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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mother Rectoress weighs in on whether polygamy should be a crime?

This post responds to a speech given by Keysar Trad at the 'Festival of Dangerous Ideas' where he suggested that it's time polygamy was decriminalised. The essence of his argument was that while affairs are common to most marriages, at least in a polygamous relationship the 'other woman' can be given some dignity and rights.

I think admitting there is an issue is crucial and for this reason I support the debate because with the current system of marriage, society is selling the dream of finding one's soulmate and living the fulfilled ever after dream. Women buy that more readily than men (men encourage it in the early stages). Hence the huge disappoinment and personal hurt felt when it is realised that what they together had was not unique, just good timing.

Lies and deceit are the issue here and yes openly polygamus relationships can help with that but I wonder if even these relationships are enough. We are uncomfortable with ourselves and the known and crave to be unknown again. A bit like the apple in the garden of Eden perhaps.

I believe it is the adrenalin of the chase of the new and unknown, where we can make believe we are what our new love interest believes us to be that is fundamental to the high rate of affairs. We need to avoid who we know ourselves to be for a time. It is our desire to escape self that needs to be addressed. Our partner knows us too well. It is the need for the discovery and the revealing of a new mystery that appeals I think. Perhaps more needed is finding the right tension between the known and unknown in our relationships could help.

Therefore I see polygamy as only solving part of the problem. To move towards that we would need a huge shift in how our whole society works. This has taken generations where polygamy is lawful. I leave out the religious sects that justify is it as God's will here.


Blogger dougp said...

Variety is the spice of life, right? Being a serial hobbyist I suppose that I would have to agree. But I also understand that excellence requires commitment. For example, the best athletes treat their sport much like a new wife/husband. They spend countless hours devoted to their love, providing their undivided attention; they focus, listen, and pledge their dedication.

Life has a way of interfering with our ability to maintain such high standards and we begin to think that moving on, starting fresh, or in this case bringing a new spouse into the fold is the only answer. The flaw in this line of thinking is all too apparent. I mean, where does it all end. Does bringing the ‘other women’ into a polygamous relationship actually provide her with the dignity and rights that she is looking for, and will this newly acquired wife satiate the husband’s appetite for the change that he feels that he needs. Probably, but only until the new wears off any life sets in.

9:01 PM  

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