Friday, January 21, 2011

Thank You, Sophie Hirschfeld

Sophie Hirschfeld gets it right when it comes to testimony in the Canadian trial over polygamy that portrays polygamous communities as horrible places.

This account about tortured babies is being used to argue that polygamy should continue to be illegal in Canada. I don’t want to downplay Jessop’s suffering. It certainly deserves attention and it does need people to take action, but this action is not the appropriate action. Polygamy is not what is to blame for what has happened to these children. Polygamy is not to blame for the young brides forced into marriage, either, or for the displaced boys who have been tossed out of their religious community. No, instead, the blame goes to dogma and people, mostly people.

Polyamory and Polygamy have become dirty words in our culture. It has become symbolic of something that is a distant, distorted image of what it once was and what it can be. Polyamory is alive and well in the United States and I’ve had plenty of experience with polyamorous people and have even been in polyamorous relationships, myself. I’ve seen many varieties of poly family structures and have seen what kinds of struggles those people face because their chosen love life is not what people think is ‘right.’ I’ve seen no evidence that polyamory or polygamy are, themselves, dangerous things.

Read it all.
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