The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside


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Polygamy, Homosexuality and Open Marriage are like Apples, Oranges and Grapes

Many people continually contend that it polygamy is a lifestyle choice similar to same-sex partnerships. Others contend that there is no comparison, and that comparing polygamy to homosexuality is akin to comparing apples to oranges.  So which one is it?  I suggest that this subject is really more like comparing apples, oranges and grapes.  That there is no comparison between polygamy, homosexuality and open marriage because they are three very different things.

In most cases throughout America and around the world, polygamy is not about love.  Rather it is about men’s sexuality and the subjugation of women. It is being sold to women as love, convincing them it is for their own good. The history of marriage as a whole is not about love, the sanctity of husband and wife, or about morality. Marriage was created as a means of bartering stock and virgins took top dollar.  Women who had been tainted, by whatever means, had no value and became servants in their own homes or even murdered by their families for their disgrace.  Women were held responsible for men’s behavior and still are to this day to some degree; don’t even get me started on that…. Men wanted to be guaranteed that their seed was the only seed planted in the womb of a woman.  We still see this reflected in the “giving away of a daughter to her new husband” in our marriage ceremonies today. We see this reflected in the white virgin wedding dress and in the veil intended to hide a woman’s face until the transaction is complete.  And we see it reflected in the wedding vows when a woman promises to “respect and obey” her new husband. Granted these vows have been changing as women become more assured of their true worth and potential and as marriage becomes more recognized as a partnership rather than ownership.

There is a vast difference between open sexual relationships with multiple partners and marriages with lifetime and eternal contracts that often accompany polygamy. In the tradition of polygamy, women are collected by men who had the financial means to purchase and own them. Great kings of the Bible were the largest holders of land, property, wealth and women. This does not necessarily make them men of God. Each of the men who are revered by modern men for polygamy was chastised by God for their gluttony and greed.  Yet modern day men still put them on a pedestal, wanting to be more like them.  Many of us base our current day beliefs and practices on the practices of men thousands of years ago, without taking into consideration that the stories were written for the socio-economic situations of the day. They were not written for those of us who might be reading them thousands of years later. We were the furthest things from their mind because just like us they were dealing with their own day-to-day issues.  Yet we have made it our business to read into these stories and extrapolate what we want to hear. Anything and everything has been justified in the name of religion and has been extracted from the stories in the historical documents that we consider to be God’s word.  Every known atrocity from war, slavery, servitude, child abuse, murder, sacrifice, torture and polygamy has been found in our ancient texts, and these findings are still used today as justification for such human rights abuses.

When I hear people asking to have the law against polygamy overturned it breaks my heart.  President Abraham Lincoln recognized it for what it was had it banished along with slavery.  Reversing this opens up a Pandora ’s Box.  Polygamy is not the same as open marriage, although that is how it is now being sold in America.  It is simply a term that is being thrown about as the latest buzzword for alternative relationship choices.  But they are very, very different in reality.  I agree that we cannot put restrictions on how people choose to express their love and sexuality as long as it does not hurt anyone else.  Mutually consenting adults who genuinely express love and explore the pleasures of what it means to be human is entirely different from the binding contract of marriage. Numerous studies show that polygamy, specifically polygyny, is harmful to society.  For those who gravitate to open relationships, enjoy all of the love-making you desire, just please don’t call it polygamy.

And then of course there is homosexuality. This is not a lifestyle choice and we now have the scientific evidence to back this up.  It cannot be caught like a disease and it is not a perversion. Morality is defined by individuals not by nature. Some of the most beautiful, loving and spiritual people I know are homosexual. It is simply how they are biologically designed. One part of me can’t help but wonder if this is part of our collective evolution.  As we overburden the planet will we biologically mutate to slow the population grown? This is yet to be seen…

To recap, Polygamy is a human rights abuse that has most-often been justified by religion, open relationships are a lifestyle choice and homosexuality is biological. There is simply no comparison between the three.  Apples, oranges and grapes!


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Marriage, Morality & Legislation

I suspect that much of the confusion about polygamy begins first with marriage itself. The once legally binding business contract of marriage has become synonymous with morality. Marriage and morality is a classic case of religion working its way back into the government. 

Our founding fathers were adamant about the separation of church and state. They put their lives, reputations and livelihood on the line to maintain that separation. Many were not Christian men as many Americans have come to believe. They were Universalists who saw a much bigger picture of the energy many call God.  They were not atheists but were also not sworn to any religion. As with many politicians today they sat in churches out of the expectations of those around them, but their minds were not limited to one particular faith or set of beliefs. They had seen the unrelenting control that religion played in the old world and wanted their new country to be free from that control. 

Unfortunately religion has worked its way back into government and we willingly allow it. We give away our unalienable rights back to the government when we ask for legislation that controls our moral behavior. We give away our freedoms when we ask the government to make choices for us based upon religious beliefs. Out of our own disability to take responsibility for our individual morality we ask our government to take responsibility for us. In this lack of personal responsibility we give up the freedoms upon which our country was founded.

Morality is an individual choice based on personal beliefs. It cannot be dictated or controlled by government and rightfully should not be enforced upon the masses based on the desires of the few. When we are each living in our own inner truth and in the energy of real and genuine love, morality is not an issue. The government was never intended to control the expression of love. It is only when the appearance of love is grounded in fear and control that we find ourselves in the query of how to protect those who are under its control.

Because the history of polygamy is based in fear and control the conditions within polygamist relationships are prime for abuse. The question with legislation with regard to polygamy is not, nor should it be about morality, but about the protection of those who become victims to its abuses.


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Equality for Women

The Polygamist lifestyle began at a time when women were owned and collected as little more than livestock. Women were used for bartering between men who were building their kingdoms with some kings owning hundreds of women. The marriage contract existed as a business document showing legal trade of stock ownership and for union between families and estates. Women were simply pawns in this process. The marriage contract only recently became associated with so-called morality with the ownership of people being justified by religion for centuries.

Polygamy is a classic case of spiritual abuse. We must stop the allowing atrocities against humanity being justified by religion. During the Civil War we fought to eliminate the twin relics of slavery and polygamy, both of which were justified by religion. Both were recognized as barbaric and inhumane and as a result of the fight toward freedom, both became illegal. America evolved into a new era that gave rise to greater equality for all. Sadly many of us have forgotten that the move away from polygamy was a move toward equality for women.

Over the centuries women have fought and died in numerous attempts to establish respect and equality with the male members of society. It has been a long and painful road as we become closer to achieving the equality that all people deserve. After hundreds of years battling to have our voices heard there is still the underlying belief that women are less valuable than men. That belief still permeates society as a whole. We see this in the way some men treat women and it the way some women treat themselves. We see this in women who are afraid to ask for a raise at work, or afraid to ask for time off. We see it in the girls that intentionally get pregnant hoping that someone will take care of them. We see this in women who are afraid to ask for money or help from their husbands. We still unconsciously believe that women do not deserve equal pay, equal respect and equal treatment.  

Many people have bought into the belief that polygamy is necessary. Some are sold on the fundamentalist belief that women cannot go to heaven without a man to take them there, and that women cannot survive this life or the next without servitude to a man. There are some men who still believe that women need to be taken care of because they are incapable of taking care of themselves. And there are women who choose to give up their equality and subject themselves to sharing their husband. Rather than asking their husband and partner for the help they deserve they bring other women into their marriage.  They choose to give up their equality and a balanced partnership for a relationship that requires submission and surrender.

Most polygamist relationships set the man up as the leader of the family with all women as subservient. I have seen this firsthand as the daughter of a polygamist and my personal experience with other polygamist households. Women’s opinions hold little value, even collectively, because the husband’s desires always supersede. In essence a polygamist family is not unlike a dictatorship which in itself is fundamentalist. With men at the head of the household polygamy further propagates the belief that women are not of equal worth and value.

The legalization of polygamy defeats any accomplishment that centuries of women have worked so hard to establish. If a woman chooses to enter a self-deprecating relationship, that is her choice, but we cannot legally reward this choice.  We cannot legally reward any man’s barbaric insistence that he is superior to the women.  We cannot legally award anyone who furthers the belief that women do not deserve a relationship based on balance, mutual respect and equality.

http://www.youtube.com/user/victoriamreynolds#p/a/u/0/v8rJt67EHK0