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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.
terryo
Dec. 29th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
It would be totally symmetric around the couple bubble; mirror through the Couple-Entitlement' centerlines and label it Female Privilege; I have heard of some folks having a 'one vagina' policy, I believe...
tacit
Dec. 29th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
I haven't personally encountered a lot of female privilege (well, outside of female supremacy BDSM groups, anyway). Culturally, most societies are male privileged, and I think it's a lot easier to grow up stepped in invisible, unconscious privilege as a man--privilege which I suspect many men aren't even aware they have.

I've never personally encountered a "one vagina policy," though I'd be interested to see how many relationship structures are built that way.

There's definitely another form of privilege in the mix which isn't on this chart, and which may be added if I do an update, and that's heterosexual privilege. We definitely live in a society that privileges male heterosexuals and female bisexuals, strongly at the expense of gay and bisexual men and TG/TS people.
kill_inhibition
Dec. 29th, 2010 04:49 am (UTC)
My previous relationship was a "one vagina policy". I was dating two men seriously and saw other people casually on the side (very rarely). The two men who were seriously dating me weren't "allowed" to be with other people. It worked like this for over 2 years.
trinker
Dec. 29th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
Pardon my prying, but was that a HBB situation, or was that a MFM vee relationship?

Because canonically, HBB's are female, and thus it's generally a one-penis competitive (anti-gay homophobic) thing, rather than a one-vagina (anti-lesbian) thing...
kill_inhibition
Dec. 29th, 2010 05:32 am (UTC)
MFM.

I'm engaged to one of the men now, and my ex (and friend) is in an exclusive relationship with a woman. Both have only ever been with woman and always exclusively except in our case.
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tacit
Dec. 29th, 2010 09:44 am (UTC)
I wonder how much of the one-penis policy is really male privilege versus the simple choice of both people involved not to have any other penises.

I'm very, very skeptical about that. If the people in the relationship genuinely don't want another male partner, for real, then a rule forbidding additional male partners becomes superfluous.

For example, I'm straight. I do not have any desire for a male sexual partner. So if someone were to pass a rule--"You will not have a male sexual partner"--it'd seem to be a bit odd to me, and I'd wonder what was up. People don't generally pass rules against things that nobody has any desire or intention of doing anyway, you know?

It seems to me that a great deal of the rules that people pass against having "outside" men involved are stepped in the notion that, heh heh, two girls together, heh heh, is, like, heh heh, totally hot, heh heh, but it's not threatening because it's not "really" sex We all know, heh heh, that when two girls get it on, what they really want, heh heh, is a cock. This notion is reinforced daily in everything from men's magazines to Hollywood movies to TV ads for beer; once you start looking for that notion, it quickly becomes astonishing how ubiquitous it is. Girl-on-girl isn't REALLY sex; but another guy, now that's threatening.

From Okcupid I came across a boat load of women in relationships who specifically said they were only looking for a female. That they were perfectly happy with just having one guy. That they really wanted to have their cake and their pie too.

Yet, the result is considered male privilege. Why is that?


You know, it's amazing how many women I've talked to, often at poly get-togethers, who will come with a male partner and loudly proclaim "I'm only interested in another woman, I don't want another man," but then once you talk to them in private, away from the male partner, the story becomes Well, I don't NEED another man, and the last time I found some other guy interesting my boyfriend had a cow, so..."

Hell, there are people on my LJ flist who've been in that kind of situation.

There is female privilege outside of this chart. Its the privilege of being able to have all sorts of interesting sexual interactions.

Who are all those couple seeking? Young Females

If you're a single female what are your chances at getting invited to group sex?
If you're a single male how do your chances compare?


I actually see that as treating women (and not women in general, but specifically young, unattached women of a socially approved appearance and body type) as commodities. Women are sought out in the sorts of situations you describe precisely because they are seen as coveted objects; that's male privilege, not female privilege. Young, sexually attractive, single females often have good prospects in any society, even oppressive polygynous societies, but it's because they are seen as objects of desire, which isn't quite the same thing as being empowered.

Some women learn to trade on the desire of others to empower themselves, but that can become a Faustian bargain.
catwoman980
Dec. 29th, 2010 09:53 am (UTC)
pstscrpt
Dec. 29th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
Sexual attraction and availability *is* a commodity, no matter who you are. Male/couple privilege is probably a big part of what skews the supply and demand, but the much higher rate of female bisexuality is a big factor, too.
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LScribbens
Dec. 29th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
You know, it's amazing how many women I've talked to, often at poly get-togethers, who will come with a male partner and loudly proclaim "I'm only interested in another woman, I don't want another man," but then once you talk to them in private, away from the male partner, the story becomes Well, I don't NEED another man, and the last time I found some other guy interesting my boyfriend had a cow, so..."

Thank you for this comment. I believe the same, but almost always come under fire from OPP males that this really isn't the case.

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ashbet
Dec. 29th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
I suppose that's true in some ways -- I am definitely aware that I have HBB privilege (along with, as mentioned below, cis-white-femme privilege, and my disability isn't visible, so I have ableist privilege until someone actually sees me try to walk any distance or notices me dealing with pain.)

As a HBB, I have more options available to me in the poly community, and as a married woman, I have the advantage of being perceived to be heterosexual by people who don't know my relationship status.

On the other hand, that's a form of erasure -- I'm pretty damn out and proud, but I can't control the assumptions of random people I encounter casually (i.e., if I don't know them well enough to say "This is my girlfriend, and this is her husband" -- people we happen to run across in the course of a day may assume any kind of dyadic/relationship status among the three of us, just seeing us walking down the street.)

I do think that there *is* a privilege in being a female bisexual, because desirability and relationship availability is an advantage. My bisexual boyfriend has to deal with societal homophobia, and a lot of gay men aren't keen on a man who has a female partner. He has cis-male privilege, but his sexual orientation is less privileged than mine, in part because of the fetishization of bi women, in part because I just have more options than he does.

I'm confining my discussion to the poly community, because out in the monogamous world, a poly bi female is NOT privileged.

And, yes -- in a swinging environment, women and couples are privileged, particularly bi women. Most swingers want nothing to do with bi males (from observation and discussion -- I'm not a swinger, but I have good friends who do swing and engage in casual play, so I'm aware of some of the dynamics of that community.)

But, yes -- the perceived advantage/acceptance also comes with another side of the coin, in terms of fetishization, HBB-hunting couples wanting a polyfi "third" with limited privileges, perceived availability/sluttiness, belief that a bi woman is unable to be monogamous, etc.

-- A <3
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blaisepascal
Dec. 29th, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
I do not believe that "one vagina policy" is common, but I have personal knowledge of a relationship which worked like that. It was a complete reversal of the traditional she's-bi-and-he's-threatened-by-the-idea-of-another-man one-penis-policy bit. In this case, HE was bi and SHE was threatened by the idea of another woman. I don't know how often the other-penis option was exercised, but I know that both did have sex with other men occasionally.

(Anonymous)
Jan. 30th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
Had the one-vagina-policy imposed on me some time back (married male) -- but there isn't the sort of societal support for it. I've seen far more cases of apparent "only looking for a woman", as pointed out downthread -- and wonder if, perhaps, a one vagina policy is (or can be) a form of couples privilege. Perhaps when invoked by a female partner in a more primary role?
kill_inhibition
Dec. 29th, 2010 04:49 am (UTC)
Right here.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 29th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
female privilege?
I don't know if this is what female privilege would be, yet I have bumped into something that seems that way - a triad marriage of two men and one woman, where her views of putting marriage first seems to involve the ability to reduce or terminate relationships her husbands may develop. Not exactly veto power, yet strong desire to influence the other connections, including reducing or ending other new or established connections if she feels unsafe about them at any point.
vrimj
Dec. 29th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
I think I have had it
I think woman generally have a lot of privilege in the realm of sexuality, either that or I am unusually lucky.

I am not unusually pretty or the like and I usually make passes at people by sending them an email and asking if they would like to have a sexual relationship. I have only been turned down about once. I think that would be different if I was a guy.

I have also seen woman act terribly affronted when they wanted sex from one of my male partners and he was not interested. It kind of reminds me of the lady who bakes cookies and gets mad if you don't have one.

I think it might be a more pronounced privilege in the pretty but I think that culture tends to teach the modern american woman that she is basically entitled to sex from any man she likes enough to let in to her panties. But it could be a regional or social group effect.

So in this context I would say it comes in to play with couple privilege in lists of long controlling rules and veto. I know sometimes these are men but I usually see it with women and they are often specifically enforced with being" cut off" sexually.
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vrimj
Dec. 29th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
More Work Drama
They are not the same thing, but for me the experience of privilege in my life often feels like luck or sometimes even merit (which in this case I guess would be sexiness as a form of accomplishment)
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trinker
Dec. 30th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
Re: I think I have had it
*sigh*

There are a sizeable number of women who do *not* have the "privilege" of getting an automatic 'yes' to a proposition.
vrimj
Dec. 30th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
Re: I think I have had it
True, but I suspect the number is much higher for women then for men.
trinker
Dec. 30th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC)
Re: I think I have had it
Number of which? Considered acceptable, or unacceptable?
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