Polyamory, Compulsory Monogamy and Social Control. Glasgow, 26th January. Discussion

baby bonoboTuesday, January 26 at 6:45pm – 9:00pm

Fred Paton Centre, 19 Carrington Street, G4 9AJ

This talk explores how compulsory monogamy became a social institution, drawing on the history of law, religion, and biology. It will argue that monogamy was something forced on women, while men, for the most part, remained free from its confines. It will also describe the role compulsory monogamy has played in shaping and defining heteronormative relationships (where heterosexuality and fixed genders are taken as the norm).

Whereas heterosexuality binds women to men in general, monogamy binds women to specific men. In the same way that heterosexuality is used to set apart ‘good women’ from ‘perverse’ ones, monogamy serves to define all women who transgress its boundaries as loose. Thus, in the same ways in which compulsory heterosexuality results in the dependency of women on men – physically, economically and emotionally – compulsory monogamy makes women dependent on specific men.

The talk will then think about polyamory* as a non-monogamous alternative from a queer and feminist perspective, and consider how it challenges the heteronormative discourse on relationships. Polyamory offers more than just the possibility of participating in multiple relationships, but also the potential for a new way to understand and think about relationships.


*Polyamory is a philosophy and lifestyle based around the forming and sustaining of relationships with multiple partners in an open, honest and non-possessive way.


This event is hosted by Glasgow AF. We ask that all those attending this event read the brief introduction to our safer spaces policy here:https://afed.org.uk/about/safer-spaces/


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