Polygamy and misogyny are alive and well in Canada

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werestillhere
Polygamy and misogyny are alive and well in Canada

 

werestillhere

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) has been in the news often lately due to the removal of 400 children from an FLDS compound near El Dorado, Texas after allegations of physical and sexual abuse were made by a 16-year old girl who reportedly called police from within the compound. Some of the children have been identified as Canadians who likely came from Bountiful, a polygamous community in Southeastern British Columbia where a division of FLDS has existed for several decades.

Although polygamy is technically against the law in Canada, there has been much bluster from provincial and federal officials regarding their inability to police polygamous sects because any arrests would ultimately lead to a legal challenge under the protection from religious persecution accorded by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The truth is however, that these cases are not so much about religion, as they are about gender.

If someone were to discover a community in Canada which was led by a woman who considered herself a prophet of God, and who indoctrinated young men from birth to become, at 14 or 15 one of many husbands to older wives, and to play no other role than to service the women sexually and physically, the outcry would be loud and long against this type of virtual slavery. Men are not property, they are not breeders, they are not servants. Women, well… it’s not so clear. There is something oddly old-fashioned yet very reassuring about the FLDS women in their long-sleeved, ankle-length dresses, with their tightly braided hair and demure demeanors. They are a throwback to an era many people fear has been lost for good – the pre-media saturation and sexual liberation, mom n’ pop era of traditional gender roles. If women’s ultimate fulfillment during this period was thought to be found in motherhood then these women are in some ways the ultimate fantasy of happy, fulfilled mothers, with their dozens of children and communal living arrangements. When the women themselves express, albeit in a scripted fashion, their contentment with their lifestyle as they have in recent U.S. television interviews, it simply reaffirms the public’s assumption that despite the specter of abuse there is something very genteel and proper about these women’s lives.

It is not surprising then that women who have escaped from these polygamous communities (and escape is not a misnomer, since the FLDS compound in El Dorado is literally locked and guarded) who have shared their stories of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse have been largely ignored by the media and by law enforcement officials. Despite repeated claims that some of the men have threatened, beaten and abused their wives and children, nothing has been done. Just to what lengths, one could ask, do the men of the FLDS have to go in order for the public, and the law to pay heed?

In Canada this year there were numerous discussions in the media surrounding Quebec’s Bouchard-Taylor commission on the issue of reasonable accommodation of immigrants and religious minorities. It is ironic that reporters and the public spent so much time pointing fingers at Islamic immigrants, particularly at women who wear the hijab - most of whom resent the notion that they are oppressed by their religion - when there are truly repressive religious regimes at work right in our own backyards. The fact that it is white, Christian, men perpetrating these abuses makes it much more difficult for us criticize them than when we are faced with cultures which seem “different” or “alien” to our own. The truth is we need to take a good hard look at the culture of misogyny that still exists in Canada today and analyze what it is about our values as a society that make abusive polygamous communities quasi-acceptable to the public and to law enforcement officials.

martin dufresne

Very good points, werestillhere (welcome aboard!).
I would add that beside the Conservative appeal you so well detail

quote:

There is something oddly old-fashioned yet very reassuring about the FLDS women in their long-sleeved, ankle-length dresses, with their tightly braided hair and demure demeanors. They are a throwback to an era many people fear has been lost for good – the pre-media saturation and sexual liberation, mom n’ pop era of traditional gender roles.

polygamists *also* embody the sexual libertarian fantasy of the [b]harem[/b], which endears their [b]moms[/b] n' pop lifestyle to both forms of reactionary male resistance to women's rights, showing that when it comes to women, progressive and conservative males have a lot more in common than they like to acknowledge.

[ 24 April 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

pogge

There's an American blogger who now lives in BC named Sara Robinson who has written quite a bit about fundamentalist religious movements. She's been writing about FLDS since this hit the news. There are a couple of pieces at [i]Orcinus[/i]:

[url=http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2008/04/are-flds-women-brainwashed.html]Are FLDS women brainwashed?[/url]

[url=http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2008/04/what-were-not-talking-about-part-i.... We're Not Talking About, Part I: Other Issues With the FLDS[/url]

And she has a long piece at [i]Campaign for America's Future[/i] that I haven't read myself yet.

[url=http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/how-dangerous-flds]How Dangerous is The FLDS?[/url]

ETA: Oops. Feminism forum. See ya. But I'll leave the links. She's good.

[ 24 April 2008: Message edited by: pogge ]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

One of the leaders from Bountiful (BC) was on The National last night, saying they've experienced persecution for 70 years and expect it won't end any time soon. Apparently Premier Campbell wants to do something about the place but is going slow exactly because of the Charter challenge that could arise.

jas

I don't see anything wrong with polygamy per se, but I guess when it's coupled with oppressive religion and secrecy then it's a bad scene.

quote:

The FLDs has also co-opted mental health services into another form of wife abuse. In Hildale/Colorado City, FLDS doctors have proven quite willing to declare unhappy women crazy. Daphne Bramham found that up to a third of FLDS women are on anti-depressants; and that women who are express acute dissatisfaction with the life have often been committed to mental hospitals in Arizona by the community's doctors. According to Bramham, the fear of being labeled insane and shut away in an institution is one of the most potent threats the community has used to keep women in their place.

These institutions would also have to be run entirely by FLDS doctors, which I find a little incredible. I think the writer could give modern mental health care a little bit more credit for being able to recognize symptoms of domestic abuse, or systemic "communal" abuse.

quote:

One of the most striking things about the FLDS is that certain surnames -- Jeffs, Blackmore, Fischer, Jessop, Barlow, Steed -- occur over and over again.

The author's obviously never been to Manitoba [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

KeyStone

On the one hand, I think people should be able to raise their children as they see fit. The morality that we have today is completely arbitrary, and 300 years ago, marrying a 16 year old or 14 year old would not have seemed immoral at all.

So essentially, we are forcing our morality on these people. Now, the justification for this is that their are young innocents that are given no choice. So, are we saying that we can dictate our morality over their religion? Just as we dictated that Jehovah Witnesses could not let their children die, for lack of a blood transfusion?

I suppose the only real way to definitively answer the question of whether they are being exploited or whether they are simply being brought up in a different lifestyle - is to ask them if they were exploited once they are adults.

If, you interview 50 of them when they are 35 years old, and the vast majority of them say that they wish the government had left them alone to live in the polygamous sect - then perhaps we are not doing anyone any favours. I think it is probably unlikely though.

Coyote

edited

B.L. Zeebub LLD

I was just going to ask the same thing, Coyote.


quote:

sexual libertarian fantasy of the harem

[Note: Ottoman Historical Pedantry to follow]

There was no sex on the actual premises known as the "harem". "Harem" is an anglicisation of [i]haram[/i], the Arabic for "forbidden or protected". The "harem" was literally the place where women's privacy was to be protected and it was quite explicitly "forbidden" for men to be present, let alone to have sex, there.

This is not to say that men did not carry out polgynous relationships with women who lived in the harem.

That said, from either meaning, I'm not sure how that differs from the patriarchal polygamous relationships of "conservatives" Martin is comparing the harem to.

The Western idea of scores of women lying around elaborate pools half-dressed and waiting to please the sexual desires of men seems to be largely an Orientalist fantasy with little basis in fact.
And I certainly don't remember the last time "progressives" were fantasizing about it.

[ 25 April 2008: Message edited by: B.L. Zeebub LLD ]

werestillhere

quote:


polygamists *also* embody the sexual libertarian fantasy of the harem, which endears their moms n' pop lifestyle to both forms of reactionary male resistance to women's rights, showing that when it comes to women, progressive and conservative males have a lot more in common than they like to acknowledge.

Hello martin, and thank you for the welcome. I recognize you from PAR-L (I think?) where I've appreciated your posts.

That's a very interesting point about the idea of a harem, I guess polyamory advocates would argue that it's just fine... which I guess it would be if it were only about sexuality, and "consenting adults" but in this case it's so much more involved...

werestillhere

quote:


On the one hand, I think people should be able to raise their children as they see fit. The morality that we have today is completely arbitrary, and 300 years ago, marrying a 16 year old or 14 year old would not have seemed immoral at all.
So essentially, we are forcing our morality on these people. Now, the justification for this is that their are young innocents that are given no choice. So, are we saying that we can dictate our morality over their religion? Just as we dictated that Jehovah Witnesses could not let their children die, for lack of a blood transfusion?

I suppose the only real way to definitively answer the question of whether they are being exploited or whether they are simply being brought up in a different lifestyle - is to ask them if they were exploited once they are adults.

If, you interview 50 of them when they are 35 years old, and the vast majority of them say that they wish the government had left them alone to live in the polygamous sect - then perhaps we are not doing anyone any favours. I think it is probably unlikely though.


Keystone I think you're missing the point - it's not about a lifestyle "choice". How much of this is a choice when the only way you can leave is by fleeing with your children in the middle of the night? Or when you fear that if you cross any man in the community you will be eternally damned?

I'm not removing the women's agency, they are independant people with values and opinions of their own, however the FLDS severely limits their freedoms, and allows these abuses to be perpetrated against them in ways that we would find highly unacceptable if they were men. If you ask them if they are happy will they say yes? I suspect many would. But if you ask anyone who's worked with domestic violence survivors many of the victims also claimed they were happy, or have returned numerous time to the partners who abused them, because it's the only life they've known, and possibly the only place they feel that they are loved/wanted.

Imagine how this is compounded when you're taught that everyone outside your immediate community is evil, and works for the devil.

[ 25 April 2008: Message edited by: werestillhere ]

[ 25 April 2008: Message edited by: werestillhere ]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

quote:


Originally posted by KeyStone:
On the one hand, I think people should be able to raise their children as they see fit.

Wouldn't that just be giving parents a license to abuse and exploit their children? [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 25 April 2008: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]

martin dufresne

Whether it's called polyamory, a harem, polygamy, running around, a stable, a commune, a brothel or your average pornography magazine or video, I think the too-common male fantasy of sexual access to as many women as possible is a pattern that makes many allegedly progressive males somewhat less than that. And I wouldn't be surprised if action against the leaders of Bountiful - and other sects that more or less enslave women and youths - was being resisted not just by conservative accomplices but by liberal males sharing that fantasy of a Shangri-La of adoring, submissive women.

B.L. Zeebub LLD

The obverse is that many "progressive" males are actually strange bedfellows with "conservatives" who denounce non-monogamous sex and want to control the adult libido and sexual fantasies.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

quote:


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
And I wouldn't be surprised if action against the leaders of Bountiful - and other sects that more or less enslave women and youths - was being resisted not just by conservative accomplices but by liberal males sharing that fantasy of a Shangri-La of adoring, submissive women.

I think that's a vicious slur against mainstream and progressive Canadians - I don't know [i]one[/i] person who would agree with you.

martin dufresne

(Some back-editing) There are a number of fascinating assumptions in the previous post: first, the "bedfellows" (or "getting in bed with") metaphor is essentially anti-sex, and rather ironic coming from someone implicitly advocating for "the libido" -- as if its patterns were cast in stone (or flesh), an unsupported essentialist assumption, when the weight of the culture in its construction is so obvious.
Also the events at Bountiful and other FLDS compounds are not fantasies. It is not because male control/abuse of women - as youthful as possible - is such a trope in male sexual fantasies (except for Boom Boom's relations...) that they are not to be struggled against in the world.

[ 25 April 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

B.L. Zeebub LLD

quote:


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[QB](Some back-editing) There are a number of fascinating assumptions in the previous post: first, the "bedfellows" (or "getting in bed with") metaphor is essentially anti-sex,

Actually, it comes from an English cliche "politics makes strange bedfellows", and was an intended pun and not a pronouncement against the libido. My fault, it was too arcane, I suppose.

quote:

and rather ironic coming from someone implicitly advocating for "the libido" -- as if its patterns were cast in stone (or flesh), an unsupported essentialist assumption, when the weight of the culture in its construction is so obvious.

Not advocating anything - simply pointing out the obvious Freudian/Lacanian retort to your statement.

That said, it isn't "obvious" that culture dictates male sexual fantasies involving power over multiple women at all. Without access to the libido [i]tabula rasa[/i] (whatever that would look like) we simply don't know that. The fact that the sexual relationships of many, many mammals, including most primates, involve an element of dominant-submissive violence and control (and almost always by males over females) suggests that perhaps something else is at play.

Again, it is just as "obvious" to argue that the assumption that sexual fantasies of power only result by the libido being deleteriously shaped by cultural constructions (and the concomitant notion that it could be changed by cultural reeducation) may simply be yet another example of a "rational" animal suppressing behaviours developed over several million years. But that's just the obvious retort to your point.

[ 25 April 2008: Message edited by: B.L. Zeebub LLD ]

martin dufresne

quote:


B.L.Zeebub: (...)the "bedfellows" (or "getting in bed with") metaphor is essentially anti-sex,
-------------------------------------------------
Actually, it comes from an English cliche "politics makes strange bedfellows" (...)


As if I didn't know that... and as if it cancelled the fact that such a pejorative reference to being or climbing in bed together (when one wants to slander people by association to other opponents of what they oppose) does reflect the traditional, conservative anti-sex bias...

[ 25 April 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

B.L. Zeebub LLD

No, no it doesn't. In fact, the intent is not to slander, or be perjorative but to point out the phenomenon of nominal enemies being brought together by circumstance. Originally, the turn of phrase coined by Shakespeare was "misery aquaints a man with strange bedfellows" when a character in [i]The Tempest[/i] is forced by shipwreck to sleep beside a sleeping monster. One can hardly figure that Shakespeare's intent (or that echoed by further changes to the phrase) was to actually mean the man was going to fuck the monster.
But you take it how you want.

[ 25 April 2008: Message edited by: B.L. Zeebub LLD ]

B.L. Zeebub LLD

Anyway, you still haven't provided a shred of evidence that there were cadres of "progressive" men ready to join forces, jump in bed, or do the hokey-pokey with the Latter Day Saints folks because of their "harem" fantasies.

Of course, for someone being (erroneously) pedantic about words, you sure did rather casually slough off the problem that your "harem" reference is a racist Orientalist myth impugning Muslim men and women with sexual licentiousness. I guess the subtext only matters when it's someone else's, eh Martin?

[ 25 April 2008: Message edited by: B.L. Zeebub LLD ]

Coyote

So multiple consenting adult sexual partners is now somehow akin to the practice of marrying multiple under-age girls? And actually a reflection of a desire for that life?

What a joke.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

To try to get back on the topic at hand. I think the debate is framed wrongly. It is not multiple partners that is the evil it is the abuse of women and children. It doesn't matter if it is the first marriage or the fifteenth marriage the question is are the women of age and are they consenting to their marriages. The abuse comes from forced marriages of young girls to older men. This happens in other cultures that do not condone polygamy and it is the problem.

We have laws that apply and should be enforced against the exploitation of children by adults. How many life partners you choose to have sex with if you are an adult is none of the states business any more than it is the states business to tell people that only men and women can be married. Even the people who are worried about abuse admit that not all women or children are abused in the community. Is Canadian law to be bent now to get collective judgement against a community? Should everyone be arrested because we think some of the people are abusers?

I think that fundamentalist Christians in general tend to believe that the man is the authority in the household. Should we start sweeps of their churches and communities because we know that the patriarchal attitude that says you are the absolute authority will definitely lead to abuse of women. Should we take the women living in relationships with born again Christians into custody for their own protection?

The next aspect of this is the jailing of children. The Kootenays have seen it before. Canada jailed the Japanese in concentration camps in the 40's in the are north of Creston often times separating families.

In the 50's BC jailed children in concentration camps because we didn't like the Doukhobors. I have met a number of the children scooped up in that raid and they still suffer from it. The state determined their parents were unfit because they refused to have their children indoctrinated by a militaristic school system.

quote:

1940

June: the federal government orders all men and women over age 16 to register. To skeptical Canadians, Doukhobors included, this looks like the first step to conscription. Many Doukhobors refuse to cooperate, and some are jailed.

John J. Verigin, Peter V. Verigin’s great grandson, is chosen by the Doukhobors as secretary of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ (USCC), the successor organization to Lordly’s Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood.

1943

Determined to make the Doukhobors comply with national registration, the federal government sends an army major to B.C. in 1943. At Brilliant, 3,500 Doukhobors face off against him and declare that they will not register. That night dynamite, gasoline and matches level the Brilliant jam factory, the general store, the meeting hall, the packing plant, a service station and a garage. All had once been part of the Doukhobor commune. Now, as government property, it is a prime target for destruction.

1947–1950

The Sons of Freedom or Freedomites, now a group of some 2000 members, is torn apart by a leadership battle. Widespread arson results, and by 1950, 400 Freedomites are in jail in B.C. A Ukrainian Baptist immigrant named Stefan Sorokin wins leadership of the group. Within two years he has left Canada for Uruguay with close to one hundred thousand dollars collected from his supporters.

1953–1959

Agitation among the Freedomites leads to the arrest and jailing of hundreds of them. Many Freedomite parents refuse to send their children to school, resulting in police seizing 170 Freedomite children. They are forcibly held and educated at the New Denver, B.C, residential school.

1956

For Doukhobors in B.C., the right to vote in both provincial and federal elections is restored.

1959–1962

A renewed campaign of arson and bombing by Freedomites destroys much property of non-Freedomite Doukhobors, the Canadian Pacific Railway and public buildings. Hundreds of Freedomites are arrested and jailed.

1961

B.C. Doukhobors are allowed to buy back their land from the provincial government but only as individuals, not as part of a commune.


[url=http://www.canadianmysteries.ca/sites/verigin/context/timeline/indexen.h... History[/url]
The other thing besides location that these communities have in common is the sin of cummunal living.

Does anyone think that arresting hundreds of children from Bountiful and putting them through our fucked up child welfare system is not going to lead to a large number of them being emotinally damaged?

Lets attack the abuse of young girls and not start a state pogram against a community some of whom don't abuse their children.

werestillhere

Kropotkin - no one is advocating arresting children, or even removing them from Bountiful. In addition, no one is asking to discriminate against anyone's beliefs - unfeminist or otherwise.

This is about abuse - abuse that goes against laws that exist in this country. It's about finding a way to prosecute the men committing these acts, and about putting in place resources to help women recognize that these abuses violate their and their children's rights and that there is help available to them. It's about countering the attitude that this is about religious persecution because it isn't. It's about safety, security, and women and children's human rights. It's also about the misogyny inherent in a state, and a public that ignores these rights.

[ 25 April 2008: Message edited by: werestillhere ]

martin dufresne

quote:


It's about finding a way to prosecute the men committing these acts...

and about understanding why such abusers are almost never prosecuted.

Loretta
Unionist

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/montreal-p... professor who calls polygamy laws harmful can testify, judge rules[/url]

Quote:
The British Columbia judge overseeing a landmark reference case on Canada’s polygamy law has given a green light to hearing evidence from Angela Campbell, a law professor at McGill University who has said that the criminal prohibition against polygamy is harmful. [...]

“The criminalization of polygamy has had adverse outcomes for Bountiful’s residents,” Prof. Campbell wrote in her affidavit. “That is, residents of Bountiful feel ashamed, stigmatized and highly anxious because their way of life is branded as criminal.”

She said the women she spoke with told her that marriages involving adolescent girls are discouraged, and some women were allowed input into who they marry. She said if there are harms associated with polygamy, the law appears unable to prevent them and instead makes it more difficult for people living in polygamous communities to seek help.

This is the kind of "expert" that McGill harbours - like Margaret Somerville - misogynists in women's clothing.

 

remind remind's picture

Agree unionist, about the rampent misogyny going on these days, but I won't limit it to just  McGill academics, or just women academics like the 2 you name.

And trying to use the harm reduction model to support poligamy is just ugly all day.

Big money, not just from the Mormons, is floating around, and one can only wonder whose pockets it is floating into.

Ghislaine

Unionist wrote:

 

This is the kind of "expert" that McGill harbours - like Margaret Somerville - misogynists in women's clothing.

 

Why is it that only women have their gender questioned based on their political positions? Interesting that men don't face the same thing. Women hold many different positions, some that people may find objectionable. They are STILL WOMEN...not just dressing up "in women's clothing". 

remind remind's picture

It would be presumed Ghislaine that men are excused for being misogynist based upon their gender, while women are not.

But then men are excused from a lot of things, which women are not. For example, men can slag each other, tell each other to fuck off, and have other assorted pissing matches all day long with each other and it is just dandy fine, for the most part. However, a woman steps up and defends herself by slagging her attacker(s), telling someone to fuck off, or use other strong language, and it is a whole different story. The systemic and internalized gender stereotypes always come out and into play. It seems most, and this can be both men and women, do not even realize their gender bias slanting their perceptions, and ensuing reactions.

Women are supposed to always be nice, sweet and kind...even in the face of misogyny and sexism. If not, we are; sniping, bitching, hissy fitting, bad feminists, Phyllis Shipley's, and other such personal attacks and slanders.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hey remind, Unionist said no such thing about how men and women are supposed to behave. Stop claiming he did.

Unionist, such women aren't "misogynists in women's clothing". They are women who are misogynists. They sadly exist.

remind remind's picture

Maysie, respectfully, I ask that you point out where I claimed/stated unionist said anything? As I did not. And I do not appreciate being accused of doing something I did not do, so thank you advance for your retraction of a false accusation.

In  fact, unionist did not even enter my mind when I wrote that. It was a general observation of society at large, and its entrenched and systemic  sexism and misogyny, and how they play out   most everyone's perceptions and actions. As I took Ghislaines comments to be more "at large" than really in response to unionist's post.

 ETA: Though I will say "sorry" to unionist,   if he thought I was meaning him.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Ghislaine wrote:
 Why is it that only women have their gender questioned based on their political positions?

remind wrote:
 It would be presumed Ghislaine that men are excused for being misogynist based upon their gender, while women are not.

Since Unionist is the most recent male poster in almost two years ( Smile ), I assumed you were both speaking of him. I apologize if I misunderstood.

Ghislaine

They were a response to unionist's comment, with a mind to the more general picture as we hear comments like that all the time. 

Thank you maysie for your post. There are women who are misogynist, unfortunately. However inferring that they are not "really women" does nothing to further feminism. Women hold all sorts of beliefs and views. The woman in this particular example perhaps fervently believes that she is not a misogynist. There are feminists who advocate for legalized polygamy. This is an issue which a lot of feminists (myself included) struggle with. On the one hand, I believe that women have the right to make their own choices and decisions (including ones I think are wrong- like sharing a husband). On the other hand, polygamy seems to go hand in hand with child abuse and control. However, so do a lot of "regular" marriages. Canada is a multi-cultural country and it is not just citizens in Bountiful who want to be Canadian and polygamist. Presently, we have a situation where the laws against polygamy are not being enforced in ANY province and girls and women are being exploited and abused. Some feminists make the case that legalization will make it easier to police. 

Jingles

How is advocating decriminalization of polygamy "misogynist"?

The problem isn't polygamy, the problem is the child abuse. This isn't simply a "mormon" problem so much as a cultural and religious problem that brainwashes people into beliving that men are to be obeyed, and women are property. Ironically it's the same root from which anti-polygamy laws originate. That is, in laws that hold that the only acceptable family relationship must be a monogamus male/female unit.

Quote:
And trying to use the harm reduction model to support poligamy is just ugly all day

How so? Sex workers use the harm reduction model without much disagreement, other than from the "family values" crowd. If the law and larger culture didn't stigmatize those whom practice unconventional marriages, then these girls could seek help without fearing they'll end up in jail. In addition, decriminalization would take away a major source of the predator's power: the idea that the whole secular world is out to destroy them, and that the only place they can turn is within the beseiged community.

The problem is child abuse, not polygamy. The problem is religion which brainwashes children into unquestioning obedience to church authority. Or is the greater offense the fact that some women and men choose polyamorus relationships and reject the culturaly imposed monogamy model?

 

remind remind's picture

Thank you maysie.

Ghislaine, if it is legalized, what would there be to "police"?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I think the Jehovah Witnesses would be a good group to police the polygamists.  Abuse of women and children is inherent in most fundamentalist religions so they would know what is inherently caused by having more than one marriage partner and what is caused by such things as prohibiting members of the church from even speaking with close relatives who have been thrown out of the church and the rigid patriarchal model they adhere to and enforce vigorously.

If we go down this road to protect women then the JW's better be next followed by the Born Again Christians. How many partners a woman has is not the problem, it is the religion.  All I see with this Bountiful crap is another internment camp in the West Kootenays being set up to save the children just like they saved the Doukabour children.  I have met many of those kids as adults and I will tell you not a single one thought being stolen from their parents was a positive event and many of them still suffer with obvious signs of PTSD decades later. 

Unionist

Just saw the last few posts - whoops! I took no offence from either remind (who wasn't criticizing me at all) or Ghislaine (who criticized my post mildly for its emphasis, and I think she was right). And Maysie, my "women's clothing" image was clumsy - all I meant was, in fact, the way you expressed it for me.

In short, all is good.

Having said that, I've expressed my views about polygamy in the past and I haven't seen much reason to change them. When I see polyandry taking off in a big way, I'll maybe reconsider my view that one man - many women is something other than subordination, degradation, commodification, and domesticization of women by men.

 

the747gambit

hello this is my first post, and my points to make is would be, is that this argument would be more about abuse and womens rights if we would just agree on fact that god does not exist.

(i'm not here for that argument, i know its on here elsewhere),

the fact is that the majority of history's anthropomorphic deities are male and possese more "power" than there female counter parts. it is the product of years of male (i have penis therfore i am better that

her mentality) literature. the truth is that women can do anything men can do, and some men can't handle the concept of being obsolete so rather than getting over there own self importance, they use "God",

or the perfect being to abuse, and make people worship them, it is really no different than a mass case of Stockholm syndrome that just cycles itself. however to be fair to polygamy i have read about native tribes

that encourage mulitple partners so the all the unknown fathers would work together. i know native culture doesn't exactly jive with modern culture but i think its the concept of communal living vs

personal living, and we have to move to placing the needs of the individual ahead of the commune, and thats going to be part of our transtion into a civilized species.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hi 747gambit, welcome to babble (although I suspect you're a lurker!). I think you make some good points, although here at babble we try not to oppose "modern" or "civilized" culture with "native" culture. In fact, "civilization" (not to mention "modernity") is as socially constructed as I believe you are arguing religion is. Obviously,  First Peoples around the world are "modern" too.

Ghislaine

at remind # 34:

child abuse, sexual abuse of minors, trafficking of girls between BC and US polygamist communities

remind remind's picture

Ghislaine, not trying to be confrontational here, but am trying to wrap my head around why some would believe that making poligamy legal will stop anything you listed.

IMV, the trafficking will increase, not decrease, because it won't be considered trafficking. The sexual abuse will not stop, as it will now be legal to marry whomever, at whatever age, with only the stroke of a parent's pen. As for child abuse, if they would not come forward before, they sure as hell won't come forward in the present, or future, as really NOTHING will have changed.

They are still indoctrinated, and legalizing it won't stop the indoctrination.

 

the747gambit

(to Catchfire: lol you caught me)

i wasn't trying to imply that one was better than the other but that one was a progression of the other, and that the balance human race requires to flourish and coexist, is found between social community and individual rights.

remind remind's picture

I certainly did not get that from your first post, nor am I sure what you even mean by "flourish" and "coexist" in respect to this topic.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Monogamy reduces major social problems of polygamist cultures

Quote:
In cultures that permit men to take multiple wives, the intra-sexual competition that occurs causes greater levels of crime, violence, poverty and gender inequality than in societies that institutionalize and practice monogamous marriage.

That is a key finding of a new University of British Columbia-led study that explores the global rise of monogamous marriage as a dominant cultural institution. The study suggests that institutionalized monogamous marriage is rapidly replacing polygamy because it has lower levels of inherent social problems.

“Our goal was to understand why monogamous marriage has become standard in most developed nations in recent centuries, when most recorded cultures have practiced polygyny,” says UBC Prof. Joseph Henrich, a cultural anthropologist, referring to the form of polygamy that permits multiple wives, which continues to be practiced in some parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North America.

“The emergence of monogamous marriage is also puzzling for some as the very people who most benefit from polygyny – wealthy, powerful men – were best positioned to reject it,” says Henrich, lead author of the study that is published today in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. “Our findings suggest that that institutionalized monogamous marriage provides greater net benefits for society at large by reducing social problems that are inherent in polygynous societies.”

Considered the most comprehensive study of polygamy and the institution of marriage, the study finds significantly higher levels rape, kidnapping, murder, assault, robbery and fraud in polygynous cultures. According to Henrich and his research team, which included Profs. Robert Boyd (UCLA) and Peter Richerson (UC Davis), these crimes are caused primarily by pools of unmarried men, which result when other men take multiple wives.

Link to study (pdf)

MegB

The thing about polygamy is that it is usually one dominant heterosexual man in a quasi-formalized relationship with several female wives, often very young and exploitable. 

I've nothing against polyamorous relationships, but informed consent and personal choice need to be fundamental.  This doesn't seem to be the case with religion-based polygamous family groups.  We don't see women with several "husbands", and we don't see a model of anything other than heterosexual relationships.  For the most part polygamist families are all about male heterosexual control and sexual gratification at the expense of vulnerable young women.

In a nutshell, loving and fucking who you want is fine, but controlling and exploiting young women in the name of some bastardized version of spirituality is such a heinous abuse of what is already a piece of misogynist crap (the bible) that it cannot be seen as anything other than rape.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Catchfire wrote:

Link to study (pdf)

That is a pay per view site.  The future of the internet has arrived. All the stupid crap you can ask for completely free and any useful information available to only the select few.

Quote:

Considered the most comprehensive study of polygamy and the institution of marriage, the study finds significantly higher levels rape, kidnapping, murder, assault, robbery and fraud in polygynous cultures. According to Henrich and his research team, which included Profs. Robert Boyd (UCLA) and Peter Richerson (UC Davis), these crimes are caused primarily by pools of unmarried men, which result when other men take multiple wives.

So is that the case in China today?  Given the one child policy has led to a large pool of unmarried men it would seem to imply that China is seeing or will shortly see a major spike in those types of crime.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

Link to study (pdf)

That is a pay per view site.  The future of the internet has arrived. All the stupid crap you can ask for completely free and any useful information available to only the select few.

 

Worked fine for me, without paying. Are you suggesting I'm part of the 1%??

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So is that the case in China today?  Given the one child policy has led to a large pool of unmarried men it would seem to imply that China is seeing or will shortly see a major spike in those types of crime.

Sorry, forgot to quote from the study in reply to your question:

Quote:
Analyses done within countries allow us to further strengthen the case for a causal relationship between an excess of unmarried males and crime, while avoiding the pitfalls of cross-national analyses. Unequal sex ratios have arisen in a variety of circumstances, most notably in modern India and China, where parental preferences for sons have shifted the sex ratio in favour of males [40], and on frontiers, such as in the American West. The empirical patterns from all such diverse cases tell the same story [40,41]: unmarried low-status men, often in bachelor-bands, engage in higher levels of aggressive, violent and anti-social activities. India and China are particularly informative since the data quality permit econometric analyses aimed at assessing causal relationships.

In China, sex ratios (males to females) rose markedly from 1.053 to 1.095 between 1988 and 2004, nearly doubling the number of unmarried or ‘surplus' men [42]. At the same time, crime rates nearly doubled- 90 per cent of which were committed by men. An increase in sex ratio was created by the gradual implementation of China's one-child policy, as well as by the ongoing demographic transition. The fortuitous fact that different provinces implemented the policy at different times for reasons unrelated to crime rates creates an opportunity for statistical analyses of the impacts of the policy and the alterations in sex ratio it produced. The implementation date of the policy across provinces provides an exogenous variable that can be used to establish the direction of causality.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Catchfire wrote:

Link to study (pdf)

 

That is a pay per view site.  The future of the internet has arrived. All the stupid crap you can ask for completely free and any useful information available to only the select few.

 

Worked fine for me, without paying. Are you suggesting I'm part of the 1%??

Quote:

This item requires a subscription to Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

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Full Text (PDF)

Review article: The puzzle of monogamous marriage Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B March 5, 2012 367 1589 657-669; 1471-2970

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Unionist

I didn't see any of those options. I just clicked on CF's link and the PDF came rolling in:

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/367/1589/657.full.pdf

ETA: Oh, I see what you did - you clicked at the bottom of CF's first link:

http://www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/2012/01/23/monogamy-reduces-major-social...

... which leads to the main site.

Ghislaine

[url=http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Bountiful%2Bremains%2Bfestering%2Bprobl... Bountiful remains a festering problem [/url]:

Quote:
That headline could have been run almost every year for the past 60 years. That's how long the fundamentalist Mormon leaders in the southeastern British Columbia community have been legal outliers, ignoring the law that criminalizes having more than one wife. The headline has been written more than a few times over the last 20 years when the fundamentalist Mormon community has frequently been in the media. Why is there no sense of urgency to protect the children and women in this particular fundamentalist Mormon community? For most of the last decade, I've been trying to figure that out. Twice, it seemed the indifference to the harms they suffer was ending.

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