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Unhitched: Judith Stacey on Alternatives to Monogamy

Capital Letter In a fascinating interview of author Judith Stacey (“Unhitched” ) interviewer Tracy Clark-Flory writes:

“The sociology professor [Judith Stacey] at New York University is something of an expert on alternatives, having spent more than a decade studying everything from “monogamish” arrangements among gay men in California to polygamy in South Africa to nonmonogamous, matriarchal households in southwest China. … Stacey uses her observations to underscore just out how stifling and unstable the Western romantic ideal of marital monogamy can be for some people, as well as the vast array of romantic arrangements that are already out there in the world.

… She just wants people to be a little more honest, with themselves and their partners, about what they want and need …”

Indeed. That’s a desire that I — and I think many in the polyamory community — share.

I think I’ll be getting Unhitched soon. ;^)

Read a few excerpts of Stacey’s responses below.

“…it’s curious that the notion of fidelity should come to mean sexual exclusivity when it’s really about faithfulness. I think it should mean integrity.”

“I’m not trying to impose any standard on anyone. I’m trying to get rid of “one-size fits all,” because it doesn’t. I am in no ways opposed to monogamy, far from it, but I am really opposed to imagining that it’s the only way to live and that it’s the only way a relationship can have integrity and commitment.”

“The idea is to make the vows that you really want to keep, and to know that over the life course you might have to renegotiate them. The idea of cheating is when you break the promise and there’s only one promise you’re supposed to make — so we’re going to get a lot of promise breakers. But if you allow people to promise what they really mean to promise and are able to do, you’ll have fewer cheaters because you would have different definitions of what cheating means. Cheating would mean breaking the terms of whatever agreement is made.”

Read the whole interview here.

~♥ Dawn

∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2011 Dawn M. Davidson]

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