Real polygamist housewives

So last week when Judge Walker issued his decision overturning Prop. 8, one of my friends posted as her status update, “Is polygamy next?” I didn’t know if she was being silly or sincere, but if any of you all are wondering the same thing, let me reassure you: No. Polygamy is not next. That’s just something we conservatives make up to scare people. Ha ha, that was a joke (sort of). You know how I know polygamy isn’t next? Because unlike attitudes toward homosexuals, attitudes toward polygamists haven’t improved much in the last hundred years. Most people have at least one friend or someone in their family who is gay, but not many people know any polygamists. Also, when was the last time you saw a movie or TV show character with a sassy polygamist friend? Never, that’s when. And you’re not likely to start anytime soon. (Not until someone options my screenplay, that is.)

Being the kind of person I am, when my friend asked, “Is polygamy next?” I had to respond, “If only!” My husband and I often talk about who he should take as an additional wife if they ever reinstate polygamy. Potential candidates include Nicole Parker, the Sleep Country spokeswoman and, I dunno, maybe one of those gals from the channel 6 news team. Of course we are just being silly; I don’t think any of these ladies would actually have my husband, let alone me, but we little people have to have our dreams. Naturally, if we were going to have a serious conversation about actually taking on another partner, we would need to be more realistic. What would be great is if we could marry a good housekeeper. Not like a professional one or anything (necessarily), but someone who just really gets off on picking up after others. But that too is a dream. Personally, I think I would settle for someone to talk to while I clean my own house. I find cleaning house to be a very lonesome chore. But again, this is all castles in the sky. Polygamy isn’t going to be legalized and even if it were, the Church would probably not go along with it this time, so we are crap out of luck on that front.

It’s probably just as well, since I don’t think my husband and I have the same taste in women. If he were to bring home, say, another me? I’d be very disappointed.

So as it happens, I just read that TLC is going to be airing a new reality show called “Sister Wives,” which profiles a dude named Kody and his three wives and their (collectively) fifteen children. My first thought was, “Ha ha, that’s awesome.” (Okay, my first thought was, “Kody? Effing Kody with a K?” But after that, I thought, “Awesome.”) Then I read some more about it.

“They are very much a modern family. They are open-minded. They are generally adorable,” said Bill Hayes, president of North Carolina-based Figure 8 Films and co-executive producer of the show.

“Their children were so well behaved and polite and healthy and happy,” he added. “Pardon the cliche, but the proof was in the pudding. I thought, ‘What a bunch of great young people, and there was nothing strange about them.’ They have an unusual lifestyle, but for them, it was their lifestyle.”

Their children are so well behaved and polite, and there’s nothing strange about them? They are “generally adorable”? What kind of entertainment is that supposed to be? Well, I myself don’t enjoy reality TV, so it’s not like I’m these people’s target audience. (I don’t think those three months I spent watching “Elimidate” in 2002 should count. I was depressed.) But seriously, a reality show about an adorable family with polite children sounds about as much fun as going to church on Sunday, no offense to it. If this polygamist family is as normal as the producer makes them out to be, going to church might actually be more of a freak show, depending on how wacky your ward is. I’ve never watched “Big Love,” but I can understand why someone would want to–a fictional story about a polygamist and his three wives could very easily be interesting. You just make crap up and voila, interesting! Following a polygamist family that’s all well-adjusted and normal, well, I’m just not seeing the appeal. (Maybe I’d like it better if it were “Elimiwife.” Just kidding. That’s disgusting.)

On the other hand, the show will also follow Kody’s pursuit of a fourth wife, Robyn. I’ve always been interested in how that works, and how the existing wives figure into that decision. Do they all four sit down together and go, “What about Robyn? She seems nice, doesn’t she?” Or does Kody (jeez louise) try to feel things out with each of the wives individually? Or do the three wives get together and say, “Robyn is so fun, we should totally get Kody to marry her”? Or does Kody just come home one day and say, “Honeys, great news! This is Robyn and she LOVES to pick up after other people!” I’m kind of interested in that. Not enough to watch reality TV for it, but, you know, if one of you all wanted to TiVO it and just give me the highlights, I wouldn’t turn you away.

Essay questions (choose at least one of the following):

1. Have you ever had polygamist fantasies? What qualities would be important to you in a plural wife?

2. Do you think a TV show presenting polygamists as normal, well-adjusted folks will persuade people to have a more favorable opinion of polygamists and/or polygamy? Do you think one of the wives will be sassy? Will this be an important step toward polygamists being accepted in our society, or is that just crazy talk?

3. If you’re a woman, does the idea of having more than one husband appeal to you? If yes, what kind of sicko perv are you, anyway?

4. What do you think about this for a reality show: Some wacky polygamist cats offer dating tips to men who are looking for their first wives–“Roving Eyes for the Monogamous Guy”? Eh?

Real polygamist housewives

Comments

  1. Beeblebrox says:

    My wife occasionally plays this game with me, picking out a possible plural wife. Mind you, the chief rule of this game is that I don’t get to say anything other than make non-committal noises while she tries to get a reaction. You see, if I seem too enthusiastic about any of her picks, she takes an unseemly delight in making sly comments: “so you’re saying you WOULD really like a second wife, are you?” while watching me squirm. But if I go too far the other way, she pretends to pout on behalf of the slur I have visited on the woman by disdaining her. “Poor woman! What’s wrong with her? I don’t think she’d have you anyway!”

    The game usually ends with me sputtering my innocence as her laughter rings down the hallways.

  2. TLC should really be TFC, for “the Freak Channel”, since their shows all have something to do with physical (think little people) or mental (think Kate) anomalies. Plus, they already have the fundamentalists covered with that 19 kids and counting family.

  3. Latter-day Guy says:

    Oh, but they’ve only scratched the surface, scw. I’m hoping for a Westboro Baptist Church version of Family Feud.

  4. TLC? The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days, do they have their own TV channel?

  5. Most people have at least one friend or someone in their family who is gay, but not many people know any polygamists.

    That’s probably because polygamy is certainly a choice, where the overwhelming evidence points to homosexuality not being a choice.

    1. Have you ever had polygamist fantasies? What qualities would be important to you in a plural wife?

    Um, I’ve never had polygamist fantasies, because I just don’t see anything fantastical about it.

    2. Do you think a TV show presenting polygamists as normal, well-adjusted folks will persuade people to have a more favorable opinion of polygamists and/or polygamy? Do you think one of the wives will be sassy? Will this be an important step toward polygamists being accepted in our society, or is that just crazy talk?

    Probably. It’s the funny thing about allowing people to be free and make their own decisions, some things will occur whether we like it or not.

  6. You guys need to get out more if you think Mormon Polygamy is some kind of toy or game___or over.

  7. Polygamist fantasies? I’ll consider myself lucky if I can even find a first wife.

  8. 1. I’m still having fantasies of finding a first wife.

    2. I think that the hardest thing with polygamy is that it’s in most cases polygyny. That makes men and women unequal. Having sex with many different partners is okay in the world today – because it’s okay for both men and women. So if that is okay why not marrying more than one person?
    Yes, one of them have to be sassy.

    4. Not sure if I’d like that. I think there are difference between women who are ready to marry a polygamist and who are not. Can the polygamist give advice to me to date those girls who wouldn’t date him?

  9. first off, i disagree with your dismissal of any polygamist legal challenge because polygamy is not as prevelant in society as gays. second, which religion currently has many many many activily practicing polygamists? hint – it’s not the LDS church or any of the off-shoots…

    once the legal defination of marriage is forever blurred and the arguments carefully crafted, it will become increasingly difficult to uphold traditional, or even ‘expanded’ traditional marriage (to include glbt) IMO.

    As for your questions

    1. that’s a disturbing thought.. i always say whoever wants more than one wife is welcome to it.. lol.. IMO one wife and one husband is more than anyone should ever require. Period.

    2. broader positive attention will have that influence. definately. why else do you think this is occuring?

    3. n/a But if I could offer my manly opinion here… every woman should be able to have both team jacob and team edward.. j/k

    4. that’s disturbing

  10. Mark Brown says:

    For people who live or who grew up in Utah, it is actually quite common to personally know polygamists. Warren Jeffs is in my high school annual, along with about a dozen of his sibs.

    It’s interesting to consider how some of the arguments we make contra SSM don’t apply to polygamy. The natural law argument against SSM is that those unions do not produce progeny. But polygamous ones do, in great numbers. And we also argue that marriage, “from time immemorial” (or “time in memoriam” if you are the former governor of Alaska) has been the union of man and woman. But polygamy has been around since forever.

  11. I would watch a reality show on polygamy if the producers could somehow convince Snookie to participate. I find her enchanting.

  12. My kids joke about my wife and I being happy if we could add one particular actor and one particular actress to our marriage – but it would work only if both of us got an extra spouse. (The actress isn’t married currently, but I think the actor is, so we’d have to weaken / destroy at least one traditional marriage to make it happen – if actors’ marraiges can be called traditional.)

    No interest whatsoever in this reality show.

    If gay marriage becomes legal throughout the US, I easily can see FLDS and Muslim couples suing to have polygamy legalized with full civil rights. I’m trying to think of a solid legal argument against it in that situation, and I’m not sure I can – at least in the case of consenting adults or minors who are old enough to be allowed to marry into a monogamous relationship. If the spouses would be allowed to form a monogamous marriage, what would the legal argument be against them joining a polygamous one – especially if gay marriage is allowed by the courts over the vote of the people? It’s not like the courts could base their decision on the traditional argument of “accepted societal morals”, if that were the case.

  13. me,
    “one wife and one husband is more than anyone should ever require”
    While it’s honorable that you’ve committed yourself to life-long singledom, I think it is an undue burden on others to insist they shouldn’t.

  14. Actually, a blog at First Things had a post on how Judge Walker’s logic could be used to justify something like polygamy. Of course, even if gay marriage were to be upheld by the Supreme Court, the reasoning of lower courts is often rejected.

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/08/05/judge-walkers-rational-basis-for-supporting-polygamy/

  15. philomytha says:

    I actually do know polygamists. They call themselves polyamorists, though, and apparently there are lots of them but they keep it very quiet. My friend’s family is two women and two men.

    I too have fantasized about having another wife around the house, one who actually wants to be a homemaker. But after seeing my polyamorist friend’s family in action, I realized that to function in that sort of relationship you have to be incredibly mature and selfless and put the good of the group ahead of your own needs. My husband and I are both way too selfish for that sort of set-up.

  16. First off, even if you knew a polygamist you may not know it. Second, polygamy won’t be next because they aren’t interested in having it be hashed out in the letter of the law (ie if you got a divorce X,Y, & Z would happen)… they just want to be left alone about it.

    I guess my experience is a bit unique. My grandfather (who is still alive) is the firstborn son of a polygamist and he has many family members he is close to who are still polygamists today. I don’t have much exposure to them, but I do to him and his accounts of what happened with aunt so-and-so etc…

    About the pretending to pick out additional spouses, I don’t do it, but then again, that could be due to the family history… I do fantasize about affording a housekeeper or a handyman though :)

  17. “For people who live or who grew up in Utah, it is actually quite common to personally know polygamists.”

    At least, it is quite common if your name is Mark Brown.

    I grew up in Provo, and if there were any polygamists around, I didn’t know about them.

    We used to pass those huge houses behind the concrete walls near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, and someone would make some comment about those being polygamists’ houses, but that was as “close” as we ever got.

  18. Mark Brown says:

    LOL Mark B. Good one. I guess I should have qualified my statement.

    We took a visitor up to Alta once and she thought that enormous house was a wedding reception center. Now, of course, it just looks like any of the other overpriced and overgrown piles of bricks and 2x4s and shingles which have proliferated along the Wasatch fault.

  19. Mark B. said: “At least, it is quite common if your name is Mark Brown.”

    I’ve been coming to this blog for six or seven years now, and this is the first time I’ve put together that Mark B. and Mark Brown are not the same person. Then again, I’m not exactly known for my thinkin’ skillz. You two don’t happen to be alter egos of each other, do you?

  20. Well, naturally there are polygamists out there, so some people have to know some, especially in Utah. But since a lot of polygamists/polyamorists are still in the closet, your average person, nationwide, is not as likely to know one–or, you know, at least three–as they are to know a gay person. Just like when gay people were mostly in the closet, it was a lot less common for your average person to know a gay person (or least know that they knew a gay person).

    once the legal defination of marriage is forever blurred and the arguments carefully crafted, it will become increasingly difficult to uphold traditional, or even ‘expanded’ traditional marriage

    Yes, but you’re assuming that people will feel constrained by intellectual or moral consistency, and that’s kind of a longshot.

  21. This was great Rebecca! I love the way you write. I know some polygamists. They live in Africa and I don’t get to see them much.

    We never talk about polygamy at my house. My wife’s great-great grandmother had three husbands. One she killed with an ax and buried in the back of the farm. One she pushed off of a cliff. The third died of natural causes (yeah, right, natural causes like deathcap mushrooms likely). With gene’s like that, I walk a very careful line in what we discuss at home.

  22. I have not personally fantasized about polygamy, though I am aware of a number of people who have been in situations where they have been offered marriage in the next life and financial and emotional support in this life. This ‘benevolent polygamy’ is not common but I suspect it is practised more frequently than might be expected.

    Personally, I don’t think polygamy will become mainstream anytime soon. The association between it and the oppression of women is high and viewers of these shows will always be skeptical that these well-adjusted families serve as a facade for hidden depravity and pain.

  23. this is the first time I’ve put together that Mark B. and Mark Brown are not the same person

    Again, I must express my disdain for people using their real names on the internet. There are simply too many of you to keep straight. By contrast, I am rarely confused with Rebecca J.

  24. 21 – Thats gotta be the creepiest thing I’ve ever heard.

    Rebecca –
    1) More like nightmares. I mean, when I was a teenager, and 92% of my thinking capacity was overwhelmed by thoughts of sex, sure I thought about polygamy. What a great idea. Now, with a wife that I love very much, I realize how crazy an “other half” can be. I can’t imagine having more than one “other half” that I would have to compromise with and deal with. I’m not that mature.

    2) There’s still reality tv? Who knew?

    Theres always a sassy one, nature dictates in a group of three or more there will be a sass-void, someone will naturally fill it. Its science.

    3) Man, if I could add a heterosexual lifepartner to our mix, that’d be awesome. I mean, I don’t know how I feel about someone else bedding down with my wife, so thats out. But I’d love it if one of my friends could live in the basement and play Call of Duty with me.

    4) See answer to 2) subsection a

  25. Again, I must express my disdain for people using their real names on the internet. There are simply too many of you to keep straight. By contrast, I am rarely confused with Rebecca J.

    What about me? I have to use my middle initial to distinguish myself from that initial-less Ardis Parshall who sometimes leaves comments around the ‘nacle.

  26. Ha ha!!! I watched Elimidate in 2002 – thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  27. Mark Brown says:

    this is the first time I’ve put together that Mark B. and Mark Brown are not the same person

    jimbob, this confusion is common. It works out to my advantage and to Mark B.’s chagrin.

  28. 25 – I know, we need to track that charlatan down, she is besmirching your good name. Stupid Ardis (Aught) Parshall and her neo-nazism.

  29. I’ll just answer question 1.

    1. Have you ever had polygamist fantasies? What qualities would be important to you in a plural wife?

    I think my spouse and I agree that we have the same polygamist fantasy, a threesome.

    With that being in role, the second wife would have to be beautiful, fairly attractive, but can in no way take my place in the household. An illegal immigrant so far seems to be the best bet.

    My interest in the show would have to depend on how open they are to discussing the sex life, dating life, and parenting life aspect to polgamy. For example: Are polygamist marriages allow to have three+ somes? When going on a date do all the wives come or are the dates shared among the wives (ie: Friday night is wife #1’s date night, Tuesday is wife #2’s date night)? And do the children understand what is going in their parent’s marriage? Do they aspire to the same lifestyle? Lastly, do the children obey the wives when it comes to discipline/respect even though only one of them is their biological mom? Speaking of ‘mom’, do the children call both women ‘mom’? What about when a forth wife is added?

  30. To paraphrase Lou Grant, I hate sassy.

  31. #12: “If gay marriage becomes legal throughout the US, I easily can see FLDS and Muslim couples suing to have polygamy legalized with full civil rights”.
    Why are they not doing that now—-why are only gays pushing for civil rights?

  32. Because unlike attitudes toward homosexuals, attitudes toward polygamists haven’t improved much in the last hundred years

    So are you saying, as a practical matter, because the populace doesn’t care for the fundamental constitutional rights of polygamists, federal judges will look the other way when those rights are trampled upon?

    1) Freedom of association
    2) Freedom to “purport” to marry more than one person
    3) Right to have those relationships recognized by the state

    In Utah: “A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband or wife or knowing the other person has a husband or wife, the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person.” Third degree felony.

  33. What’s the legal definition of cohabit in Utah?

  34. Funny stuff.

    Probably worth pointing out that SSM and polygamy are already treated quite differently: Polygamists (at least most) are not suing for official recognition, rights, or privileges (although there are reports of widespride welfare fraud)–for the most part, they just want to be left alone. (Notably, this was also the case for LDS polygamists–they weren’t seeking official recognition; they just wanted to stop the arrests and property forfeitures that U.S. law imposed upon them due to their relationships.)

    Those in same-sex relationships, by contrast, are already left alone and, in most states, granted significant legal rights and protections, even in states without SSM. (PLEASE NOTE–I’m not looking to start an SSM argument here; just pointing out this distinction within the conext of the OP.)

  35. Polygamy is remarkable because it disproves the biblical assertion that no man can have two masters.

  36. To the point that “polygamists just want to be left alone”, couldn’t that have been said of homosexuals circa 1985/1990? I was pretty young then so I don’t have a good memory of complex issues like civil rights for gays . . . But in the context of the discussion I’m wondering if its really all that different.

  37. I want to hear more about this “benevolent polygamy” Aaron talked about. Are those Mormons? Are they serious? Does anyone accept?

    I’d watch that polygamy show, but that is probably because I am the only adult in my house and when the kids go to bed, I can’t go anywhere.

    I’ve lived in polygamous societies. From what I have seen, it is basically never adorable.

  38. B. Russ, I don’t think “cohabit” is defined anywhere. You can read the statute (Utah Code 76-7-101) here .

  39. My wife kind of dithers back and forth on the plural marriage issue. One moment she’ll tell me who is okay on her list, and the next she’ll get upset because I would even think of taking on another wife ever. (I usually use non-commital grunts, as well).

    As for polygamy following, why not? If this hits the Supreme Court and they allow gay marriage, it will definitely impact Regynolds v. US. If Reynolds is replaced, then it definitely opens the door for forcing all government out of the marriage business, and opens the door for any relationship to be considered a marriage.

  40. Gwenydd McCoy says:

    “Most people have at least one friend or someone in their family who is gay”

    What is this based on? and What does that have to do with the legal status of marriage?

  41. Cool, I wonder how many Utahns are unwitting Third-Degree Felons by way of bigamy, a long term adulterous relationship could probably fall under this umbrella. I’m guessing that though this law is still on the books, its largely been decriminalized, or has anyone heard of anyone facing bigamy charges, or been found guilty of such.

  42. ESO, you’ve lived in polygamous societies? More please…

  43. Why wish (or “fantasize”) for a piece of bread if you can wish for the whole bakery? The only reason a man would fantasize about polygamy is because it would add certain perks/benefits (sex mostly, maybe someone to clean the house) without the guilt of adultery. Why not just fantasize about guiltless adultery and a maid?

  44. B. Russ, I believe “cohabit” means “live together and have an intimate and/or sexual relationship”.

  45. I hope that none of you Mormon husbands are stupid enough to be suckered into the hypothetical sister wife game by your wives. If you’re inclined to fantasize about which members of your ward and circle of friends you’d like to have sex with, I recommend you keep your conclusions to yourself.

  46. I don’t understand how they can make a show like this, won’t the guy get arrested?

    One wife is more than enough for me. I certainly don’t want TWO women telling me to clean off my desk or get off my lazy butt. =)

  47. Oh puke. I hate polygamy. No, I have never ever fantasized about it.

  48. Twenty years ago, when Muslim immigration to the US and other western nations was increasing, I speculated that legalizing polygamy would soon come before the Supreme Court as a freedom of religion case. I’ve been very surprised that the SSM issue has proceeded more rapidly.
    RE the essay questions:
    1) I used to say that I’d support polygamy when it became an equal opportunity situation, polyandry as well as polygyny. Now I just think it would reduce the odds for us single over-40 women to find a mate.
    2) I don’t trust anyone whose opinion of anything changes because of a reality tv show.
    3) See answer 1).
    4) Big Yuck! And see answer 2) RE reality tv.

  49. Anson Call says:

    That’s probably because polygamy is certainly a choice, where the overwhelming evidence points to homosexuality not being a choice.

    Same sex attraction is not a choice for homosexuals just as attraction to multiple women is not a choice for straight men. The decision to marry your same sex partner is a choice, just as the decision to marry a second wife is a choice.

    If the right to marry the person you want to marry is a civil right then saying we should allow SSM but deny polygamous marriage because it is not popular seems absurd.

  50. Kevin Barney says:

    RJ, you’re funny as hell! A great post.

  51. Mark D. (32) –

    So are you saying, as a practical matter, because the populace doesn’t care for the fundamental constitutional rights of polygamists, federal judges will look the other way when those rights are trampled upon?

    Yes.

    Gwenydd McCoy (40) –

    What is this based on? and What does that have to do with the legal status of marriage?

    It’s based on conventional wisdom, of course. Everyone knows that. (I’m being facetious. It’s based on nothing but the fact that this claim is frequently made and no one disputes it–perhaps because most people know at least one gay person, but it’s hard to know for sure.)

    And it has nothing to do with the legal status of marriage except that more people knowing actual gay people in real life has led to more people caring about gay people’s rights, and when more people care about gay people’s rights, gay people tend to get more rights. I base that primarily on intuition and logic, though, not hard data.

  52. Rusty – Why not just fantasize about guiltless adultery and a maid?

    Someone lacks imagination, I think.

    FHL (46) – I wondered the same thing, especially since they said they’ve had to be so secretive. But people on reality TV tend to be kind of stupid, so [shrug].

  53. Let’s please debunk the Muslim angle to this thread. Polygamy is dying in the Muslim world. Increasing urbanization and education are rapidly killing it. It is only among the poorest (who frankly can generally least afford it) and the real cads (who are generally seen as cads in their own society) who are often wealthy and unscrupulous, that it still hangs on here and there. And Saudi, but Saudi’s a weird weird place even in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Yes, you can find anecdotes to the contrary here and there, there’s a billion Muslims, even a tiny fraction of a percent will provide numerous anecdotes, but numerically its dying and socially its frowned upon more and more. Heck, many (most?) people in Muslim countries are struggling with the challenges of poverty and development and guys often can’t afford that first marriage, let alone multiple ones.

    So 48, charlene, I’d say the reason your speculation 20 years ago hasn’t panned out has been because most Muslims who immigrate to the US have zero interest in polygamy and the few who do tend to be from very poor, rural backgrounds whose political and legal activism in the US is likely to be about zero and for whom the second generation of kids is likely to have zero interest in following in any polygamous footsteps.

    We could say much the same on this point about sub-Saharan African societies. As a missionary I bumped into a few polygamous families living in the West and basically all of these same trends appeared to hold true. I’ve had many an African friend tell me their dad was a polygamous and then go on to tell me how much they hated it and would never want to live that way. The only Middle Easterner I ever knew closely from a polygamous family said the same thing and added that he hardly knew his father who sired him when he was in his 70s I believe. Oh, and he wasn’t Muslim, he was from a smaller minority religion.

  54. Non-Arab Arab,
    Thanks for your thoughtful and frank response. I agree that the lived reality of complex households is remarkably difficult. Even serial monogamy can generate problems between the family groups.

  55. My husband and I often fantasize about adding spouses to our marriage. Surprisingly, my husband even supports my idea to add another husband. This new guy would act as primary breadwinner, so my first husband and I could lounge around and go on vacations and such. It would be great, too, if he could clean and cook a little. I don’t see why a man wouldn’t want to sign up for this!

  56. Adam Greenwood says:

    I love this persona. Writing win.

  57. Courtney,
    You see, this is my exact point. Why not just fantasize about coming into some money? Same benefit, but none of the downsides (2-dude 3-ways, even less control of the tv, twice as many mouths to feed, etc.)

  58. 1. Um, hell to the no. Its revolting to me. In fact, I could barely read your tongue-in-cheek humor about it! I am a monogamous girl all the way. To me its just hits too close to home with all the “rumors” of polygamy in heaven. Literally makes me want to vomit thinking of my husband being with another woman- in any spiritual-literal-metaphorical form.

    2. Absolutely. The liberals need a new “minority” to save. It started with Big Love, and this new show will really get the ball rolling. Polygamists are the new gays are the new black!

    3. No, I have enough to do managing my children and 1 husband, thankyouverymuch. Men being what they are, it’d only add more stress to my life.

    4. Hmmm…

  59. 57 – I believe that is whats referred to as a Devil’s Three-way.

  60. Polygamists are the new gays are the new black!

    No kidding. What was all that 1950s-Civil-Rights-Martin-Luther-King-Jr. BS anyway?

  61. Polygamy is definitely on it’s way back. Just as Billy Crystal’s “Jodie Dallas” opened the door to having openly gay characters on TV (who’d have thunk, back in ’77, that 30 years later the acceptance of gender-neutral marriage in some states would be at roughly 50%, and Federal Courts would be striking down attempts to keep it from happening?).

    Is Bill Paxton this generation’s Billy Crystal? Could be.

  62. Wow, I’m quite sadden my threesome comment didn’t lead to any discussions. :(

    (Comment #29 for those who have no idea what I’m talking about)

  63. I’m disappointed, too, Newly Housewife–but then, I’m also disappointed that not everyone realizes this post is ridiculous.

    Mark N. (61) – I can’t wait for him to host the Oscars. That should be fun.

  64. “Most people have at least one friend or someone in their family who is gay”

    What is this based on?

    Statistics. Some people estimate as much as 10% of the population is bi-sexual or homosexual. It’s debatable how accurate that number is–sexual activity is far less common than same-sex attraction of any degree, with maybe 3% of males engaging in sex with another man. Still, even if you take that lower number and assume you’re only talking about men (since sexual preference in women is thought to be more fluid), if you have a social circle that includes 100 men, you’ll probably know three who are gay or bisexual. There’s obviously a probability that you’ll know more or less, depending on how many people you associate with, but chances are relatively high that you know someone who is gay, and that probability goes up the more people you know.

  65. Newly Housewife, points for creative fakery, but that is feeble trolling. Bye bye.

  66. Rebecca–

    Fun post. Long before I got married I had a fantasy that I’d find myself a polygamist situation in which one of the other wives loved kids so I could go out and work without feeling guilty for leaving my kid in a day care situation. Now I just shelve the guilt and leave my kid in day care.

    Happy families are plenty entertaining to those of us from dysfunctional ones. It’s like sitting on the beach, relaxing to the sound of the surf.

  67. StillConfused says:

    I would not want a second husband. Too many penises in a room. A second wife could be fun… live out those lesbian fantasies. She would need to be a good domestic; I am not the best at that sort of thing. Oh, and she better not snore.

  68. 1) NO. I do not understand those who do. The closest thing to a “fantasy” was a conversation I had with another young widow.

    We briefly discussed how disturbing it would have been to have been in our situation during the later half of the 1800’s in Mormondom. We would have been “assigned” as a “Sister Wife” to some dweeb and wife in our ward who was (fill in the blank) either a bore, controlling, unattractive, etc… A chilling thought, I assure you.
    2) Yes
    3)Not at the same time.
    4) I would not watch it, but other people will watch anything.

    In a related note see: http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-im-abandoning-polygamy.html

    I knew children from polygamist families growing up in Utah. I assume Mark Brown is a Jordan HS alum as is Warren Jeffs and me.

  69. 68 – RE: link – I read Waterman from time to time, I find his posts really interesting. I read that post a couple weeks ago, and figured if it were historically accurate, it would be worth knowing. John Hamer makes a couple of valid points about the book’s historicity – or lack thereof – here (see bottom comment in particular).

  70. Kevin Barney says:

    67 StillConfused has come up with the most compelling reason against polyandry yet: sausage fest!

  71. Okay people, RJ’s original post was great. Some of these comments are genuinely sketchy. But if people start promoting cuckoo for cocoa-puff conspiracy theories that Joseph Smith fought polygamy, I swear I will ban you. That puremormonism guy is promoting an egregiously ahistoric crazytown.

  72. Mark Brown says:

    JA Benson, # 68,

    Yes, dear old Jordan high. All hail, fellow beetdigger!

    But I think I’ve fallen down on that part of the song where it says that “seeking knowledge ever we’ll be”.

  73. It makes me sad that so many people want an extra wife do to the housework and take care of the kids. Where’s the feminism, ladies? :P

    I’ve told my husband that if I die, he is allowed to marry a previously-sealed widow if he absolutely has to, but I see no reason why he would absolutely have to. That’s the closest I’ve ever come to fantasizing about polygamy. Yuckity yuck.

    But I would totally watch a reality show about polygamy. I thinks it’s because it is so beyond my ability to comprehend.

  74. Cuckoo for Cocoa-Puffs says:

    J. Stapley, #71
    I enjoy reading the blogs and comments on BCC but have never felt I had anything to contribute so I have never commented. The thing I like about the discussions is there is a chance for true discussion to occur, unlike millennial star who bans people just as the conversation gets good. If you start banning people for having an alternate opinion you will only be helping their cause. I ask you to rather than ban people for their comments, explain what is wrong with their theories. Please don’t ban me, I just want to know.

  75. Cuckoo for Cocoa-Puffs, I think that when you have a blog, you don’t want it hijacked by discussions you don’t find worthwhile. For example, if it were my blog and somebody wanted to prove the Holocaust never happened, there may very well be people interested in that, but I wouldn’t be.

    That said, has somebody done a post on bannination? Not that there should necessarily be rules or anything (if it’s your house, you can eat ice cream on the sofa even if nobody else is allowed), but the basic philosophy could be pretty amusing.

  76. philomytha says:

    #49 – Anson Call! My ggg-grandmother became his 6th wife after her first husband (my ggg-grandfather) was killed by Indians.

  77. #76: Anson Call is dead. I have been to his grave.

  78. Researcher says:

    Anson Call is dead? Nah. That’s one of those names like John Tanner. There’s probably dozens of them in the Intermountain West. White Pages shows 17 Anson Calls, most of them in Utah and Arizona. Facebook shows 11 with a similar geographical distribution.

    That’s one of the results of these large polygamist families. Lots of descendants named after the original male founder of the family. There are even 18 Brigham Youngs listed in the White Pages. (Who would do that to a kid!?)

  79. #78
    So are there multiple Brigham Youngs within one individual family? Or is it more like each family has 1 Brigham, 1 John, etc.? In which, with the multiple cousins, that 1 Brigham can have a child and name it Brigham, and so can his brother John.

    Do you have any theories?

  80. #78: I know. But I do have THE Anson Call in my family tree. Many of my people are buried at Call’s Fort ( Harpers and Lovelands).

  81. Steve Evans says:

    Martin, I have written on the topic extensively and exhaustively. It’s not complicated. If you don’t want to get banned, be nice and play well with others.

  82. #68

    The link was mind blogging to someone like me that was raised in the church with the knowledge that Brigham Young was a polygamist. But to turn around and say that if Joseph Smith lived long enough, Brigham never would have gained such a high calling because he would have been removed from his office in the church.

    That does explain why some people claimed to see Jesus/God/Joseph Smith when Brigham spoke in the “election” of a prophet–I suspect he was the only one practicing the lifestyle and thus would be the only one to allow the lifestyle to continue as the church headed West.

  83. Jenna–does feminism really enter into a discussion of hypothetical second wives? I my case, I’m admitting to a daydream I would occasionally indulge in as a teenager after YW lessons that encouraged me to be a stay at home mom. I knew I wouldn’t be happy as an SAHM, but most of the girls I knew seemed like that was the life they expected and wanted for themselves. In my complication and personality free fantasy, the arrangement would allow me personal fulfillment while providing a better standard of living for the other, happy-to-be-a-mother/childcare worker-wife through my second income. Is that unfeminist?

  84. I see less of a feminist problem with the women daydreaming of another woman to help out with chores than with the comments that focus on the theme of “Polygamy? No thanks! I can barely stand my wife as it is!”

  85. #68 Newly Housewife- I know! Blew my mind too. I am so glad my testimony does not rest on polygamy.

  86. SFRedford says:

    Rebecca, are you talking about Nicole Parker from MADtv and Wicked?

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