Lately, a lot of terrific people have been reaching out to me. Activists, friends, potential collaborators, other academics. A few weeks ago, a woman doing her masters degree in Quebec/Canada emailed me, telling me about her thesis work in french literature, which discusses polyamory, and asked that we swap sources and share ideas. She told me a bit of information that I’d like to pass on here. Apparently, polyamory is still quite unknown in the French language. The word “polyamour” has not yet made it into the French dictionary (though polyamory has been in the English Oxford since 2006). Many of the academics in french literature she has been in contact with usually say “poly what?” when she tells them about her research.
Fascinating, no? I wonder how much longer that will be the case. My guess is: not too long. Today I’m reading an article by Elizabeth F. Emens called “Monogamy’s Law: Compulsory Monogamy and Polyamorous Existence,” which was published in the New York University Review of Law. In this piece, Emens comments on the growing visibility of polyamory, stating that this model of relationship is done by “increasingly vocal practitioners” (282). I think that’s right. More and more and more people are speaking up, speaking out. It seems that many of us are no longer content to stay in the closet. And, when the closets start to get dusty from lack of use, that’s when new words will populate dictionaries…that’s when laws will change…that’s when we can embrace a new world, where the dysfunctional practices of adultery (lying to those we supposedly love) and serial monogamy (which involves painful divorce/remarriage and the splitting up of families) won’t seem like the only option for the millions, most likely billions, of people worldwide who want more out of life.
There is nothing wrong with wanting more.
…When did humans get it into our heads that wanting more is a bad thing?