OK, full disclosure: I’m addicted to “Big Love.” In fact, I’m about to watch the most recent episode, which I’ve DVRed and been holding out for all week. DON’T TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS.
Anyway, the show — and it’s reality cousin, “Sister Wives” — bring up the universal question: should polygamy be legal?
Generally, arguments against polygamy are either that it’s morally wrong, or that it leads to young girls being wed to old men against their will. Arguments for it are that polygamists are just like us, but with different beliefs.
Well, my thinking is this. There’s a big difference between consenting adults deciding to be in a relationship of their choosing, and children being forced to get married, and the two should not be considered in the same breath. I don’t care what anyone’s morality dictates — if a bunch of people want to marry each other, it’s none of our business to tell them they can or they can’t. If a kid’s being married off at the age of 14, the law should step in.
Now, there’s one other argument against polygamy, that goes something like this: women who are in polygamous relationships have been brainwashed, and so are incapable of deciding for themselves whether or not they should be in the marriages they’re in.
And sadly, it may be true that some women have never had the chance to consider a life outside of polygamy. But my opinion about the legality of it doesn’t change. We might not like how those women were raised (assuming they entered their relationships as adults), but guess what? There are plenty of people out there who might not like how you were raised, or how I was raised, and the choices we make because of our upbringings. That doesn’t mean they should be able to step in and outlaw those choices. (And I’m not just talking about shmashmortion — what about people who think women who work are ruining society?) In other words, whether we like it or not, we as a society shouldn’t be in the business of telling grown women (or men) what’s right for them and what isn’t.
What do you think?