Ok, so we all know by now that I have rather outlandish ideas about how things should work. Such as:
- A license process to have kids that involves various levels of fees, testing, and tax hikes.
- A required poli-sci test in order to be allowed to vote.
- The return to a limited monarchy and parliamentary ruling system.
- Instead of locking people up in low- to medium-security prisons, put people to work on government farmland or on public works projects.
- The removal of all panhandlers from the streets – to work on the same farms/public works projects and to also work with government provided social workers to see if they are able to be a contributing member of society.
- Legalize prostitution and marijuana, but boost laws around sex crimes or crimes committed while impaired.
… and the list goes on and on.
(Not what one might expect, yeah?)
Anyway – plural marriage.
I really don’t see a problem with it. When you look at the history from an anthropological standpoint – it used to make the most sense. If you wanted to survive the winter (or the rainy/dry/hot/whatever) season, you could only do so if you were prepared. In order to prepare, you needed workers. Most of the time, the only workers available were the ones you provided yourself. So you had to make a bunch of people.
Well, if only one in four kids survived to adulthood, you needed a LOT of kids, more than one woman could handle. So – you had to have a bunch of wives.
Plus, at that stage in human development, people were still in the “God before Science” phase. Basic existence has to be guaranteed and experienced before humans can move on to the arts (including science). Before science, people have religion. It explains survival and basic interaction enough to get them through until they can move on to science.
So the need for many wives/many children gained a religious aspect to it. It was a compelling necessity to guarantee continued progenation even through the fat years (since lean years were sure to follow).
What remains now is the religious need rather than the anthropological.
Sure, I personally think the religious part is weird, but I tend to hold that opinion about anything carried to (what I feel is) an extreme.
In the case of TLC’s new show Sister Wives, instead of seeing some fanatical extremists, what we see is a family who seem to genuinely love each other. The kids are happy and healthy (looking), they contribute to society, they have jobs, they go to school, etc etc.
Why do people think this is such a bad thing?
Sure, there are technically laws against plural marriage – but Utah’s prosecutors have come right out and said that they only arrest people for it in cases of abuse and neglect. And let’s be honest – there’s just as much chance of that in single marriage as in plural. In fact, you might even say that there’s MORE chance of that in a singular marriage – in a plural marriage you’ve got multiple people in the home providing the role of care-giver. It all just depends on who the care-giver IS I guess. And as long as they aren’t hurting anybody, who cares? I’d much rather have a society of people who take care of their kids, have jobs, and contribute to the economy in plural marriages than an overabundance of people on welfare with only one wife.
Kody* and his family seem like really nice people – and the kids that they’ve raised in the plural marriage seem happy, healthy, and productive. In contrast, the new wife, Robyn – her kids that were initially brought up in a single marriage seem whiny, bratty, and hyperactive. Just TLC’s editing? Or something else?
*(don’t get me started on the naming trends in Utah tho, that state is totally known for eff-up names.)
I will say that me, personally, could probably never exist within a plural marriage. Course, I don’t want kids and don’t really see myself ever getting married at all, either. Which is why it’s a really good thing that neither type of marriage is compulsory. 🙂