Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Another Feminist Sees Sister Wives as a Feminist Lifestyle

At the Female Gaze Blog, she starts out by saying what originally drew her interested to the television show about the polygynous family

Like most people, I first started watching the show Sister Wives because I wanted to spy on the funny little polygamist family and probably mock them. Being a highly opinionated feminist and gay rights activist, there is little that riles me up more than religious fundamentalism and all its oppressive ways (need I mention who provides the main opposition to marriage equality, abortion, condom distribution?). Polygamy as it is practiced in Mormon communities seemed to me, at its core, extremely anti-women.

However, this open-minded person now says…

But I am here to make the argument that the show actually opened my eyes to what I might consider a feminist lifestyle. Or at least revealed the ways in which polygamist lifestyles offer some opportunities for female empowerment that traditional male/female pairings often cannot.

So again, we see that “Sister Wives” helps open minds towards more freedom to marry. I should point out that the Browns are not “Mormon” in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sense. The LDS church long ago renounced "plural marriage," though some other groups that claim LDS founder Joseph Smith was a prophet have not.

She goes on to write about her concerns, before getting to her discovery…

First of all, Kody is a bit of a doofus. He mainly plays the role of family jester, running around making jokes and seeming bewildered by everyday life. The women, on the other hand, come off as competent, articulate, and in control. Although their frequent statements that “we outnumber Kody!” come off as a bit preachy and forced—as if they are already sensitive to this critique—there is rarely a moment when Kody seems to wield an iron fist. Rather, it really seems as though the women get their way and have a loud voice in the goings-on of the household. When Kody tries to cajole Meri into trying for another baby, she clearly stands her ground and he is forced to back off. They also continually emphasize the fact that it is Meri who initiates the process of searching for a new wife, not Kody. This is a bit debatable, given how hurt they all are by the process of courting fourth wife Robyn, but it still seems important to the family that decision-making appear equitable. Sisterhood is indeed a powerful force in the Brown family, with the women clearly supporting and caring for one another in profound (if not sexual) ways.

There is much more to her look at the Browns, and she concludes by expressing her support for the general freedom to polyamory, not just polygyny. Some women choose polygynous marriages, and they should have that right. A woman should be free to choose polygyny, polyandry, some other form of polygamy or polyamory, monogamy, or to not marry at all.
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1 comment:

  1. I'm glad there is a show that portrays polygamous couples in a positive light :)


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