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Wella's Journal
Wella's Journal
July 7, 2015

Recent articles on polyamory/polymarriage

Some reading for people who think that everything is weird cults or Sister/Wives:


...Polyamory and open relationships have been gaining prominence with the public. From TV shows like Polyamory: Married and Dating to celebrities like Mo’Nique coming out about being in an open relationship, polyamorous (loosely defined as loving more than one person at a time) relationships are becoming more visible. If you are on a dating site like OkCupid, chances are you’ve encountered someone who is already in a relationship looking to spice things up.

“I think more people are participating in open marriages and polyamory now than ever before,” says Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage. “It’s becoming clear that heterosexual monogamous marriage simply doesn’t work for most people. And I think people are tired of being unhappy and dissatisfied.”

With 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, monogamy may seem like impossible ideal. “We cannot control our own desires and we certainly cannot control the desires of others,” says Block, who has been in an open marriage for the past 10 years. “You cannot tell someone, ‘Don’t be attracted to anyone else. Don’t desire anyone else.’ You can say, ‘If we’re going to be together, I want it to be monogamous.’ But you cannot control the other person’s heart and mind. The heart wants what it wants.”

Polyamory works for us

...I’m polyamorous, which means I believe you can love multiple partners at the same time. I’m in a relationship with my husband of nearly 17 years, and my boyfriend, with whom I celebrated my second anniversary in May. (In polyamorous lingo, our relationship is known as a “V”; I’m the “hinge” of the V and my two partners are the vertices.) People often say our lives sound complicated, but the truth is, we’re quite harmonious. We often joke that we’d make incredibly boring subjects for reality TV.

That hasn’t kept the world at large from condemning us. The right has spent years warning that we are the travesty waiting down the slippery slope of same-sex marriage. With every stride forward for marriage equality, I can count on turning on the TV to find conservative talking heads lumping families like mine in with pedophilia and bestiality. But liberals, for the most part, don’t treat us much better. They’re quick to insist that same-sex marriage would never, ever lead to such awful things — failing to point out how multi-partner relationships between consenting adults do not exactly belong in the same category as “relationships” with children or goats....

July 7, 2015

Polymarriage deserves a defense

Regardless of your personal feelings.

The polyamorous are currently in both married and long term relationships and raising children without the governmental benefits of marriage for each of the parties involved. This is a form of discrimination and needs to be addressed.

Some blogs and articles on the topic (and yes, some of them quote Justice Roberts. You can agree with someone's logic without liking the rest of their politics.) All of these sites are left or libertarian. There are no conservative or RW Christians among them.

Poly Marriage Law?


Legalize Polygamy!

Four clueless denials that a poly marriage issue exists

After Gay Marriage, Why Not Polygamy?

Polyamorous Paganism

Natalie Bennett is ‘open’ to polyamorous marriages and civil partnerships

Should Plural Marriage Be Legal?

Is There a Right to Polygamy? Marriage, Equality and Subsidizing Families in Liberal Public Justification

This paper argues that the four most plausible arguments compatible with public reason for an outright legal ban on all forms of polygamy are unvictorious. I consider the types of arguments political liberals would have to insist on, and precisely how strongly, in order for a general prohibition against polygamy to be justified, while also considering what general attitude towards “marriage” and legal recognition of the right to marry is most consistent with political liberalism. I argue that a liberal state should get out of the “marriage business” by leveling down to a universal status of “civil union” neutral as to the gender and affective purpose of domestic partnerships. I then refute what I regard as the four most plausible rational objections to offering this civil union status to multi-member domestic partnerships. The most common objection to polygamy is on grounds of gender equality, more specifically, female equality. But advancing this argument forcefully often involves neglecting the tendency of political liberalism (by whatever name it goes in contemporary, complex, multicultural societies) to tolerate a certain amount of inequality in private, within the bounds of robust and meaningful freedoms of choice and exit. Properly understood, polygamy involves no inherent statement about the essential inferiority of women, and certainly not more than many other existing practices and institutions (including many expressions of the main monotheistic religions) which political liberals regard as tolerable, even reasonable. Arguments from the welfare of children, fairness in the spousal market, and the abuse of family subsidies are also considered and found insufficient for excluding polygamy.
July 6, 2015

Gloria Steinem and Cornell West support recognition for the polyamorous

This article is from 2013 and it describes the activism that is happening under the surface


WASHINGTON — Same-sex couples are not the only ones who want government recognition of their relationships. Those in polyamarous relationships do too.

Loving More, a national non-profit organization based in Loveland, Colo., plans to release a survey next month of 4,000 self-identified polyamorists that shows more than two-thirds would choose concurrent or multi-partnered marriage if it were legal.

Robyn Trask, the executive director, said the results confirmed her belief about the breadth of support among its members for poly-marriage. “I think many people would want a commitment ceremony for three or four people,” she said.

...In 2006, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Princeton professor Cornell West, and novelist Armisted Maupin were among the hundreds of signatories to “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision For All Our Families and Relationships.” The document endorsed “(c)ommitted, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner.”...
July 6, 2015

Seven Forms of Non-Monogamy (Psychology Today)

From everything I'm reading on polygamy and poly marriage as a future issue, it seems DUers need a bit of an education on the subject. So, from a reputable source:


In contemporary US culture, monogamy means two people agreeing to have sex only with each other and no one else. Classical monogamy – a single relationship between people who marry as virgins, remain sexually exclusive their entire lives, and become celibate upon the death of the partner – has been replaced by serial monogamy – a cycle in which people are sexually exclusive with each other for a period of time, break up, and then re-partner in another sexually exclusive relationship with a different person.

Non-monogamies, in contrast, are more diverse and vary by degrees of honesty, sexual openness, importance of rules/structure, and emotional connection. People who have non-monogamous relationships in the United States range from religious practitioners of polygyny involved in Islam or the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (Mormons) who are often personally and politically conservative, to practitioners of polyamory or relationship anarchy who tend to be personally and politically liberal or progressive. Especially among the more liberal groups, there is significant overlap with other unconventional subcultures such as Pagans, geeks, gamers, science fiction enthusiasts, and practitioners of BDSM (previously known as sadomasochism, also termed kinky sex or kinksters).


Alongside (and even predating) monogamy, cultures throughout the world have long practiced polygamy -- a form of marriage consisting of more than two persons. The most common form of multiple partner marriage is polygyny, a marriage of one husband and multiple wives who are each sexually exclusive with the husband. Worldwide, Muslims are those who are most likely to be polygynous, with the highest concentrations of contemporary polygyny in the Middle East and parts of Africa. Polyandry --a marriage of one wife to multiple husbands -- is far more rare, as marriages between one woman and multiple men have received less social, political, and cultural support than have polygynous relationships.


Open relationships are varied enough to be an umbrella term for consensually non-monogamous relationships based on a primary couple who are “open” to sexual contact with others. The most common form of open relationship is that of a married or long-term committed couple that takes on a third (or sometimes forth or fifth) partner whose involvement and role in the relationship is always secondary. A couple practicing this relationship type might engage in sexual activity with the secondary partner together or separate, or they may each have independent outside relationships with different secondary partners—regardless of the specific parameters, the primary couple always remains a priority. Generally rooted in specific rules, expectations, and communication between those involved, open relationships may take a variety of forms and may evolve over time as needed to meet the needs of those persons involved. Swinging, monogamish, polyamorous/polyfidelitous, and anarchistic relationships can all be considered “open.”...

...Polyamory and Polyfidelity

Polyamory is a relationship style that allows people to openly conduct multiple sexual and/or romantic relationships simultaneously, ideally with the knowledge and consent of all involved in or affected by the relationships. Polyfidelity is similar except that it is a closed relationship style that requires sexual and emotional fidelity to an intimate group that is larger than two. Polyaffective relationships are emotionally intimate, non-sexual connections among people connected by a polyamorous relationship, such as two heterosexual men who are both in sexual relationships with the same women and have co-spousal or brother-like relationships with each other...

I encourage you to read the whole blog post. It's a real eye-opener.
July 4, 2015

The gay marriage decision has put us in uncharted waters with regard to polygamy

Legally, I don't see anything to prevent it. If marriage is a civil right, any government infringement on that right (outside of the basic notion of consent) is discriminatory. Limitations on race are long gone; limitations on gender have just gone by the board as well; limitations on number of spouses seems to be next.

Marriage was its most powerful when its purpose was for societal--not personal--fulfillment. The original purpose of marriage was to provide a place for the offspring of a sexual union to be protected, nurtured, and connected to its family and culture. It was also to secure property rights, and, in the aristocracy, rights of succession to titled positions. Marriage created social and material stability. The personal fulfillment of the spouses involved was secondary, if it was considered at all. This is why divorce was often illegal, forbidden or, at very least, frowned upon.

Marriage was not always happy for its participants--especially women--but all was done for the good of the children, the survival of the offspring.

Now, marriage is about personal fulfillment, a love relationship. This change was long in coming--it can be traced to the 19th century (and even the Enlightenment)--but the focus has steadily shifted to happiness of the marital relationship. It is this shift that also accompanied a change in legal thinking of marriage as a civil right (and not a social obligation).

Once marriage becomes about individual happiness both culturally and legally, laws can and do change since the legal theories have changed.

--If marriage is about the happiness of the people getting married, then divorce laws must be liberalized. People must be allowed to leave a marriage for both grave and trivial reasons, regardless of its effects on the children.

--If the happiness of the relationship is the focus, then the marriage becomes about the relationship itself, and there is no need to have children, since one can have a successful and happy relationship without them. Contraception has made the child-free marriage a reality.

--If marriage is about the happiness of the people involved (and not about the naturally occurring offspring and their rights and protections), then limiting marriage to heterosexuals only seems terribly cruel. If marriage is a civil right, then such a limitation is also discriminatory.

--If marriage is about the happiness of the people involved, limiting marriage to only two people also seems cruel if you have three people in love with each other. Why should they not have the protections of legal marriage that two-person marriages have?

I am of the opinion that the train has long ago left the station. No advocacy group is to blame: feminists were right that women got abused in marriages and lost autonomy (and property rights historically); gays were right that it was cruel to leave them out and deny them legal sanction for their relationships. The polygamists can also argue along the same lines and there's nothing, legally, that will stand up to it if the right arguments are made. Polygamists can argue that their civil rights to marry are being violated by restricting the number of spouses.

In the end, we are witnessing the end of marriage as a social institution with its focus on social stability. Marriage is now a legal way to protect individuals who have chosen, for reasons of love and companionship, to combine their lives and incomes, with or without children. Polygamists certainly fit this definition.

July 4, 2015

Does anyone know what the signs/smells are of a meth house?

I live in a community with dense housing. There are lots of kids who smoke weed around, and that's nothing that concerns me. Sometimes I smell it, but it's no biggie.

The other night, however, I got a whiff of something that was like inhaling straight chlorine. I was working in my home office and had my windows open for the breeze. Around 10 pm there was something that smelled--at first--like a barbecue grill but under it was this corrosive chemical that burned my eyes, clogged my nose and caused an asthmatic reaction in my lungs. I shut the windows immediately, turned on the bathroom fan in the hall and got my inhaler. But the reaction lasted for about 12 hours.

The following day, I went to talk with my neighbors two doors down. They hadn't smelled anything but the guy said that we might have a meth house nearby. We do have a place in an apartment building across the alley that has loud parties late at night, sometimes during the week. The music goes on for hours and I usually shut the windows. This neighbor of mine said that a number of people in the neighborhood thought this was a meth place. They apparently have large fans in their windows all the time for the exhaust. Apparently, some of the neighbors have already been to the police, but they refuse to do anything until they see overt illegal activity.

I have never in my life run into one of these places and was wondering if any of you have seen or heard about these. The caustic chemical smell I experienced could not have come from a business--we don't have businesses that deal in or use caustic chemicals, certainly not after 10pm.

Any one ever have to deal with this? Am I on the wrong track here?

March 28, 2015

Matthew 18:6 and religious lies

A thread on this board is making the claim that the Bible supports the abuse, mangling and killing of children. To support its claim, the OP is using a graphic that contains at least one lie on it.

The graphic insists that Matthew 18:6 supports the drowning, stoning, cannibalism, burning stabbing and poisoning of young children.


That assertion is a complete and unambiguous lie. The verse in question, Matthew 18:6, actually is about the PROTECTION of children:

5"And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

For those of you not educated in the Bible, Matthew 18:6 refers to Jesus and a little child. The back story is that the disciples are arguing among themselves as to who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus calls a small child to him and tells the disciples:

"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

He then goes on to say that whoever humbles himself as this child will enter the kingdom of heaven. And if a person accepts a humble child like this, he also will enter the kingdom of heaven.

The end of the quote, Matthew 18:6, is actually a warning to those who would hurt a child or cause that child to do evil. It is the adult that does evil to a child that would be better off drowned.

The entire quote is about the PROTECTION of the child.

March 27, 2015

Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame

I vividly remember the way this young woman was vilified. The only public defending voice I remember hearing was Bill Handel on KFI radio, a local LA station. (The Lewinskys were from Beverly Hills.) During this time, according to the talk below, Lewinsky's mother was sitting by her bedside every night and wouldn't let her shower with the door closed for fear her daughter would commit suicide.

This is a powerful talk. She's nervous, but she is the exact person to speak out about this issue.

March 26, 2015

Fraternities Lobby Against Campus Rape Investigations

Fraternities Lobby Against Campus Rape Investigations

College fraternities and sororities, concerned that students accused of sexual assault are treated unfairly, are pushing Congress to make it harder for universities to investigate rape allegations.

The groups' political arm plans to bring scores of students to Capitol Hill on April 29 to lobby for a requirement that the criminal justice system resolve cases before universities look into them or hand down punishments, according to an agenda reviewed by Bloomberg News.

"If people commit criminal acts, they should be prosecuted and they should go to jail,” said Michael Greenberg, leader of 241-chapter Sigma Chi, one of many fraternities participating in the legislative push.

The Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee, or "FratPAC,'' and two other groups will ask Congress to block colleges from suspending all fraternities on a campus because of a serious incident at a single house. In addition, the Greek representatives want a rule against "any mandate'' for chapters to go co-ed.
March 25, 2015

About that woman who threw a Molotov cocktail at Planned Parenthood protesters....

The suspect, Melanie Toney, was a witness for abortion rights against the new restrictive (draconian) anti-choice laws in Texas.

A woman is facing charges after police say she threw a Molotov cocktail at anti-abortion protesters who were standing outside of Planned Parenthood.

Melanie Toney, 52, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. According to the affidavit, the incident happened around 6:25 p.m. on Monday at the Planned Parenthood building on East Ben White Boulevard. Multiple witnesses told police that they witnessed Toney throw a flaming object out of the passenger side window of her BMW SUV near the protesters, the affidavit stated.

Police say witnesses reported that Toney had cardboard covering her license plate, in an effort to conceal it. Police stopped Toney less than 3 miles from Planned Parenthood and she was taken into custody. The Austin Fire Department and arson investigators inspected the item that was thrown from Toney's car, and determined it to be a "gum out fuel additive" bottle and a burned piece of paper towel that had been rolled into a wick.

Toney remains in Travis County Jail.

Toney's testimony starts at 4:44 on the video:

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