Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I've decided to answer Gavin's question as a new post as I think it raises some really interesting points and I’d like to hear what other people have to think about it...

Do you think that just because more of you queer 'non-normative' friends are currently in couples they have completely (and forever) rejected their opposition to normative forms of relationship? Are they really trapped in normative coupledom now and forever? And, if they've made an informed choice to go there, rather than slipping into a taken-for-granted relationship norm, is that really such a problem for them (or for you)

I didn't really expand upon this point very well, but it's difficult on a public blog to write too much about couples I know personally! I think you're right to point out that there are many many different ways of doing coupledom, and not all of them have to be tied to mononormativity. By mononormativity I suppose i'm meaning the things we're all supposed to say / do / feel- how coupledom can become a form of ownership, based on rules, restrictions, and contracts rather than upon choice, freedom and mutual respect. This is why I expanded my criteria for who I want to speak to in this research- as i really want to highlight how coupledom can be done differently.

So I suppose the problem I was talking about was partly down to my own doubts that perhaps the decisions I’m making in life are not the right ones. Sometimes it feels like a hard and isolated position to take. But also I suppose my problem was with some people's decisions to turn to coupledom even though it's not a situation they're completely happy with- but they turn to it because it's what's expected, and they can see very few other options. Just to clarify- it’s not their decisions I have a problem with, but the institution of mononormativity itself and how it shapes us. This leads me into a whole other series of points about infidelity and the insights it has given me about the expectations, fears and terrors that mononormativity relies upon. Also there's something to be said about the links between privilege and a rejection of mononormativity. I'll save this for another day!

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