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A look at the economic arguments in favor of multiple marriages - written with no reference to (and apparently little knowledge of) polyamory - with some very interesting and nifty points: In Defense of Polygamy

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
qos
Feb. 25th, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC)
This essay, like many other things I've read about polygamy, tends to focus on the economic aspects of the arrangement, and not address the emotional as much. (Or perhaps that's what you were suggesting when you commented on the absence of reference to polyamory?)

It says a lot about the degree to which marriage is about property rights, whether those rights are economic, genetic, or sexual and emotional.

I believe that once the issue of same-sex marriage gets worked out (however long that takes) the next issue will be general social acceptance of poly relationships and families. It's still in the future, but I think it's the next frontier in our society.

My favorite piece on polygamy is the interviews with the Ravenhearts in Modern Pagans (V. Vale and John Sulak). I cited it at length in a seminary paper I wrote about the ethics of Plural Marriage.
jnanacandra
Feb. 25th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
Actually, that's what I was suggesting when I said it was "a look at the economic arguments in favor of polygamy" ;)

The emotional arguments are, I've found, pretty much useless when preaching to anyone other than the choir, because at its heart it comes down to "whatever works for you". The emotional arguments against it will weigh more heavily with people for whom those emotional arguments resonate, and vice versa; the economic arguments are at least slightly easier to argue objectively.

The thing that really made me go 'ping!' with this one is that so many articles on polygamy that I've seen attack it on the basis of it being sexist; this article pointed out, albeit obliquely, that those attacks are in themselves sexist (by saying that a father's attention divided is more harm than can be made up by the attention of multiple mothers, for example).
qos
Feb. 25th, 2006 06:24 pm (UTC)
Actually, that's what I was suggesting when I said it was "a look at the economic arguments in favor of polygamy" ;)

*sigh* That's what I get for multi-tasking when I do LJ.
:-)

It seems to me that polygamy can be as sexist or egalitarian as monogamy. But it was sobering to me to research the topic and discover that polygamy is more common in patriarchal societies, and polyandry is more commonly one wife shared by multiple brothers instead of one woman having more than one husband of her own choosing.

If polygamy is going to evolve as an option for the modern world, it's going to have to transcend its history. But then, monogamous marriage has had to do the same, since full equality between husband and wife in monogamous marriage is also a relatively recent development.

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