Hey beloved readers! So recently, after lots of encouragement and finally obtaining a Netflix account I’ve begun watching everyone’s favorite show about prison lesbians, Orange is the New Black.
I just finished season 1, and I’m hooked! This show has a great story to tell with a cast of very original and highly diverse characters and there is SO much to love about it! I feel personally attached to every inmate on the show, from the maternal mafia mom Red to “Crazy Eyes” Suzanne, they’re lovable interesting characters. Not to mention I have a huge crush on Alex (she reminds me of one of my old flames) and I really love the queer/trans* representation in the show. Its one of the few big shows that features queer characters and that’s great! BUT, that being said, there a few huge issues with this show that have been weighing heavily on my mind that I want to address with you all.
A) the show is super beautifying prison and making it almost appear… desirable? although i’m seeing an improvement of that position now that i’m entering season 2.
B) ALLLLLLLLLLL of the lesbian and trans* stereotyping! representation in media is great, but c’mon now.
C) Larry’s (and other members of Piper’s family and friends) insistence that Piper is either STRAIGHT or LESBIAN and that there are no gray areas of sexuality!
D) and finally, my biggest issue, the force feeding of monogamy to a character who is clearly polyamorous.
This last issue is what I really want to talk about, because its something that is consistent in so many of the popular tv shows, movies, and books involving any kind of romance. “The protagonist falls in love with more than one person and must choose between the two!” Wait. Hold up. Has anyone ever considered the fact that maybe….. they can have both?
Now, I know I can hear some of you gasping in shock at this idea, but hear me out. Our society (especially hear in america), preaches monogamy so fiercely that you think they might implode from the sheer force of their own opinions. Consequentially, most of reject the idea of loving more than one person, especially more than one person at the same time. Belief in “soulmates” or “the one” is very common, and many people argue that you can’t truly love more than one person; “if you have feelings for someone else it must be because your feelings for your current partner are fading!”. While in some cases this can be true, this is not always the case.
So, let’s talk about *drum roll*……… Polyamory!
“Isn’t that the multiple wives thing like the mormons?”
No, that would be polygamy, which is one man being married to multiple wives, and that is illegal. What I want to talk about has nothing to do with marriage, but love and more specifically a component of romantic orientation. First off I want to begin by establishing that romantic orientation and sexual orientation are separate things which may align with each other, or they may not. Sexual orientation has to do with physical attraction and lust, where as romantic orientation has to do with emotional connections and love.
People who identify as polyamorous desire to maintain loving relationships with more than one partner simultaneously.
“Isn’t that just cheating?”
No, actually in healthy polyamorous relationships, all partners are knowledgeable and consenting about the relationship. Polyamorous people always keep their partners updated about other people they may be seeing and often times encourages them to get to know each and also form a relationship.
“Soooooo they have orgies?”
Although that is a possibility, generally no. Polyamorous relationships often involve non-sexual relationships and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Pretty much any combination of more than two people in a relationship, with variations of sexual and non-sexual contact, is a type of polyamorous relationship!
“sweet! I think I want to try polyamory! what do I do?”
Woah there tiger! lets take a step back. Polyamory, although it sounds like a good deal, can be very taxing- especially if its not something you’ve done before. People who wouldn’t identify as polyamorous and/or aren’t experienced in these kinds of relationships often deal with jealousy problems and its not like its all easy breezy. You might know how hard it is to up keep a romantic relationship with one person? Ok, now try imagining how much energy and time it takes to maintain a relationship with two people? how about three? Polyamory is not for the faint of heart to say the least.
I’ve been involved in 2 polyamorous relationships so far and I can attest to both the rewards and difficulties of being committed to more than one human being. But the point I want to make is there is nothing wrong with these relationships when conducted in a healthy manner.
So, the point i’m trying to make is: the media needs to stop perpetuating this idea that people (especially women) must choose between two people that they love equally. The partners in question who are forcing them to choose are honestly being selfish. I’m not defending Piper’s actions of cheating on Larry, that was wrong. But what I am trying to say is that when she discovered she still had feelings for Alex, she should have been honest with both of them about not wanting to choose. Who knows, maybe Alex and Larry would’ve actually gotten along really well! So i say, no more Edward vs. Jacob, no more Peeta vs. Gale, no more Alex vs. Larry! I’m sick of love triangles being portrayed in such a poor light, and I hope that someday maybe we can learn to accept people who choose to live their lives with more than one partner.
Thanks for reading y’all!
Some great info on polyamory 🙂
A/N: Thanks for all the support I’ve gotten so far! Please follow me, recommend me to your friends, and i’m super open to questions and requests! 🙂