I found this post here and just had to copy it to my blog. It’s pretty good and it brought up some ideas I hadn’t considered before.
Probably the most irritating thing to me when I read about things against polygamy is the constant assumption that monogamy is better for women or somehow in womens best interests. Are people really so naive to think that monogamy and womens lib went hand in hand or had anything to do with each other? Monogamy was not implemented for the benefit of women, why is there so much talk as if it was? Weather we trace it to Roman Law to prevent too many full citizens or popular early gnosticism that viewed sex and marriage as of the devil or slightly better than hellfire we don’t have a woman friendly policy.
In the 300′s we see monogamy mandated for clergy. In the 600′s we have it for everyone, and in the same century we have the view that women are not even to touch the altar and that the Eucharist was too holy to be touched by a woman’s bare hands, she had to wear white linen gloves. We hardly have time where monogamy would be established for womens sake. Even up to the 1700′s we have writing on how monogamy hurts women, its only in the last century that its been seen as something for them or for their benefit.
Even in more recent history we have monogamy working directly against women. Among the Mormons we have Martha Hughes Cannon, the first woman in any state senate in the States. She was the wife of a polygamist. We have women gaining the right to vote in Utah in 1870, then that right being taken away in 1887 by the Edmunds-Tucker antipolygamy act. That’s right, women lost the right to vote in an antipolygamy act… It took them 8 years to get it back. Monogamy once again is against women, its simply not to their benefit, its to mens benefit. Frankly most men prefer girlfreinds, mistresses, or worse than wives. They certainly don’t want to be outnumbered by wives, it becomes much harder to promote total top down control of women.
To whit many would respond that polygamy usually practiced with that kind of control in our time. Well, yeah, but its because in deeply Islamic countries the law directly opposes women. Women aren’t kept down by the family but by society at large. Without the law backing him the husband doesn’t have total top down power in polygamy, he has less power since he loses the strength advantage and he has more views and reasons to consider.
Put it this way, in monogamy if a man is head of the house and has veto power, any split vote is 1:1, his veto power wins, he is an automatic dictator. In a house of a husband and 3 wives you have much more of a republic, the man as head of house might resolve 2:2 votes but he ought to hesitate if there is a 1:3 vote against him. He should believe his wives to be intelligent and responsible and realize that he would be leading the family into trouble by ignoring their council.
If a man is abusive is he really going to have a use for polygamy? 2:1, even though men are much stronger than women if they support each other he is in trouble.
The only way polygamy goes wrong is if laws or culture prevent women for standing up for themselves. At present thats what polygamists cultures in the medias limelight either actually do or are accused of doing.