I read with great consternation Barbara Kay's National Post article (unfortunately in the paid section of the website, so I can't provide a link. Go buy the paper) on polygamy and polyamorous "relationships." While I agree with her sentiment and express my support for a future Conservative government throwing away the recent government report recommending the decriminalization of polygamy, her notion that polyamorous "relationships" are somehow "female-empowering" is ludicrous.
Our sexualized pop-culture has created the image of lesbian chic and bisexualityto be "hot." Look at the plethora of music videos and movies targeted towards the 18-to-25 male demographic which feature two women making out or making other sexual gestures, usually in the company of an all-too-happy-to-watch man. This image is created for sexual pleasure for men. Young, impressionable women receive the message that in order to please a man, they must engage in the same activity. It is not empowering for women to be treated as sexual objects for men to watch and then discard in a soft-core pornographic fantasy.
The rise of these polyamorous "relationships" is an outgrowth of pop culture. The trivialization of sex and sexuality has resulted in far too many (mainly) young women participating in their own exploitation. It is not symbolic of love, commitment, or any principles of a mutually exclusive relationship between two people. I support same-sex marriage because I believe that two people who are willing to make a commitment to love each other to the exclusion of all others, regardless of sexual orientation, deserve to receive equal Charter rights under the law. However, to even use the word "amorous" in"swingers"-type "relationships" is an affront to the word love, which is based, inter alia, on trust, respect, and commitment. To claim to love someone while engaging in sexual activities with another is not "empowering," it is cheating: emotionally, physically, and psychologically.