Sunday, May 06, 2007

Women As Incubators! And Nothing More!

Over on Jane Galt, I have been engaged in a discussion about why, precisely, polygamy is a bad idea.

Being the shit-stirrer I am, I opened the discussion a bit further to include polyamory.

This of course, was at first ignored, then targeted.

I was asked: What possible reason would a woman have to marry many men?

Slut-shaming is then brought into the equation:

Men dislike sluts for cuckoldry reasons - the possibility that they may marry a woman who carries children not of his own genes, which imposes a huge fitness cost on him. Cuckoldry factors would expand exponentially in a Woman-man-man-man relationship. In such a relationship men would not know if the children they were raising were their own, in a man-woman-woman relationship each woman would know that their own child IS THEIR OWN. So which is more likely?

This is clearly a man who doesn't even want to try and understand the dynamics of polyamorous situations.

My favorite part of the comment, however, was this:

Read some evo-bio.

Ok, so because animals operate on a purely procreative basis, humans do, too? Because in the animal world, only the Alpha Male gets to have multiple partners, it has to be the same for us?

I beg to differ.

The "because it's that way in the animal world" argument really makes me mad. I've seen many arguments in discussions that hinge on being "civilized" and how evolved the human race is, and all sorts of other things.


You do not get to say we're better than the animals in one argument, and then use it against women in another.

Ah, he just replied to me again.

My point was - why would a man want a woman who has multiple partners? Ie. why would a man voluntarily participate in the raising of a child not of his own genes?

Wow. What an unenlightened view.

I like how he also assumes that children will be involved. Though, given the assumption of children, I guess I shouldn't tell him about the polyamorous family I know, and the children they're raising together.

His arguments are so based in pure base instinct, and have nothing to do with the real world or real situations, or even, I'd wager, real women.

And all this was because I asked:
The only conceivable legitimate argument against legally-bound unions of polyamory is the burden of insuring more than one spouse of the insurance holder.

If anyone can name another one- that's not based in religion or "that's icky"- I look forward to reading it.


Rose Fox said...

Oh noes, he doesn't want to debate with you anymore because you're clueless!

Honestly, I don't see why you're wasting your time with these people.

evil_fizz said...

My favorite response to the "But it happens like this in the animal kingdom!" is to refer them to Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation, which discusses in great length and scientific detail reproductive strategies for all kinds of species. Shockingly, some are monogamous, some have female harems, some have male harems, some females eat their partners, and you get the idea. There is a model for everything in the animal kingdom, but I'm not seeing anyone advocating for the preying mantis model.

Allie said...

I have yet to run across an "evo-bio as applied to humans" argument that was not crappy.

And, I mean, where does "my boyfriend thinks it's hot when I make out with girls" play into it? It doesn't, because evo-bio arguements are woefully incomplete if one admits the existence of non-heterosexuals. Or people who don't plan to have children, though I spose there's some overlap there. (On that note, there's a hawk in the Galapagos islands where the female gets two males to believe that they've fertilized her egg, then buggers off and leave the two fo them to raise the chick. Amazingly, there are no Galapagos hawk therapists to help these males deal with the terrible emotional impact this has on them.)

Victoria said...

There are problems with polygamy, as it's been manifested in those cultures which people speak of. When one man has several wives, there is competition among them. They all want to have the best/most sons, and as a result you have a huge family who don't all get along who are probably all relying on one paycheque.
A polyamorous family can work, but it requires a lot of trust and respect on everyone's part. Someone entrenched in a culture that believes it's a man's inaliable right to have whatever the fuck he wants is probably not capable of that kind of trust and respect.

Victoria said...

Also, regarding evolutionary biology... most biologists stay the fuck away from comparing humans to anything in the animal kingdom.
And from a biological standpoint, homosexuality makes perfect sense. Most species have some way of regulating their population. When there are seven billion humans, it makes sense that a whole lot of them would be gay.