Shitbrained media bollocks about polyamory: Julie Bindel edition

Beginning to wonder if I ought to perhaps set up a regular “tear apart ill-informed media shitfoolery about polyamory” section. A mere week after risible media “discussion” of polyamory, Julie Bindel has rocked up to the party with her own brand of piss-awful nonsense.

Bindel asserts that “rebranding polyamory does women no favours” in a confused piece which I find it difficult to work out where to start.

I suppose let’s start with her utter insistence on conflating polyamory and patriarchal polygamy. Now, Bindel asserts that there is such a thing as ethical non-monogamy, which was invented by 1970s lesbian feminists, the factual basis of which I seriously question. I’ll concede that maybe they practiced it, but this has been going on for far longer than a couple of decades. Anyway, according to Bindel, there’s stuff that her mates did in the 1970s, and then there’s polygamy.

As for the rest of the piece, it’s all the standard compulsory lesbian bollocks, with a smattering of cheery erasure of vast swathes of people who practice polyamory. It’s actually kind of impressing how much she manages to miss the point, and fails to critique anything worth critiquing while attempting to shame women who don’t behave exactly as she says.

Patriarchy has historically attempted to control women’s sexual behaviour. We’re madonnas, we’re whores, we’re sluts if we fuck and bitches if we don’t. This keeps us in our place. I note parallels with the compulsory monosexuality which is enshrined in ideologies from Bindel and her ilk: again, we are told what we are and are not supposed to be doing in our bedrooms. The root causes of these are, of course, different: the former is a product of patriarchy; the latter a woefully misguided attempt to bypass these power structures. Convergent evolution has produced similar effects from both sides of this pincer manoeuvre.

The three step solution proposed by Bindel et al goes like this:
(1) Stop fucking men
(2) ???
(3) Revolution

My scepticism about Bindel is not about being really into fucking men or slutty, and I wish good luck to those in monosexual relationships, for love, sex or whatever, with five, six or 20 other folk. But let’s not pretend that rebranding control of women’s behaviour will bring on the revolution any time soon.  A true sexual revolution will have happened when there is liberation, which is a far bigger beast than who has sex with whom. Until then, Julie Bindel is simply another manifestation of a system which gives far bigger weight to those with staff columns who chat nonsense.


3 responses to “Shitbrained media bollocks about polyamory: Julie Bindel edition

  • cariliterary

    Yes this poor person does seem to want to stamp her own viewpoint on everyone else doesn’t she. I’m interested in her motivations for wanting to do so, I must say.

  • Graham Martin

    So much of what Bindel writes comes down to this:
    1) I feel oppressed when I’m told I should do X
    2) Liberation = stopping people from doing X

    I have no problem with her first step. Its just she can’t seem to understand the problem with step 2 or the leap between. “I’m oppressed by this” becomes “everyone must stop doing it”. Grrr.

  • redpesto

    It gets worse: the Guardian have apparently commissioned Bindel to write a book about LGBT in the UK, and she wants *you* to help by completing a survey!

    I’ve always thought that Bindel’s key aim was to act as a ‘gatekeeper’ on debates an gender/sexuality issues within the media, with the Guardian seeming all too happy to oblige (see the number of articles Bindel wrote on transgender issues until the readers’ complaints become too loud to ignore). So I’m not that surprised that she gets polyamory wrong, as she does with so many other sexuality issues.

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