“Power does corrupt, and both political and religious leaders have been regularly seduced by it.” Jim Wallis (God’s Politics)
Why Polygamy is and always will be Wrong:
- Young girls dreams are almost always consumed with marrying the man of her dreams that will love only her. This is her whole life. Women tend to care about this exclusive romantic relationship way more than men, who are more interested in sex and variety.
- The established needs of women are impossible to be met in a polygamist marriage. These needs include: ongoing affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support and help with the kids and the house.
- In all polygamous cultures, women have extremely low status. All must obey their husbands. Almost none get to choose who they marry, and many are married against their will too much older men. Thus, despite the polygamists’ arguments, polygamy is not about rights: it’s about the power over and control of one group by another.
- Polygamy is almost never polyandry. It’s not about women’s freedom to choose who they marry or how many spouses they have: it’s about women being owned by men.
- Most “families” in polygamous situations are poor. The men in these “families” cannot financially support all the women and children, and the women are generally not permitted the freedom to choose a career and work outside the family.
- The media has shown some polygamous women claiming that they are happy in their multiple marriages. But these statements have to be viewed carefully. According to the religion of these cultures, women are only permitted into heaven by permission of their “husband” or by being a polygamist. Sometimes, women in these cultures are afraid to reveal their true thoughts and feelings or to jeopardize their fragile status. Meanwhile, many women who have left these polygamous situations describe the complete subjugation they had to endure.
- Legalized polygamy would reduce women’s rights. Moreover, they would raise their families of children to believe that they must follow the same path into heaven, which would further add to the anti-women voting pool. In a short period of time, 200 years of struggle for women’s rights would vanish.
- Marriage is a partnership and a relationship. Polygamy turns marriage into a cattle drive.
- Most plural wives have no legal protection during or after the marriage. The reason is that most polygamist men have one legal wife and the subsequent wives are “spiritual wives” – they are not legally married. When a spiritual marriage ends before the husband’s death, a spiritual wife has no claim to spousal support or equitable distribution of marital property. Spiritual wives are also not entitled to an intestate or elective share of the husband’s estate, or any of the legal benefits of marriage, including Social Security survivor benefits.
- Most people agree that countries that practice polygamy live in an oppressive, abusive society with fanatical, religious men- especially when they marry young girls to older men. Joseph Smith did the same thing.
- Polygamist societies have created a way to stay in good standing with the church and society, while cheating on your spouse. Basically, if you get tired of your current wife you don’t need to go through the hassle of a divorce, or the consequences of being called a cheater. You can have your cake and eat it too. Most men I know that cheat, don’t want to get divorced with their current wife- they want to have both- so this polygamist thing works out very well for men. Some people argue that men don’t want more than one wife to deal with, but when I bring up the idea of polygamy to young men it is always met with a favorable response. Also, if the woman was giving him a hard time he could just leave and go to one of his wives who was not giving him a hard time.
- Polygamy is upheld in Muslim countries because Mohammed had several wives, which is the same thing Mormons do to uphold polygamy in their history because Abraham, etc. had several wives. The recording of historical acts, including instances of polygamy, is not necessarily an endorsement of it by God. The Bible records both good and bad actions of people, even people considered to be righteous. The fact that David and Solomon had several wives and that it’s in the Bible doesn’t automatically imply that God was pleased by it. Monogamy is first mentioned in Genesis 2:24 – it was God’s intention from the beginning. While God did allow polygamy for a time, it was probably for the same reason as his allowance of divorce: “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning” (Mt 19:8). It was a sexist cultural behavior.
- When women/girls have sex with men because they have been led to believe (psychological abuse) it is their moral obligation- or their way into heaven- and not because they want to or because it is based on love- or mutual desire- it is sexual abuse.
- Polygamist wives have the worst of all worlds. They end up being single parents, with lots of children (usually because birth control is forbidden), no help, little money and no mutual love or support. In some ways it is akin to living in a third world country.
- Some may say the women have the support of their other wives, but jealousy would stand in the way of this support. I wouldn’t want to become good friends with my husband’s new hot teenage wife especially when she didn’t have any kids yet. There would inevitably be favorites. It couldn’t be helped. This would cause a lot of bad feelings between the women. It would be a constant game of comparisons. Also the kids would be compared against each other. The whole concept in practice is psychologically abusive.
- Therefore I conclude, Polygamy is wrong and does not work. Nor will it ever work.
When I ask other Mormon women if they would stay in the church if Polygamy was brought back they almost always say no, but then I say, if you die early and your husband remarries in the temple you will be forced to practice polygamy in heaven. This is usually met with silence and blank stares or “He better not!” Statistically, he will.
What do you think? I would especially like to hear from women.