Sunday, November 16, 2008

Turning the Tables on Polygamy

While the noise has quieted some and the media has turned to other news, the events in Texas and Utah with the Polygamous Reorganized Latter-day Saint church, has brought to the attention of the modern world a reason to reanalyze something most people only read about, research historical archives about, or in some cases, fantasize about.

If you talk to just about any guy about polygamy -the practice of legally being married to more than one person- the reaction is almost assuredly going to be one thing: a goofy grin and slightly glazed over eyes while imagining a house full of young, beautiful wives to serve and please them- particularly in bed.

But if you know me at all, you'll quickly realize I'm not one to roll over and play pansy when it comes to women vs. men…in pretty much anything. So when a buddy of mine asked me rather smugly what I thought of polygamy… "Tee-hee-hee"… my reaction undoubtedly surprised him.

I said I was all for it!

I love the idea of having more than one husband.

The more the better in fact. Three or four men to work full time jobs and provide multiple steady incomes. Two or three to divide up the household chores and help raise the kids… and while they'd all get their turn, maybe one or two who's only job was to…ehm…help me change the lyrics to a song about "satisfaction".

My friend's disgruntled outcry that I was "cheating" and I was supposed to ante-up on how I'd deal with sharing one man with multiple wives was met with a somewhat biting retort.

"Haha... No. That's not cheating. It's just not what you thought I'd say and it's not so nice when the shoe is on the other foot huh?"

But what is it about polygamy that is so offending, so disturbing? Is it a moral or ethical issue? Is it about religion or personal choice? It is about the practical implications? I think it's not really any of those things.

To help those of you of the male persuasion understand, I'll present it in a way you'll be able to better relate to. Hopefully.

It just kinda does something to you when you think that no matter how great you are, you're not enough for one woman.

In fact, you AND another guy are not enough for one woman.

The idea that it would take *half a dozen or more* of you to be enough for one woman, and she would be legally able to have sex with any and all of you, maybe several of you at the same time and you'd do it because she was your wife and had the right to demand that of you! That you would be made to feel insignificant, just another "toy", another useful body to keep around for her needs and wants.

That you would be expected to take care of, provide for and love children she has with OTHER MEN, at the same time YOU'RE trying to have children with her.

That you would have to be satisfied with just a small portion of her time, knowing her heart and body were also divided amongst other men who might make you feel inferior because they make more money, have a better body or get along better with her.

It would suck being stuck in a marriage like that, where you may not be just NOT her favorite, but several down the list from being her favorite.

That you might sleep alone for weeks at a time, lonely and frustrated because she's off have wild, hungry, passionate and emotionally connected sex with several other men... and you have to somehow make that okay in your mind.

And then later take her to your bed and love her after you know she's just visited the beds of a dozen men who licked and kissed on her, and put their body inside hers.

And of course, later look the men in the eyes who consider themselves her favorite husband and lover- and treat them like your brothers.

Ouch. That's gotta sting a little.

Now might be a good time to inform you, that in some countries THIS practice of several brothers actually all sharing ONE wife has been a tradition for centuries. While this observance has existed in several countries including parts of Africa up to 15 years ago, apparently it now only exists in the Himalayas. But it does still exist!

The practical reasons listed in the video:
*Keeping the ancestral property in the family since it's not divided by brothers
*A form of birth control since the land can only support so many mouths
*More men to divide the manual labors and chores of third world living

Guys love to joke about the idea of having more than one legal wife, legal sex partner... but the fact is, they don't really think about how that would make that woman feel- those- women feel. If the tables were turned though, it would smack them smartly in the face and suddenly those fantasies are really better off just left in the fantasy world.

It would really make a person feel anything but important to be told that they have to share their life partner with a dozen others and if they don't get used to the idea- it's THEIR OWN problem to overcome or it's a SIN! And to think that the kind of existence might last all of eternity???

I give you a resounding "HELL NO"!

If that is what heaven is like then let me be a single gardener. For I'd rather spend all of eternity pulling weeds and pruning bushes and watching flowers grow, then be caught up in a forever long, married version of the reality game show "The Bachelor", with each girl constantly competing with a herd of other back-stabbing, bitter, conniving, manipulative, understandably jealous women all wanting…no, demanding the lime light with one overwhelmed and conceited man.

Truly, any guy who thinks in this day and age that polygamy would be accepted by women who were not brainwashed from infancy in a religious community cut off from the rest of the world and then forced or threatened with violence to comply- they have not truly given any thought to what the actual ramifications would be.

Multiple women bitching and complaining about your faults- all of them trying to change and mold you into THEIR own version of THEIR dream man.

Multiple women demanding money for clothes, jewelry, shoes, lap dogs, vehicles, beauty treatments and supplies, expensive furniture and exotic vacations.

Each wife insisting on a house superior to the other wives houses, and of course your vow that THEY were your absolute favorite and you were devoting more time, attention and money to them and the children you had with them.

And several dozen children to attend PTA meetings for, find quality time to spend with and a college education to provide after two decades of expensive clothes, toys, hobbies, lessons and electronics for EACH ONE.

Even if more then half the wives also had jobs, leaving the other slightly less than half to bare the brunt of ALL the housekeeping and child rearing- there is no way the income would cover today's expectations for the average standard of a "middle class quality" life.

I have ancestors who practiced polygamy. I don't know how it worked out for them, if they tolerated it, enjoyed it or despised it, but knowing about that from a relatively young age has given me lots of time and reason to give it good thought.

And you know, for some people maybe it seems like a good idea. It's been written in some preserved journals and letters that some multiple wives could sometimes become friends and live like sisters (which sends a chill down my spine and could bring on spontaneous seizures of twitching as I recall how my sister and I fought like cats and dogs growing up- until we moved to different states!), And the husbands claimed they could love all their wives equally.

Well guess what...I think I could love and take care of multiple husbands equally. But who would believe that or really enjoy that idea except me?

I hope the intensity of this doesn't come across as angry, because I'm not. I just feel strongly about this and want to help others see it from a different perspective. So, while some cultures have pulled it off, and some people may find the practice acceptable, I restate my own opinion: some fantasies are really better off just left in the fantasy world.

And that's almost a shame, imagining all the Honey-do lists a wife could pass out to all her husbands…

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