Holmbo

Do you want to change the society?

32 posts in this topic

I feel like I'm a little late to the party, but sometimes things work out so well. I've been so frustrated with this exact topic recently in my life. I agree with a lot of the things said in this topic. I'll try my best not to repeat what other have already said..

 

On 5/13/2017 at 3:20 AM, Holmbo said:

-Do you feel like people in general, just not aromantics, would be happier in a less amatonormative society?

 

Of course, I think people would be happier. I'm a child of a broken family, so I can't help but believe that a less amatonormative society could lower divorce rates, and just make people happier. But aside from nit-picky things like that, I think even platonic relationships would benefit from a less amatonomative society. In the same way that toxic romantic relationships are glorified, I believe that friendships can also be strained or toxic in the same ways. Quick storytime: I was recently talking to an acquaintance about nothing in particular. I told a story about one of my best friends, identifying them as my "best friend." Later, I spoke of another best friend, calling them "another of my best friends." And again mentioned another best friend, calling them "another one of my best friends." At that point, the person chuckled a little and condescendingly said, "Well you sure have a lot of best friends." Maybe I'm being dramatic, but yes! I have many best friends. I love them all very much. Who made up the rule that you can only have one best friend in this world populated by 7.5 billion people? Why shame people for that? It's ridiculous. [Okay rant over]. Jealousy is glorified in all relationships and I just really wish I could change that aspect of society more than anything.

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I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately too. Namely because two of my close friends have been more absent from my life than usual--I suspect, due to their romantic relationships. And one of them's my queerplatonic friend, sooooooooooooo. *casually sips my aromatic tea*

 

Do you feel like people in general, just not aromantics, would be happier in a less amatonormative society?

 

Yeah. Because amatonormativity reinforces a hierarchy where there's only one form of love--romantic love--that's valued. To the point at which, you're expected to give up everything to prioritize romantic love. And that's not only unhealthy--that prevents us from fully experiencing the richness of all the other forms of non-romantic love that surround us every day. And I think that's terrible. Imagine if you were only allowed to read the majority of your books from a certain genre, for the rest of your life. That's the absurdity of amatonormativity.

 

Do you act on your thoughts about romance in other contexts than just in your own life choices? Like advocate for less romance in pop culture or point out to your friends that some things considered romantic is just toxic and abusive.

 

I sort of have to? I'm one of those people who feel such a strong sense of morality, that I absolutely must do something if I consider it right. I've had lengthy discussions with alloromantics about issues like toxic monogamy (which is a subtype of amatonormativity), jealousy, polyamoury, and being queerplatonic. I try to educate everyone. I love it when I'm surprised with understanding, but sometimes it hurts. Like once, I was complaining about how amatonormativity prevents my queerplatonic relationships from being taken seriously, and the dilemma I face between choosing to call my formal platonic relationships "friendships" or "relationships" in order to properly communicate the level of intimacy I have. And an alloromantic friend of mine said, "Well, why can't it be both?" As if it really were that simple. 

 

I will admit, I have a tendency towards cynicism. To borrow from international relations theory, social norms are a structure, and individuals within society are agents. I don't believe that we have enough agency to fully overcome our structure. That is to say, I don't believe it's possible for aromantics to have their narrative respected in an amatonormative structure, and because amatonormative people benefit from the status quo, I don't believe they have any incentive to take our stories seriously either. I've gotten fatalistic with all my alloromantic friendships lately. I'm at a point where, if I were fully honest with myself, I don't think either of my queerplatonic relationships are serious anymore, because both of my partners are alloromantic. I believe that my friends, my queerplatonic partners, are only with me as long as they're interested in playing this game of friendship with me, until their next romance sweeps them off of their feet, and out of my life.

 

I feel like alloromantics--in this society--can't see beyond a hierarchical conception of romance > friendship, and I feel like it's not my responsibility to change their mind. I educate because I have to, because I can't lead a dishonest life, because I can't live in silence. I educate even though I am convinced that no one cares. Desire to educate others on amatonormativity isn't a matter of right or wrong for me. It's a state of nature, as is with all other forms of activism I've found myself doing. 

 

I'm starting to think that commitment to my instinctive sense of morality is probably the only legitimate form of commitment I'm ever going to have. Meant that in the self-deprecating, smug aromantic way.

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On 27/05/2017 at 3:17 PM, Just like Jughead said:

I only want to change it in the fact I want society to leave me alone about my life. 


I can't relate to this at all. Possibly because I'm not especially introverted.
From my PoV society already has far too many barriers to involvement and engagement.
(Saying "no" to an unwanted offer is always an option. But how do you say "yes" to something which is never offered?)

8 hours ago, kaseythefairy said:

 In the same way that toxic romantic relationships are glorified, I believe that friendships can also be strained or toxic in the same ways. Quick storytime: I was recently talking to an acquaintance about nothing in particular. I told a story about one of my best friends, identifying them as my "best friend." Later, I spoke of another best friend, calling them "another of my best friends." And again mentioned another best friend, calling them "another one of my best friends." At that point, the person chuckled a little and condescendingly said, "Well you sure have a lot of best friends." Maybe I'm being dramatic, but yes! I have many best friends. I love them all very much. Who made up the rule that you can only have one best friend in this world populated by 7.5 billion people?

I've never really understood the "best friend" concept.
I find it hard to think of an example where I would ever seek a singular person to do anything with. Effectively "one is minimum", whereas it often seems more common and socially acceptable to have a "one is maximum" outlook.

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30 minutes ago, Mark said:


I can't relate to this at all. Possibly because I'm not especially introverted.
From my PoV society already has far too many barriers to involvement and engagement.
(Saying "no" to an unwanted offer is always an option. But how do you say "yes" to something which is never offered?)

I've never really understood the "best friend" concept.
I find it hard to think of an example where I would ever seek a singular person to do anything with. Effectively "one is minimum", whereas it often seems more common and socially acceptable to have a "one is maximum" outlook.

 

It's possibly an introvert/extrovert thing. It drains me to have anything beyond 2-3 close friends. My ideal right now would actually be all acquaintances. 0 is the maximum.

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50 minutes ago, Mark said:

I've never really understood the "best friend" concept.
I find it hard to think of an example where I would ever seek a singular person to do anything with. Effectively "one is minimum", whereas it often seems more common and socially acceptable to have a "one is maximum" outlook.

 

I think I see what you're saying. The more I think about it, it proabaly has a lot to do with my age group (college age) and gender (female) that makes me feel like having one main best friend is the societal norm. Of course, the overall societal goal is to have a "squad" of many friends. But I also feel pressured to pick one person and make them my best friend. Also in my age group many people around me are committing to monogamous relationships and getting married. Many of my peers have this 'quest' to find someone, make them their best friend, and then become romantically committed to that person only. And that person is their ONLY best friend. As an aromantic, a young adult, and someone who is easily overwhelmed, I get upset by small things. Things like someone disapproving of how many "best friends" I have for whatever reason. There are, of course, larger issues at hand, but this particular one has affected me most recently. I could go on about the ins-and-outs of the amatonormative pressures I feel as a young adult, but then this post would get even more jumbled than it already is. Hope this makes some sense. 

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8 hours ago, kaseythefairy said:

Of course, the overall societal goal is to have a "squad" of many friends. But I also feel pressured to pick one person and make them my best friend. Also in my age group many people around me are committing to monogamous relationships and getting married.

If you do not share the same goal as your peers then it would probably be a bad idea to do the same kind of things as them. Even though it might be difficult to explain this to them.
 

8 hours ago, kaseythefairy said:

Many of my peers have this 'quest' to find someone, make them their best friend, and then become romantically committed to that person only. And that person is their ONLY best friend.

This sounds like the "friends first" idea some allos have. With the idea of that friendship being a stepping stone to a romantic relationship.
 

8 hours ago, kaseythefairy said:

As an aromantic, a young adult, and someone who is easily overwhelmed, I get upset by small things. Things like someone disapproving of how many "best friends" I have for whatever reason.

What I think is going on here is different definitions of the term "best friend".

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A lot of interesting responses :)
 

When thinking more about this subject I wonder if perhaps the reason that this norm is so hard to shift is because it is foundation to our modern society. If we look at hunter gatherer societies the norm seems to be more close relationships and larger group of interest than the nuclear family. Maybe it was advantageous for nation states to have the people broken down to smaller units in order to be more flexible and fulfill a role in a larger context. To have them think of themselves as individuals and act in their own self interest rather than for the best of their tribe. It's hard to get people to move where they are needed or change their way of thinking if they always have to take into account the well being of a whole group of people for everything. So our culture streamlined the family down to one sexual partner and the shared offspring. Those are still part of their tribe and every decision made has to take them into account. But we see in our society a tendency to loose even that as people divorce and choose not to have children. Society frees them to make their life choices with only consideration to themselves and do it with whoever shares their goals at the moment.

I'm testing out an extreme line of thought there. If this trend is real I don't necessarily see it as a bad thing. I'm a very individualistic person and I wouldn't want that to be stifled under the weight of a tight knit community.

 

 


 

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