Phi Beta Cons

From The “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” Department

Unbeknownst to the general public, freshman composition has become the point of attack by all those who would like to tear down the superstructure of our civilization.  In the 1990s we had the attack by the maternalists on the thesis statement for its “phallologocentrism” (i.e., logic).  They argued that the five-paragraph essay replicated the thinking of the patriarchy, so should be replaced. 

Patriarchal monogamous heterosexual marriage is being challenged by single-sexed, but now polyamorous relationships. One newly minted Ph.D. is on her way to spreading this thinking as a professor as she celebrates the successful defense of her dissertation on “The Rhetoric and Composition of Polyamory,” or the love of everything, including all of nature.  For those of us not up on the latest in composition studies, she builds on previous scholarship:

As a quick review, I offer this definition by ecosexualities scholar Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio: “Polyamory is a state of being, an awareness, and/or a lifestyle that involves mutually acknowledged, simultaneous relationships of a romantic and/or sexual nature between more than two persons. . . . Polyamorous people erode the myth that being part of a closed dyad is the only authentic form of love” (2004, p. 165)

I didn’t know that one could be an “ecosexualities scholar.”

This all fits into the race-class-gender attack on Western civilization in this way:

While the language of polyamory is a language of equality,  monormativity is that of hierarchy where relationships become a strategic game, where the goal is to become the “best” or “only” or “most” in a partner’s eyes, to the exclusion of all others.

Researchers in rhetoric and composition can analyze these new words that the polyamorous are creating, asking how this rhetoric is changing the cultural paradigm for relating.

Now I’d like to discuss the glue that holds my whole project together: “relationship literacy.” Relationship literacy refers to the reflexive, critical fluency with which learners can understand, analyze, discuss, and reflect upon their own as well as others’ relationship styles, choices, practices, values, and ethics. People who have made a commitment to acquire relationship literacy understand more clearly than most how relationships, particularly romantic or intimate relationships, are constrained or supported by cultural norms.

 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More
Religion

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More
Culture

Max Boot’s Dishonesty

Before yesterday, my primary criticism of the Washington Post’s Max Boot was political in nature. As I wrote in a recent book review, I found it regrettable that Boot’s opposition to the president had not prevented him from “succumbing reactively to Trump’s cult of personality, or from making Trump the ... Read More
Elections

A Brief History of Election Meddling

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the second in a series of excerpts. ‘The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” Thus spoke President Barack Obama just a couple of weeks before ... Read More
World

The End of Hong Kong as We Know It

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for more than four months now, and no matter how the current crisis concludes in the coming days or weeks, it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it. The protests started in response to an extradition bill that was proposed by the city’s Beijing-backed ... Read More