Not “just sex.” Just life.

There is green grass growing outside my window in Kiev. There are new puppies in the street. This isn’t exactly an spring-themed post, but this is nagging me, therefore…

A couple of people forwarded this post to me in the last few days, and I’ve been mulling it over. As I understand it, the gist of it is such: open relationships only benefit men, a “fun feminist” = idiot with Stockholm Syndrome, men who contract HIV apparently do it to screw other people over, and also a bit about how PIV intercourse should not be mandatory (which is something I wholeheartedly agree with, because I understand that it isn’t for everyone).

Well, damn.

I want to address the open relationship bit in particular, because I think that this is the sort of lazy, knee-jerk thinking that ensures that monogamy remains the standard outside of certain Muslim countries and, in the process, creates serious issues of prejudice and inequality in society.

Here’s the deal: if you decide to enter into a relationship with another human being, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment either way. It doesn’t really matter if said relationship is monogamous or otherwise.

Women usually bear the brunt of said disappointment. Our lower status ensures this.

Open relationships in and of themselves, however, are not the problem. At this point in my life, I know plenty of people who engage in them. And I’ve definitely been in fairly casual relationships where “don’t ask don’t tell” was the rule.

When you have an unequal power structure, it’s pretty easy for a man to sleep with anyone he wants to while demanding that the woman he considers his “primary” partner faithfully waits for him at home, casserole or borscht at the ready. Still, it’s disingenuous to suggest that all open relationships work like this. They don’t.

I dislike Factcheckme’s post in particular, because it references such a familiar trope: woman as long-suffering Penelope, waiting around while her slut of a husband has all the fun. It references a particular relationship, but then said relationship is used to extrapolate. It left me wondering: well, what about people who want to be the long-suffering Penelope? Relationships are built on all sorts of foundations. Some people enjoy playing the martyr. I’m just saying.

So hot right now. Sean Bean, that is.

What is that great phrase that I’ve been hearing so often in the last couple of years? Hmmm… Oh, I know. “Trust women.” Trust women to make decisions in their lives, and then live with the consequences. Radical, I know.

17 thoughts on “Not “just sex.” Just life.

  1. this is the sort of lazy, knee-jerk thinking

    that defines virtually all of the posts at Factcheckme. Femonade is reactionary, uninformed, willfully ignorant, and is completely supportive of the patriarchy when it suits her purposes (say, attacking trans women with misogynist slurs like “sterile fucktoy”).

    Plus everything softestbullet said above. And the link to Genderbitch’s blog.

  2. Don’t you all just love the “I know a guy who got AIDS from that, therefore we’ll all get AIDS if we try it” comment? Almost as bad as the “but you’re too good looking for wha’d you call it? Technologically enhanced abstinence? Never mind I don’t wanna know. You shouldn’t put yourself down like that…” comments I hear–mostly from young guys. Cubs? Or just really confused about what it means to “trust women”?

  3. It’s weird how random people tend to send me links to Factcheckme. I guess they’re unfamiliar with this brand of feminism?

    I think the good thing is – people always note the transphobia. I feel like even people who are not familiar with the issues find it outrageous.

  4. It didn’t recognise the blog name, until reading the comments above. I’m pondering whether to click on the link or not, as the last post of hers you linked was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen on the internet. Trans-phobic is too weak a work for that kind of hatred. *shudders*

  5. Safiya, you’re right to wonder if it’s even worth it. I caught too many non-hetero-normative-everything-else-phobic stereotypes in the first 4 or 5 paragraphs of that redneck’s blog to bother reading anymore. I didn’t get around to adding transphobic to the list. I don’t think that person is female either. Take away all the hipster one-liners, and you’re left with Jeffrey freaking Dahmer. My own attention span is just way too short to bother with ridiculous claims of diseases that spread and then miraculously stop spreading to “prove” some idiot’s hate speech.

  6. Lol! Ok, Ms. Neck. Not too red I hope. Maybe just a little pink with the love of JC or something?

  7. Coming in way late ‘cos baby’s kept me from reading the blogs as often as I used to – I always find the “You poor person you’re in an open relationship” stuff kind of hilarious since that was my non-negotiable and the legal spouse didn’t really care (and was a little uncomfortable with the whole thing because it was outside his experience, but hey, sixteen years of experience now and we make do okay).

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