A Reality Show About Polygamy Is Nigh

According to Entertainment Weekly, the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. As other less bold reality shows skirt the issues of hordes of children, extreme religious values and patriarchy, TLC is finally tackling them head-on: a series that will air in September will follow Kody Brown, Utah polygamist, and his three wives.

First of all, THIS IS MY DREAM COME TRUE. I am a huge fan of “Big Love,” and of course the only way to make any scripted show better is to do the same thing, but with real people.

But second of all, how can this be?? I mean, did I miss some major Supreme Court ruling, stating that polygamy is now legal? How come this guy and his family aren’t going to just be immediately arrested? Which is so ironically reminiscent of the end of last season of Big Love, when Bill boldly (and, I thought, rather stupidly) outs his family! Amazing, how art imitates life…or rather, how life imitates art. And that, of course, leads me to only one conclusion…

This show is clearly the beginning of a long, slow vie for the legality of polygamy. The timing of this — when gay marriage is at a crossroads — is probably not a coincidence. After all, if gays can get married (I’m sure the argument will go), why shouldn’t a bunch of people be able to get married?

If I’m right — which I always am — it’s a whole other kind of bold-ass hypocrisy. Because if you followed Prop 8 at all, you know that the Mormon church was one of the biggest donors to the yes on 8 campaign, meaning that they spent a bunch of money to prevent gays and lesbians from getting married. And yet here they are, wanting their own equal treatment under the law! Oh, how the times have changed. If this does come to a vote, or become a legal issue, I sure hope that the gays organize against it.

I kid, I kid. If you ask me, I don’t give a fuck who you marry or how many people you marry, so long as it’s all consenting adults, which I know is one of the main issues with polygamy…often it involves minors, and often they don’t realize that they don’t have to do what their culture tells them to do. But just look at Nikki Henrickson! There can be a way out…

“Sister Wives” premieres on TLC on September 26. Plan accordingly.

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    • Eileen

      I’ve heard pretty frequently the argument that part of the reasons Mormons were so hard on gay marriage was the “if we can’t, why should you?” mentality, tied to the fact that Utah was not accepted as a state until it ruled polygamy illegal. The gay marriage/polygamy comparison is interesting, because the people who are more likely to support un-”conventional” marriage are more likely also to oppose the people who are more likely to be polygamists, i.e. Mormons.

      Although it’ll be interesting to see how other brands of conservative Christians try to oppose polygamy, given the inerrancy of the Bible and the presence of polygamy in the Bible. Hell, Jacob married SISTERS and he still managed to be a pretty big deal in the Old Testament.

    • gotplaid

      Like Michelle Duggar’s hoardes of children, I am strangely fascinated with polygamy. I feel like I should have a problem with it, in theory, but I so rarely do. Especially when it’s on awesomely bad reality TV.

    • Veronika

      This show sounds interesting but the errors in the article are irritating me. You obviously have an internet connection and it really isn’t that hard to get the facts straight. “Mormons” – aka The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, the people with temples and clean-cut families and sacred underwear and living prophets and millions of members – do not practice polygamy and have not for over a century. It is not part of their lifestyle.

      So, the people who donated shitloads of money to prop 8 (because their “living prophet” told them to) are not the same people living in plural marriage with 18 children from different mothers.
      These people – commonly termed FLDS for “Fundamentalist Church of Jesus yadda yadda etc” broke off from the mainstream church a long time ago and have a completely different (well, as different as two radical christian sects can be) culture and set of beliefs.

      They do their best not to fraternize with the outside world (including Mormons). They abstain from pop culture and live in small communities in rural areas and wear way more clothing than any modern person. The practice of marrying really young girls to gross old guys with 5 wives already gets them lots of bad press, and they aren’t as powerful as a group as The Mormons are.

      Mormons, on the other hand, live modern lives and marry only one person, usually their same age. They oppose gay marriage because they have grown from a small community of persecuted weirdos to a huge corporate entity that controls the politics and business of an entire state. They have a strict religious and political dogma and being gay just doesn’t fit into their plan for eternal salvation. They have the money and the manpower to meddle in politics, hence the prop 8 disaster.

      Both churches stem from the same batshit-crazy person, Joseph Smith, but that was 200 years ago and they’re not the same thing.

    • otropogo

      I’d like to see a polygamy reality show featuring an islamic family.

    • Canadian Poly Amorous

      I’m polyamorous, meaning that I support allowing people to get into whatever multiple-person living, loving and intimate relationships they choose, as long as there is equal gender treatment, mutual respect, mutual consent, and hopefully lots of happy love. (Exactly the same thing I would wish on any monogamous couple.)

      Polygamists tend to pull tricks that aren’t so great for children and women, and can insult our notions of free will and equality, but the general public will gladly paint polyamory with the same brush. I hope this show doesn’t make us look bad.