Friday, January 22, 2010

Polygamy: Hear me out…

People talk quite a bit about homosexuality, but this is not the only unconventional type of marriage. Polygamy is practiced to this day in many nations, including some of our closest allies such as Saudi Arabia. It is even mentioned in the Bible, but I can’t honestly say the Bible supports polygamy (certainly not the New Testament). Islam, on the other hand, is all for it, and most Muslim nations allow it.

I support polygamy, with a few conditions. The first and most important is that divorce must be an option that can be initiated by any of the spouses involved. Second, women should be allowed to have more than one husband just as men can have more than one wife. Other than that, I don’t understand what business it is of the government who marries whom.

Now before you angrily comment about how I am suggesting the very destruction of the social order, ask yourself this: is it illegal for a man to have sex with multiple women? Is there some limit on how many women a man can have children with? Is it illegal for a woman to bear the children of more than one man? Is there a limit to how many different men a woman may choose to father her children?

Outside of the confines of marriage, nothing illegal is occurring, nor is it uncommon. In fact, if all parties involved are aware of and condone the actions of the others, nothing immoral is even occurring. So why is it illegal (besides the fact that private health insurance companies hate sharing benefits to more people)?

The common strawman would be the fact that as it stands, polygamy is a system of oppressing women. This does happen, but only in the context of otherwise crippling social restraints (usually inspired by religious zeal). But the truth is, predatory marriages also occur in monogamous unions. This argument is akin to arguing that homosexual marriage would promote pedophilia; it is nothing more than an attempt to link a harmless practice with a truly abominable one, one which occurs even in the socially accepted model.

With that said… anyone else excited for the next episode of “Big Love” on Sunday?


  1. Interesting argument.... Let me see if I understand. Are you suggesting that if you remove religion from the equation, and its all consenting, this might be good.

  2. I don't know if I would say "good," but I don't see how it's criminal. We claim to not want to impose on people's personal lives, and we don't legislate adultery or promiscuity in any form (unless for some reason someone is directly paying for it... but that's another issue).

    I'm not saying they can't be religious, either. I just emphasize the requirement of consent and ability to escape (which hopefully provides recourse to those who realize they have been coerced into doing something against their will).

  3. Yeah, its controversial. Many people already do this, they just call it "open relationships or marriages". I tend to agree with you, if you ensure that consent and all that is ensured. And, both people can have more than one spouse.

    Typically, though, polygamous practices always favor the men. They have wives, and the wives have each other. That is where I would disagree.

  4. I'm envisioning a scenario where it enables more of the spouses to work while only one would be required for child care and house keeping. The gender of the one who opts to stay in the home doesn't even have to be female, and may be advantageous if the lowest paid adult in the family is a man (which is a growing trend among monogamous couples).

  5. Yes, i actually personally know a few marrieds that do that because she makes more cash. Which is practical. If costs keep going up, and people continue to earn less and less, this may actually have to happen if people want to breed.


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