Be a credit to your kink take 2: Fox news (video)

That was one of my main problems with the Daily Beast article. Do some couples want to get married? Yes. The poly people that covered in the article certainly do. But the push for it is nowhere near the scale of the gay marriage debate and (in my personal opinion) should not even be mentioned in the same breathe. My other problems (read: more nit picking) with both The Daily Beast's as well as Fox News' portrayals of polyamory are:


a) While The World Polyamory Association is a polyamory advocacy group, it is not the polyamory advocacy group. I don't believe they're even an international group (I could be wrong). I am honestly not sure if any of the polyamory groups technically act as the official polyamory group on the national or international scale (readers feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). The closest one I can think of is Loving More. Again, don't quote me on this because. Feel free to correct me.


b) A Triad is only one form that a poly/group marriage could take. It's one of the most common forms, but not the default set-up. Also, I am not entirely sure that the Lessins' were the first to coin the term. I say that because no polyamory glossary that I have encountered credited them with it. Fox News appeared to notice this, but they still referred to poly relationships as "triads" then went on to describe four or more people wanting to marry each other.


c) Polyamory is just too fluid and diverse to generalize. Beyond the definition of what polyamory means (i.e. the practice of maintaining multiple, simultaneous romantic/intimate relationships where all involved are aware and consenting), there is a lot of variation. Thankfully, resources like Loving More, the Alt Polyamory page, or Franklin Veux's "Polyamory? What, Like, Two Girlfriends?" exist to give helpful pointers. If we're lucky, media outlets that cover polamory will use them responsibly.


Hmmm, "c" is probably better aimed at Fox News than at Abby Ellin. At least Ellin didn't coat her piece with a thick layer of blatant, negative bias aimed at ridiculing an entire group.


I would hazard to say (translation: take this with a grain of salt) that while there are poly relationships that find the idea attractive, most figure that it will be a long time before multiple marriages gain legal recognition. With the current legal set-up for marriage (i.e. two people), it would cause a cluster-fuck if three or more people attempted to marry each other. We have enough problems trying to figure out who gets alimony and distributing the estate when two people split. Imagine having to do that in a scenario where three or more people entered into a marriage, but later down the road one wants to leave and the others want to stay. It would get messy. Mind you, I have read about suggestions where the marriage would be treated like a business contract. I have even read accounts where members of poly relationship had a religious ceremony performed by a minister of their chosen faith. It’s not recognized by the state, but they were looking into what legal steps they could take to ensure hospital visits, power of attorney, inheritance rights, etc were covered for all involved. Those accounts, though, are not in the majority (of the groups I lurk around at least). Other groups seem happy to just go with the flow and not worry about whether or not they can legally marry.


It’s yet another example of the misconceptions people have about polyamory. Another aspect of this misconception is the idea that polyamory and polygamy are interchangeable (O'Reilly especially flubbed on this one by identifying the Lessins group as part of the World Polygamy Association). Polygamy involves multiple marriages. That could mean triads (three in a relationship), quads (four in a relationship), or even more than that. It ranges from polyandry (one woman simultaneously married to more than one man), polygyny (one man simultaneously married to more than one woman), to group marriages of two or more individuals married to two or more. While I’m on the subject, polygamy is not exclusive to Mormonism. Nor is it limited to situations where teenage girls are married off to old men (Gretchen Carlson on the O'Reilly Factor). Jenny Block and the triads interviewed by The Daily beast were talking about the rights of consenting adults. Polly (an adult) wishes to marry Wally and Doodle (both willing/consenting adults). The key words that seem to escape Fox News and other slippery slope advocates are adult and consent. Nowhere in there is anyone advocating the idea of Adult A wishes to marry non-consenting Teenager B. Nor were there any calls within the triads for Adult R to marry Turtle Q or Donkey V. Actually, let’s just leave inter-species erotica in Clerks 2.


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu5C0iPxEmk[/youtube]


Echoing Jenny Block during her appearance on Fox & Friends, I can only speak for myself. I’m on the fence about marriage in general. On one hand, the idea of getting to wear the dress of my dreams while I pledge my heart and soul to the love of my life is as tempting as the potential tax cuts. On the other hand, who would I marry? The Puppy is one of the most incredible boyfriends I could ever ask for, but there are a few things that we tolerate about each other as a couple (e.g. how to handle shared resources) that might not translate as well within a marriage. Mr. Chaotic and I are head over heels for each other, but can’t seem to ever figure out if we’re off or on. The distance thing doesn’t help. Maybe someone new will come into my life and I’ll say “It is s/he! It is s/he!” as Isabella of Castile supposedly said when she first met Ferdinand of Aragon (minus the possibility of “she” for Isabella). This is all after I finish with school. Don’t even get me started on procreating. I’m currently doing my damnedest to prevent it, but who knows how I might feel somewhere down the line. Right now, I think I’m more concerned about what to wear to a meeting if the point of said meeting is to get me naked and on camera.


But that’s a story for tomorrow.

Disclaimer: Each self-identifying poly person has their own take on these matters. This is just one of them.

Not too long ago, I wrote about being a credit to one’s kink and the problems I have with mainstream media covering my “kinks” in particular. Sure enough, an article on The Daily Beast about triads who wish to marry caught the attention of Fox News last week. They have since turned the matter into another round of slippery slope arguments that was chronicled by Media Matters. The claims are so ludicruous that I figured I would have to ram my head against concrete for it to make sense. Kudos to Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, for holding her own during her appearance on Fox & Friends.

First and foremost, there is no movement among polyamorists to lobby for marriage rights.

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