Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not Complicated

Kirby Olson reports on a book by Martha Nussbaum, and is surprised that Nussbaum “accepts polygamy”…

"What is objectionable about polygamy is that it is often available only to males, and that it is typically connected with a legal and traditional regime under which women have unequal property rights and rights of mobility, association, and self-determination. But it is also the case that the reasons for opposing polygamy have often been very bad reasons, connected with fear and ignorance about a group whose practices are different. Thus, I believe that Mormon polygamy should have been permitted so long as the legal equality of women, and their freedom to leave the community should they wish to, were securely established and protected, and so long as the law extended similar opportunities to women who for some genuine religious reason wished, themselves, to contract polygamous marriages"

Although Nussbaum is rather reasonable throughout the volume, she sometimes skips over things. What, for instance, is a "genuine religious reason"?

It shouldn’t matter. People who want to marry under the law should not have to cite a religious justification for their marriage.

To return to the polygamy problem: Nussbaum has problems limiting marriage to one man and one woman and comes out in favor of polygamy so long as it can be practiced by women, too. If this is the case, I can't see why she wouldn't also allow group marriages composed of many different men and women, or even a whole city, as was the case with the French theorist Charles Fourier's phalansteries, which also claimed a bizarre religious rationale (he claimed to have had his notions dictated from God).

It is unlikely that many people will want to marry each other, but if they do, so what?

What happens to insurance if one partner in a group of 100,000 has a job that gives insurance to the spouses (the spice)? State Farm Insurance would rapidly go under if there is only one payment in, and hundreds of thousands of potential payments out.

Ah, again with the insurance issue. There are many simple ways to deal with this. It is dealt with when an employee has more kids than the next, isn't it? It is not a good reason to deny the freedom to marry. If only one spouse out of 100,000 has a job with insurance, there are larger problems to deal with, aren’t there?

When people talk about changing the marriage laws, I can foresee worst case scenarios where -- if you change the laws for one group, you have to accommodate all groups, including multiple partners, enormous communes full of people, as the polygamists and the others come in demanding their rights based on traditional religious rationale or some whimsical thing based on love.

“If you allow a man to marry a woman, soon he’ll be marrying little girls!” Let’s get real. It is very simple. Allow adults to marry the consenting peron or person(s) of their choosing. Most women will choose to marry one man to whom she is not closely related. But some women will marry more than one man, or a woman, or one woman and one man, or more, and one or more of them might be closely related to her. So what? Nobody would have to get married to someone they don’t want to marry, or get married at all.
— — —

No comments:

Post a Comment

To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

If you want to write to me privately, then either contact me on Facebook, email me at fullmarriageequality at protonmail dot com, or tell me in your comment that you do NOT want it published. Otherwise, anything you write here is fair game to be used in a subsequent entry. If you want to be anonymous, that is fine.

IT IS OK TO TALK ABOUT SEX IN YOUR COMMENTS, BUT PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY AS I WANT THIS BLOG TO BE AS "SAFE FOR WORK" AS POSSIBLE. If your comment includes graphic descriptions of activity involving minors, it's not going to get published.