30 March 2011

Poly want a ruling?

In my travels across the blogs of the www, I ran into this post and was instantly infuriated by the overstepping of the BC government into the homes of its citizens. Attorney General Jones wants polygamists prosecuted. Unfortunately, he's including polyamory in his definition of polygamy.

There is a considerable difference between the two. Polygamy (usually polygyny - having multiple wives) is usually a culturally dictated form of marriage. It often means that girls are married to older men in arranged marriages. It also means that boys are sent away, because there are too many of them. Marriage is a proscribed institution in which there is no choice, no power, no say for the girls.

A polyamorous relationship is consensual, always between adults, and isn't passed on through generations (necessarily). They may be polygynist or polyandrist. There is love between partners, and the relationship is not arranged. It's not hard to understand if you've ever had an affair with someone you loved outside of your marriage. I mean, imagine your partners had been totally cool with it, and that the three of you could hang out together, enjoy a movie, share a home? It could be magnificent. Or it could suck donkey balls. You know, like monogamous marriages can be magnificent (like mine with Mr.FCS) or they can be disasters (like so so so many out there).

If the ruling is made against polygamy, I understand. As a feminist, I'm rather against the practice. When children are marrying and girls are given no choice in partner, and boys are sent to work camps (or mysteriously disappear), this is not okay. But the Attorney General really should have distinguished between polygamy and polyamory. Because if the law starts getting into the homes of loving families, taking children out of polyamorous homes, that is so far past not okay, I don't even have a good word for it.


Christian said...

pfft, in an era of sound bites and short attention spans, how dare you bring up facts? Shame on you..:)

Allie said...

I certainly agree that polyamory and polygyny have serious cultural differences, but I do think they have one major thing in common-- they should both be legalized. For one thing, how do you distinguish between the two (legally, I mean)? For another, legalizing them both would mean that the Attorney General could go after the child-marriages rather than a specific form of union (which really just sets a bad precedent).

Luna said...

Allie: I'm not sure I agree, but I'm not sure I disagree either. :) It's so hard because child brides are not the only problem. It's when it's systemic that all the issues arise.

Allie said...

I know, but from what I understand, people who live in those communities feel like if they reported all sorts of abuses (which they are unlikely to do for a variety of reasons), the "good" people would get arrested along with the "bad" ones simply for being polygynous. Like in the YFZ raid here in the US or the one in Short Creek in the 1950's. This gives their leaders "proof" that the world really is out to get them. Really, polyamory proves (in my opinion) that their marital status (provided they're adults) is the last thing we should be worried about!

Luna said...

That's a good point, and certainly something to chew on. Thanks!