As is often the case, I had my cranky pants on during an Internet discussion and started ranting about how fringe groups often like to get self-congratulatory about what better people they are. This ain’t a polyamorous phenomenon, mind. As far as I can tell, it’s part of the Human Experience.
It does drive me up a freakin’ wall, however, and I boggled in my personal blog about why this should be so. It must serve a need or people wouldn’t do it.
I got this back from the author of What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory: (And check that out, it’s good!)
…fringe isn’t better, it’s simply equal. But, since there often isn’t equality, people look for the added security of bolstered pride. Poly is no better than mono; it’s worth fighting for equal rights for, but not because it’s better – just because it’s ok, and should be seen as ok.
I loved this.
Oh yeah, sure, be a credit to your kink and all. That’s great. Go for it and be a good person if that’s your heart’s desire. I don’t go back on that, and yes, the more poly people who have their shit together, the better.
But poly isn’t better. It’s okay — just like monogamy is okay.
There’s often a compensation syndrome going on, and I do understand that. When OLQ1 was together, I can recall all four of us discussing the pressure we felt to be Very Good Parents because of our lifestyle. Not that we’re not motivated to try to be as good parents as we can for our kids’ sake, but we did feel a lot of pressure from the outside to keep from being judged. We were concerned that screwups would be attributed to the lifestyle, rather than the fact that we’re bloody human.
You get it with other things, too. There’s a tendency to blame every damn’ thing that goes wrong on lifestyle. Sometimes… Well, sometimes your relationships do suck and you need to get your head out of your ass.
Sometimes… Well, sometimes it’s Just Life.
I do look forward to the day when fringe groups in general are judged by the same standards are the rest of the world. The internal motivation to be a credit to your kink, or be the best person you can be is great. The thing is, it’s that external pressure to be more together/a better parent/more loving/whatever isn’t really productive, nor does it promote honest equality.
1Our Little Quad. I used to live in a group marriage and that’s how we referred to ourselves on the internet. Be careful how you name yourself, ’cause that shit can stick 😉