Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lisa Ling’s “Our America” Changes Minds

Stephanie Elie asks “Could Plural Marriage Be the Answer?” She was apparently prompted by Lisa Ling’s “Our America” episode dealing with the subject, which she approached with a cautious, even negative attitude towards the subject.

I mean what kind of crazy person would purposely allow their spouse to engage in relations with another woman. And how selfish those men must be to try and have their cake and eat it too. But as I watched the episode I realized something. The people, at least in the community Ling was interviewing, are really truly committed to each and every person in the relationship. The wives seem to form emotional bonds and friendships with each other and often spend more time together than with their husband.

And here’s something that really took me by surprise, it’s the women that actually control the relationship, they get to decide what man they are going to marry and it’s up to the elders to make it happen.

She goes on to ponder if plural marriage (polygyny) could reduce the divorce rate, reduce out-of-wedlock births, reduce the number of parents raising children alone, and reduce the number of children living in poverty.

In a plural marriage no one is left alone to raise their children as a single parent because if the husband isn’t around, the wives still have each other to help raise and support their children, both financially and emotionally. You have a support system at ALL times, not just on a court ordered schedule.

Good points.

Keep in mind that for every 100 single women of marriageable age in the United States there are fewer than 70 single men, and as we get older the numbers spread further apart. That means statistically if marriage is still considered only a monogamous relationship, there will always be more women than men which probably means there will always be infidelity in what we are calling monogamous relationships.

The sooner we achieve full marriage equality, so that an adult is free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults, the better. People will be more likely to have the relationships they want, and I do think there will be more marriage, less divorce (at least in comparison to marriage rates), less cheating, more children raised within marriage, fewer children raised in poverty, and other benefits (economic, social, environmental.) A woman should be free to marry a man who is already married. She should also be free to marry a woman, or two women, even if one of them is her sister. If that is what they want, they should have it. It helps them and it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
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