Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's Been My Privilege?

I’ve had a weird thing popping up on my tweetstream and fetlife feed over the past few weeks. It’s been weird because the first thought I’ve had is “what the fuck happened to “your kink is not my kink?” Bah- that’s a euphemism for “you’re doing my kink wrong”.

The second thought I had was WHY are people talking to other kinksters about the privileges that monogamous people have? I’m tired of all the “privilege” posts. Seriously. As a white, mostly heterosexual, monogamous, woman, I’ll be the first to admit that I DO have various societal benefits from that orientation. Things I’ll never have to worry about PERSONALLY. I'm not getting into the whole "I have friends" thing.

But you know what? I didn’t get to make the rules. Even if I vote, lobby, talk, write, bitch and march, I still will never be the one to make the rules.

And you know what else? I don’t feel any overwhelming need to go outside of my own sexuality or gender. I’m cis-gendered and I’m pretty ok with that. I get that it's not an opportunity for everyone. I don’t generally think about privilege because I don’t have to (yeah, ironic huh?). And when I do, it’s not in the way you might think. And I don’t have nearly as many as one might think. And hardly any of them are because I’m monogamous.

But just because you might believe that my life is full of fucking privilege, simply because you might have DIFFERENT issues, let me disabuse you of that notion. My life is not full of privilege. It’s full of DIFFERENT privileges. And different problems. While you’re comparing monogamy to polyamory, lets be clear. What’s being compared is a polyamorous relationship to the media fueled middle american christian ideal of marriage. Because you're sure not comparing it to MY monogomous relationship.

I guess the thing that has me questioning whether bitching about my “monogamous privilege” my “cis-gender privilege”, my “heterosexual privilege” is an effective way to garner my support in an area where allies and friends are important is that I CAN’T DO A DAMNED THING ABOUT IT. If my gay friends had simply said “I’m going to trash you and your relationships because you’re not gay and therefore privileged” I’d have never stuck around long enough to even CARE.

And that leaves me with only one question- Just what the fuck am I supposed to DO with all these so called privileges? Return them? To whom? If your life is going to be better, easier or more privileged because I can return some of mine, please let me know where I can turn them in. Because until you tell me how to do that, bitching that I have privileges that others don’t enjoy is like saying I’m employed and in order for someone else to BE employed, I have to quit my job.

I just read a blog post and I have to wonder. If I’m so DAMNED privileged in my mono-hetero-whitebread-cis-female life, why is it that I’m forced by society to HIDE a huge part of it? I could go through every “privilege” listed on that blog and in almost every single one of them, they could be talking about me, my life, my relationship. But instead of talking about “poly” or “straight”, I could substitute “kinky” or “D/s” or “sadomasochism”. So much for my “privilege”. Monogamous? Big fucking deal.

I have hidden almost EVERY relationship I’ve ever had. I didn’t hide the people, just the context. You want privilege? Try explaining to your mother that you enjoy letting guys hit you. Or better yet- explain to your mother why you need your partner’s permission to do something, to go anywhere and do it in such a way that she won’t think you’re being abused by an asshole. Explain collars or power exchanges, authority exchange, sadomasochism, or bdsm to someone who won’t think that you need a time out in straighjacketed med land. Try explaining bruises to a doctor who won’t then call the police on your partner. Try living in my fucking life and telling me that I enjoy privileges simply because I’m monogamous. You want to talk creepy-take my children away-fire me and burn me at the stake kind of privilege? You’re looking at it.

Trying to get people to understand, much less accept, alternate sexuality in whatever form that takes, is beyond most of us in our immediate lives. We hide. We obfuscate. And we sometimes lie to those we love who just won’t understand. That’s not a privilege. That’s a damned shame. But making me feel like I’m somehow wearing a badge of privilege by telling me how many privileges I’m “supposed” to have doesn’t do a damned thing for furthering relationship parity. What it does do is make people pulling the privilege card as a way to complain that they don’t have the same privileges that I do seem rather like spoiled children who want whatever anyone else has, regardless if they know what it really is they want.

Except on the surface, I’m not privileged in nearly all of the 66 ways on that post. And maybe that’s the problem I’m having with these kinds of posts. Everyone’s relationship looks good “on the surface”.

But as we all should know, looks are deceiving.

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