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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Of Course Polyandry Should Be Legalized

Some people think polygamy means one man married to multiple women, but that's polygyny, just one form of polygamy. Some religious groups call that plural marriage. And some people say, suspiciously, that they only ever see polygamy expressed as one man married to multiple women. The the fact is, some cultures have practiced formalized polyandry, with one woman married to multiple men, and there are no small number of women in polyamorous relationships with two men or with a woman and a man, or with other multiple-partner configurations.

This blog supports full marriage equality, which includes the right of a woman to enter into a polyandrous marriage with consenting husbands. Barkha Herman started a long discussion when she asked...
Why not legalize polyandry?
One of the major justification of the traditional marriage is child rearing. However, with the advent of genetic testing, there is no confusion in parentage of a child any more. Moreover, more and more households are either single parent, or multiple parent (50% of marriages end up in divorce; and most of the people involved re-marry).  It is not uncommon for a child to have a mother, father as well as step mother(s) and step father(s).  I know a kid who has 6 parental units, through multiple marriages and divorces.

So, if gender is not an issue, and "serial marriage" is OK, then why not parallel marriage? Why can't one woman have multiple husbands? There are cultures around the world that have historically had examples of polyandry.
Some allies responded. Some people responded with what amounted to "nobody would want to do this" which is essentially Discredited Argument #3. If nobody ends up doing it, then that still doesn't mean there was a good reason not to legalize it. If it is legalized and nobody does it, well, then, no loss, right? For example, see what Albert Arthur wrote... 

No man would ever agree to polyandry.
Clearly that's not true, because many men have. As Zafar point out...
There are traditionally polyandrous groups in the Indian Himalyas - where one woman marries a group of brothers (like Draupadi did in the Mahabharata).  This *does* result in women having a more powerful position in hill societies than they do in the plains; but the power comes at a price.  The women do an AWFUL lot of work (unsurprisingly, if you think about it, they're 'taking care of' more than one husband), the motivation is arguable (it's usually about minimising division of the inheritance, since the [fewer] children are all the brothers') and it raises the question: what happened to all the other girl babies?
Polygamy is optional under full marriage equality. There will not be any more "extra" women or men than there are right now under our supposedly monogamous system. There will definitely be fewer people unmarried who want to be married. A woman should be free to marry a woman, or two women, even if one of those women is her sister. There is no good reason to deny full marriage equality.
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3 comments:

  1. swm from canada i love to see polyandry legal in the western world tdasonwrva@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please legalize polyandry in IL and other states.. I am not polyamorous, but would consider multiple husbands who want a commitment with me.. Believe it or not this based on "old school" beliefs... Unfortunately, some relationships or marriage becomes broken.. I don't want to wait years in between significant relationships to heal and get the courage to date again...
    Why can people have multiple boyfriends or other relationships, but you can't love or be in multiple committed marriages... Does that make sense? ?.

    ReplyDelete
  3. legalise it like ASAP

    ReplyDelete

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