Well hello! You’ve certainly given me plenty to dig my teeth into here today. Good thing I’m not actually much of a football fan and can respond to this instead while the rest of my family watches the game.

Norms that require people to behave a certain way upon pain of imprisonment, death, bullying, shunning, etc. have no value. Sure, as humans we will probably always have some, but hopefully we can move to a place where they are functional norms — like being kind and tolerant of each other, rather than depriving people of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that harms no-one else for no good reason other than being obsessed with dominating those around us and wanting them to conform to external standards. There is no defense for these. For example, female litigators have to constantly walk the line between being seen as tough enough to be considered competent to do their job and being hegemonically “female” enough. This serves no functional purpose except to hold up gender norms that don’t contribute anything to our society.

A harem is based in an imbalance of power — that’s why it relates to domination hierarchies. Actual polyamory is based in mutual respect and co-creation of different kinds of relationships. The hallmark of polyamory is honesty — both emotional honesty and the not lying to your partner about where you’ve been kind. It pushes you to develop yourself as a mature person, to talk to each other about things you never had to as a monogomous couple, to engage in healthy, non co-dependent relationships, whether they be with committed other partners or more casual assignations. This applies to more than just me and my partners. There are hundreds of thousands of polyamorous people around the world. It’s a very different kind of social system. I won’t link you the articles based on what you’ve said, but I’ve written a couple that further explore this concept. This article below has a bit of click-bait title, but it does showcase 6 current societies that are not patriarchies that work just fine.

One of the articles I wrote was called What I’ve Learned About Love From Non-monogamy which was about learning how to have non-attachment based, non-ownership based, non-codependent relationships because you cannot control all of your partners in the way that many monogamous couples control each other. Two others were about going to a life-style (sex) club that we used to spend a lot of time at. I have never felt safer in a public venue even though I was frequently wearing not very much. There was no assumption that half-naked women were doing anything (like “asking for it”) other than expressing their sexual selves. There was no entitled or possessive behavior and consent was taken very seriously. As someone who has spent the last several decades as a prey animal, it was incredibly freeing to just be entirely self-expressed and also entirely safe. I’ve never felt more equal nor more able to be my real self than in that kind of club. Ironic!

I have a private personal growth coaching practice but I also work part time for a national non-profit that helps women coming out of tough circumstances. It is entirely of women for women, and we operate on the partnership model (as distinct from the dominance hierarchy model). I have never worked someplace that is so adult, sane, functional, productive and pleasant to work. Even when we disagree, we do it with real respect and caring because no-one feels the need to engage in the typical domination-related antics of the larger work world.

Riane Eisler has written extensively about this kind of model and speaks around the world about it, at places like the UN. “Human Evolution is now at a crossroads. Stripped to its essentials, the central human task is how to organize society to promote the survival of our species and the development of our unique potentials. A partnership society offers us a viable alternative.” This is not a feminism-based construct, although it is an anti-patriarchy model, and so does tend to fit in well with feminist ideals that support equality for all.

Your comment about Hitler and Stalin is specious. What’s wrong with letting people be who they actually are when it’s not hurting anyone else? Homophobia is rampant because, in America in particular, it is unacceptable for men to show any feminine qualities — because those are considered less than and therefore undesirable. Meanwhile, all people are a blend of yin and yang qualities and should be allowed to live whatever expression of those they naturally are and being femme is not an inherently undesirable thing. Some guys will naturally be the norm for what’s considered masculinity right now, but many won’t. Same goes for women. There is no actual defense for forcing people to fit into the boxes that others have designed, particularly since there is a lot of evidence that this causes psychological harm.

And since you mentioned it, yes, actually I am the center of the known Universe………..😉 OK, on to the next segment!

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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