Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Why Polygamy Doesn't Bother Me

We just finished a really fun vacation (stay-cation for us but friends visiting from all over) and it's a sad moment to dive back into reality.  Since last Wednesday, we've been enjoying the company of our friends from Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Santa Clara, California; and Gilbert, Arizona, respectively.  With only three bedrooms, 1267 square feet, two bathrooms, four families and three babies under the age of one, we had two air mattresses in use, two pack 'n' plays and a crib for the babies, new hauntingly close and intimate levels of bathroom habit insight, fun laughter, crazy inside jokes, some memories relived and many more lasting memories created.  And as for what we did... we ate, we laughed, we ate some more, and we walked like we were in Hong Kong.

It's been lonely in our small apartment without everyone around.  Even with the remnants of some leftover baby toy and clothes from our friends, it's not the same.  I miss everyone crammed into our little apartment, all hanging out in the Bluths' living room turned bedroom for the night.  I miss the bathroom always being occupied and getting ready with three other girls like we were in college.  I miss doing my nails with the other girls while the babies slept and the men waited on us.  I miss listening to everyone's couple stories and teaming up with your own gender in discussions about life and futures.  I miss the bathroom always being occupied and knowing a little too much about each person's bowel movements.  I miss the babies eating at the same time, each one using one of Jordan's three types of high chairs.  I miss going out and eating like Kings and Queens.  I miss how tired we got and how anxious we were the next day to continue venturing about LA (on our list of places visited: Olive 41, Disneyland, Super King, Fresh n Easy, Galco's Soda Pop Stop, Nordstrom Rack, Babies R Us, Costco, Oinkster, Fat Sal's, Milk, Sin Ba La, Ding Tai Fong, Cha-Cha Chicken, Venice Canals,

And so I got to thinking about polygamy.  I've never had an issue with polygamy like some people who investigate the Mormon Church.  I inquired about it during my investigation, but basically... the Asian people were doing this frequently in more recent times (think 1920's and probably twenty years thereafter), with a much harsher and abusive tone (watch Joy Luck Club, you'll know what I mean).  There was always a da ta ta or big wife, followed by er ta ta or second wife, and third wife, and so on and so forth.  The big wife always had all the power, and I'm sure a lot of the wives were forced into their positions by not having the means to survive otherwise.

Those who practiced polygamy within the Mormon Church back in the late 1800's did it for very different reasons, through inspiration by God to grow the Church, and not everyone was encouraged to do so!  There's a common misconception that basically every Mormon person practiced polygamy, like we all lived on some big farm or something.  In reality, it was a loving communal family who grew together, wives helping out one another, and many relationships were never even consummated.  True, there are many break off Mormon religions who have abused the concept and these are portrayed on crime shows often with young helpless girls forced into a marriage with some old dude... but that is not my impression or understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' history with polygamy.  In fact, I once read an article from the 1970's in LIFE magazine, a first person recap of a girl who was looking back at her family's polygamist origins within the Mormon Church, commenting on how the early polygamy within the Church encouraged women's rights (did you know many Mormon women fought for that?!) and gave a lot of women the opportunity to go out and acquire and education or obtain a job in their desired field.  How is that so?  Well, with polygamy, they had other wives to help them out.  They weren't the only mothers are home.  You don't say! Way to go homegirls.

Anyway... polygamy in this sense was not a forced concept.  There were no young girls forced to marry old men.  Forced to give up their futures to become a wife.  Forced to wear long braids with Little House on the Praire type dresses.  Wrong religion.

It doesn't bother me.  It shouldn't bother you either.  And after a fun filled weekend with all those families... maybe we should have a new communal type family arrangement and all live in a huge house together, helping one another, always there to hang out.  Haha.  Just a thought.


Gena Hopper said...

Uh, D... I'm down with community, women helping women, etc. but there are many reasons why polygamy is a bad idea and not only when it's forced. I do consider a marriage should be consummated for a man and woman to be husband and wife. Solomon, "the wisest man" had many wives and it caused him trouble. Another example is Abraham. Let's not be deceived by the rare success story or what appears to be a success. In this manner many types of lifstyles are justified irrespective of what God says.
A very controversial blog indeed!

SupaFlowaPowa said...

Hahaha Gena - not really proposing polygamy, was just saying why when upon investigating the Church, the history of polygamy in the Church did not make it a deal breaker for me. And further commenting that hey, maybe they were onto something in terms of the communal support provided through larger families and many single women or even widowed women having someone to watch over them and to help out and be helped. Abraham was a Prophet of God and he practiced polygamy. Much like the other Prophets of God in our Church from before. Not intended to be controversial, just making fun of all those people who let the fact that Mormons practiced polygamy from them learning more about it as many people, even prophets from the Bible, practiced it. It was a thing of the past - I think that much we can agree on!