When so much of the public discourse is about reducing economic inequality, proposing a change [favoring open relationships] that would increase sexual inequality is out of step with the times.
Is there any actual public discourse about reducing economic inequality? I must have missed the debates about expropriating the wealth of the billionaires. And I must have missed the debates about reducing executive salaries to less obscene levels. And the debates about imposing massive taxes on capital gains.
I was rather under the impression that all public discourse these days was about making sure that nobody mentions or notices actual economic inequality.
It’s a good point, one the blog is fond of making.
The leveling impulse still motivates many contemporary progressives, but it has been coopted and repurposed by the neo-liberal establishment for use in their relentless consolidation of cultural, political, financial, legal, and military power. And in an increasingly atomized world, the impulse isn’t as strong as it used to be. Perhaps that’s part of the explanation for why the stigma around open relationships is fading. That and Tinder, for obvious reasons.
Parenthetically, V. K. Ovelund’s assertion in the same thread provides the hook for an oft-made assumption about Western sexual mores that needs qualification to put it mildly:
The fundamental structure of the family, starting with marriage, is the axle about which a civilization turns. Some other, mostly observably lesser civilizations have come up with their own answers to the question, but west of the Hajnal line, we had a profound answer that was compatible with our own civilization, an answer that harmonized with our people’s instinctive, inherited way of being.
Marriage between one husband and one wife, accompanied by moderate restraints against extended-kin nepotism to make room for broad social trust to flourish, is and always has been the only way for us.
The assumption is that we’ve become increasingly libertine about sexuality over time.
But in antiquity, grown men could bed young teenage girls–and boys–with far less protest than grown men can now. It’s illegal today; it sealed political alliances then. Cousins married cousins, uncles married nieces. Prostitution was permitted and men stepping out on their wives wasn’t perceived to be particularly scandalous. Compared to the 1950s, the 50s were wildly unrestrained.
We’re catching up fast to the bohemians of old now, though. Same-sex marriage is in. Transgenderism isn’t just something a nut like Nero finds compelling any longer. Today, we must all celebrate it if we know what’s good for us. Incest is on the way back and so are open relationships. The term prostitution is problematic, what with its demeaning and patriarchal connotations, but sex work is A-OK, empowering even. Don’t pause too long for polygamy. With open relationships, we’re already halfway there.
Even tolerance of bestiality is on the horizon. But, but the things mentioned up to this point have all been consensual! A pig can’t consent to sex with a human! Well, the pig doesn’t consent to being turned into bacon either and that happens to pigs all the time. As bad as being buggered by a zoophile must be, being butchered is even worse. If killing animals is okay, why is caressing them not? Religion, philosophy, and time-honored traditions used to provide answers, but they’ve been summarily dismissed. What prevents us from sliding down the slippery slope of sexuality now?