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On “Baring One’s Breasts”: Representations of and Interactions with Non-Monogamy in Pop Culture

Liz Borden

While representations of non-monogamy have grown in the last decade, non-monogamous lives and experiences remain extremely underrepresented in popular culture, political discourse, and academic research. Additionally, present representation is characterized by systems of privilege that are constructed by heteronormativity (and to a related extent, homonormativity and polynormativity), settler colonialism, and racism. Through an autoethnographic narrative and a critical reading of Wanderlust (2018), Newness (2017), and Black Mirror “Striking Vipers” (2019), I address some of these gaps by considering various overlapping structures of hetero-/mono-/polynormativity, race and racialization, LGBTQI2S+ in/visibility, and the machinations of neoliberal capitalism and colonial sexuality embedded in the stories we tell (and are told) about non-monogamies in Western popular culture.

Keywords: Non-Monogamy, Popular Culture, Heteronormativity, Autoethnography, Queer Theory

Liz Borden is completing a Master’s Program in Women and Gender Studies at Saint’s Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. Their research focuses on the ways representation of non-monogamy in popular culture are constructed within colonial imperialist histories and contemporary normative social structures with a focus on poststructuralism, queer theory, and intersectionality.