Monday, February 26, 2007

Polygamy is the new Gayness! (?)

Yes. I called it.

Once upon a time, like back in the 50s or so, it was just impossible to live your life being gay. You couldn't tell your parents (or friends) about your same-sex partner, you couldn't live your life with them, kiss them in public or whatnot, and most of all you were constantly in danger of 'racist reactions' (read: being beaten up or even killed because of your choice in life).

Now things have moved on in that respect - yes, there is still some prejudice going around, you can't really deny that, even in countries where same-sex marriage is allowed or at least considered. But you're automatically 'taught' to accept it, you're a close-minded sob if you don't. Literature, support lines, parades... So many things are on your side, and chances are that your friends and family will 'understand' if you come out to them.

So, now, the new sexual choice that would mean you're too embarrassed to share it with your own, even if you personally know there are higher emotions aplenty involved, even if you go to all the trouble a member of a 'regular' relationship would be supposed to go to, even if you face matters with admirable maturity, is having more than one partner. Whether or not a 'gay relationship' is part of this and whether you have a single, 'important' 'main relationship' and other minor ones around it or you simply have more than one 'serious partners', you're most probably the only one in your social group who's 'into that kind of thing'.

Arguably, monogamy is not the 'natural way to go' for human beings. And, arguably, human beings are supposed to be able to control or even overcome their raw instincts, drives and urges. But how is this supposed to work in this case? There are people out there able to live happy lives with, and respect and love, more than one people. But in all probability, they won't go out to a work party and go 'these are my two girlfriends'. Not unless they're going out to impress their pals, or they're prepared to accept weird looks for the rest of the night.

There's a long road ahead of anyone who's pledged their heart to more than one person, or anyone who sees love and sex as two different, unrelated things. I just believe, and hope, that in a few decades there'll be polygamy pride parades marching outside our window - hopefully with something less tacky than a rainbow as their sign.


Oneiros said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oneiros said...

As always, science fiction paves the way for social awareness and evolution. Charlie Stross' all-around excellent Glasshouse, among other things, tackles multi-partner families with genuine sensitivity. Highly recommended!

Bunny Dee said...

That's the thing with science fiction... It acknowledges things that we romantically see as fiction, years before science (social or otherwise) takes a stand on the subject.

Interesting, though, I'll probably check it out. Although, the last time someone told me to check a series out because it featured, and discussed, polygamy, it was about Mormons :P

Speaking of polygamy in series, by the way, one of the reasons I respect Canada so much lately is ReGenesis' awesomely mature approach on the subject. That being one of many subjects on which the series holds an awesomely mature and intelligent approach, of course.

Oneiros said...

That's the thing with science fiction...
Um, and that's a bad thing, you mean? I think SF is sort of the F1 championship for science's busy highways, in that it innovates, testdrives and breaks ideas that are bound to become commonplace products and tropes of thinking some day. Modern day SF writers tend to also do most of the hard-science (or quasi-science) homework, so scientists don't have as much of a stretch assimilating their ideas.

Rest assured, no Mormons in "Glasshouse". Only generation spanning meme-wars and Sunday school for personality reprogrammed tourists at a sinister social experiment ;-p