Monday, March 13, 2006

Friday Essay Question

I know it's Monday, but I've been busy with family. Anyway, here's the essay question for the day:

Should polygamy/polygyny/polyandry be legal? Why? Make sure you support your answer, (read: don't just say "because it's cool" or "because it's disgusting!"). Grades will be arbitrary and capricious.

I look forward to your replies.


English Professor said...

Polygamy should not be legal. (I don't know what those other words mean.) It is demeaning to the multiple wives, who are denied the natural right to a husband's undivided affection. It is confusing to the children and sets an unnatural pattern for them to follow in their own relationships. It completely screws up the Social Security system--who qualifies for survival benefits? It does the same for health insurance--who qualifies as a dependent? In anecdotal evidence, wives are frequently added when they very young, sometimes as young as 14; no girl of that age has the maturity to make an informed consent to such marriage. And finally, IT ATTACKS THE TRADITIONAL FAMILY UNIT; good grief, if you allow polygamy, next thing you know, you're going to be talking about letting gays get married. ;-) (tongue-in-cheek on the last statement, folks)

Steve said...

What's really humorous about your last statement, EP, is that, in his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas (which addressed gay rights and a right to privacy), Justice Scalia opined that it makes more sense to support polygamy (polygyny is having more than one wife and polyandry is having more than one husband) based on various theories than it does to support gay rights or a right to privacy.

I wrote that from foggy memory, but I'm pretty sure that's the gist of it.

Bookworm said...

I'm not big on poly-marriages, finding them problematic at so many levels. First, societies that have polygamy tend to be societies that have matching misogyny. Second, I don't believe poly-relations are economically very good, especially in traditional communities. There's no coincidence that so many of the polygamists in Utah run massive welfare frauds. It's expensive for one man to be financially responsible for multiple wives and even more multiples of children. Yes, the wives can work, but that's not going to happen if the wives belong to a traditional Muslim polygamist, who believes in keeping wives sequestered. And then there are the insurance problems -- what's an employer to do?

So, without going into great depth, I think there are way too many problems, social and economic, to allow us to contemplate making poly-whatnots legal. (Good question, by the way.)

Laer said...

I'm against the various "polys" for mental health reasons. My wife is flipped out half the time dealing with me ... imagine her having to deal with other wives too! And I'm flipped out half the time trying to keep up with her expectations ... imagine if I had to balance multiple, and possibly conflicting, obligations.

That was in jest, because in a polygamous society, none of that would be relevant. The man rules in polygamy and women are of greatly marginalized significance. One could argue that it's fine for women to be marginalized, but they are wrong.

First, as a Christian, I believe men and women are equal creations.

Second, as a capitalist, I see the current system of equal rights and monogamous marriages as the most beneficial and uncomplicated (as already explained by EP and BW).

Third, as a husband and father, I can't imagine how messed up society would become with legal polygamy. The child-rearing and spouse-nurturing demands placed on a man and woman in monogamous marriage are so great and so important that society should not be put at risk because a few men think it would be fun to have legalized variety.

Weary Hag said...

I simply don't like the idea that it would change the whole sound of our language. Allow me to explain, (because if you don't, I will anyway).

So when this husband of many goes to the office, what does he say to his friends? "Oh I can't do lunch today, the old ball and chainS have me on a tight budget." Just doesn't sound right.

Same fellow walks through the door in the evening ... "HonIES, I'm home!" Nope sir, I just don't like it.

Okay, so this wasn't the uniform, pretty as a picture essay answer you were probably hoping for, but it's all I've got today.

Ymarsakar said...

I said all I wanted to say here.