Double (or Triple or Quadruple) the Pleasure, Double (or Triple or Quadruple) the Fun!

Good books make you think, and as I read The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall I am definitely thinking. About polygamy. I'll review the book at the end of the month, but for now, I'm just focusing on what this book is making me think about- men shacking up with lots of women and making a buttload of babies. Yeah, we keep it classy here at Bookishly Boisterous.

I don't know a ton on the subject, other than what I have learned from watching two or so seasons of Big Love, a few magazine articles, and the beginning of this book. So of course, I Googled. Combined with my prior knowledge and my quick research, I learned that polygamy itself means marriage with more than two partners; polygyny is one man with lots of wives (what we're "used to" seeing), while polyandry is one wife, lots of husbands. Polygamy is generally practiced for cultural and religious purposes, and different countries have different legal standpoints (the US government isn't a fan). Commonly, here in America, we see polygamy in direct connection with the old-school Mormons.

I struggle to completely condemn or condone polygamy. I am quite liberal, including in my opinions about marriage. My general is belief is, if he or she is of legal age, is a human being, and is consenting, go for it. A marriage between a twenty-five year old man and an eighty-five year old woman (both mentally sound) in no way changes my marriage, nor does a union between two people of the same sex. Your marriage, your problem; my marriage, my problem! This liberal outlook should therefore accept polygamy, and does, but only with some serious limitations. So, thanks to Brady Udall's thought- provoking book, here's the constraints I hereby put on polygyny:

1. Everyone must be of age. Not fourteen-year-old girls marrying sixty-year-old men. People under eighteen should not be married (and be eighteen I mean twenty-five).

2. All parties must understand what they are entering into on a contractual level. If they sign off on capping the wife count at four, then dammit, four it is.

3. A financial document should be drawn up before marriage clearly indicating the percentage each party will receive upon separation, divorce, death, or dismemberment.

4. No kids. Say what? So, in this hypothetical situation where I get to be queen and decide the rules for polygamy, I also get to dictate the reproductive rights of others. I know,
Way to go, Super-Liberal Girl! Being a kid these days is hard enough without trying to cram five mommies, one daddy, and twenty-eight brothers and sisters into the family portrait during art (Super-Liberal Girl is happy to report that two mommies or two daddies is totally acceptable, though, in her opinion). In many of these families with plural wives birth control isn't used, resulting in a multitude of children. Although currently childless, I have a hard time believing that having more than five or six kids is financially, physically, or emotionally the easiest for anyone.

So, there you have it. Go ahead, enjoy plural marriages as long as you're over eighteen, happy, aware of your rights, and leave kids out of it.

Good books make you think. These are my thoughts, which I am entitled to.

Opinions, dare I ask? What books make you think?
(I don't bite... hard)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thoughts. Ever see that show "Sister Wives"...actually, I don't even know if that is the title. I've never seen it. But its a guy married to 5 women here in the States, and they have a reality TV show. They've been on the Today show and on Oprah.
    The whole thing is odd to me..I don't know. It just seems a little surreal.