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"You Can't Be Broke & Polyam." - IG Post

"You Can't Be Broke & Polyam" is a carousel posted on Marjani Lane's IG page January 17th 2022. This is the all text version of all of the slides.

Words Mean Things

Polyamory is the practice or desire to love multiple people / having intimate relationships with more than one person. Keeping this in mind - there are no other prerequisites beyond aforementioned to navigate this love orientation. Being "broke" means having little to no money. Oftentimes it can be used to insult people who have a lower socioeconomic class or live in poverty. "Broke" is not a disqualifier for polyamorous relationships...

Who Told You That?

Classism, economic discrimination, elitism, whatever you want to call it - is usually where this stems from. Popular culture's representation of polyamory is typically aligned with, at a minimum, financial stable middle-class appearing individuals. Even popular representation within social media platforms of polyamory is focused on people with the financial resources and access to "sell" the aesthetic. That's who has told you that.

What About Polygyny?

A lot of Western African countries where polygyny is practiced - it is usually by wealthier men. You can still attribute that to access to more resources - therefore the freedom to "afford" another wife. But culture specific. Wealth can be described in these areas as monetary, land, livestock, property, and/or family name/social status. Also it must be understood that every polygynous man with the wealth to provide for multiple wives is not the same as being polyamorous. Every polygynous man is not polyamorous. some acquire extra wives to show their wealth, expand/solidify their social status, have more children, and more - not because they genuinely can love more than one woman.

Check Your Privilege

If you feel that in order to be polyamorous and/or to seek out polyamorous relationships you must have a minimum income: check your privilege. Your "minimum" income may be inaccessible for someone who identifies as polyamorous. And while we all would ideally "love" for everyone to be financially stable and have disposable income - understand that's a privilege. Homeless, poor, bankrupt, or financially unstable polyamorous people exist. They love. They date. Even if it is difficult to find the time and disposable income - they exist. It is elitist and classist to say that people should not date due to their economic background. According to the US Census, 37.2 million people live in poverty in the United States - and you can bet some of them are non-monogamous.

Where Are They?

The question may arise - where are the "poor" polyamorous people? Right in front of you. You may be sharing a space with people living at or below poverty line without your knowledge. The person you keep hounding about "why aren't you coming to this polyam event" or "why didn't you buy this polyam book" may be the person struggling financially and cannot afford access to those things. So, watch what you say. Do not impose your financial preferences on other people in our community. The polyamorous community is not a bunch of people making 6 digits a year hanging out at their local high-end bar having $20 drinks with their polycule. And be advised - a polyamorous person could be all of the above and still be living with little to no money due to poor money management and/or serious financial responsibilities (loans, medical bills, etc). Broke doesn't always look "broke".

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