Amatonormative is defined by author Elizabeth Blake as “the assumption that a central, exclusive, amorous relationship is normal for humans, in that it is a universally shared goal, and that such a relationship is normative, in the sense that it should be aimed at in preference to other relationship types.”
To think differently is unimaginable. Our DNA at this time is soaked in the sense, language, and feeling that exclusive couple relationships are the norm for humans to function properly. As ever it is difficult to untangle what is authentic and what is manipulated.
On the one hand monogamy is the natural state of human relationships. We thrive in exclusivity. Intimacy can be created in the singleness of one other. This intimacy can only be formed through exclusivity and trust that monogamy brings. Jealousy and insecurity are natural feelings that keep monogamy in place. Children and chattels are clear about who and where they belong. This is the natural human order which successful wealthy societies are built on.
On the other our culture enables us to be insecure and paranoid about who is going to look after our children if something happens. Because there is no collective community support that will do this for parents. To be alone is to be isolated so we cannot be left. Neo-liberalism particularly splits us into smaller and smaller groups who have to survive the threat of poverty, through redundancy, and ill health. We are all under the threat of the gutter, so have to work hard to stay out of it.
The ideal singularity of Romance is the bedrock of this monogamy. This is particularly aimed at women in a patriarchal system. Women are taught to have a natural desire for monogomy. This keeps her and her sexuality in place. In control. In system.
To tolerate what is not monogamous is to tolerate social anxiety about who is having sex with who. It is not the sex that is important here but what it signifies. Romance is the glue of our culture, the idea of parenting and family. Notice how many politicians talk about family as the building block to normal culture. Anything outside monogamy is seen as focused on sex. So it is degraded.
Take your pick: but don’t think you can choose.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2018
All rights reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique