Marie-Claude L’Archer is a writer and author who lives in Montreal, Canada. She blogs under the pseudonym Hypatia from Space, a published books on ethical non-monogamous relationships. She also publishes articles in various media and participates in tv interviews and podcasts.
Hypatia and her husband have been polyamorous since 2013, when they both fell in love with Jasmine, a friend of many years. This three-way relationship was the beginning of their discovery of polyamory. Hypatia and her husband witnessed the birth of the Polyamour Montreal group, when it was only about fifteen people who met monthly, a number which increased exponentially ever since, Montreal’s polyamorous community being incredibly dynamic and expanding. Hypatia and her husband discovered the power of community support in the process of opening up their couple. Quickly, Hypatia felt the need for a voice (and a pen!) to answer the many questions of this growing community. She was already spending a lot of time informally writing and providing support among polyamorists. It was her husband who suggested that she launched a blog to make her writing available to more people. Since the publication of the first articles in November 2015, the enthusiastic response from readers confirmed that the need for quality information on polyamory in French was both genuine and urgent. Her book on compersion, first published in French in September 2017, was translated in English in April 2018. The blog Hypatia from Space was made available to English speaking readers in 2019.
The topic of compersion has fascinated Hypatia for a few years now and been closest to her heart than any other topic she wrote about. She defines compersion as “a positive emotion (joy, enthusiasm, alignment, excitement, peacefulness, etc.) that we feel about the happiness our partners get from their other relationships.”
Helping people to be happier in their relationships is a passion for me. Nothing impacts our happiness as much as the quality of our relationships does. It doesn’t matter if your rich, beautiful and healthy, if your life is not filled with love and connection, everything else will feel empty and tasteless. That’s why I love to inspire and help people so they can get the most out of their relationships. – Hypatia
Why a pseudonym?
Hypatia and her husband have three children. The inevitable question “should we tell the kids about polyamory?” is one that all polyamorous parents need to address – this blog contains a section on Polyamory and Family in which Hypatia addresses some of the usual questions that come up as polyamorous parents. While it seemed essential to explain to their children about their non-monogamous relationship ethics and lifestyle, Hypatia and her husband wanted to prevent their children from being stigmatized by their friends and classmates because of the writings of their mom as a polyamorous blogger. This is why a pseudonym seemed essential at first. Years later, Hypatia’s children are big enough to choose for themselves to be out about their parents’ multiple relationships – even though the 3 of them currently identify as monogamous. Two of them participated in a polyamory interview on Canadian national television. Therefore, the pseudonym is no longer required to protect Marie-Claude’s identity and her family’s privacy. However, as her books and blog are published under the pseudonym of Hypatia and it is how her readers know her, it seems that the pseudo of Hypatia is here to stay.
Why choose that pseudonym?
Marie-Claude picked her pseudonym as a tribute to the Greek philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria (370-415 AD). She taught philosophy and mathematics at the Neoplatonic School of Alexandria, associated with the famous library of Alexandria. Hypatia, whose story is intrinsically linked to that of her father, Theo of Alexandria, was an early feminist of some sort, refusing all her life to marry – a rarity for the epoch – because it would have meant the end of her career as a teacher.
The life of Hypatia of Alexandria ended suddenly and violently when she was murdered, cut up, and burned by Christians who were unhappy with the charism and influence of this pagan philosopher. Hypatia was killed in a riot encouraged by the Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria, which also resulted in the burning of the great library of Alexandria, which contained millions of manuscripts, an inestimable loss to humanity.
The life and work of Hypatia are brilliantly staged by director Alejandro Amenábar in the film Agora. The character of Hypatia is played by the beautiful Rachel Weisz.