There is no legitimate reason to place a limit on how many spouses make up a household. That is a fact I hope you keep in mind, in case you find what I have to say here crazy.
Whenever I mention the topic of plural marriage in one-on-one conversation, I tend to get strange reactions. For one, if I haven’t talked to that person about religion before, they think I’m Mormon, especially if they know I don’t drink alcohol or coffee or tea (which are facts much more likely to come up than religion is).
What’s strange to me is that bringing up polygamy causes the conversation to quickly swing towards pedophilia and rape. For some reason, people can’t separate the idea of polygamy from concepts associated with predatory marriages. There’s nothing unique about polygamy that would single it out for abuse, besides the fact that it was pushed underground and is therefore unregulated.
One man can marry one woman against her wishes when she’s too young to know better, or through an arrangement with her father, without the need for plural marriage. It happens already, and I don’t see the people who react so harshly to plural marriage taking a stance against such practices in the current system of monogamous-only marriage (which is not to say people condone these things, they are just conservative, traditionalist do-nothings on most issues, probably out of sheer laziness of thought and action).
What’s more, I do not support a male-dominated model. Women should be allowed to have multiple husbands if they want. Hell, I imagine there’s more need for a woman to have multiple husbands than for a man to have multiple wives. The only reason a man could conceivably want more than one wife is for sexual reasons, most of them related to child-bearing or the discrepancy between male and female sex drives.
But in point of fact, we as a society don’t need families with dozens of kids, and if we’re going to get lewd about it, at least a woman with three husbands has a hole for each one during sex. If anything, I’m more inclined to not allow men to take extra wives, because from what I understand, there are far more men who are terrible at sex than there are women who are, so what’s the use in one guy having a whole harem of women to disappoint?
Anyway, why not allow multiple spouses? In these tough economic times, the more paychecks coming into the household, the better. Two couples could conceivably combine resources and afford to have one person stay home to handle housework and childcare, while three people worked. Or, the fourth could even work from home or part time. There is undeniable efficiency in combining resources and sharing a common home and budget. Two or three families can afford a higher standard of living as a single unit than they can individually.
And who knows... given Obama’s utter failure of a presidency and the current Republican frontrunner, this just might be a reality as early as 2012.