Sorry about EA Forum drama everyone
I don't live in the Bay; I don't go to EA events where I _do_ Iive; I'm not polyamorous. If I did go to Bay EA events I don't think I'd be likely to hit on women often (if for no other reason than I doubt there'd be many potential partners.)
My reaction to this discourse is nevertheless a rather enormous *fuck you, you don't get to tell me anything*, because if you are a straight guy--in particular if you're a high-scrupulousity straight guy with low-status hobbies/characteristics, i.e. nerds--you will hear an endless series of lectures about how it's unconscionable for you to hit on women at X for...pretty much any X? I've heard that claim about work, about hobby groups, about the park, the bus, dancing, the gym, workout groups, the internet, RPs, hiking, and--no joke--bars. I've never heard anyone say it's evil to hit on girls on Tinder, but I mean, wouldn't be surprised at this point.
Most of these lectures about how you're awful come with a side of "of course, I'm not claiming you can't want to hit on women--but can't you do it in the appropriate places?" But somehow no place actually is appropriate, if you listen to all of these lectures. And yet, it also is empirically true that many men hit on women at any and all of these places and get away with it. Now, I do have a lot of sympathy with women feeling overwhelmed, and practically speaking I very rarely hit on women at all, because, well, it's hard and risky and difficult to find opportunities. But somehow the rules seem impractical to follow and deeply against my interest.
So I look with deep suspicion on, at this point, all of these claims, because I have an extremely strong prior that anyone who says this sort of thing actually thinks--consciously or not--that my sexual interest is fundamentally disallowed. If I listened to all such people I would literally die alone, and, uh, fuck that and fuck you if you want it?
> Sorry about EA Forum drama everyone
Personally, I'm here for the forum drama (or at least for your commentary), and for the casual anthropology!
I'm a monogamous person who has hung out with quite a few poly friends over the years. There's a certain kind of geeky community that's partly poly/kinky/queer. I'm very fond of these groups. They tend to encourage people to explore different ideas about relationships and gender, and to ultimately pursue something that seems like a good fit. They're one of the very few social groups that accepts bi guys without blinking. And they tend to have slightly more colorful gossip. A key part of what makes them work is that probably only a minority of people are any one of poly, or kinky, or queer. But probably 2/3rds of the group is probably at least one of those. This creates an equilibrium where it's totally OK to be monogamous or vanilla or cis het.
But these are all social groups, not work groups. I honestly don't want to hear about sex parties or relationship drama at work. In fact, the only sorts of relationship stuff I want to hear from most of my coworkers is "My kids need to be picked up early today" or "I'm going skiing with my partners this weekend!" If I actually socialize with a coworker outside of work, I'll eventually learn more, and that's fine.
I agree that the EA community should not be telling people to break up with their partners. That sets off my "danger! totalizing cult!" immune system in a major way. A better set of social norms might be: Don't hit on people at professional events. Don't conduct business at sex parties. (I am not familiar with sex party ettiquette, but disucssing grant-writing seems like it might be poor form.) Be careful about conflicts of interest. Frankly, it's not of my business how many people my professional colleagues date, unless they're RVSPing for an event and I need to plan for a few +2s, etc.
This probably gets more difficult for certain communities, like queer activists in small enough cities, where the total dateable population may be small enough that everyone knows everyone. In which case, eh, do your best.
Thank you <3 I feel like I've been trying to say this less well for weeks.
Firm agree, although I might have put it in more utilitarian terms.
With that said, I think there's a spectrum here. The demand that EAs stop being poly is clearly unreasonable, although I don't think I've actually seen it anywhere - the closest is that one guy who said he was going to stop being poly for a while after being accused of sexual harassment. At the other end of the spectrum is something like "men should think twice before asking women out at Official EA Events, you can still do it but err on the side of not doing it", which is a relatively mild - undetectable, in fact, since it happens in your head - imposition (but still one many people oppose on the grounds it inflamed scrupulousity!) Somewhere in the middle is something like "the Official Community Norm is that EAs may not begin dating anyone new in the EA community", which I think is probably too onerous to be worthwhile, but doesn't rise to the level of demanding people break up with their partners. It seems unfair to conflate all these positions.
The consequentualist, utilitarian calculations of the whole thing are tricky, but I suspect they do basically work out to "we should do whatever makes the most EAs the happiest" (reputational effects mostly consisting of "does this group look fun/awful to be part of"), so ... maybe this could all be resolved empirically with a sufficiently clever survey, as naive as that sounds, IDK.
Out of curiosity, what was the ea forum post that sparked this?