Summer of Love

It seems that ’69 never really left the Bay Area. Besides snatching up all available housing and snarling local traffic, the explosion of high-tech industry is apparently sucking up all the available sexual partners as well. According to this article called, Silicon Valley’s Sexual Revolution, in the April 4th, 2017 edition of Wired magazine; what was once called ‘free love’ or ‘swinging’ is now officially morphed into Polyamory 2.0.

By Julian Sancton: In Silicon Valley, love’s many splendors often take the form of, well, many lovers. For certain millennials in tech—as well as, rumor has it, a few middle-aged CEOs—polyamory holds especial appeal. Perhaps that’s because making it work is as much an engineering challenge as an emotional one, requiring partners to navigate a complex web of negotiated arrangements. (There’s an app to keep track of that, obvs: The Poly Life.) Some enthusiasts even claim it’s the way of the future. “If life extension is possible, we might have to think about relationships differently,” says one Valley-based polyamorist. “It’s pretty hard to have an exclusive relationship with someone for 300 years.” True that—but balancing multiple LTRs takes just as much dedication and discipline (if not more).

The article goes on to list six bullet points including this little nugget: 4. Don’t be a letch: You shouldn’t go to a get-together hoping to hook up. These are not orgies. (Though tech-nerd orgies do get pret-ty wild, what with the color-coded bracelets signaling what you’re cool with doing/having done unto you.) And stick to your age bracket—restrictions are enforced to keep things comfortable.

I have nothing against polyamory, I was involved with my wife and another woman who lived with us for two years and we parted amicably, but I have some serious questions with the way the article *nudge-nudge, wink-wink* casts shade on the entire scene with more than a hint of California crunchy granola vibe. I mean, hasn’t Silicon Valley been rocked with sexual harassment claims from female engineers? And don’t all the major tech companies have a distinct lack of gender balance, in fact, steeply tilted towards males in both status, numbers and pay? Not to mention, a whitewash of upper management with the occasional token person of color or Asian.

One of the arguments against gay marriage is that once it was legally established, and same-sex marriage turned out not to be the end of the world, polyamorists would be pushing for legal bigamy next. We all know how that has worked out for the Mormons, although there are plenty of current cultures who practice bigamy for the elites. On the other hand, it was fifty years ago that the United States Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that biracial marriage was in fact legal. Society changes all the time, for better or for worse. Not too long ago, BDSM was firmly in the closet.

If the show Mad Men, unveiled the sordid ’60s chain-smoking sexual predators that stalked the secretarial pool in pressed white cotton button-downs, then today’s online hostility towards women in tech has been enabled and abetted by the same companies that seek to control every single aspect of our lives. I for one, don’t want apps watching in my bedroom or stalking me through targeted ads. The Internet of Things markets bold promises of inter-connectivity yet lags far behind in sensible security. Our entire online existence is at the mercy of hostile hackers who are constantly stealing identities and money from companies too cheap to protect their customers.

There is a serious and pervasive lack of respect for women in all areas and strata of society. The tech industry, along with the online juggernaut players are just that: players who give lip service to the rights of their employees and consumers while generating nothing physical that betters society. The profits are stashed away for a rainy day all the while politicians of all stripes scream at each other and let the country fall apart by doing nothing constructive. All the cute articles about polyamory aren’t going to change that equation into a positive app.

4 Comments

  1. yeah, what HE said!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, too, have grave concerns over the portrayal of polyamory in a tech-savvy world as a means for the upper echelons of misogyny to find yet another way to ‘manage’ women.

    Women in technology face enough of an uphill battle as it is, and are currently derided for being the focus of schemes to get women into, and to promote the idea of, women in science and technology. This derision comes white male population who claim injustice and favouritism towards women in the interview process. It is no-one’s right to assume they will be employed because there has been a culture of always employing them. Women have to put up with a lot of shit in order to get a foot in the door of the science and technology world. I have seen this first hand, not just from their peers, but from their own unsupportive families. Using polyamory as a reason and excuse to manipulate women in tech is, quite frankly, sickening.

    With regard to polyamory itself, I certainly have nothing against it. I know several people who have negotiated polyamorous relationships – but this has not been on the level of some ridiculous engineering management, needing an app, or tech, or high powered positions from which to wield power. These relationships have been about the inner workings of people, about self-discovery, trust and love. No app in the world can truly figure that out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was very disappointed with the article. Wired is a magazine that covers tech, and it was a chance for a serious exposé, rather than a fluff piece. Like any sexual relationship, polyamory in the abstract is just as valid as any other grouping. It’s been squeezed recently into a more palatable topic by casting it alongside Tinder and open dating. It’s actually much more than images of downtrodden women locked away by a perverted and powerful male. It’s about making a commitment to go beyond the binary coupling and add partner(s) that enhance and empower through love and respect.

      Liked by 1 person


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