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Posted by: anonemouse ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 01:34PM

I wouldn't watch Sister Wives while I was still going through my initial "separation" from the church, as I was afraid it would make me too angry (Joseph's form of "polygamy," which was really pedophilia and basically spiritual rape in my opinion, was one of the biggest reasons I left--couldn't get behind a so called prophet who did that to underage girls).

I read the comments on here and expected to be horrified by Sister Wives. Finally got up the courage to watch the first season, and I was left wondering, what was the big deal about that? How could that be illegal? As a lesbian and supporter of gay rights/marriage, I'm left thinking...ok, consenting adults, check. Not pushing their lifestyle on others or harming others, check. Um...what's the issue?

Do I agree with it? Would I want a relationship like this? Do I condone their religious beliefs or what they think about marriage? Heck no! But if I married my girlfriend, I'm pretty sure plenty of people would feel about that the way I feel about four women having one husband. But guess what? Their "feelings" about it wouldn't matter, because it's my right to marry the consenting adult of my choice. And I think it's theirs too. There was no coercion into this lifestyle that I saw. Actually the women seemed to be almost more into it than Kody...Meri told Kody to ask Robin to dance, for example, and brought her up as a potential wife. The other wives said the lifestyle gave them freedom they wouldn't have had, help with childcare, lots of children, a big family, etc., etc. Christine said she pursued Kody much more than he pursued her. Meri knew when she married Kody that both of them wanted a polygamist lifestyle. Jenelle seemed to enjoy being able to work and have that extra freedom. And Robin definitely knew what she was getting into and wanted it. Was there jealousy? Yes. Would I see it as unfair? Yes. But they all knew what they were getting into, wanted it, and went into the relationship of their own free will, when they were of age. The children seem well adjusted; they are well off; they may face persecution or judgment, but so would an interracial couple, or a gay couple, or a couple that was previously divorced, or a couple with a big age difference. Should those people not get together either, because people will judge and think it's bad/weird?

I'm not condemning anybody for thinking this lifestyle is wrong or bad for the people involved...I'm just asking, why do you feel that way?

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 01:48PM

Well, for starters, just imagine a lesbian telling another lesbian that she will go to hell if she doesn't consent to a multiple partner arrangement. Or that an angel will kill her unless she does. Or that she won't get to the highest heaven...see the consenting adult aspect going right out the window when people use religion to coerce sex partners.

Now picture a lesbian compound where one woman had multiple wives that couldn't leave voluntarily.

It has NOTHING to do with consensual sex and everything to do with abuse of personal rights and the use of religion to exploit those too young, or too brainwashed regarding freedom of choice.

Sister Wives does not portray the abuse that exists when polygamy is "required" in a religious compound. The children on sister wives are not going to be handed over when they are thirteen to an old man. The boys are not going to be dropped off in downtown SLC and told to fend for themselves.

I'll bet there will be no molesting of little girls and boys whose names or birthdays their father doesn't even know.


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Posted by: anonyemouse ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 01:51PM

Absolutely. But I'm not talking about the polygamist compounds that represent an extreme, illegal form of marriage involving underage girls, coercion, religious extremism and abuse. I'm talking about these women choosing this lifestyle and it being illegal/considered "wrong." Don't see how they're comparable.

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Posted by: anonyemouse ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 02:21PM

All of us are conditioned to believe something. I converted to Mormonism but was raised in a liberal household. I'm sure conservatives would say I was "conditioned" to believe that being gay was natural and that birth control and premarital sex are okay. We're all also conditioned to believe that a certain type of body is attractive by the media, and that monogamy with someone that we choose is preferable to promiscuity, polygamy, polyamory, arranged marriage, singleness or celibacy because that's all we're told and all we see.

And it certainly doesn't seem like any of the Sister Wives are brainwashed; they tell their children they have a choice and they will support whatever they choose, and Jenelle didn't grow up in polygamy; she chose it willingly.

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Posted by: MJ ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 02:37PM

But you seem to think that conditioning people to believe that there is ONE and ONLY one way to do something is desirable. I do not. Thus I oppose conditioning girls to believe that they have one and only on role in life.

And what they say on CAMERA may be vastly different than what they say when the cameras are not on them. One of the defining attributes of a cult is having one message given to people outside the cult, another message that is only for those inside the cult. So it would not surprise me if they say vastly different things when they are not being filmed. Oh, and never mind that editing can make it seem as if someone said something they did not.

Frankly I think anyone that would assume they are getting a true image of the family based on the show is a bit naive.

PS, I do like, however, that you did not actually ANSWER MY QUESTION.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2012 02:45PM by MJ.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 01:54PM

I don't have a problem with it. I find it very interesting to see how they make it work.
It's their right, their choice.
This is probably what goes on a lot more than we know. There are Internet sites that search for multiple wives, or so I am told.
It's a life style that is lived in many parts of the world and it's legal and accepted.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 02:03PM

it certainly wouldn't be a life I'd choose--but I like the women. I find Kody rather immature.

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Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 02:04PM

If that's what the adults want to do, fine.
I don't care if they have 100 wives. If everyone is there because they want to be.

It's the kids who are born into it without a vote that I'm concerned with.

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Posted by: anonyemouse ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 02:15PM

What about kids who are born to a single-parent family? A family in an especially racist area with one black parent and one white parent? Kids with celebrity parents who don't "choose" to be in the limelight their whole lives? Kids with gay parents? Kids with politician parents who will never get to live normal lives? Kids whose parents get divorced? Kids with a transgendered parent? Kids with a parent with a mental illness? And while we're at it, should diabetic parents not have kids because their kids might have diabetes? Should little people not have kids because their kids will probably be little people too and they'll probably be bullied? And poor people shouldn't have kids, either, because the kids haven't decided to be poor?

No kids get to decide what environment they're born into, and no environment is perfect. Most environments come with a specific set of problems. We can't decide for other people whether they're bringing their children into a "good" environment or not unless they are, in fact, abusing or neglecting their children once they are born, which is clearly not the case here.

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Posted by: Onefootout5 ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 02:09PM

When the show first came out, I was disturbed by it and avoided it.

Now I love it. I agree with you - I think they should be left alone.

But no, the FLDS, all those that look to Warren Jeffs as a leader, or any other sect that has the same principles and behaviors - I don't think they should be left alone.

Side note - I think it's pretty interesting that many TBMs are especially disturbed by the show. My mom was so weirded out when I told her I liked it. Just another one of those major inconsistencies that as an active, believing member, you don't really think through: "Polygamy? I don't know, I'm just glad we don't practice it anymore." Even though they do, spiritually, and it's still hanging out there that polygamy is the celestial law. Not a heaven I want to be in - count me out.

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Posted by: dclarkfan1 ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 03:54PM

Mormon or Non Mormon, Sister Wives is crap. TLC is broadcasting a family INTENTIONALLY breaking the law. If Utah chooses to continue their prosecution, they have all the video evidence they will ever need concerning the family's lifestyle, and could honestly demonstrate that Kody Brown is living in a quote "husband and wife type relationship" with his four wives.

Joseph Smith would be proud.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 03:59PM

For one thing, the numbers just don't work. Boys and girls are born in a roughly equal ratio. That alone tells me that polygamy was not how nature intended things to be.

I have also not seen (i.e. with the FLDS) that it results in a superior lifestyle. In fact, it seems to be a grossly inferior lifestyle, with underage girls being married off and the young men of the community being chased away.

Also, there is a complete lack of support for it in Western culture.

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Posted by: dclarkfan1 ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 04:09PM

It's also illegal as well. Most modern day citizens of Utah forget that the only reason Utah achieved Statehood, is that the LDS church had to abandon the practice of Polygamy.

Lo and behold, Wilford Woodruff receives "divine revelation" to end the practice, to ensure Utah's statehood, and to end the federal investigations.

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Posted by: munchybotaz ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 04:25PM

same thing I mentioned on Grey Matter's thread about deconstructing Mormonism and patriotism--that is, that it's based on the Mormon con and therefore has an immoral purpose. But in this case it's more about bullying women and children, isolating them and limiting their experience for the purpose of empowering men.

Presenting it as harmless and fairly normal, as I believe they do on TLC, impedes the destruction of related and even more harmful groups like the FLDS by encouraging people to draw moral lines like the ones you've drawn and think maybe it's all right. That is, if it doesn't actually help to perpetuate their existence.

This is not just a group of consenting adults who all fell in love and decided to live together, but a man building his imaginary power at the expense of a bunch of stupid women and especially their children, who have no choice.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2012 04:47PM by munchybotaz.

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Posted by: kyle ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 05:48PM

His only legally wedded wife is his first wife. . the rest are not legal marriages. There is nothing illegal about that. The illegality of polygamy takes place when the party tries to have multiple marriages legally recorded.

The other "wives" are simply single mothers.

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 07:56PM

Both are crimes.

Their intent is to break the law of this country forbidding multiple marriages -- saying it isn't "legally" a marriage is just splitting hairs. It's a marriage to them and it is them intentionally thumbing their noses at the law.

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Posted by: pamarnold ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 04:26PM

Yes it is illegal, but laws can and should be changed when it violates the rights of others. I think there should be laws to protect children being married off and forced marriages. You know, basically the "Compound" mentality, but these people just want to live their lifestyle and religious beliefs....however deluded it originally stemmed from.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 05:00PM

My concerns are:

~On several occasions, I heard statements along the lines of, "I would not do this if it weren't commanded." The underlying problem of brainwashing women to think God commands that kind of arrangement is not a CHOICE. They were taught to accept and not question authority which is especially dangerous.

~This kind of arrangement generates esteem issues. Not one of those women thinks they "deserve" a man all to themselves. They are constantly trying to win his affection. The jealousy and competition comes through loud and clear. They are reduced to children trying to compete for status and resource.

~As noted above, this system is devised for the benefit of alpha males. This creates a pool of beta males with no role. Do they become soldiers that require wars? You can't just assign them to be "brother wives" to some alpha women because the culture doesn't allow that option. The rest of society is supposed to absorb their extra males while they over breed with the females?

~The age at which the women are married is usually before they are fully educated. Hell, they don't get educated as you can tell from listening to them.

~Lesbians usually hook up because they are informed and old enough to see the role of choice. They make their choices because of their own needs and not because some men “commanded” who they should love. They are not generally in a lesbian marriage because they are isolated and told God "commands" that lifestyle.

When I watched the show, I got the impression that the women have learned to accept the lifestyle and focus on the benefits (like extra babysitters). They seem to develop relationships with each other which makes sense since Kody can’t possibly provide a complete emotional relationship with them. I also can't help but notice they are competing and lack the esteem to think they deserve having a complete relationship without God and the sister cops involved. They constantly have to justify to themselves that their "faith" is more important than anything else.

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Posted by: amellifera ( )
Date: February 19, 2012 05:25PM

I actually don't have any problem with people who enjoy open relationships or polyamory. It's not for me, but... Consenting adults and all that. But this is a situation in which men and only men are allowed to take multiple wives. It is inherently sexist. And it inherently teaches the children a sexist mindset. A recent study indicates that polygamy, wherever it is practiced in the world and no matter what "form" it takes, leads to very real social problems. These include a diminished role for women and more crime. Because there is an equal ratio of sexes, women become a commodity to fathers who seek social power. Older men "collect" women and younger men are more likely to fall into drugs and crime. The reasons for that can be debated. Is it that families and children "occupy" them, or is it frustration with a system that allows them no social power? Both? It also increases problems with child welfare. They studied many many polygamous cultures.

There are also some very logical and realistic problems with allowing polygamy legally. Our legal system is simply not equipped to handle it. How do you structure property rights, child custody in case of divorce, welfare (if necessary), which wife makes the decisions in the hospital, etc.?

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Posted by: ronas ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 05:54PM

So my mother in law is in town for a few days.

I'm watching two grown women (my wife & sister in law) in their thirties fight over her attention like a couple of 5 year olds.

I can only imagine how it would be with a husband with multiple wives.

To respond more directly to your post - I agree with your premise that it shouldn't be a big deal. The human/civil rights this country is moving towards should include this, imo. Basically it should not be the governments business in any way who consenting adults choose to have sex with.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2012 05:55PM by ronas.

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Posted by: Doxi ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 07:20PM

To a polygamist, women are inferior. They are the property of men, to be collected. Whomever has the most wives wins. NO ONE cares what they think about it; they're only women and not entitled to an opinion. The ones who insist that they looooove the lifestyle are conditioned to think that is all they deserve. I think Kody is a nasty man with a huge ego and I bet he has a tiny little p∑Ѝ!$.

I think of my husband, The Best Man Ever™. He is my bestest friend forever. We share everything. "Soul mates" is a dumb cliché but I believe that's what we are. We've had a lot of really rotten times lately and it has only brought us closer. It would rip me to shreds if he wanted to take another wife. It would certainly take the closeness away.

Now I'm going to be gross but honest... it would creep me out to have sex with a man that I knew was having sex with other women every damn night. Especially if his personal hygeine wasn't all that meticulous.

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Posted by: Wanda ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 07:37PM

You guys are mean and closed minded. I enjoy Sister Wives and I think they're life style should be legal. I also think GLTB should be able to marry. -- whether they are born with the desire or not.

Stop being mean and making people feel like they cant have an opinion around here!

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Posted by: Doxi ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 07:42PM

You certainly have a right to your opinion, as I have a right to mine.

I definitely think that gay people should be able to marry. To me, comparing that with polygamy is like apples and asparagus.

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 08:07PM

Those of us in the know have learned that essentially polygamy=pedophilia... Worse, the "anti-gay marriage" crowd is claiming there's a connection between gays and pedophiles, and there isn't.

I'm keeping some serious confidences on this one, but I've made my reputation here for ten years on a large number of subjects (and I've had clinical "encounters" with pedophiles), and where there's room for honest disagreement (like whether Native Americans arrived here by boat or walked), I'm absolutely open-minded. Ditto for subjects I don't know that much about...

This one isn't even close. Women in polygamist households are kept in ignorance and subjugation (even if they're permitted to work outside the home). Extra boys are tossed will-nilly out into the street...

And if you thought Mormons lied about their excesses, the extra wives crowd makes them look like Eagle Scouts...

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 07:51PM

Same sex marriage is a "couple" situation and does not have with it the inherent harms that polygamy does. Polygamy is inherently unequal for partners, creates an unattached bachelor pool which is harmful for society and creates families with built in "step-parents" which is harmful to children. Also, if you take the time to continue watching the show you'll realize that the women are miserable (they ain't fat because they're happy -- take it from a fat woman) and most of the children are unhappy too.

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Posted by: Wanda ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 07:56PM

I don't understand why it's apples and oranges. Two groups of adults who are each judged and discriminated against and at times forced to hide their true selves. Each wants to live their lives and have the same rights as heterosex. please explain to me. I will try to see your point of view. Also keep in mind, these polygamous wives on sister wives are not forced in to these marriages. They are choosing it.

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 07:59PM

Plenty of research has shown the inherent inequality and problems with multiple spouse marriages. Once again, I urge you to look at the information presented in Canada's recent trial as to the constitutionality of their ban on polygamy. It's easily available via the internet.

(The ruling was, by the way, that the ban is constitutional because of the inherent harms present in polygamy. Now try to find a modern ruling like that on same sex marriage.)

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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 08:03PM

Sorry, but I am amazed that anyone who has watched even 5 minutes of that show thinks the wives are happy or content. Just because they have made the best of the situation they feel "commanded" to be in and get along most of the time does not hide the VERY obvious (to me) jealousy, hurt and insecurity they all feel. It was also obvious if you saw any of their appearances on Oprah.

I also can't agree more with the poster who noted the very serious problems polygamy causes and/or exacerbates in cultures where it is more common. Read "The Bookseller of Kabul" for an intimate, real-life account of how polygamy devastates Muslim females but very much benefits males--at least those males who have enough money and status to have more than one wife. Some Muslim feminists have been courageously speaking out against polygamy as well--at very real risk to their own lives, so they must see pretty awful consequences of the practice.

I do believe, however, that if these religiously-brainwashed women "choose" to be with that idiot Kody, fine. (Yes, they are setting a horrific example of sexism to their children, but you can't save all kids from their parents' emotional abuse.) I am against legalizing polygamy, but as long as the other three wives are not legally married to him, it's not like any laws are being broken.

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Posted by: staind ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 08:08PM

can be found to support any argument you want these days. Plenty of research has shown that monogomous heterosexual marriages are..........(fill in the blank however you like).

Give me a controversial topic and I'll find you volumes of "research" to support and destroy both positions.

Very curious to check out this show now though.

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 11:22PM

If, however, you merely don't like research that disagrees with what you want to believe -- well that's just willful ignorance.

The fact is that the polygamists had an opportunity to make a case for the benefit or even harmlessness of polygamy and they failed to make even the start of a reasoned or valid case for it. So, absent any real evidence that contradicts the research, or evidence that the research is poorly done and therefore untrustworthy, I've got no reason not to accept the conclusion that polygamy is inherently harmful to others and based on inequality of partners. And same sex marriage is not.

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Posted by: peregrine ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 07:01AM

This dude has three wives. At the very least by focusing in his “happy” family you are ignoring the two guys that had to get kicked out of the cult simply because they were male and there weren’t enough wives to go around.
…and that’s just the beginning of the details this show doesn’t show you.

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 12:36PM

And wife number four is a brunette bimbo.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2012 12:37PM by Rebeckah.

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 09:02AM

The argument that is being made, as I understand it, is why can't multiple women share a man outside of a cult situation, and why can't that be ok.

That isn't Sister Wives, but it is an interesting idea. Polygamy, where it's found around the world, is dependent on wealth and confers status. A man must be able to support all those wives and that gives him the right to as much sexual variety as he can support.

A married man with mistresses is the method men use in this culture to achieve the same thing. Only they don't get status with additional mistresses as "display" of their wealth, because as we have learned, most polygamous wives are on welfare. So are single mothers, so when you take away the cult aspect and the possibility of ritualized pedophelia, you end up with a married man and a set of mistresses all pretending to be "married."

Since this leads to incredible squabbling and competition, the wives live in their own separate houses, which begins to look more and more like single mothers and their lovers with a close realtionship with each other and some shared childcare. Which many single mothers have that are not polygamous.

Since they are not being supported by the men, rather by the government, single mothers with choice (i.e., non-cult) prefer their own private husband/lover.

Just like men.


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