miss_s_b: (Politics: Goth Lib Dems)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Today's Beyond Belief is talking about poly relationships, and the interview with the poly guy was quite interesting. He didn't make enough of communication for my liking, but he did ok. Unfortunately, they are having a post match discussion and the monogamous Christian guy is making me want to scream and throw things at the radio with his level of Not Getting It. He is going on about how broken promises hurt people and things, and ignoring the fact that in a poly relationship you don't make promises of monogamy by definition. The wanker. There's a very reasonable woman called Lisa who is cheering me up, though.

Anyway, this brings me to a poll:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 32

Is it possible for a person to love more than one person deeply enough to want to spend the rest of their life with them (whether or not you personally could do it)?

Yes
28 (87.5%)

No
0 (0.0%)

Maybe/Don't Know
4 (12.5%)

Marriage should be

Between one man and one woman, for life.
0 (0.0%)

Between any two (previously uncommitted or divorced) people who want to commit to each other, for life
3 (11.1%)

Between any number of people who want to commit to each other, for life
6 (22.2%)

Between one man and one woman, for as long as it lasts
0 (0.0%)

Between any two (previously uncommitted or divorced) people who want to commit to each other, for as long as it lasts
0 (0.0%)

Between any number of people who want to commit to each other, for as long as it lasts.
18 (66.7%)

The state should

Legislate on Marriage, because what happens in people's private relationships affects all of society
4 (13.3%)

Butt out of relationships between consenting adults; as long as there is no coercion, it's nobody's business but the participants.
26 (86.7%)

This poll is faulty!

It should have more ticky boxes
14 (56.0%)

You've worded the questions all wrong!
8 (32.0%)

I can't see how other people have voted and I want to be nosey!
8 (32.0%)

Something else which I will detail at great, mansplanatory length in the comments
3 (12.0%)





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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
I have a question.

Aren't there poly people who make promises to each other only to sleep with specific people? Okay, so that's not monogamy, but I guess there can still be broken promises.

Don't get me wrong, Monogamous Christian Guy sounds like a twunt (and probably isn't as monogamous as he claims), I'm just curious.

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
Yes--there are group "marriages" and arrangements where permissions are needed and similar.

So some poly relationships can end up with broken promises. But that's different to an assertion that someone else=broken promise, which is what this idiot thought, Jennie hasn't broken any promises to me[1], but he wouldn't see it that way.

[1] apart from the whole "if you do the bins this morning I'll tidy the living room while you're out" thing, but, y'know, that doesn't count...

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
Oh I wasn't saying that was the same thing as what gitface was claiming. I was just curious if that was defined as a poly relationship or just an open one.

[1] apart from the whole "if you do the bins this morning I'll tidy the living room while you're out" thing, but, y'know, that doesn't count...


Oh, no one keeps THOSE promises, silly boy.:P

ethics

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
There's a very interesting book called 'The Ethical Slut' which, although unspeakably American in places, is very clear on how polyamory is not simply having no ethics but in fact means a far more complicated set of relationships and the book tries to help guide people to do this ethically.

That means talking to each other, having agreed boundaries and rules, if one person is your 'primary' then remembering that all the other people still have feelings and aren't just your disposable playthings... etc, etc.

Incidentally I heard the programme too and wasn't that impressed with the poly guy but was impressed that the religious commentators didn't simply run out of the studio shouting 'Satan!!!!' Although they may have come close at one point.

Re: ethics

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Bother - didn't sign off. That was me.

Jim Jepps
The Daily (Maybe)
http://jimjay.blogspot.com

A tough one

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
von_geisterhand: (Default)
From: [personal profile] von_geisterhand
(Proviso: I have not listened to the linked programme yet and may therefore be missing out on some important insights/points.)

Question 1: Personally I am not entirely convinced that this whole "Till Death do us part"-thing works, full stop, but if you have the genuine feeling that you might want to spend the rest of your life with this one person, I don't see why it should not work with more participants, too.

2: (Only in respect to secular marriages/civil partnerships. If the churches want to play their own one-male-one-female-game, that's fine by me.) I like to think of this as true commitment. If two (or more) people decide that they want to spend the foreseeable future with each other and feel so strongly about it that they want to put all of this into an officially sanctioned context, let them. Some legal changes might have to be made in order to take into account the special requirements that might arise from a larger than previously considered number of participants but in theory it should be possible (even if I have to say that I am quite happy not to be the one who would have to figure it all out). Just as long as it remains clear that this is not a step to be taken willy nilly.

3: In the end the State (tm) is giving a form/framework to these unions and therefore it is only logical for it to be write the rules for how these things should look. Though obviously the masses should do some serious "advising".

That's the brief version.

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
wildeabandon: me sitting by the thames (Default)
From: [personal profile] wildeabandon
I couldn't really answer the second question as it stands. I dislike the conflation of "a religious or social ceremony in which commitment is expressed" and "a legal contract for the sharing of various rights and responsibilities".

I think people should be able to call the former marriage if they want to and define it pretty much however they like, as long as all the participants agree on the definition.

I think it would be better if the latter had a different name, and in theory I think it should be open to any number of people who want to commit to one another, but in practice the legislation for that will be an absolute nightmare, and I don't think that writing it should be a particularly high priority.

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
Absolutely. I have no problem with the idea of anyone, regardless of gender, number, sexual preference or even blood relations entering into a civil partnership of some form. Purely because I see it as a business transaction. "Marriage" should basically be a legal contract. If people want to dress it up in a ceremony to mark the occasion then that's fine. If a group of flatmates want to get married because that makes organising bills and paying the rent easier then that's fine by me too.

Perhaps there needs to be some kind of "Civil Cohabitation Partnership". Something to help out people like the sisters who wanted to avoid a double dose of inheritance tax because they'd lived together all their life. (Perhaps in that case some kind of deferred payment would be a better solution.)

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
el_staplador: (Default)
From: [personal profile] el_staplador
Yes, this.

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
el_staplador: A mediaeval lion sticks his tongue out (:-P)
From: [personal profile] el_staplador
Questions answered from my usual idealist why-can't-everybody-be-nice-to-each-other point of view, I should point out. I'm well aware that It's Always More Complicated.

thoughts on yaoi

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
telegramsam: david bowie (bowiesmoke)
From: [personal profile] telegramsam
How the hell can you break a promise you haven't actually made? Doesn't make much sense to me. I figure as long as everybody knows what's going on, and are all on the same page, and nobody's being deceived, who gives a fuck? It's not something I could deal with personally, but I'm an emotionally backward recluse anyway, so I'm hardly in a position to say much on human relationships.

As for marriage, I don't think the government has any business saying anything at all about marriage. Why the hell is there even a legal definition for it in the first place? Historically at least it's mostly been a religious or at least cultural institution, so governments getting mucked up in it always seems like mixing church and state to me. Churches, temples, mosques, etc as far as I care can decide for themselves who they are willing to marry or not, as that's really nobody else's business outside of that particular religious body.

"Civil unions" though, frankly anybody should be able to be civilly-union'ed to whoever they want to be civilly-union'ed to and confer such privileges on. I can think of several circumstances where a person might want such a legal union to another person or persons without actually being married to said person(s), especially for child custody and property/inheritance issues.

Don't even get me started on the tax break in the USA that married couples get for no particular reason. Children I understand, because kids are expensive, but just being married? Two incomes under one roof are already better off than one.

That conservo-guy needs to go get a hobby and stop minding other people's business.

TL;DR - My brain hurts today.

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (heart + stomach)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
What I think marriage should be is not the same as what I think the Government has a right to define marriage as.

Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 11:58 am (UTC)
lizw: photo of me wearing my wedding veil (veil)
From: [personal profile] lizw
Yes, I found question 2 difficult for that reason. I eventually answered it based on what marriage means to me, because question 3 is expressly about what the legal position should be; but that one was also difficult to answer, because I think the state does need to get involved at least to the extent of helping people sort out any disputes about property, kids, next-of-kin roles, inheritance etc. That probably means having some default rules for marriage and/or civil unions, because I think the distinction between committed and uncommitted partnerships does matter somewhat when answering those questions. The default rules should be designed to accommodate as many consensual relationship structures as possible, though, and people should also be allowed to contract out of them and/or supplement them with pre-nups and such.

Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
My sulk about the questions - the state should legislate on marriage, but not because of what happens in private relationships; instead because if people want to designate someone else as their next of kin then that is a legal change and has to be done through legislation.

[Also divorce is / can be a messy legal process and there need to be laws on unravelling mixed-up finances and also child custody questions]

Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 11:48 am (UTC)
pmoodie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
Seems to me that most marriages fail anyway, so what's so special and shiny about the good old fashioned man/women monogamous stuff?

On the other hand, I think I personally would find it very hard to maintain a serious relationship with more than one person at a time. I think it would get very complicated and I crave a simple life. But that's not to say that other people can't make it work.

I suppose it would be ideal for the state to keep it's nose out, but obviously there needs to be some kind of official framework for when the marriage falls apart (or someone dies) and it all gets legal, with people squabbling over money, children and DVD collections.

Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
Seems to me that most marriages fail anyway

Actually, not true.

Most first marriages are fairly succesful. The problem is that those that fail and get divorced have a tendency to try again, and then get divorced, inflating the divorce statistics to make it look like a lot of marriages fail.

Last I looked at an analysis of the stats, 5/6ths of first marriages end naturally (ie with the death of one or other partner).

How many of them are "happy" marriages wasn't covered, but I'd guess the majority TBH.

It's those damned serial monogamists that cause all the problems.

Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)
pmoodie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
That surprises me, I must say.

I wonder how the stats break down if you look at different age-groups. I'll bet it's the older couples that mostly stick together.

Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (war)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
TB absolutely fair, they only 'fail' if you define 'success' by the death does us part clause. If you define success and failure in other ways, then your numbers will change.

Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
pmoodie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
Well maybe "fail" was a poor choice of words, but if you don't go into a marriage with a view towards the death do us part stuff, then why get married at all?

I would judge any relationship to have "failed" if one or other of the people involved is no longer happy with the person (or people) to whom they made a committment.

Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
pmoodie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
And I would judge my spelling to have failed if I put an extra "t" in commitment.

Date: Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
ginasketch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ginasketch
I disagree with the "til death do us part" stuff. I think there's too much emphasis placed on staying together forever. If it works out, great! If it doesn't, then so what? I think this emphasis makes people stay in abusive relationships out of obligation to that oath and the mainstream definition of marriage.

Also, I personally could not live with a partner again. This has nothing to do with the partner themselves, but the fact that I like having freedom and space to be alone if I want to. Living with someone for 5 years under the same roof nearly broke me, regardless of whether that person was a jerk or not.

If I had married Mike, this would have been the living arrangement- our own spaces.
According to the traditional view of marriage, you buy a house together and live under the same roof or you are a "weirdo."

Who cares what the situation is if it makes people happy.


Date: Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
pmoodie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
I disagree with the "til death do us part" stuff.

Oh, I agree completely. I think you should commit to someone for as long as it works, but if it doesn't, that's it. You shouldn't just walk away without trying to make it work, but neither should you stick with it if one or both (or more) of the people is miserable.

This is why I don't intend to get married. I don't see the need for it. I'm in a relationship with El, we live together and we're happy. Why do we need to have the state put an official stamp on it?

Slight issue...

Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tommybblog.blogspot.com
I do have a slight issue with the poll, but it is of course an entirely obvious one that everyone's already thought of: The vast majority of participants will be people who regularly read your blog. The vast majority of those people will be people who generally agree with you in most of the more important areas in which your goat is regularly got. With that in mind, the results of your poll will be heavily biased and not at all representative of 'society' (whatever that word may mean).

BUT it acts as a talking point, and I would bet that your primary motive in posting this poll was just that, rather than an actual attempt to collect any sensible, workable data.

Also, I'd like to say that I agree with lots of the things that have been said above, but I don't want to bore everyone to death by repeating them all. One thing I would like to explicitly address, though, is the whole marriage thing: I found your second question difficult to answer because of my views of what 'marriage' actually is, regardless of how many people it involves. Maybe that's just my problem as a cynic.

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