Polygamy

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Ja Di ksw, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. Ja Di ksw macrumors 65816

    Ja Di ksw

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    #1
    There has been a lot in the news (at least in the States) about the Mormon sect or whatever it was that was raided recently. This is not a post about them or that case, but they did inspire the topic:

    Why do people seem so against polygamy?

    I can understand the arguments about mistreatment of wives, forced marriage, children being (forcibly) married, etc. But those aren't polygamy. Polygamy is simply having more than one spouse. Yet it is illegal in America (and I'm assuming in other countries). The arguments I hear against it seem to be strawman arguments, setting polygamy up to be or at least always include the above violations of people (mistreatment, etc). But it's not. So can someone explain to me the anti-polygamy sentiment I see everywhere?

    (disclaimer: I am not a polygamist, nor do I ever plan on being one. I don't need to be a member of group X to defend it or wish to understand more about it)
     
  2. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    #2
    Its relatively contrary to most people's view on the natural order of relationships, families etc.

    Trying to make it illegal is silly though, many people can live together etc it happens all over the place, so to tell three people they can not marry is rather strange, except that it would be family law a lot more complicated including property rights, custody of children etc.

    I totally can see the bend against it on the basis of underage participants and certainly any issues around force etc.

    I have known at least one polygamist and he seemed like he had a well adjusted family and life.
     
  3. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #3
    One legal argument I can see against it is that marriage establishes guardianship/next of kin type relationships amongst both spouses and children. If one spouse in a polygamist marriage becomes incapacitated who gets to decide when to pull the plug, who gets power of attorney? If the mother (assuming a man with multiple wives here) of one of the children dies, the father gets custody, but what if the father goes? which remaining wife gets custody?

    From the legal standpoint everything is much simpler if the government keeps marriage as a contract between two and only two consenting adults.

    At least that argument against granting legal status would hold water for me. But once married I don't care how you want to conduct the rest of your life. If you want a church to bless unions with more "spouses" that's fine (provided there is no coercion or abuse) that's fine just don't expect legal status for the other "spouses."
     
  4. Ja Di ksw thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ja Di ksw

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    #4
    So, not to dismiss the arguments given, but it seems like the answers can be roughly summed up as:

    1 - Some people don't like it, and

    2 - It makes things easier to sort through legally

    I don't really think either of those are good arguments. People always disagree with things, and another's opinion shouldn't dictate what I'm allowed to do. ie, just because someone else thinks premarital sex is wrong doesn't make it illegal for me to do. For the other argument, I'm sure it could be figured out without too much difficulty, especially if people wrote out a will when they were married. Besides, we have custody fights and everything now, but that doesn't mean "normal" marriage is illegal.
     
  5. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #5
    Well one way is it puts women on a lower standing than men.

    2ndly to men it makes the competition for womwn even higher because now one guy is taking multiple ones off the market so to speak. Hard enough with one being taken up by each guy but putting in multiple ones it just gets unfair and it sucks to the single guys.
     
  6. Ja Di ksw thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ja Di ksw

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  7. Malfoy macrumors 6502a

    Malfoy

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    #7

    Did you really just cite competition as a reason for not liking polygamy?

    Oh yea, and I'm for it. If that's what you want to do, thats what you want to do.
     
  8. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #8
    Polygyny is a sub-group of Polygamy. Polygamy includes polygyny and polyandry.
     
  9. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #9
    Can you provide any information about any present day society where women have two husbands?

    Yeah, I didn't think so.

    Polygamy for all intents and purposes is polygyny. Polygyny for all intents and purposes is about the subjugation of women. We only need to look at FLDS and Muslim states where polygyny is practiced to see that.

    If you can provide any information about polygyny where the female is not relegated so some old testament like status, I'd be interested in hearing about it. I won't hold my breath though.

    It's interesting that you're looking for some kind of government recognition of long-term, multiple partner relationships. Give me one good reason why there should be!

    I've known a few couples who've had short-term three ways, but to make something like that work in the long term is something that few people could probably make happen. Unless of course, one or more of the partners was being forced.....
     
  10. Ja Di ksw thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ja Di ksw

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    #10
    Malfoy - Not to insult the original poster, but I was amused by that too :).

    ZiggyPastorius - Yes, but the argument against polygamy was valid only if polygamy was *only* polygyny. As polygyny is a subset of polygamy, the argument is invalid, which is why I pointed out that we're talking about polygamy and not just polygyny.

    Edit:

    Ugg - Wiki it, there are societies that do and have practiced it. That being said, even if people only choose to practice polygyny and not polyandry, that would say more about the state of male / female relationships in current society than anything else (if both were legal).

    "It's interesting that you're looking for some kind of government recognition of long-term, multiple partner relationships. Give me one good reason why there should be!"

    - Because the responsibility of the government is to ensure that I have as many rights as possible, and only take away those rights when the harms outweigh the benefits. If the government is forbidding me from doing something, *it* should have a reason.

    "I've known a few couples who've had short-term three ways, but to make something like that work in the long term is something that few people could probably make happen. Unless of course, one or more of the partners was being forced....."

    - These people have been raised in a society that looks down upon it. Besides, I know many "normal" marriages that do not work. More fail now than succeed. Is this reason to get rid of them? Of course not.

    PS - The "unless . . . partners were being forced...." is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. Go back to my original post, read that, and then look up the definition of a strawman argument if you're still confused.

    PSS - I'm not looking for the government to do anything, I'm looking to understand what people have against it. As I said in the beginning, I don't practice polygamy, and don't want to practice it.

    PSSS - Unless it's with Catherine Zeta-Jones.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #11
    On a personal level Yes it is a reason. Getting a girl to like one back is hard enough with out one person taking multiple ones off the market so to speak.

    But more it was a sarcastic reason but I know everyone is thinking it.
     
  12. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

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    #12
    Fair enough - I wasn't arguing the point, I just didn't realise your reason for saying that, and was just trying to clear up definitions...I am not against Polygamy.
     
  13. Ja Di ksw thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ja Di ksw

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    #13
    Ziggy - that's my fault, I should have made my earlier post longer and explained why I said it.
     
  14. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #14
    I know a woman with two husbands. They seem well adjusted, and while I normally outright detest being in the presence of children, I find their little girl to be a delight.

    As much as I'd like to see my friend be able to actually legally marry both of her spouses and reap the benefits, I can see how this could easily turn into a setback for women's rights.

    As far as it taking women off the market — I must laugh most heartily. The sheer number of men with zero relationship skills is going to keep the market wide open.
     
  15. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #15
    The moral argument against polygamy is mainly founded in the Christian belief in the nuclear family structure.

    The legal reasons for not allowing it are many; some have been mentioned here.

    Then there are those associated with the history of how polygamy has been used/abused in the past, where many women have been exploited, and/or abused by the sects which practice it.

    Our Country cannot come to terms with allowing same sex marriage. Does the OP support that? Other than the Christian outrage over homosexuality (completely ill-founded), it has fewer social and legal implications than polygamy.
     
  16. stomer macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I think it mostly because it's seen as anti-social. A civil union between a man and a woman is the socially acceptable form of marriage and most people like to meddle in other people's lives.

    Personally, if 2 or more adults want to enter into some form of civil union, then I don't see what that has got to do with me. I see it as a question of personal freedom.
     
  17. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a

    DZ/015

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    #17
    I'm no polygamist either. One wife is more than enough for me. Why anyone would want more is a mystery.

    First, a little background info. I am a Massachusetts resident. I live in the only state that legally allows same sex marriage. There has been no breakdown in society since this has been allowed. That being said, I see no reason to not allow marriage between more than one man or woman, as long as all parties are amenable to the arrangement. And everyone involved is an adult.

    As for the sect in Texas, they are sick. There is no reason for a 50 year old man to be with a 16 year old girl. The only reason for such activity is pedophilia. The men should be tossed into prison for a very long time. And I mean a VERY LONG TIME.
     
  18. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #18
    The legal reasons were already given. Reducing it to "it makes things easier to sort through legally" is as disingenuous as calling what others have said as "some people don't like it". You can be involved with as many people you want as long as everyone is ok with it, but legally, you can only have 1 actual partner with the rights that partnership entails. That's what gays are fighting for, the legal rights inherent to marriage. That's also why you can't marry a minor or animal. Because they are incapable of receiving those legal rights.
     
  19. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #19
    I'm in a poly relationship, Polygamy implies marriage and we are not married nor do we consider ourselves to be. You all seem to be thinking that polygamy is a one man and many women type thing, I simply have five girlfriends, the relationship is very stable. Legality is on a personal level irrelevant to us, but it'd be nice to have the benefits that married couples do.
     
  20. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #20
    Hugh Heffner everybody!

    He posts to MR!

    :rolleyes:
     
  21. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #21
    So she does! :rolleyes:
     
  22. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #22
    It creates unequal relationships.
     
  23. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #23
    Just because we currently have custody fights and it could be figured out, why is it that it should be the government's job to sort out the custody and power of attorney issues involved with multi-spouse relationships? And how much more difficulty would be incurred in custody battles when there are more than 2 parties vying for custody? Why can't the government just limit the legal contract to 2 consenting adults if it keeps things easier bureaucratically? There's nothing preventing other "spouses" in a relationship from getting married so that there are legal bonds between pairs of spouses.

    If the government has to handle it you almost have to end up in a situation where the government favors one spouse over another, which immediately has an effect on the equality of all involved in the relationship.
     
  24. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #24
    That's an assumption, assuming everyone in a poly relationship loves everyone else (aka is at least little be fruity) equality is just as possible as a monogamous couple, personally I find it to be more so.
     
  25. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #25
    Certainly relative equality and inequality are possible in monogamous and polygamous relationships, but you're going to have a hard time convincing people that a marriage between one fifty-year old man and three 15-year old girls is one of equals. But then, I realize that's not really your argument. On the other hand, I don't think anyone is arguing against the point you're making. People can have as many boyfriends and girlfriends as they want. That has nothing to do with legally sanctioned marriage.
     

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