To those already in the poly community, it is not news that the mainstream media has been talking about polyamory. But it matters because there is a snowball effect taking place. More and more mainstream media outlets have turned an eye toward polyamory, and Bitch published a whole run-down on their blog.
Erica Thomas purports that the rise in attention to polyamory began with the publication of “landmark books” such as Opening Up and The Ethical Slut, and is continuing in the literary world with new books such as The Polyamorists Next Door, as well as on TV with shows such as Polyamory: Married & Dating.
Thomas notes that when it comes to reporting on non-monogamy, stories tend to fall into one of three types: the Comfortable Distance Story, the Personal Profile, and the Slippery Slope. Most egregious is the Slippery Slope, in which writers and news outlets argue that, of course, polyamory will lead to all manner of immoral things.
The most amenable type of story is usually the Personal Profile, because, as Thomas explains,
These personal profiles tend to be the least sensationalized treatment poly families get. After all, they’re stories from the mouths of the people living them, so they can actually answer to a lot of the criticism and speculation in a way that’s practical and understandable. Often in these first-person pieces or profiles, the author spends much of the piece simply explaining how their style of non-monogamy works, and describing what their day-to-day looks like in the interest of combating misconceptions about their lives. The descriptions can sometimes read like celebrity lifestyle profiles, “Hey! They’re just like us!”
Slate has recently been publishing a series of first-hand-account blog posts, penned under pseudonym Michael Carey, about the author’s own exploration into polyamory . . . The series has been getting some less-than-stellar reviews via the comments section. The main complaint? The posts are “boring.” It’s a good sign that we’ve reached the cultural acceptance point where it’s possible for writing about open relationships to be banal.
It’s an interesting — and pretty spot on — analysis of the way non-monogamy is treated in the media, with tons of links to various articles spanning a whole range of perspectives.
Read the rest on Bitch.