Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sister Wives is Back

Sunday's season premiere is 9 p.m. EDT. Set your DVR or plan to watch.

Many months ago I was sitting back and collecting coverage of TLC’s “Sister Wives” to gauge the show’s portrayal of polygyny and the public reaction to it, but I have yet to get around to writing up a reaction to the first season. If you have watched the show, please comment with your thoughts.

It has definitely raised awareness, which is a good thing as long as that awareness is not manipulated by the bigots. Reality television shows don’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to how marriages are portrayed, or perhaps marriages don’t have a good track record of surviving such productions.

I’m sure that if the Browns experience a split, someone will cite them as an example of how polygyny doesn’t “work.” But the same people will be unlikely to cite “Jon and Kate” as proof that monogamy doesn’t work.

From the Associated Press

It's easy to see that Kody Brown and his four wives share a closeness and a comfort zone and, yes, a sense of humor that keeps the conversation at a gallop.


They were tired of keeping secrets and living in fear. They were tired of the misconceptions and stereotypes that defined polygamy in many people's minds (including HBO's extreme polygamy drama "Big Love," which some of the Browns say they have watched and enjoyed).

"I went through high school hiding who I was," says Robyn, who wed Kody on last season's finale, bringing three children from her previous marriage into a brood that now numbers 16. "I shut people out because I didn't want to be labeled and made fun of."

How sad and unacceptable.

"We're not trying to proselyte our faith or our lifestyle," says Kody, who is legally married only to Meri, his wife of 20 years. "We're just looking for acceptance."

"And I think we're getting that," says Meri, with whom Kody has a 15-year-old daughter. "People will tell us, 'It's not for me. There's no way I could share my husband with somebody. But I am totally for you doing it, if that's what you want to do.'"

That’s good news.

"There have been a lot of people who have opposed it," Kody acknowledges. "They say they still think it's creepy."

There will always be bigots.

Whatever the seeming oddities (and super-sized proportions) that set the Browns apart from "normal" families, "Sister Wives" is most striking in the way it charts common ground with any other loving, busy family.

Going about their daily lives, sharing chores and outings, with bumps in the road, but also laughs, the Browns are relatable on many levels.

Tear down the walls of prejudice. We need more shows and more movies that portray banned marriages in a positive way.

"Kody maintains a good marriage with all of us - each one of us, individually," says Christine.

"He's a gentleman and he's very fair with us," says Meri.

It is outrageous that this family would be investigated. It is not acceptable that they are denied their freedom to marry before the law.
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