The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside

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In a Quandary

I began this blog for the purpose of enlightening readers on the subject of polygamy, its relationship with religion and my own experiences of growing up in a polygamist commune. It has been my intent from the beginning to express my viewpoints and share my memories from a place of acceptance and compassion while remaining free from judgment.

Over the past month I have connected with many other people who were brought up with the polygamist lifestyle. I have heard their opinions, research and findings with regard to polygamy and its impact in their lives and upon society as a whole. Most of them are adamantly against polygamy because of the pain it has caused in their lives and the lives of those they love. They have all been abused in some form as a result of this lifestyle, some as children and some as wives. They come from all over the world and from various religions with the intent of bringing into the light the truth behind the practice of polygamy; the truth of what goes on behind closed doors.  This group is made up of both men and women who wish to see progress toward equality and better treatment of humanity.  

As a result of being part of this group I began to feel againstness in my heart. I have become so spiritually in tune with myself that I can feel when I am not in perfect alignment with my own internal truth.  The feeling of againstness does not resonate with my soul and asks that I take a deeper look into how I really feel about polygamy.  This feeling of againstness has pulled the energy away from my original intent with this blog. In my feelings of againstness I lost sight of the compassion and acceptance that are the foundation of my life and who I have become.

And so I return again to how I really feel about polygamy as a lifestyle choice. Let us not forget that polygamy is a lifestyle choice. Unlike homosexuality and pedophilia which are physical and mental conditions respectively, polygamy is purely a choice. It is not a choice that I consider attractive in any way personally, but it is a choice that others find desirable. For some it is about real and genuine love, for some it is nothing more than sexual gratification or desperation, and for some it is based in fear and coercion with justification by religion.

I find myself in a quandary because I support love. When love is genuinely expressed between mutually consenting, loving and respectful adults I wholeheartedly support it. If men and women choose to invite other loving relationships into their marriage without coercion or control that should be their choice. And in actuality it always has been, but without the label of marriage. So why must that change? An open relationship allows the freedom of partners to make love with whomever they choose. The issue as I see it is with marriage itself. Leave morality out of marriage and allow it to simply be about love and all of the issues about who gets to marry simply goes away. But many people insist that marriage must be sanctified by their God and in order to make polygamy politically and morally correct it must be made legal.

How do we create an environment that allows people to openly express love with whomever they choose? (within legal age of course) How do we place limitations on the genuine expression of love? Do we sacrifice the good of the whole for the desires of the few who wish to be in a relationship with more than one person at a time?  The lifestyle of polygamy has overwhelmingly been proven to be harmful to the families who live it. How can we justify legalizing a lifestyle that has been proven harmful to society? If polygamy is legalized how do we protect those women and children who are and will continue to be abused by it?  Is it time for a complete restructuring and redefinition of marriage as a whole?  Do we even need marriage or is it an age old custom that has run its course?  These are the questions that plague my mind when I consider the ramifications of polygamy on an ever evolving society.  Humanity is evolving into a new way of being based in love and compassion for the whole human family. How does this play out on the subject of polygamy?  How can we support love while penalizing those who use the guise of love to harm and control others?

I am not a legal expert and this is a battle I am not qualified to fight. I will leave the legalities to those who are better equipped, to those who carry the evidence to support their arguments, and to those who are working toward the betterment of humanity.  The best that I can do is to continue to hold those who have been traumatized by this lifestyle in love and compassion and continue to hold myself in the truth that I support love.

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Legalizing Polygamy

The logistics of legalizing polygamy are far more complicated and far reaching than same-sex marriage. A marriage contract is written into between two partners as a binding business contract, although many fail to recognize the validity of the contract until they are faced with divorce. In a marriage contract in the United States the assets and liabilities of the partnership are shared equally unless amended with prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. One partnership must be settled and the division of assets agreed upon before each party is available to enter into a new contract with a new partner.  In the case of polygamy the marriage contract becomes much more convoluted and difficult to maintain the equality among all members. The contract will need to be redefined and amended each time a member joins the marriage or leaves the marriage with each partner willing to submit a portion of the assets and liabilities to the other members of the corporation so to speak. Does the husband maintain 50% for himself while his wives divvy up the remaining portion amongst themselves? Where is the equality and balance in that? Polygamy is more than just love and sex; it is a contract that affects the quality of life for every member involved. Before we jump on legalizing it we must consider the short term and long term effects on not only the families and society but the redefinition of the marriage contract.

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Is Polygamy the Answer?

I had the pleasure of being a guest on a Blog Talk radio show last night on the subject of legalizing polygamy. The argument of the host was that polygamy is the answer to an issue that plagues our inner cities. That with so many single women the only answer is to collect them and take care of them. The host insinuated that women cannot take care of themselves and need to be rescued by men.

This belief that women are worth-less has been bread into the consciousness of society for thousands of years. It is so inbred that many men and women are unconscious how deeply rooted this belief still is. The women’s movements of the last century made headway into opening up conversation about this inadequacy but it is still deeply penetrated within the recesses of our minds. We see this in the women who are afraid to ask for a raise at work, afraid to ask for time off and afraid to ask their husbands for money. We see this especially in the girls who have such little self-worth that they disrespect themselves and their true greatness by giving their bodies to anyone who will have them. They are so desperate for validation that they intentionally become single mothers out of a desire for anyone to love them.

Polygamy is not the answer. Polygamy further instills in these women the belief that they are incapable of taking care of themselves and must surrender to a man who already has other women. Legalizing polygamy further exacerbates the issue as more girls are told that they are not worth having a man of their own. It further propagates the desire to have a child merely from the standpoint of desperation and dependency. It places more emphasis on the hierarchy of men and the dominance of women. And it allows the young men in our neighborhoods more freedom to plant their seeds with the assurance that someone else will take responsibility for their actions.

The response of the host was that although the ratio of men and women is fairly equal the quality is not.  He himself admitted that many men “are shit”.  Yes, there are many men who allow their ego to supersede rationale rather than make choices based on logic and reason. They make choices based on fear and their own lack of self-worth. This is an issue that men need to resolve amongst themselves. Women should not be made to suffer because of some men’s ill-fated decisions.

The answer is personal empowerment. Some men are still stinging over the women’s movements of the past that caused many women to become hard and cold in an effort to be seen in a more serious light and worthy of respect. We have moved beyond that. This new movement many of us are embracing is not empowering women to become more like men, but to become more of themselves. It is inspiring women to find their strength and power within themselves and to embrace their femininity. This movement is about teaching our daughters, sisters and mothers to love themselves, respect themselves and honor themselves. To let go of the resentments of the past and embrace their true inner greatness. This is not about bringing down men while women are raised up to surpass them. This movement also empowers men to make better choices based in self-love, self-respect and self-honor rather than choices based in fear and ego. From this new way of being the wars against each other and against humanity will end. Out of their own self compassion men will no longer feel the need or desire to oppress and belittle women but see the beauty in all that women and desire that women stand by their side in balance and equality.

We the women of today are finding our inner strength and true worth. We are strong, beautiful, sensual and feminine. We recognize our sexuality and sensuality as a Divine gift to ourselves and not a service to men. We honor and respect our husbands because we honor and respect ourselves, and in turn our husbands honor and respect us as their equal partners.

Polygamy is not the answer to single motherhood on the streets. It creates relationships based in desperation and pity rather than genuine love and mutual respect. Some claim that they like it the old way as they cling desperately to what once was. But the old way is fading away and those who refuse to evolve will be part of a dying breed.