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Friday, March 19, 2010

Poly-activist or poly-anarchist?

Being around poly-folk on a fairly regular basis, reading about polyamory, having conversations and debates I've noticed a good portion of people who believe quite strongly in polyamory often (not everyone) fall into a couple of categories:

Poly-activist or poly-advocate.
Someone who is a vocal proponent of the Polyamory lifestyle and firmly extols the virtues of the lifestyle. These types of people don't however believe Polyamory is the only lifestyle. They are tolerant of other choices and respect that Polyamory may not work for everyone. They don't try to convince people to become poly, or try to change their minds about poly. They simply defend their own choices and answer questions politely when asked. These are the advocates for a poly lifestyle.

Poly-anarchist.
This is someone who is vehement in their polyamorous beliefs. Given any opportunity they will lecture those around them, extolling the virtues of poly. They are happy to explain how the poly lifestyle is better than monogamy in every aspect. For some, it almost seems poly is a religion and it is their goal to convert as many non-believers as possible. For them, there is no other way. These are the people who believe the herd is ignorant and has to be shown the way, by force if necessary.

Of course, just by giving these two definitions at the same time many other debates are opened such as;
Is it okay to try and convert someone? Should a poly date a non-poly in the hopes the non-poly will see the light? Shouldn't we fight for polyamory in any way possible? Isn't it our right to not be discriminated against?
But those are topics for other articles.

While I'm thinking about it I'll add those two definitions to the Definitions page on this site.

Back on topic. . .Although I enjoy a good fight (ok, I really mean *debate*), I really am more activist than anarchist. I enjoy educating people who have misconceptions as much as I enjoy learning about the relationship paradigms people have, particularly those I haven't heard of before. Even so, I find myself being an anarchist at times. Particularly when someone who is a monogamy-anarchist becomes determined to 'save me from polyamory'. It is then that I have to take a step back and ask myself whom I would rather be, anarchist or advocate.

Don't get me wrong, I think each has their place though I'm not as fond of the anarchist myself. I think poly has a lot to do with love. And expressing your feelings in a loving way is like leading by example whereas leading by a nose-ring and leash is more like conquering (Or BDSM but again, that's another conversation).

Which do you think you are; activist or anarchist? Or like me sometimes, are you both? Do you think they each have a place or are one or the other useless? Or am I seeing things that don't even exist?

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