Lots of serious stuff on the blog today. I couldn’t leave you people without two scoops of delicious Dreher-bait hathos today.
First comes the story about the TV newsman in New York City who decided, after living three months as a woman, that d’oh! he’s a man after all. He blames — wait for it — amnesia. Excerpt:
“I thought it was 1999 . . . and I was sure as hell that I was a man,” Ennis said in the e-mail titled “Not Reportable, Very Confirmed.”
“Fortunately, my memories of the last 14 years have since returned. But what did not return was my identity as Dawn,” said Ennis, who had been wearing lipstick, skirts and heels.
“I am writing to let you know I’m changing my name . . . to Don Ennis. That will be my name again, now and forever. And it appears I’m not transgender after all.
“I have retained the much different mind-set I had in 1999: I am now totally, completely, unabashedly male in my mind, despite my physical attributes,” he said.
“I’m asking all of you who accepted me as a transgender to now understand: I was misdiagnosed.
“I am already using the men’s room and dressing accordingly,” he noted.
“It’s so odd to be experiencing this from the other side; as recently as last Friday, I felt I was indeed a woman, in my mind, body and soul.
Er, right. Amnesia. I guess that’s more plausible than his wife having a Pamela Ewing dream. More:
“Even though I will not wear the wig or the makeup or the skirts again, I promise to remain a strong straight ally, a supporter of diversity and an advocate for equal rights and other LGBT issues including same-sex marriage.”
Oh good. I was worried.
Moving on, one of you e-mailed today this Salon essay by a woman defending her lifestyle as a polyamorist with two husbands. The picture she provided makes it look like they enjoy a pleasant evening of strip Dungeons & Dragons. From the text:
When I learned about polyamorous relationships, I knew that’s what I wanted. My husband wasn’t so sure, though. It sounded fine for other people, but just not him. And it still seemed unrealistic to me, so I never pressed the issue.
When I returned to school to finish my bachelor’s degree in my late 20s, I became friends with a man who changed my mind about all that. He believed in polyamory, too, and we had long conversations about it together: how it could work, how it was truly possible.
One night, I sat down with my husband and spilled everything. I told him that being polyamorous was a part of who I am, and I asked if he would at least do some research and give it serious consideration before dismissing the idea. He understood that I never would have asked this if it hadn’t been extremely important.
That conversation could have ended our marriage. But instead, our journey into non-monogamy began.
And his journey into the complete collapse of his manhood and self-respect got underway. More:
My boyfriend and I met through our leftist politics. We were members of the same organization. We built a friendship over a period of months, often sitting up talking until sunrise on my back porch. He hadn’t been familiar with polyamory before, though he said the idea made sense to him immediately.
And now, they’ve all decided to move in together, because, as her husband said to her boyfriend, “It just feels right.” Which of course is the be-all and end-all. But what about the 10-year-old daughter in the household?
I often talk to her about the fact that society frowns on families like ours, and whenever I mention the claims that polyamory is bad for children, she rolls her eyes and says, “Oh no, kids having more people to love them! How horrible!”
She adores my boyfriend, and his relationship to her is like that of a stepparent, or maybe the fun live-in uncle. They play video games and do Mad-Libs together, and they laugh a lot. When I think about the number of kids with an absent parent, I think it’s pretty great that my daughter has three adults in her life to give her time and attention and care.
Pretty great, aye. What could be more fun than playing Mad-Libs with the goofy guy who shtups Mommy while Daddy sleeps alone? I love this line most of all:
Both my partners are firmly committed to feminist values, and both make me feel respected, loved and valued for who I am.
No chance of testosterone poisoning in that household. On her personal blog, the author explains why you have to be a feminist to do polyamory safely:
I think that poly without feminism can potentially be a rather dangerous thing. If polyamory is just a means of reproducing traditional sexist dynamics in relationships with multiple partners, then we’re stepping dangerously close to everything that’s wrong with traditional patriarchal “one man-many women” polygamy. I see polyamory veering close to this in relationships with the so-called “one-penis-policy,” for example, where a husband is permitted to date women, but his wife is only permitted to date women herself and forbidden from dating other men. With all of the problematic sexist gender dynamics that are potentially present in our sex and dating lives, I think that men wishing to engage in relationships with multiple women must be even more vigilant about upholding feminist values, because the potential harm and potential replication of patriarchal power structures might be even greater when a man is in a position of dominance over not just one woman, but several. I’m honestly not interested in fighting for the sexual liberation of men who will only use non-monogamy as a path to “conquer” a greater number of women.
I don’t get any of this, but you know me, I live in the Hookworm Belt, far from the front lines of progress. In these parts, we still live under the Jewishist-Christianist yoke of the One-Penis-One-Vadge Policy. Clearly we need a Myrna Minkoff like this young agitator to liberate us from our repression!