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( 142 comments — Leave a comment )
devianttouch
Dec. 29th, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)
I love it. I've been guilty of the veto power one, although I probably will not do so again. Live and learn.
terryo
Dec. 29th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
There should be a Female bubble also! be fair!
joreth
Dec. 29th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
Other than the "couple privilege", what would the female bubble look like? I ask because I don't think I've ever seen purely female privilege in the poly context, only couple privilege, not because I don't think it exists.
(no subject) - terryo - Dec. 29th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tacit - Dec. 29th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kill_inhibition - Dec. 29th, 2010 04:49 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - catwoman980 - Dec. 29th, 2010 09:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tacit - Dec. 29th, 2010 09:26 am (UTC) - Expand
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Natja - (Anonymous) - Dec. 30th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - catwoman980 - Dec. 29th, 2010 10:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ashbet - Dec. 29th, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
NeedyMeds.com - said_wednesday - Dec. 30th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - trinker - Dec. 29th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - pstscrpt - Dec. 29th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - emanix - Dec. 29th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - emanix - Dec. 29th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - emanix - Dec. 31st, 2010 02:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - LScribbens - Dec. 29th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - joreth - Jan. 11th, 2011 03:15 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - joreth - Jan. 11th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - ashbet - Dec. 29th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - trinker - Dec. 29th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - blaisepascal - Dec. 29th, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jan. 30th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kill_inhibition - Dec. 29th, 2010 04:49 am (UTC) - Expand
female privilege? - (Anonymous) - Dec. 29th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC) - Expand
I think I have had it - vrimj - Dec. 29th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
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More Work Drama - vrimj - Dec. 29th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - vrimj - Dec. 29th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I think I have had it - trinker - Dec. 30th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I think I have had it - vrimj - Dec. 30th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I think I have had it - trinker - Dec. 30th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC) - Expand
More Work Drama - vrimj - Dec. 30th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
joreth
Dec. 29th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
You've done it again! When you write your poly books (the book you're supposed to be writing, & the book form of your website), there ought to be a big coffee table book or something with a collection of all your sexual informatics!
pyrategrrl
Dec. 29th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
Yes, please!
transcendancing
Dec. 29th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
Love it!
icedrake
Dec. 29th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
Wow.

Minor quibble: Bottom left should read "woman," not "women."
tacit
Dec. 29th, 2010 10:02 am (UTC)
Right you are! Fixed. Thanks!
james_the_evil1
Dec. 29th, 2010 07:48 am (UTC)
I have to chime in on the "one vagina" thing. I've been in 2 serious relationships where the women felt strongly entitled to have all the partners they wanted, while their partners (at least their male partners) were supposed to have no others.

In both cases they threw out arguments based on the following (in various combinations):
*"True" polyamory is female-centric, so it should be all about the woman and her needs
*Men aren't capable of keeping up with a woman sexually, so the woman should be able to seek out all the partners she needs whereas a man should be fine with one woman
*A similar argument to the above, but about attention in general
*Women are nurturers who're programmed by their nature to give love to many so they can care for multiple kids, men don't share this & so can't truly love more than one person
*Male society is exploitative of women, so only be living in a fully female-centric manner can we escape such exploitation

There were others, but those were the main points. And I've seen some or all of those arguments get support.
funkyware
Jan. 2nd, 2011 12:08 pm (UTC)
I have to second that one, because I keep on bumping into females with a huge ego and an even bigger sense of self-entitlement, doubly so when it comes to whom they feel they are entitled to date and with how their male companion shall only be allowed to date others on the woman's terms, if at all.

As for the above diagram and its overlooked "one vagina" item, I'll venture that some western countries are so hopelessly stuck into these notions of privileged groups that its people are incapable of looking past this and, for example, to admit that affirmative actions have often resulted in the marginalization of those very groups that were previously viewed as privileged. Sure enough, white people and doubly so white males tend to be more and more systematically ostracized and marginalized in USA and a number of other countries. This has to stop.
(no subject) - james_the_evil1 - Jan. 2nd, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jul. 5th, 2016 01:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
agent139
Dec. 29th, 2010 08:18 am (UTC)
:P
I'd like to see an analysis of the point at which "privilege" became something to be ashamed of. Not just in this context, just in general. If I could have a harem and a billion dollar trust, I'd be a fucking lunatic to turn it down for fear of being "priviledged." And as everyone knows, I am quite sane in such regards.
catwoman980
Dec. 29th, 2010 08:41 am (UTC)
Re: :P
I don't think it's really something to be ashamed of, so much as something to be aware of. It comes out of critical race theory, and from there intersected through other civil rights movements and political theories.
Re: :P - agent139 - Dec. 29th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: :P - catwoman980 - Dec. 29th, 2010 08:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: :P - catwoman980 - Dec. 29th, 2010 08:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: :P - agent139 - Dec. 29th, 2010 08:56 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: :P - agent139 - Dec. 29th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: :P - trinker - Dec. 29th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: :P - catwoman980 - Dec. 29th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: :P - agent139 - Dec. 29th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: :P - catwoman980 - Dec. 30th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
catwoman980
Dec. 29th, 2010 08:38 am (UTC)
Privilege
This isn't really directed at you, Tacit, so much as towards the "what about the menz?!" comments.

When 4 of the top 5* major world religions have at one point (or currently) featured a one vagina multiple penis policy as standard practice--deviation from often punishable by death!--then maybe we can think about adding "female privilege" to that diagram.

Polygamy and Polyamory may be different, but the latter didn't develop in a vacuum, and they're both (like everything) informed by male privilege in some capacity. The context that this diagram seems to be borrowing from is the sociological concept of privilege pulled from critical race theory. If that's the case, then there isn't any such thing as female privilege because female isn't a privileged class. If that isn't the case, then ignore my whole comment. :)

Heterosexual and cis privilege would come into play. Class would too, and in fact it seems pretty common for couples pull in a third who was/became economically dependent which gave them far less power in the relationship. Male, couple, straight, cis, wealthy, white, etc, folks in a poly (or really any) relationship can exercise their privilege to make unfair demands specifically because they have more power in the society at large to fall back on. That isn't to say the opposite never occurs--obviously people in this thread have experienced it--but it would be individual experience, not social phenomena.

*Although the polyandry that occurs in tibet is still a form of male privilege, as the women are generally unwilling participants.

ashbet
Dec. 29th, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Privilege
I agree that this informatic pretty accurately represents some of the ways in which privilege has influenced some relationships -- I've seen it in action, and I don't disagree with what tacit has laid out here.

I *do* think that there is some degree of female/HBB privilege in the poly community, though -- I've known very few couple-with-third types (and the MFF triad who I'm friends with is VERY egalitarian and they consider their relationships to be of equal priority), whereas I know a lot of women who have multiple partners (of various genders), without the one-penis policy coming into play.

I've been in MFM configurations for most of my poly life (although I have only had one live-in partner, my monogamous husband, who is not interested in other relationships -- so the other "M" was always someone I spent time with away from the house), and for the majority of it, I've been the center of a closed "polycule" -- where the relationship with my husband was one extended leg, and I had other relationships that intersected (I've been part of an N shape, among others, and my longest-lasting configuration has me as one part of a triad, my husband as a dyad, and myself and my boyfriend as a dyad -- he's had other female partners, but they didn't last.)

I really need ChemDraw to document it properly ;)

But, basically -- for several years, I had three male partners and one female partner, who was married to one of my male partners. I currently have two male partners and one female partner (my husband and I still live together, but for unrelated-to-poly reasons, we've recently transitioned to being close friends/family, but no longer romantically involved.)

My relationship with C and L, my married-couple partners, isn't as a non-privileged third (I contribute a lot to their household, I've materially helped in raising their daughter, who I view as a daughter-of-my-heart, and I'm an equal in making decisions), but as a valued member of the family and a full partner.

We're all currently polyfidelitous (C and L had an open relationship when I first met them, with each of them allowed to pursue partners of the genders that interested them, but they decided some years ago that they were happier as a closed triad, with the understanding that my existing relationships were part of the package), and if my boyfriend, J, decides to enter another relationship, that partner would be expected to become part of this closed system.

(I know it sounds like I'm exercising HBB-privilege in asking that my partners' partners not be open-ended, but part of the issue is that we're fluid-bonded and I have a compromised immune system, so it's really important that any new partners be fully tested and willing to have any of their potential future relationships go through the same testing process -- so, basically, if my boyfriend starts dating his play partner and wants to have sex with her, she'd need to agree not to enter into any other relationships without her new potential partner getting tested and agreeing to only date her. And *she* has been fully tested/etc. before they had any contact without being fully clothed, because something relatively minor like HPV or HSV-1 could steamroller my immune system, so we decided not to take any chances.)

Thus far, it's worked out really well -- my triad relationship is of almost seven years' duration, my boyfriend and I just passed the two-year mark, and while my husband is no longer my sexual/romantic partner, we had an 11-year partnership that overlapped my other relationships. (I never did the whole "married dyad is privileged over all other relationships" thing -- for quite some time, my "primary" partnerships have been with other people.)

(cont'd)
Re: Privilege - ashbet - Dec. 29th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - trinker - Dec. 29th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - ashbet - Dec. 29th, 2010 05:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - trinker - Dec. 29th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - ashbet - Dec. 29th, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - trinker - Dec. 29th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - ashbet - Dec. 29th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - trinker - Dec. 29th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - pstscrpt - Dec. 29th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - catwoman980 - Dec. 29th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - oboegoddess - Dec. 29th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Privilege - catwoman980 - Dec. 30th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Privilege - trinker - Dec. 31st, 2010 01:49 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Privilege - trinker - Dec. 31st, 2010 01:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Privilege - catwoman980 - Dec. 31st, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
yesthattom
Dec. 29th, 2010 11:54 am (UTC)
That's *hilarious* and true.

The problem, however, is that it doesn't document a positive place to be! (or does it?)
ashbet
Dec. 29th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
As I understand it, it's not so much that it's desirable to fall within these categories, it's just noting that these privileges *exist*, and that people should be aware of them.

For example, as a formally-educated cisgendered femme Caucasian-appearing woman, I have certain levels of privilege that my Puerto Rican cisgendered butch female friend, who speaks with a noticeable accent, does not. (She actually has more formal education than I do, but someone observing us wouldn't necessarily guess it if they were listening to our manner of speaking.)

This doesn't mean that I'm necessarily taking ADVANTAGE of this privilege in any way, but since we live in a society based on kyriarchy model, I am perceived as having more privilege than she does.

It's not so much that this model exists in all individual relationships, but more that society privileges certain relationships and certain people over others.

Make sense? :)

-- A <3
(no subject) - gentlescholar - Dec. 29th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ashbet - Dec. 29th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
tgstonebutch
Dec. 29th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
definitions?
I'm wondering what definition of *privilege* is being used here?

The OP has not given much context, so the only place I can draw from are comments.

It seems that some folks who are commenting are using the word privilege to mean something akin to the folks who get (some) goodies in individual relationships/situations.

And a few folks who are commenting seem to be using a definition of privilege that I am much more familiar with--where institutionalized oppression sets things up so that certain groups of folks automatically get and are expected to have(often unquestioned, unexamined, and not chosen or even sought) rights/favors/advantages/goodies/immunities due to membership in that group, including simply not being targeted by that form of oppression. (e.g. male privilege is connected to sexism and misogyny as insitutions and the goodies that men get because of those insitutions, and is not wholly about individual feelings and expressions between people, which of course vary considerably).

Similarly, I'm wondering what definition of *entitlement* is being used here?
agent139
Dec. 29th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
I agree. When most people use the terms entitlement & privilege, they are both perjurative terms-- as I explored a little with my kind of tongue-in-cheek comments elsewhere in this thread. Now, the perspective that it is "simply something to be aware of" is a valid one, but I wonder at it being used in such judgmentally loaded words which, as I've seen them used most commonly, are like weapons to level an unlevel playing field. Moral high-ground when no other high-ground can be won, that kind of thing.

This remains an ongoing issue for the discussion of ideas like this-- or race and gender relations for that matter-- because so long as people are put on the offensive and defensive through the use of terms (whatever their supposed "neutral" definition may be), you'll just see a recapitulation of power struggle in the form of language. I have generally tossed out these words as useful for that reason, though it seems some can actually engage with them with it being an insightful rather than accusatory thing. And that's great.
Re: definitions? - trinker - Dec. 29th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: definitions? - ashbet - Dec. 29th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: definitions? - agent139 - Dec. 29th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: definitions? - trinker - Dec. 29th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: definitions? - trinker - Dec. 29th, 2010 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: definitions? - tgstonebutch - Dec. 29th, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: definitions? - agent139 - Dec. 29th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Tossed out - (Anonymous) - Dec. 29th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
pingback_bot
Dec. 29th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Poly, privilege, & entitlement
User mzrowan referenced to your post from Poly, privilege, & entitlement saying: [...] From , a link to a Venn diagram exploring the intersection of privilege and entitlement in polyamory [...]
(Deleted comment)
catwoman980
Dec. 30th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
It's pretty cliche what happens. Some people jump to completely redefine it as something no one is saying, then they denounce the definition they just made up, then call for everyone to use totally different words so no one can get "confused" by the made up meaning they themselves injected into the discourse. It's almost impressive.
(Deleted comment)
trinker
Dec. 31st, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
. It's not at all what I'd call polyamory though. Can't we just call it swinging? Since they are supposedly the more rule based group.

Let people self-ident, eh? A lot of those people will tell you that they are *not* swingers, they're poly, or "open", or whatever.
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seinneann_ceoil
Dec. 31st, 2010 04:49 am (UTC)
Privilege versus entitlement
Generally, when talking about issues that intersect with gender, race and class, the definition of privilege that is most widely used is this:

PRIVILEGE: An UNEARNED advantage conferred upon a person or a specific grouping of people because of a particular identity that person or group of people claim.

ENTITLEMENT: The general belief that one has a right to these privileges.


  • It should be noted that privilege is a dynamic...not a fixed event or condition. Since different aspects of a person's identity can align or not align with various identity groups, people can find certain parts of their identity confer certain privileges on them where other parts of their identity may not. Being white confers certain privileges, being a cis woman gives some privileges while also denies others, etc...

  • It should also be noted that privilege is talked about most often when dealing with aspects of power and access to power WITHIN OUR SOCIETY IN GENERAL. When someone starts using examples like "I'm white, but I grew up in a black neighborhood and I most certainly was NOT privileged in that neighborhood." They are not looking past their own nose and are failing to see the larger picture of how their skin color affords them some unearned advantages in the larger society.

  • It should also be noted that often, the people who have the privilege have the most difficult time seeing that privilege. (Or as emanix has put it- "It's hard to see the mountain when you're standing on it.")



Setting aside that in our society, being part of a couple is one of those things that confers a lot of privilege onto a person, within the poly community I can see that privilege even more because it usually comes with a lot of entitlement.

When people start arguing what other people should be feeling or how other people should be expressing themselves on a subject (particularly when they start talking about other identity groups- "You know, people of color would do much better advancing their cause if they weren't so angry" or "I really wish people would stop bringing up privilege. What's the big deal...it happens and people should just deal with it rather than try to make me feel guilty for having it" or "That single HBB shouldn't complain so much about the attention she gets from couples like us"), I generally take that as a clue that there is a lot of privilege informing their behavior.

As for entitlement, it does amaze me how many couples, when given all sorts of perspectives about how their unicorn hunt is objectifying and degrading to those they hunt, dig their heels in and start defending their right to unicorn hunt. When people who are called on shitty behavior start responding with lines such as "YOUR poly isn't MY poly" or "There no one right way to do poly", I can generally take that as a clue that there is a lot of entitlement informing their behavior.

(NOTE: I'm not saying that there is no validity to sentiments such as "Your poly isn't my poly" or "There's no one right way to do poly". However, those statements do lose all their validity with me when they are used to defend generally shitty behavior.)
funkyware
Jan. 4th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
replace Entitlement with Female Priviledge
Honestly, entitlement is just an exacerbated awareness of privilege, so it doesn't deserve its own bubble. Instead, Female Privilege does, because the "one vagina" policy very much exists in many couples. Heck, to make this cognitively perfect color-wise, you'd need the Female Privilege to be in the pink bubble and the Couple Privilege to be in the neutral green bubble.
seinneann_ceoil
Jan. 4th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
Re: replace Entitlement with Female Priviledge
I'm not sure you're operating under the same definition of privilege that this post is using.
Could you please define "female privilege" as you see it?
lupagreenwolf
Jan. 25th, 2011 08:42 am (UTC)
Found this from FetLife. ZOMG. Yes. This. I can't agree enough. And thank you for framing it in such a way that illustrates my qualms with this as a former unicorn. (Well, okay. might still be one. Anyway. Thank you.)
colubra
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:52 am (UTC)
Thank you for summing up every objection I have to 'bisexual men' who never, ever ever ever, act on attraction to the same sex.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 7th, 2015 05:46 pm (UTC)
Female Dominance and Polyamory
My submissive male and I would definitely redefine this paradigm. I am allowed multiple men AND women to play with, and I control whom he plays with. He may not play separate of Me unless I personally arrange for that and then it is only play with other men, and in My company he may play with another female though I will control the play as well. Female privilege is more dominating than his. As his Domme, I control all our polyamorous play, and yet..... do much to keep him happy and well sexed up with others in play..... I am generous.....but must maintain control.
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