Sep 29, 11
Read in September, 2011
I have rules in my life: #1 I never watch movies with robots (Transformers, Tron, etc) or that have sports as a central theme (Miracle, Remember the Titans, etc). I have never seen one that I enjoyed, so I've stopped wasting my time on them. Rule #2 I ALWAYS read a book if it is about either China or polygamy. Those are the two most fascinating subjects in the whole world, according to me. So, here's the deal: this book was about polygamy, but it was actually sort of boring. However, THAT WAS THE POINT. The authors were trying to show that not all polygamous relationships are tumultuous like Carolyn Jessop's Escape. So, I don't fault them for writing about plain old boring daily life. Heck, if I wrote a book about my marriage you'd snooze through it. The funny thing was that I flew through this book, even though it was a snoozer, because I was desperate to turn the page and find some juicy nugget of polygamy. Never found one.
By the end of this book I came to a conclusion that completely shocked me. I never in a million years thought that I would say this: Why in the heck is polygamy illegal? I'm not saying that I would ever ever EVERRRRRRR consider this lifestyle for myself, nor do I even think it is a particularly good idea, but I don't think it should be illegal. How many dudes have babies by 3 or 4 women and do absolutely nothing to care for them? Because they never made a declaration of marriage, legal or not, they are not prosecuted even though they did, in essence, the same thing that a polygamist did, ie having children with more than one woman. However, many polygamist men take care of their women and children. They own up to it. They honor a commitment that they made. And these are the people who get locked up? Why not lock up the jerks that just want to 'get some' and then walk away? Why are those dudes off scott free? NOT FAIR I TELL YA!
The authors made an excellent point about abuse: there is not abuse in all polygamous marriages, the same way that there is not abuse in all monogamous marriages. I don't know why that never occurred to me.
This man did something that was unusual even in the world of polygamy: he dated two women at once. But not like he went on a date with one every other night. He went on dates with both of them at the same time, like a double date minus one dude. That just would not have worked for me. I'll admit it, while I was dating my husband there were a lot of "dates" in which we just made out. Yup, that was the planned activity of the night. Those were good dates. I cannot imagine having to plan out actual dates all the time because you couldn't just make out. It would have been exhausting.
Polygamy by force is something that makes me ill. Polygamy by choice is something that makes me say, "What in the hell?!" I kept looking at the cover as I read this. These women look so stylish and "normal". I've been eyeing everyone I see at the library, Walmart, etc, wondering if these completely normal people have made this seriously drastic lifestyle choice. I kind of want to just randomly ask people, "Excuse me. You look normal, so I was wondering if your husband has more that one wife. If so, could you tell me your thoughts?"