The Grey Area of Anti-Monogamy
In thinking of a title for this article I performed a quick Google search for ‘synonyms for hoeing’. It came as little surprise that the first webpage was a thesaurus with a list of several alternatives for the world ‘dig’. The second option was the good old Urban Dictionary, with several different definitions for the phrase ‘hoeing’, most involving fucking around (in all senses of the word) with a separate party. They say that one of the most difficult things to think of in a piece of writing is the title but this one had me stumped. There is no one word for being single and sleeping around to your liking that is anti-defamatory.
It’s been reinforced into us since the day we become a member of society that it’s right to be monogamous. Thus, there is an idea that we’re all searching for someone to be monogamous with and anyone without a special someone is simply playing the waiting game. I do hope that one day I love someone enough that I don’t need anyone else but today is most certainly not that day. We spend so much time with society structures telling us that we want to be with someone and want to get married that it’s condoned as “morally good” and we’re trained not to question it. Civilisation is educating everyone that anything less than being in a relationship is not good enough. Here’s a radical idea: how about we let people decide for themselves?
The lack of respect for single people is astounding considering the sheer amount of us that aren’t in relationships. That a huge number of the population feel like it’s not okay to be single is a major problem to be addressed. Single status is not always a choice of the individual, but it’s the blatant rewarding of being in a couple that makes some pine for a relationship and feel that much less accomplished and valued by not having a partner.
There seems to be a huge separation between the sphere of couples and the realm of singles. Perhaps it’s an underlying fear of the unknown that causes an ongoing pressure to constantly define our status; whatever it is, it’s pushing apart those in relationships and those who aren’t and sorting us all into absolute, defined categories. Even Facebook wants to know if you’re single (alone) or single (divorced) or single (it’s complicated) just so other people can feel comforted by knowing where you stand.
This is where the issue of respect comes into play. If you’re happily enjoying couple bliss and want to tell the world, go for it. That’s your choice. Don’t expect people who aren’t in relationships to disclose their personal lives just because you do. Don’t expect us to choose only one person just because you have.
There’s a reason as to why single people often let their problems slide when talking to those in relationships. Coupled people existing in an ‘official’ relationship have ‘official’ problems and do not hesitate to discount anything less than that. There’s an idea that if you’re not in a real relationship then no relationship/sex/love related problem you have is real either. Single people generally deal with a higher amount of problems on a much more regular basis than our coupled counterparts, however we spend hours inspecting every minute detail of friend’s relationship spats over coffee without them even acknowledging that perhaps we have issues of impertinence and horror stories that require council.
Our lives are not some huge mess due to our lack of significant other, as romantic comedies would have the world believe. The choices that we make when it comes to the amount of people we’re seeing or sleeping with need to stop being viewed as morally wrong in a society dictated by the rules of monogamy. They’re merely different.
While we may not be experiencing a deep-felt love we are experiencing something just as powerful; the freedom of choice. We need to cease shaming people for exercising this basic human right.
Grace Potter is a Second Year Media & Communication's student at the University of Wollongong. You can find more of her work here.