p
posted by infini at 10:24 PM on April 27, 2010


I find the term "crabs" just sounds disgusting, dirty, and a little offensive. I prefer the cuter "panty crickets."
posted by heyho at 10:53 AM on April 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


In San Francisco, we like our veggie burgers the way we like all our food: raw.

And with too much cilantro, I recently learned after visiting.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:26 AM on April 28, 2010


Yeah I dunno where else to go with this. The original post was viciously mocking of a community that is apparently held in disregard around here, so it's let slide. Somehow I think if she was all "black people, stealing my car stereo and shit LOL right?" it would've been deleted so hard no one would've seen it to make a MeTa. But as long as they are only being an ass about people who aren't monogamous, it's fair play. I guess that's my takeaway here. Whatever, hugs and stuff.
posted by cj_ at 3:50 AM on April 29, 2010


Somehow I think if she was all "black people, stealing my car stereo and shit LOL right?" it would've been deleted so hard no one would've seen it to make a MeTa. But as long as they are only being an ass about people who aren't monogamous, it's fair play. I guess that's my takeaway here.

That's an unfair characterization. The original post was a long confused ramble that was basically trying to figure out how to deal with some high drama situation while making some potshots at her friends' poly choices. Not cool, but not deleteworthy. And lots of people chimed in there and here to tell her she wasn't being cool [save one comment, which I would have deleted except that a bunch of people had responded to it by the time I'd seen it].

People don't hold the poly community in disregard here, some people have problems with some poly people. Same with married people. Same with people with/without kids. Same with people doing any manner of personal-choice things in their lives. Lots of people, probably most, don't know much about the poly community, or poly lifestyles generally. And some people take broad "I am annoyed at this" or "I think this is creepy" comments to mean that MeFi as a general community holds poly people in disregard. For those most part in this thread people told the OP that other people's situations are not really her business or they've passed on their own experiences, or they've said "yeah the drama sucks, get away from it" In fact, I saw a lot of people drawing clear lines between what her former friends were doing and the generalized poly experience.

This is really different from people playing racist black stereotypes for lulz and the community getting behind that. If you don't feel that it is, you may be expecting something from MeFi that it's not going to be able to give you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:01 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


jessamyn, I agree with your points, and you are right when you say, "This is really different from people playing racist black stereotypes for lulz and the community getting behind that," because the Mefi community did not rise to the bait.

But I think you'll agree with me that the title of the post is full of just those kinds of stereotypes (really, hot tubs and press-on nails = polyamory?) that cj_ was arguing would not be acceptable in a post about, say, a minority group.

And I kinda think that it isn't cool that the mods just let that stand.

Here's where I'm coming from, to be a bit clearer about my position: I recently, in a local town hall meeting, actually heard Barack Obama referred to as, "A Nazi-trained Atheist" and was infuriated that the politician running the town hall, while not engaging the woman directly on this particular point, did nothing to dispel that notion or distance his party (do I even have to say which one? Okay, he was Republican) from the allegation. He just ignored it.

So, the fact that people like me speak out about that kind of ridiculous bullshit doesn't mean as much, not just because I'm a liberal democrat, but also because I'm not in a position with some authority.

So, yes, the community might not have bought into the OP's mindset, but I would have liked it better if a mod had suggested, "Hey, can you cool off a bit and re-think that title and then re-submit your question?" Because I think you guys have done that kind of thing on occasion, and I feel like it was called for here.

Again, no personal axe to grind, and I realize that polyamorists (polyamors?) are not a suppressed minority. But then, the President isn't exactly helpless, and I still think that crazy "He's a Nazi-trained Atheist!" stuff is uncool.

Okay, off my soapbox! And thanks to everyone for the great discussion/debate about this.
posted by misha at 2:00 PM on April 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would have liked it better if a mod had suggested, "Hey, can you cool off a bit and re-think that title and then re-submit your question?" Because I think you guys have done that kind of thing on occasion, and I feel like it was called for here.

Yeah agree, it was less than optimal. If this were an anonymous post we'd do that. However it was someone using a sock puppet. So once the question is up on the site, our toolkit allows deleting [with a week off til you can ask again], anonymizing, or contact-and-edit. There is no "take down for an hour to see if you can contact the OP" option. Contact-and-edit is time/labor intensive, sometimes doesn't happen/work, and involves us getting into a judgment position with the OP about their language and the community standards. If someone uses a racial slur, that's actually what we'll do usually. With this sort of thing, we think it's on the community to self-police. And again I'm back to the "this is not the same as a racial slur" point I guess.

However the title on its own:

Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice and Lions and Tigers and Bears and Hot Tubs and Hairy Chests and Press-On Nails...

To me is crappy but not the same thing at all as a racial stereotype or calling the president a Nazi. It gets crappier when combined with the OPs grar about her former friends. It's a stupid lazy joke basically. I'm sorry if it hurt people's feelings, but it me it's really not actioable form a mod standpoint. Maybe I've just got a blind spot here, I'll readily admit that's possible. But to me it's more like people saying something crappy about... I don't know people from Maine and less about a historically persecuted group.

This may be what cj_ is getting at ultimately, we don't see the poly community as needing some sort of extra boost from us in terms of making the community be decent. I think the community can speak for itself when it wants to, and it did. As a general rule I don't see monogamy people showing up in threads about poly topics and being annoying any more than I see poly people showing up in monogamy topics and being annoying. I see a little of both of those things, which seems to me like a normal balance.

This sort of thread I think helps raise awareness of this sort of thing in a good way so that maybe people don't stumble into making posts like the one the OP made, but really I think her presentation came from an "I don't care what poly people think about my post" perspective and that's reflected in her word choice.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:22 PM on April 29, 2010


misha, I'm really not a good person to be talking objectively about the way polyamory is treated in AskMefi but this question really bothered me, so thanks for that comment and thanks for this post in general.

I think that you make some good point, although I don't know if that question necessarily should have been not posted. When reading it I was pretty pissed off by it but that was probably at least in part hold-over irritation from another recent polyamorous post and some of the shitty back-and-forth commenting that was going on there.

In general, I think the metafilter community would be a little better if more people here were knowledgeable and considerate about polyamory (and non-monogamy in general), but that will just take time, education, patience, people being out if possible, etc.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:31 PM on April 29, 2010


Don't get me wrong, some of my best friends are poly, but what is it with poly people always wanting to eat crackers?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:54 PM on April 29, 2010


UbuRoivas - cuz if you get crackers in your bed, you have to go sleep in someone else's! ;)
posted by nadawi at 2:56 PM on April 29, 2010


Oh, just like bedbugs.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:58 PM on April 29, 2010


(strangely, that pickup line has never worked for me)
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:58 PM on April 29, 2010


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