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Neon Green Packing Peanut

Discussing amatonormativity with people who have that mindset

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So basically, I am doing a project for school that talks about the impact of amatonomativity.

I told my mom about this because she had been helping me choose a topic, and her response was...less than great. She then proceeded to state that it is in human nature to "pair up." I told her that that completely ignores a lot of people (specifically I mentioned polyamorous relationships and she interrupted me before I finished with anything else). She responded that "there will always be aberrations" (I had to look up that word, and it does not have any definition that could really be excusable for use in that context).

So yeah, that was great. But I have this topic for the whole year, and this conversation is going to come up again. How should I proceed?

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First off, I'm sorry she reacted that way, my mom is very much the same and its frustrating so I know where you're coming from. 

I feel like I would find historical examples of why that's not true. Maybe information about the history and how common different relationship forms are around the world to dispute the fact that we must "pair up." For example there is a matriarchal community in southwest China called the Mosuo who have no concept of the nuclear family model or marriage and practice what's called a "walking marriage."

"Men and women practice what is known as a “walking marriage” – an elegant term for what are essentially furtive, nocturnal hook-ups with lovers known as “axia”. A man’s hat hung on the door handle of a woman’s quarters is a sign to other men not to enter. These range from one-night stands to regular encounters that deepen into exclusive, life-long partnerships – and may or may not end in pregnancy. But couples never live together, and no one says, “I do”.'

While scientific research isn't necessary to validate aromantic experiences or any other experiences that are negatively impacted by amatonormativity, I find that people who are closed minded to topics like this tend to require proof that not everyone is like them and that alternate ways of thinking and doing things are valid and functional. Hopefully responding this way will open them up to the idea that their beliefs aren't inherently correct just because that's what they've always done and been taught. That's the goal anyway! Good luck with your project though it sounds really interesting!

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/01/the-kingdom-of-women-the-tibetan-tribe-where-a-man-is-never-the-boss

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Once I found a history book about women who were single and glad to be so. It was in French but maybe an equivalent exist in English? You can also look for figure who had been single all their life but still had a meaningful life or be happy. For this you may find feminist articles (that's not only a feminist thing but as feminism has think a lot about the fact that women don't need a man, you may find things here).

 

Maybe testimony of people : talking about experiences works more than generalities for what I see. Polyamory pr aromanticism is good for that.

Also maybe, allos who priviledge toxic relationships before their sanity because of amatonormativity.

 

I like the example of @cherrieash because it shows that contrary to what a lot of people believe, marrying isn't natural but cultural. When it comes to family, a lot of people believe that the unclear family is the only possibility or the poor children will lose everything. Except they won't. There are a mot of other was to do things.

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16 hours ago, Neon Green Packing Peanut said:

I told my mom about this because she had been helping me choose a topic, and her response was...less than great. She then proceeded to state that it is in human nature to "pair up."

This is a classical example of the appeal to nature logical fallacy. A rather questionable one since the vast majority of mammals don't "pair down" in the first place.
 

16 hours ago, Neon Green Packing Peanut said:

I told her that that completely ignores a lot of people (specifically I mentioned polyamorous relationships and she interrupted me before I finished with anything else). She responded that "there will always be aberrations" (I had to look up that word, and it does not have any definition that could really be excusable for use in that context).

There's this recently released study. Which shows it's only a minority (14%) of single people who conform to the amantonormative stereotype of single mindedly seeking to be coupled. Also notable that 10% are exclusively interested in casual dating.

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Do lots of research and prepare to overwhelm her with scientific evidence. In case you are not familiar with it, Google Scholar is a useful resource for finding peer reviewed papers. Books like "Sex at Dawn" might be useful resources re. polyamory. Also be prepared for her to reject everything you say, most people are simply not open to changing their minds, especially about beliefs which are fundamental to how they view the world and have structured their lives.

Personally I don't bother.

Edited by Rolo
Adding some links
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