The Death and Rebirth of Polygamy

Feb 6 '2020, 5:03 PM | By Chris

Polygamy is nothing new. In fact, one could successfully argue that monogamy is the newer concept for modern humans. Intimate relationships have evolved through the years and show no sign of a final determination of their purest form. Polygamy describes any relationship that involves the marriage of more than two people, regardless of gender, with no requirement of a formal or legal contract. It respects the choice of people to define their own relationships whether their government will recognize them, or not. It’s very close to simply being polyamory, but suggests a deeper commitment level to those that choose to use the term. Polygamy also has a rather unfair shadow looming that it struggles to remove. Some of our patriarchal societies worst tendencies have damaged the reputations of people interested in polygamy across the board, but as society has warmed up to polyamory in recent years there has been a new positive light shining on polygamy as well. 

Let’s get the ick out of the way first. First off, anyone that wants to pretend monogamy hasn’t had a disgusting history needs to hit the books. Women are often handled as property! Still today, teenage girls in many parts of the world are sold off or forced into marriages they do not want and it’s happening in both monogamous and polygamous cutures. It’s important to stop pretending women or children are only subject to abuses in polygamous cultures if we’re to see a future where everyone’s relationship choices are respected. Polygamy has been under attack and demonized for more than at least a century by people trying to force their views onto others while committing atrocities equal to, or worse, than those they attack. Women and young girls have been treated horribly by men more often than not throughout most of our modern history, and across most known major cultures. In short, stop naively believing it’s polygamy itself that’s dangerous for women. It’s sociopathic men and unfettered patriarchy that are dangerous to women, not loving relationships in any size or style she may choose. 

It’s fascinating that polygamy is seeing a rebirth in the age of the #metoo movement, but it also speaks of the value of the lifestyle. Women shouldn’t feel they have no option but to ‘submit’ to one man for the rest of their lives. That notion itself is socially endorsed oppression. Men shouldn’t be encouraged to be dishonest with their wives in an effort to maintain the limited status quo expected of your marriage by society. Lovers should be best friends and share everything with each other, even if it’s a crush on somebody else. Right along with more options comes the ability for people to choose the level of submission and commitment that works to keep their relationships or marriages healthy. Some people enjoy a very dominant partner, and that’s great, as long as communication, respect, and choice are always part of the equation. 

Choice is the overwhelming factor in the rebirth of polygamy. Respecting the choices of others and making no effort to limit the options other people can enjoy seems to be the zeitgeist of modern relationships. Legalization of gay marriage and increasing recognition of polyamorous relationships goes hand in hand with the resurgence of a new approach to polygamy. Nobody really wants to force others into situations that crush their dignity (unless you're a sociopath). Even as we watch polygamy becoming mainstream we continue fighting sources of oppression which are most often, sadly, based on religious pressures. Perhaps more public focus needs to be turned on the sources and supporters of oppression rather than people simply trying to love each other and enjoy their lives. 

The day may come when a woman that wants to be a sister wife can legally marry a man she loves that has another wife or two. The day may come when a man can enjoy looking for sister wives right along with his current wife without fear of being a social pariah. Polygamy works both ways, regardless of gender. There are plenty of women that would enjoy more than one husband, or even a marriage to both a woman and a man. Bisexual men are also a real thing even though they can be hard to find. Polyamorous people deserve the right to form whatever relationships they would like and polygamy is a completely respectful option for those looking for something a little more traditional than open relationships. It’s important to get your mind past the sexual aspects of plural relationships and focus on the emotional realities involved. Honestly, most people don’t want to know any details about the sex lives of others in general, so why all the interest in the sex lives of polygamous people? 

Humans have a long history involving people with any power at all using it to control other people. Religions, cults, governments, kings, queens, corporations, HOA’s, families, spouses, etc… The list of sources of control is depressingly long. Some control is good and welcomed. Control that ensures public safety, good health, and general well being is helpful, but control that seeks to limit human love and fulfillment in life has harmed humanity for far too long. Polygamy can represent something good. Supporting good polygamists in the world can create a wonderful and socially acceptable option for anyone that feels drawn to it. Shifting the public perception of polygamy so it can evolve alongside the current embrace of polyamory can pull it out of the shadows and into the light, therefore also making it a safer option than it’s thought to have been in the past. The rebirth of polygamy is a perfect time to take it out of nefarious hands and give it life where it belongs in a world of female empowerment and choice.  

Published By: Christopher Alesich

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