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"Most likely a sociopath"

As many folks who read me probably know by now (and goodness, I'm doing my job wrong if you don't!), I'm polyamorous. I've been polyamorous my entire life, I've been writing a Web site about polyamory since the 1990s, and I recently co-wrote a book on the subject.

A lot of folks ask me if I get negative responses from being so open about poly. And the answer is, no, I usually don't. In fact, it's extremely rare that I hear anything negative about polyamory, all things considered. I generally encourage folks who are poly (or in other non-traditional relationships) to be as open as they feel safe in being, both because stigma is reduced when many people are open about non-traditional relationships and because, almost always, the pushback is nowhere near as great as people are likely to think it will be.

But that's not to say I never hear anything negative. Like this, for example, left as an anonymous comment to a post I made about dating and relationships on a social media site recently:

"This is what a woman had to say about you "Let me put this franklin, frank is a user/manipulator. I am sure he tells the women he is with that by being in a relationship with him and 4 other women that he is "empowering" them. You have to realize that there is a new "modern" type of feminism, these women misconstrue the term femism. The original feminist wanted to feel equal to men, they wanted more opportunities that we (women) are now given due to thier efforts. Nowadays women are empowered in a completely different way, women are mislead (in my opinion by manipulative men such as franklin) to believe that being overtly sexual is empowering, so that is why you see these women bending over backwards for men. I dont know exactly who is misleading women of our generation to believe polyamory is empowering or being overly sexual is but its someone, perhaps the feminists in the media but the question who is behind the media in the first place? I just feel bad for young feminists because they have no true understanding of what it means to be empowered and they are very confused. Franklin is smart and manipulating each girlfriend he has and he most likely a sociopath.""


Formatting, quote marks, and spelling as in the original.

So now you know, the media feminists are pushing women into the arms of sociopaths like me. Curses, my secret is out.


Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
emanix
Apr. 5th, 2015 12:37 am (UTC)
Awww, bless!
It reminds me of the time I went on morning television with two of my awesome friends and metamours to talk about polyamory, and the presenter insisted to our faces that we must be 'victims'. It was all any of us could do not to fall about laughing.

You see, there we were talking about the fact that we were three women dating the same man... I guess it would have been easy enough to construe from that data point alone that we were in some sort of harem structure, and sure, I could see how some of those kinds of setups might turn out to be abusive. (Though I've met ones that weren't)

But the TV presenters had never bothered to ask any of us the question 'who else are you dating?' and they certainly hadn't asked who was the dominant person in the relationships between us and the chap we had in common. See, the rather adorable boy in question was submissive to one of us, was regularly beaten by another, and fairly casual play partners with the third. And he was only one of each of our 'stable' of partners. Who was taking advantage of whom, here?

Oh yes, I'm such a victim, with my job that lets me travel the world, my awesome network of friends and lovers and the half a dozen or so long term partners who make up my chosen family and provide such wonderful stability in my life. I feel so... what's the word...? Um... It's a toss-up between 'secure', 'loved', 'valued' and just plain 'fabulous'. Ummm.... woe is me?

The TV presenters had been so wrapped up in their assumption that we were being taken advantage of, they hadn't even bothered to wonder about any other possibility. I can't help feeling that's what this poster had done too.

Also, I have a whole essay for folks who keep on assuming that poly is all about the sex.

Still, it is rather nice to know that, however mistaken they might be, both the TV presenters and your anonymous commenter have my best interests at heart.

Amusedly,

Maxine.

Edited at 2015-04-05 01:02 am (UTC)
joreth
Apr. 5th, 2015 01:27 am (UTC)
Franklin once gave, what is still to this day, the perfect response to this crap. Many years ago, three of Franklin's partners all managed to accidentally and coincidentally simultaneously trigger someone's neuroses to the point where she angrily demanded that Franklin intervene. Since this was all on accident and also each instance was independent of the others (and we thought innocuous), he had no idea we had done whatever she thought we had done.

She demanded in an email that Franklin "control your women". Franklin's response was "have you MET them?!"

The only response to shit like this should be hearty laughter and "have you MET Franklin's partners?!" Cuz srsly, no one could possibly have even five minutes of conversation with any of us about our relationships and come away still thinking we're cowed women trapped in a harem, between the above-mentioned facts about our other partners and all our aggressively assertive strong wills, without some *deliberate*, willful refusal to listen.

Part of feminism is about believing that women are, in fact, capable of making choices for themselves that are in their own best interest even if those choices are ones you might disagree with. The commenter is being extremely condescending and patronizing, kinda the opposite of feminist. They are starting from the assumption that we are not capable of thinking for ourselves, or that women would only make this choice if a man was forcing us into it.

Dog save us women from patronizing pseudo-feminists trying to save us from ourselves. Who wants to bet this commenter also tries to "rescue" sex workers from sex slavery without asking sex workers what might be of actual help?

Edited at 2015-04-05 01:36 am (UTC)
pen_grunt
Apr. 5th, 2015 04:54 am (UTC)
Part of feminism is about believing that women are, in fact, capable of making choices for themselves that are in their own best interest even if those choices are ones you might disagree with.

I opened up the comments to make a similar statement. :)
(Anonymous)
Apr. 5th, 2015 01:15 pm (UTC)
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
I can't speak to Franklin but I have been in a poly relationship with a sociopath. Seemingly wonderful relationship at the time, horrible tsunami of realization in the aftermath.. Just saying, it's not impossible.
fogwolf
Apr. 6th, 2015 05:44 am (UTC)
Simple rede
Be it harm none, do what you will.

As long as we are honest with our lovers, it is no one else' business, nor need we justify it to anyone.
khall
Apr. 6th, 2015 05:04 pm (UTC)
I think the only answer to this is 'shut up before I chop you into little pieces and eat you'.

More seriously, this is my mom's problem with poly as well. In her mind, marriage/monogamy protects women's interests. She does not see it as a token of the patriarchy. It is...like second wave feminism or something. Not modern. Whereas, I see marriage/monogamy as a way of controling and keeping women down.

K.
xaotica
Apr. 7th, 2015 08:52 pm (UTC)
My own experience having any kind of "notoriety" was that people who I'd never met suddenly appeared out of the woodwork to discuss my personality, appearance, personal life, etc.

It amazes me that people feel like they can speak with authority about total strangers.

moonshadow
Apr. 15th, 2015 03:40 pm (UTC)
This brings to mind this scene from A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold:

“Vormurtos leaned on the frame with his arms crossed, and failed to move aside.
At Miles's polite, 'Excuse us, please,' Vormurtos pursed his lips in exaggerated irony.
'Why not? Everyone else has. It seems if you are Vorkosigan enough, you can even get away with murder.'
Ekaterin stiffened unhappily. Miles hesitated a fractional moment, considering responses: explanation, outrage, protest? Argument in a hallway with a half-potted fool? No. I am Aral Vorkosigan's son, after all. Instead, he stared up unblinkingly, and breathed, 'So if you truly believe that, why are you standing in my way?'
Vormurtos's inebriated sneer drained away, to be replaced by a belated wariness. With an effort at insouciance that he did not quite bring off, he unfolded himself, and opened his hand to wave the couple past. When Miles bared his teeth in an edged smile, he backed up an extra and involuntary step. Miles shifted Ekaterin to his other side and strode past without looking back."
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