Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Recommended Posts

Q: How would you react if your significant other came to you and said that they were equally in love with two other people, but they still loved you too, and wanted to try and make a sexual relationship work out between the four of you?
Here is my answer, again. I will try to make it more clear for you: If my boyfriend (or husband) came to me and said that he was in love with another woman (or women, or men), my immediate reaction would be that I'm not enough for him, and that the fact he's even asking me this means that he finds it necessary to have supplemental relationships. I am an untrusting and paranoid person by nature, slow to warm up to people, and that is why I would react that way, initially.

 

Thank you, thats all i wanted to read. Your immediate non equivocated gut response to my question. Your expansion is all well and good but doesn't matter a whit to the question. But i do think now that i am more knowledgeable of how complicated a person can make a simple question be. And you never answered it before in nearly as clear terms, in fact the only reason i even challenged you on it was because your first response to my question was to dismiss it out of hand because it wasn't the EXACT situation from the book, which i later acknowledged.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 76
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

How was us pointing out that it wasn't the same question a dismissal. It was a harmless comment... we didn't say "YOU MUST NOT ASK THIS!" We said... well, hey, its not really the same situation...

 

Your a strange fellow Jorik... what did we do to so upset you?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Besides your statement wasn't that it wouldn't be a good idea in the context of the book' date=' it was that, if you can't help who you love, you have [i']no choice.[/i] That simply isn't true.

 

Beckon: I'm not 100% sure that i can apply this example to the current situation, but Rand and Elayne and Min and Aviendha were destined to be together. And who is to say that if Rand had tried harder to avoid it things wouldn't have forced it. Remember Matt trying to avoid battles in FoH and ending up killing Couladin? Thats what i mean; Rand even told him he had to stop trying to avoid fate, or bad things would happen to him. So, Rand knew that the more he tried to avoid destiny the more the pattern pushed him into it. Like i said im not 100% sure that the pattern would force Rand into a relationship with each woman, but if you look at the need, all the ties are there....the tie to Min for her abilities, the tie to Aviendha for being Aiel, and him needing a connection more tangible than his mother, whom he didn't know. And Elaidas foretelling about the ruling house of Andor being the Key in the last battle, while Rand is sort of a member of the House, Elayne is Daughter Heir and a tie to her is pretty important. So, theoretically there was no choice for him he was absolutely going to have a relationship with all those women. Now wether that relationship had to be sexual...well even Min couldn't tell that for sure.

 

I was not responding to the context of the books, and neither were you when you objected to Zardi saying you can't help who you love. Indeed the whole point of this thread was to take the situation OUT of the context of the books and into the real world.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always felt that the parallels between Rand's "situation" and the Aiel custom of adopting sister-wives was very suggestive; compare the three women ambushing him to Dorindha and Melaine cornering Bael, for example. Jordan never tries very hard to hide his views on moral issues, seems likely that he thinks these sorts of relationships are only acceptable if set up for the right reasons, i.e. harmony between the two women who want the same man. He pointedly avoids justifying the practice through the man's inability to choose between them.

 

Strangely, for once I agree with him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

since when has Rand acted in a mature fashion ? ... i notice a lot of "oh woe is me nobody loves me i'm going to be all noble and go outside and eat some worms" from him :roll:

 

but to get to the point (i think ... if there is one): i happen to find myself in a situation where i'm sharing a man with another woman. not because i want to, but because that is the only way i can have him. it helps that the 3 of us live on different continents, so it's either him and me together, or him and her. i have no idea what i would do if i were ever to come face to face with her - probably pull out my knife and stab her, but who knows ?

 

i've never been close enough to another woman to think of sharing with her, and i DOUBT i ever will, since i'm not all that fond of other women ... but then, i never thought i'd be in the situation i am now.

 

what i can say, is that although i've had relationships with other men in this time, i have only actually LOVED one man for about 12 years now, and therefor i believe i have been faithful to him.

 

one further point: if it is morally acceptable (in most societies) to love more than 1 person in SUCCESSION, then why not to love them simultaniously ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
one further point: if it is morally acceptable (in most societies) to love more than 1 person in SUCCESSION, then why not to love them simultaniously ?

 

I hate to be "that person," but honestly, polygyny is actually permitted in 80% or so of all societies today. I know it is somewhat beside the point, but monogamous (or at least socially imposed monogamy, not ecologically imposed) societies are actually in the minority, if you look at it with a strict "x/total numbre of societies" viewpoint.

 

However, I understand that most of the cultures in WoT are "westernized" and we're all looking at everything from a "westernized" point of view, so, back to the discussion I suppose :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

In response to the "western" morals comment, while statistically more surveyed societies responded with polgyny as a common thread, polygyny, because less than 0.5% (between 3-5 total societies) responded with polyandry. The statistics are misleading as well, because they only assign value to "distinct" countries, i.e. Canada is ONE country, China is ONE country. This leads to misleading information making it seem like the vast majority of PEOPLE are polygamous, but in reality it is only a greater number of countries. Also, the actual dispersal of polygynous societies is almost strictly African, Middle Eastern and Indian Sub Continental. The Far East, including China, Japan and other "eastern" societies are shown to fall into the "monogamous" marriage category. So, the whole Euro centric idea that only those of European or "western" descent are "monogamous" marriers is a mis representation. I would also like to point out that in some of the societies where polygamy is approved they are the most restrictive and controlling of female behavior, where as some of those "arrogant" western societies are the most liberated and equal. Personally i agree with Elgee, it is hypocritical to say "its ok to love untold thousands as long as you love them sequentially, not simultaneously." However; i personally wouldn't be ammenable or able to tolerate being the "other" husband, and think that our current societal taboo against polygamy must have come about through practical reasoning.

 

My source is: http://eclectic.ss.uci.edu/~drwhite/worldcul/Codebook4EthnoAtlas.pdf if you'd like to peruse actual scientifically gathered data for your self.

Link to post
Share on other sites
In response to the "western" morals comment, while statistically more surveyed societies responded with polgyny as a common thread, polygyny, because less than 0.5% (between 3-5 total societies) responded with polyandry.

 

I'm having trouble making sense of any point you are trying to make here, but yes, only .5% of surveyed societies responded as polyandrous (which, if you're unclear on the meaning, is females having more than one husband), simply because 1)polyandry requires very unique situations to arise, as well as 2) the fact that it is a disharmonious way of living simply because generally in polyandrous societies there is are senior and junior "husbands," with differing sexual access. Also, the question of paternity in any offspring is always very much present. However, a discussion of polyandry is largely irrelevant to a discussion about WoT and Rand's 3 female friends. (defn. Polygamy: the practice of marriage to more than one spouse simultaniously; Polygyny: the practice of a man having more than one wife)

 

 

The statistics are misleading as well, because they only assign value to "distinct" countries, i.e. Canada is ONE country, China is ONE country. This leads to misleading information making it seem like the vast majority of PEOPLE are polygamous, but in reality it is only a greater number of countries. Also, the actual dispersal of polygynous societies is almost strictly African, Middle Eastern and Indian Sub Continental.

 

 

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear about this, I didn't spend a lot of time making sure to clarify I suppose, but sense the actual post within the thread I responded to delt with looking at a view of societies as a whole and I responded directly to this, I didn't really think it'd be necessary. I did however, attempt to make clear in my post that the 80% number comes from a view of looking simply at a % of societies over the total number. And while you're right, yes, these societies as far as population are far beind "modernized" cultures, the fact of the matter is that they arose individually and at least what was most adaptive for humans all around the world was a system where it was prevalent to have more than one wife.

 

 

The Far East, including China, Japan and other "eastern" societies are shown to fall into the "monogamous" marriage category. So, the whole Euro centric idea that only those of European or "western" descent are "monogamous" marriers is a mis representation.

 

 

Yes, again I suppose I should've defined what I meant by "westernized," but really I think what is missing from any argument that you're trying to make is the fact that these marriage patterns arise not from moral or logical musings, but from the fact that our subsistance strategies dictate them. Polygyny is and was largely prevalent in societies that derived a vast majority of their food and resources through hunting and gathering, horticulture, and simple agriculture. It was with the advent of things like the plow, etc. that monogamy arose simply because having multiple wives wasn't advantagous in the fact that they wouldn't help "support" their husband. In these societies, the wealth wasn't in money or land but it was in children, as the more offspring you had, the more resources you could process, and the more "help" you'd have as you got older. You have to realize that for a vast majority of our existance, humans probably lived in this way.

 

The fact of the matter is, you can't devalue the fact that a majority of societies in our world are polygamous. Do I really think this is that relevant to a disscussion of Wheel of Time? Not really. But still, it is just as enthocentric to believe that because mongamous societies have a vast number of more people living in them (than polygamous societies), they are superior, as it is to believe that the way that 'we' think is "right," "moral," or "logical."

 

Also, thanks for your generous offer of information, but mine is from the Human Relation Area Files, same as yours appears to be.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as the difference between polygyny an polyandry,(thank you so much for providing me with definitions) i was pointing out that your use of the word "polygamy" is misleading, because the fact is it's polygyny thats practiced in 99.5+% of those surveyed who have multiple spouses, and saying "polygamy" implies a greater parity between polyandrous and polygynous relationships; a parity that doesn't exist.

 

Yes, again I suppose I should've defined what I meant by "westernized,"

 

Why don't you do just that for me, perhaps you'll base it off the Helenic cultures, or maybe the Roman Empire, or maybe The ancient Persian Empire...but that still would not explain your painting of "modernized" society as Western. Since i have shown that Eastern cultures came to the same conclusions and levels of societal sophistication. And by sophistication i mean where the rule of law and not the jungle applies. The fact is, that it is mainly third world countries where polygyny is still practiced. (I say mainly because there are enclaves throughout the world where polygyny is practiced in very small numbers) Third world countries that are restrictive and primitive when it comes to human relationships. Thats right, i called them restrictive AND primitive."–adjective expressing or implying restriction or limitation of application, as terms, expressions, etc." and "Anthropology A person belonging to a nonindustrial, often tribal society, especially a society characterized by a low level of economic complexity. " I can play the "I'm calling in to doubt your ability to understand what i am really trying to say, so i will help you" game too. By your quotations here i gather that you are a cultural relativist that claims to believes that all cultures have the same value to civilization, a belief that i do not share and don't think you really do either. However if you really do; please explain the cultural value of female genital mutilation and why it should be protected today. Or maybe explain to me the value of having a society where women must be covered from their head to their toes, to protect them from men. Or why we should defend the Chinese practice of foot binding. Why should we protect those practices, instead of just demanding that men have some form of self control and respect. After all it is those peoples culture to do these abominal things and ALL cultures are equally valuable and deserve our respect, who are we "westerners" to try and change their ways? If you decide to pass judgement on those particular cultural mores but defend others, then you are just a person who believes that they should be the one deciding what cultural practices have value. Your justifications for the polygynous cultures, are probably spot on, however just because thats how they've always done it doesn't mean that it should never change. As far as your source, i linked to mine, would you do the same?

Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, I wasn’t attempting to be snide by providing definitions for the various forms of polygamy, I was just confused about why you brought up polyandry, although after rereading it carefully in order to decipher what you were saying, I understood. Furthermore, if you’d read what I wrote, you’ll notice I actually never used the term polygamy in my original post, just to clear things up.

 

Second; wow, Jorik, build up straw men often? I can’t understand how what was supposed to be a short post, intended to clear up a fairly obvious statistical misunderstanding (and my subsequent lengthier clarification), has been turned into me advocating “barbaric” practices of other cultures? Your fallacious arguments aside, I fail to see what the negative consequences of any sort of open-mindedness about the way the rest of the world works could be. Furthermore, in your arguments against feet binding, I find it funny that you choose a practice from a culture in our world that chooses your “rule of law and not the jungle.” But, I digress; the main point is that it is absolutely nothing except ethnocentric to devalue any culture or society based on your own engendered biases. No, that does not mean that I believe it is appropriate nor adaptive to practice bodily mutilation like binding of the feet, or the terrible practice of clitoridectomy or infibulation (which, interestingly again [infibulation specifically], is first believed to be practiced by one of the most celebrated ‘early civilizations’ with complex social structure, the Egyptians). Also, you attack my holding to a belief of “cultural relativism” without even using a correct definition of the term. Cultural relativism (in an Anthropological sense, from where the term was developed) simply states that each facet of a culture can only be judged on the basis of how it fits in with the other aspects of said culture, and does not in fact mean that every culture’s practices have a valuable place in all societies. You also erroneously equate moral relativism to cultural relativism, where moral relativism states that all value systems are equally valid (but, again, does not hold that a certain moral set's existance is grounds for its' adoption everywhere).

 

As far as my sources, it is possible to statistically derive similar %s (as far as for numbers of polygynous, monogamous, etc. go) from your data you linked, which I am assuming is coming from the same place I retrieved my data, from a study of the Human Area Relation Files. As far as the rest…introductory-level Cultural Anthropology study?

 

Anyway, my sincerest apologies for dragging this thread so far off-topic. I simply want to make sure my views and opinions are not twisted to portray me in any way other than what I wish to present myself.

 

edit-I forgot a word :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

what WAS this thread all about again ? :wink: at missinginstereo

 

just as a point of interest, jb_kal: did your source mention whether those polyandrous societies are also matriarchal ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

No offense to anyone, but Jorik you're taking way too much liberty inferring unintended meanings from peoples' posts. I'm sorry some people didn't think your version of the hypothetical was any more relevant than the OP's but how exactly does saying that one culture's practises are not inherently better than any other's translate into "I support foot binding and cliteridectomy"?

Link to post
Share on other sites
what WAS this thread all about again ? :wink: at missinginstereo

quote]

Judging by the title of the thread, it sounds like some sexist pig on the pull, so i didn't even bother reading his post!

i just popped in to :wink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Beckon:

No offense Beckon? Thats classic, those words are usually follwed by a criticism, and lo and behold so were yours. Anyway I don't take offense at your criticism. There is nothing any of you can say that would "offend" me, for gods sake we aren't even real "people" on the internet, we are electronic message senders and receptors. You know that whole beginning Communication Theory class that says only 10% of a message is what you say? Well that 10% is all you can get on the internet. You don't know who I am and I don't know who you are, so the thin veneer of civilization is unnecessary. And since we aren't real here we really shouldn't take anything "said" here too seriously. Which I don't. Also, if my inferring seems unfair, tough. If JB cares to clarify his position then I will read his post, but from the information that I gathered I think my classification is fair.

 

JB:

 

So then, what are you trying to say?, if you are not trying to say "all cultures are of equal merit"?

 

Because of long held popular association, "moral" is usually included when cultural relativism is generally spoken of.

Also: http://www.cultural-relativism.com/ defines it pretty much exactly as i would.

As does: http://www.anthrobase.org/Dic/eng/def/cultural-relativism.htm

Please pay special attention to the part where the site says, "The aim is to obtain a certain degree of "understanding" or "empathy" with the foreign norms and tastes. Morally and politically, cultural relativism means that we respect other cultures and treat them as "as good as" one's own." As good as one's own, that says equally valuable to me. Are those two sites also misunderstanding cultural relativism too? However; your narrower definition is part of the technical language used amongst academic anthropologists. Well, we aren't academic anthropologists(at least i'm not)

Secondly, your whole

hate to be "that person," but honestly, polygyny is actually permitted in 80% or so of all societies today. I know it is somewhat beside the point, but monogamous (or at least socially imposed monogamy, not ecologically imposed) societies are actually in the minority, if you look at it with a strict "x/total numbre of societies" viewpoint.

 

However, I understand that most of the cultures in WoT are "westernized" and we're all looking at everything from a "westernized" point of view,

is my issue, your comments appear to be coming from a condescending attitude towards "western" ideals, appearing either to think of them as naive or willfully ignorant. If thats not the case then mea culpa, please educate me on what you did mean by this. And if you please, explain to me why you didn't finish your first statement by pointing out that although most societies on Earth practice polygyny, most of the people don't. Because that would have held up that statistics can be misleading. I believe that your statements were intending to promote polygyny as the normal state of human relations, which numerically it is not, while implying those who promote monogamy are merely uninformed about the world. And citing the last part would disprove your assertion.

 

My inclusion of Chinese foot binding was to show an example of how a culture moved from a cultural practice that was at the time perfectly in tune with their morals, yet completely unnacceptable to me, to a more egalitarian one. Which I say is better.(I say more egalitarian as opposed to "just" egalitarian because I personally believe China still has a way to go on their human rights situation and while I do contend that modern industrial societies in general are better for all peoples, I am by no means saying that they are perfect) Perhaps I should have clarified that. Just how is it Ethnocentric then, if I am judging not only by the rules of my particular society but also by the morals of societies with vastly different "Ethnicity" but very similar ideals? Unless perhaps you mean that because I judge at all it can only be from an ethnocentric point of view. Are you implying that humans cannot take information about something, i.e. a cultural practice and determine if it is "bad", and not just bad for us(because we belong to a differnt culture), but bad for every human being(regardless of culture)? Because if that is indeed what you are saying, then I think the title of cultural relativist applies fairly honestly. And while Egypt was certainly economically complex, I would not hesitate to call them primitive, when it comes to human relations. And finally you have still failed to define "western" civilization, what do you mean by it, since obviously you know that some very prominent Eastern civilizations also follow some of the same traditions? You call my examples "straw men" but offer no real information of your own, you just quibble with definitions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I was lying when I said I wasn't trying to offend? Are you familiar with the term "constructive criticism"? I guess since we're just on the internet and we're not real anyway then it's perfectly justified for you to infer whatever you want from anyone's post, regardless of whether it's supported.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to jump in so late in the conversation, but I saw an anthro discussion and just couldn't resist. Anyway, I would like to make a couple of quick comments that will hopefully clear the air and calm things down a bit. (Also, I don't want anyone to think I'm trying to speak FOR them, I'm just trying to bring in a relatively unbiased third person view.)

 

Jorik -

Allow me to address two of the problems you seem to be having with jb_kal's statements, namely the focus on definitions, and what you inferred to be a condescending attitude toward western society.

 

The focus on definitions is something that anyone who studies anthropology falls victim to on a regular basis, predominantly because there is no way to engage in a productive conversation about a dense academic topic without first establishing strict definitions for the terms that are going to be used. This becomes particularly difficult when dealing with Geertz-ian "deep-description" style anthro, where wordy-ness can be taken to a TRUE art form. As a result, I have taken anthro classes where we have spent more time arguing definitions than actually delving into the material. Yes it's annoying, but in the end it helps keep everyone on the same page.

 

(If you doubt me, ask an anthropologist to define religion for you some time. Just make sure you have . . . oh, about a semester or so.)

 

As for the quotation marks around "western" and "westernized" (and again, jb_kal, I'm not trying to speak FOR you, merely stating what I implied from your post), it is very difficult to spend much time in the anthro discipline without becoming cynical towards many of the generally accepted terms used to describe modern society. The term "western" is misleading in the way it is predominantly used (refering to modern American/European culture, and culture which has derived from predominantly European roots), which has remarkably little to do with actually being WEST of anywhere else. Also, the generally held positive connotations of the term "western" (many of which stem from Cold War-era thought) are problematic when attempting to discuss things in an un-biased academic setting. This is why those of us who spend a lot of time in the anthro discipline tend to dislike using the term. However, the widespread use of the term tends to make complete avoidance hard.

 

jb_kal -

Please correct me if I've misrepresented any of your intentions, I'm not trying to cause more touble, just clear up some misunderstandings

Link to post
Share on other sites

Beckon:

You have it all wrong, i'm not saying that I am unwilling to read criticism, constructive or otherwise, what i'm saying is that dishonest politeness...which I believe your comment was....is not necessary on the internet. The language I use isn't chosen to avoid offense, I just think that name calling is a sign of intellectual difficulty, and the first sign of losing an argument. So I avoid using that language. You are entitled to express your belief that my inferrences are groundless, and I am equally entitled to make those inferrences. That's the beauty of the internet. I can disagree with your and others reasoning, I can find the reasoning used here to be pop culture logic, that is to say reasoning based on what the popularly held beliefs are thought to be, i.e. the idea that "western" civilization has gotten it all wrong and that all the ills of the world can be laid at its feet. This seems to be a prevalent thought on these boards, and I will argue against it at every turn. But I hold no personal animus towards any of you, for the reasons stated in my previous post. If I knew you in person and these were your beliefs then i'd probably avoid you,(you as in DM'ers, not you as in Beckon) not because of the strength of your arguments, but the fanatical devotion to your convictions. Thats why the internet is great, the PC police have no sway here and the decry of "-ist" cannot immediately silence opposition like it does in the real world. If you aren't sure what I mean by "-ist", think of all the most heinous things you can accuse someone of being these days, and they all end in "-ist". And the usual reaction to strong opposition against culturally popular beliefs is calling the other person an "-ist". Which shuts the arguer up because they are afraid that other people might think poorly about them, or they might lose out financially. Fortunately that is not the case on the internet.

 

Beric:

As I am not a professional anthropologist; the depth of disagreement amongst the academics on term definition only seems to point out to me that they can't come to an agreement about wording much less actually establish a reliable process for understanding human civilizations. But I do appreciate your attempt at clarifying JB's statements. It is still my contention that his post was in fact intended to characterize Western Civilization, as naive or ignorant while maintaining that the rest of the world is different, and that by being different it is bettter, and that's what I argue against. To those people that contend that the "western" world is so awful, I suggest living in one of those societies that you proclaim so vehemently, and live like they do, not as a tourist in a hotel and you'll see what I mean. And before anyone tries to twist this, yes I personally have lived in another society as an outsider, outsider because I wasn't there long enough to engender inclusion into their society, but I was able to witness first hand their vastly different cultural setup and while I found the people were equally deserving of respect on an individual basis I found many things about their culture that I could not respect.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sheesh, if this is only 10% percent of you then you must be a right b.itch to know in real life :lol:

But seriously, you take that little 10% of yourself far too seriously. Chill out a little.

 

 

*no offense meant, just having a laugh

Link to post
Share on other sites
You have it all wrong, i'm not saying that I am unwilling to read criticism, constructive or otherwise, what i'm saying is that dishonest politeness...which I believe your comment was....is not necessary on the internet

 

So I really was trying to offend you and was only claiming otherwise to be polite? Nope sorry, not true. I'm not one of those people who believes they're allowed to abandon all semblance of manners when communicating over the internet. I've never said anything on these boards that I wouldn't say to someone's face.

 

It is still my contention that his post was in fact intended to characterize Western Civilization, as naive or ignorant while maintaining that the rest of the world is different, and that by being different it is bettter, and that's what I argue against.

 

JB corrected you on this and you're still saying that's what he's purporting. If you're not going to believe someone means what they say they do no matter how plainly they put it, what exactly is the point of attempting to discuss anything?

 

To those people that contend that the "western" world is so awful,

 

Where did anyone say anything remotely resembling that? And I mean their exact words, not the result of you inferring your own meanings from what other people write. The contention has been that our practises are not better or even more common than anything else simply because they're "modern" or "western". "Not better" does not equal worse or bad. You're just inferring that people mean to imply it even though they're saying they don't mean that.

 

In my opinion illogical to infer whatever you want from what people say. A couple times in this thread have inferred things, been corrected by the person who made the original comment, and then continued to insist that no they really did mean what you originally inferred. You're only arguing with yourself at that point. If someone says something that I find to be ambiguous I'll ask them to clarify as opposed to just picking for them and responding to what I assume they mean.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...