Marci is absolutely correct: I've not met anyone in an American polygamous marriage, though a friend of mine from Israel had two mothers-in-law inasmuch as his (now former) wife was from Yemen, where Jews practiced polygamy until they moved to Israel in the 1950s, and Israel recognized those plural marriages (even though polygamy has been banned within Ashkenazic Jewry since the 11th century). I'm also sure that a lot of women are not particularly benefitted from plural marriages. But, if we're talking about all the ways in which patriarchy (the term invoked in Reynolds) negatively affects women, I'd put plural marriages in which women can be said to have chosen them at least as much as other adults make bad choices that we disagree with well down the list of things we need to stamp out. And, as a Millian, I think it might prove socially useful to be able to observe "modern polygamous marriages" that would not feature the abuse of children that often seem to accompany ma!
ny of the legally paradigmatic instances.
I am curious if anyone on this list other than myself has ever met a woman who was in a polygamous marriage. Sandy's nonchalant and pollyanna attitude toward polygamy as though it is simply the latest household timesaver is shocking to me. Polygamy in the US is not a 60s free love commune formed by a bunch of college-educated hippies seeking utopia or a babysitting club. It requires one man to be the equal of multiple women. So each woman is a percentage of 1. And it more often than not guarantees the women will not be well educated. Which mom is going to be the one who does the housework and babycare so the other mom can go to college or law school or grad school? Which one gets to be the slave while the others fulfill their potential? There are always rules about pecking order--first wife is most supported or last wife is most supported. This is a historical and worldwide phenomenon-- it is a fact that it is a construct that denigrates women's equality and child!
ren's full potential in the vast majority of instances. Re-read Reynolds--it describes polygamy as a practice that leads to oppressive patriarchical rule. That tendency remains.
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