Monday, December 10

Pondering the Idea of Polygamy

Before anyone goes into orbit, let me explain myself.
Since living in Brazil has kept me relatively distant from what is going on in the USA ( or as my mom calls it the `Excited States`),my knowledge of current affairs comes from my online subscription to the New York Times, the Calgary Herald,CNN and HBO.
On Sunday nights on HBO Brazil, the mini series `Big Love`is shown. The story line is of a man and his three wives trying to handle all of the pressures of being a polygamist, entrepreneur, father, husband and reluctant leader of his fellow religious peers. It is produced my Tom Hanks and stars Bill Paxton and Chloe Sevigny.
After watching a few episodes, I was intrigued. How could these women handle the fact that they share their husbands with other women? What about jealousy? Envy? Power struggles? Hiarchy?
Strangely enough, the winds of Zeitgeist blew through my window. The news announced the arrest of the leader of the FLDS, the Mormon splinter group that practices polygamy on the border of Utah and Arizona. Who were these people???
Growing up in Calgary, Canada, I had some knowledge of the Mormon religion. I knew they had their version of the Bible called the Book of Mormon. They had a temple in Cardston Alberta. The Mormon kids that I went to school with were killer basketball players that didn`t curse,drink booze or coffee.I heard stories that they gave 10% of their income to the church,and stocked up on food provisions. Many of them became missionaries after they finished school or went to Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City.
Polygamy was banned from the Church in the late 1800's to be able to allow Utah to become part of the USA.
Being a girl growing up in the 70`s, I too had the proverbial crush on Donny Osmond(Puppy Love), only to have my heart broken when I found out that he was Mormon and that Mormons didn`t inter marry.
Fast forward to 2007.
Marie Osmond appears on Dancing with the Stars
There is a Mormon presidential candidate running for the Republican Party
Polygamy continues to exist and is practiced by anywhere up to 30 000 people in the USA. Stories of abuse abound. Boys are abandoned on roadsides outside of their compounds to fend for themselves,their only 'sin' is that of being young and virile,like any teenage boy will be.Young girls snapped up in puberty to be married off to men two or three times their age against their own will.
Sounds like a nightmare to me.
Nothing like the way polygamy is portrayed on HBO....On TV it looks so peaceful and warm and fuzzy.
I can hear the feminists and the fundamentalist moralists now..."She is crazy!!!!". I assk you though, we are trained to believe that we marry one man for the rest of our lives, correct? I was, at least.
How many men cheat on their wives?
How many men have mistresses?
What about the growing trend of bi-curious people and the increased popularity of the `swing` lifestyle?

I don' t think that polygamy should be illegal. What I disagree with, is the fact that they trap these girls so young. If these women were of legal age and willingly consenting adults, I see no problem.

As the late Pierre Trudeau was known to say " The government has no business in the bedroom of the people"

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