Reading the newspaper yesterday I noticed a few stories that sparked my poly sensibilities. The first story was about this ex cop from etobicoke who has started up a lie detector business for people who think their partners are cheating. This guy drives around with his van that says "relationships tests, partners cheating, need the truth?" and goes to peoples homes testing to see if their partners are cheating on them. This seems to show a complete lack of communication and trust within relationships. With the high numbers of people "failing" this test is again drives the question about the idea of monogamy and does it actually work. Once these tests have been conducted the house calling polygraph examiner and partners have found that cheating has occured the relationship is then over. This story reminds me of a tv show that I just say a tid bit of called cheaters. Basically if you think that your partner has been infadilious you can call the tv program, they will do some private ingestigating and then have a public broadcast of the confrentation of the partners. There seems little dialogue about the privacy violations of the person caught cheating on tape. And there is absolutley no dialogue in either the tv program or the newspaper story about the jealousy, control and ownership issues that are prevalant in both of these stories.
Its seems once caught the methods of how one was caught is not investigated, the ends of distroying relationships outway the means of discovering what your partner is up to.
A few pages later there was a very distrubing article, the article was on polygamy. Which is different from polyamory, yet the discourse is damaging all the same. This women was discussing a polygamy collony where many people had been abused. Teh article went from exposing the abuse to demonising the community, which considering what happen and the ethics within polygamy one can understand. Yet her plight was not done, she continued to demonise and pathologise any type of relationship outside of monogamy.
These type of articles create moral scares that contribute to the fear and hatred of polyamory. It seems that monogamy with adultry and cheating is normalised and ready to be telivised but if the relationships are ethical, communicated in a positive manor and outside the discourse of control and ownership in relationships, then it is something to be feared.
These moral scares are real and manifest themselves with negative stereotypes, social contructions, laws and norms that discriminate against anyone who lives outside of the monogamous matrix. One could say outside of the heteronormative yet with same sex marriage at the top of the agenda you would have to wonder if the people in same sex relationships are just begging to be part of the heteronormative making it the new norm and partake in the abuse and discrimination of anyone outside of this new norm.
There are some sancuaries for people who do not fit with this matrix, these spaces are much needed since the general population is not at all excepting. A few weeks ago I dropped by the Ethical Lovers group at the womens centre at UofT. It was like in one sence coming home, it felt really good to be around a group of like minded people where I don't have to explain my position and defend it from attack like I did much of this year. Yet I found that I don't need to be there anymore, it was great when I was thinking about coming out as poly and when I had a few poly crisis. But now as a comfortable poly person I find the discussion health but not where I need to be. Also I think since I am not in a relationship I don't have any current expereinces to bring to the group, most people in there are in long term poly relationships.
I found out this past weekend that there is this new monday night sauna that happens in my old hood. This women I know told me its a really positive, queer, poly environment . . .without the capitalist componant of going to a bath house. This guy opens up his house and they have developed a community of excepting people. I think I might check it out in a few weeks.