Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Digamy, Bigamy, Polygamy and various other igamies

So the buzz on the news is all about the Warren Jeff's FLDS sect being raided and all the women and children being isolated from the men. For the record this blog is not intended to criticize the judgement of law enforcement actions in this particular matter. Warren Jeffs is a dangerous pedophile who has sheltered and led some of his followers into a disgusting life...secluded from the outside world, leaving women without options or opinions.

However, the thing you don't hear on the news is about the regular everyday average people who happily practice polygamy and live a relatively normal life. And they are out there! Now it's certainly not a lifestyle for everyone, but there are some people who are very happy living this life. Sharing household burdens and, child rearing responsibilities and the everyday human struggle with a family unit that is larger than the average household.

The beef that most normal people seem to have about this boils down to monogamy. Sex. It's always about the sex. wouldn't care if two people of the same sex lived together, were the best of friends, shared a life together...but if they are having sex...oh my! Polygamy in my opinion faces similar criticism from mainstream society. And it always boils down to sex. If we could peer into the bedrooms of every married person in the world...we might be mighty surprised the not-so-normal practices we find. All of us have an inner freak (if we are having any fun at all...) And why is it any of our business???

Now I realize the right wing conservatives are going to throw the bible in my face about the homosexuality, and I have no energy to fight that battle with you, I believe what I believe....but polygamy has been practiced since the dawn of time. And it many 'uncivilized' societies it is still a very regular practice. And it is vital to the survival of the community.

Perhaps if people took the time to look at a plural marriage and see that, in general, (these FLDS extremist sects aside) these are monogamous relationships. Monogamous to them anyway. They are people, married to each other and a man sleeping with his own wife, last time I checked, was considered monogamy. And how many married women suffer adultery in silence for the sake of holding the family unit together? Yes women cheat too...I don't mean that they don't. But so often you hear about men having had a long term relationship with a woman other than their wives for many many years, sometimes lifetimes. Perhaps it is possible to love more than one person....??? I don't particularly want to find out...but you can't rule it out of the realm of possibility, humans are complex creatures.

Also if one would take a good long look in the Bible, they would see dozens of Holy Men who practiced polygamy. In fact destiny led King David to lust after and commit adultery with Bathsheba before she became another of his wives, and together their union bore the wisest man said to ever walk the Earth King Solomon. It's so easy for people to only practice and believe what they want to believe from the Bible.

Now back to modern day polygamists. As a stay at home wife, caring for her husband and two children, plus trying to juggle a few part-time jobs to make ends meet in order for me to be the stay at home wife, and aspiring to someday have time to write a best selling novel....I can see some logic in having an extra adult family member!! Just even having the option to say "Hey could you watch the kids for a few hours while I write..." would be a dream! And I guess I have discussed this before, more in jest, but that doesn't sound half bad. And as far as sex goes....who in the hell has time for sex when you are raising kids!! LOL! Hopefully that will get better....but with me in one bed with a toddler and Daddy in another bed with a toddler...well let's just say if I had an extra 'wife' around here there probably wouldn't be much to be jealous about!!!

My husband says the whole concept is 'weird'. And to us, of course it is, we were not raised this way. But I am sure there are plenty of people in this country who think that our lifestyle is a bit weird revolves around farming, which comes with a mixed bag of complexities. We rarely see each other during farming season, and it is a sacrifice we make year after year. We still grow big gardens and put up food for the winter...yes I could go to the grocery store and buy it, but there is something very satisfying and grounding about preserving food for your family (it tastes better too..) I am sure people in New York City must think that is an enormous waste of time and energy. But we were raised this way. I don't think twice about stepping in cow shit, I don't balk at the thought of butchering meat, and I could care less if you pull in my drive and catch me in my nightgown and gum boots throwing slop in the garden. It's just how we live.

So live and let live.....that's all I am saying.


Mum-me said...

Now I don't agree with everything you said, but I always say that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

On the subject on polygomy, I too think that there can be great benefits from having another adult in the home. My mum spent time living amongst the polygamist tribes people of PNG and she has told me how the wives usually work together and help each other. Of course there often are problems with heirarchy and jealousy (first wife is boss, last wife is usually prettiest/ youngest) but I can tell you that there have been times in the past few years - I had three babies in three years - I would have gladly shared my husband for some practical help around the house in return.

Shannon said...

The only problem I have is when CHILDREN are involved, which probably happens more than the general public is aware of (not that I know this for sure). Anyway, I'm not one to judge any other person's lifestyle, which reminds me of a quote from two poets of the 80's (Salt N' Peppa). Okay, so they are female rappers, but anyhow, it goes like this:
"There's only one true judge and that's God. So chill, and let my father do his job!? You get the point, right :)

*C* said...

I have a baby and a toddler, and I DO happen to have an extra wife around.... I honestly don't know how I'd do it without her help.

Thanks fort the open-minded post. Nice to see that not everyone thinks poly families (like mine) are wacko.