polyphobia: the new homophobia
or The Other Woman
Lying is wrong.
And bullying, assaulting, and humiliating someone because of his/her sexual orientation is worse.
When you give regular, timid humans the choice between 1) coming out of their socially-unacceptable closet to face the public opinion monster and, 2) lying,
They will probably choose lying.
It doesn’t make lying any less wrong, but in that context, it certainly makes it more understandable.
I don’t agree with cheating, but look at the context. -It’s a common movie trope where the girl finds out about her husband’s poly orientation, which he has kept hidden from her due to society’s shaming and banning of it, and to get back at him, she puts drugs (laxative, estrogen) in his coffee. He shits himself or grows giant nipples, and it’s hilarious.
If that was a girl and he put something in her drink without her knowing, then laughed as she made a fool of herself, we’d call it rape.
If that was an LGBT-identified individual struggling to come out of the closet, and his partner (beard) threatened and assaulted her/him, we would call it a hate crime.
Polyphobia is as ugly a problem as homophobia has ever been, and here’s why.
Same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 states. But multiple-simultaneous attraction remains shameful and vilified practically everywhere, and any kind of multi-partner union remains illegal in all 50 states.
The most common percentage figure for same-sex sexual orientation is 10% (some sources say higher, some lower). The most common percentage figure for people who are attracted to more than one person at the same time is 100%.
Almost everyone watches porn or occasionally thinks about someone else even when they’re supposed to be in a monogamous relationship. We’re encouraged to repress that side of us. We’re encouraged to be disgusted by that part of us that thinks with his dick/pussy and is magnetized by the tits/ass/biceps/cock/lips of people who are not our life partner.
With gays we call this type of repression Aversion Therapy. With polys we call it Being Faithful.
In many modern media mediums, polys are depicted as terrible douchebag people who ignore their kids, abandon their families, and steal, lie, and cheat. Polys are the new Germans/Russians/Japanese. Polys are the new villains of the story, discriminated against like we used to do with the races we were at war with. These poly villains, however, are just regular people who happen to have some really bad habits, not one of which is their poly orientation. The presence of these bad habits are completely apart from and have nothing to do with their sexual orientation. Happily monogamous people have also been known to occasionally ignore their kids, abandon their families, and steal, lie, and cheat (see Regular Human Beings).
What these media depictions don’t want us to realize is that you can be a great mother/father/friend/business partner, and yes even a great husband/wife to your primary partner without abandoning your poly orientation.
Polyphobia is the new homophobia. And even the Bible doesn’t encourage polyphobia.
The slippery slope argument is one of the favorite homophobic tropes, but few people are really afraid of a guy fucking his donkey/dog/car as the next step down on the slope. And besides a few Old Testament fundamentalist, non-shrimp-eating types (very few), I don’t think very many people actually even care if some guy they don’t know fucks another guy they don’t know. What they really mean by this slippery slope is that they’re afraid of their own personal, private, exclusive, pegged, claimed little sweetheart sleeping with someone else who isn’t them.
Because once you’re okay with the ethics of consenting same-sex relationships, being okay with the ethics of consenting multiple-sex relationships is the next logical step.
But this is where polyphobia is different from homophobia,
And here’s where the crunch comes because:
Everyone wants to be poly themselves,
But no one wants to let other people be poly.