Volume 20, Issue 2, 2017
Shelley M. Park
Polyamory Is to Polygamy as Queer Is to Barbaric?
This paper critically examines the ways in which dominant poly discourses position polyamorists among other queer and feminist-friendly practices while setting polygamists outside of those practices as the heteronormative and hyper-patriarchal antithesis to queer kinship. I begin by examining the interlocking liberal discourses of freedom, secularism and egalitarianism that frame the putative distinction between polyamory and polygamy. I then argue that the discursive antinomies of polyamory/polygamy demarcate a distinction that has greater affective resonance than logical validity—an affective resonance, moreover, that is built on neocolonial framings of polygamy as barbaric and idealizations of polyamory that whitewash its practices.