Personally, I'm in favor of marriage. The public declaration of fealty steers the focus of any marital problems onto resolution rather than dissolution. However, I don't think the question should be, "Should gay couples be allowed to marry?". It should be, "Why is the government involved, AT ALL, in how people wish to structure their households?".

We should be relying on government for assistance in enforcing contracts. But how these contracts are structured should be entirely up to the people involved. This, of course, includes people who wish to structure their households around participation by more than two individuals.

I guess there needs to be a set of default contracts (to protect children and establish ownership of chattels, etc.) which are deemed to be in effect when people share a household; but, other than that, the government should have no role. 

I know that polygamy facilitates some injustices that never occur in "traditional" marriages <joke>, but is polygamy sufficiently evil by its nature to require the government to ban it?

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Yes, and in societies where women "DO NOT HAVE THE CHOICE" (remember to use inside voice) polygamy is widespread, ever heard of a feedback loop? Where women traditionally have played a larger role, like for example in Europe, it has been historically much less normal in modern times. It's an aspect of the current day near-orient I do not subscribe to as being a desirable value to import.

My own nation, where women have always had fairly free choice, gave the practice up in the Viking era and have yet to see any virtue in bringing it back.

What's wrong with just calling it having a mistress or lover? What's the obsession over it absolutely having to be husband and wife, recognized by law? Seems to me that those who wish it just want to justify infidelity they otherwise cannot justify.

Does this help:

Not as a substantiation of the claim: "Being abused by your mother doesn't make the society matriarchal."

I said A is B (read: muslim families are often very matriacial), and that C is an evidence of B (mothers yelling at sons are a sign of a matriarchal society). Jared claim is that C does not prove A. I asked why, and received no substantiation of why this would be erroneous, just a random comment that it for some reason just is wrong. Then I supported it with referring to the Oedipus complex without receiving an appreciation of how that ties into my argument.

Attack my arguments as much as you want, but disregarding them without counter evidence is not sufficient as disproof, merely a sign of clear ignorance of how to structure an argument.

Yeah... the problem is you're making 'logical' arguments that aren't true. 'Mothers yelling at sons' is not a sign of a matriarchal society any more than children yelling back at their parents is a sign that a society is a child-archy. The fact that the mothers are stuck at home looking after the children in the first place is a sign that the society is *not* matriarchal.

The definition of matriarchal or patriarchal society is where one gender holds the political power to make decisions for the general population. According to your 'logic' then the US culture is also 'matriarchal', since more mothers are the primary carers in US households than fathers are. This is clearly understood not to be the case, however.


The oedipus complex has been debunked over and over, and relying on the theories of a 19th century crackpot as your 'evidence' of how the world works today (which would be a red herring anyway, since the oedipus complex relates to sexual development and has nothing whatsoever to do with social power structures) is ridiculous and hardly worth the effort of responding to.

Sorry, I can't find the original submission just now, but he or she raised the question of (endless?)"chains" - A, B, and C are married. C is married to A, D, and E. E is married to C, F, and G. Etc. G and A have never met but are "married"?? How could that be managed? Or need it be?

Don't think it needs to be managed. Marriage is not transitive. It's up to the individuals involved to communicate if the contracts they enter affect anyone else in the chain.

Think of it like starting a business partnership - If A starts a business with B, and B starts another another business with C, there are two separate businesses there. A is not automatically in business with C. The effect would be the same with chain marriages. Each 'contract' relates only to the people specifically named within it (and of course leaves open the possibility of creating such a contract between three or more people also, either separately, or as part of a further chain).


A number of poly households I am aware of have actually gotten around some of the legal issues created by polygamous households not being recognised in law by literally incorporating their household and running it as a business - meaning that property belongs to everyone included in the legal contracts. It's not ideal, though.


(Though as an aside, this is a reason the poly community in general are *extremely* up to date on medical info, and careful about sexual health precautions - marriage contracts or relationship agreements are not transitive, but STIs may well be!)

Sorry, "never met" might be going too far. How about "hardly know each other"?

Polygamy as a theory is a fine idea - but the reality is not the same.

Sexual harassment laws are much more idiotic than polygamy laws in my humble opinion, and should definately be retired as it's just people taking offense at other people ogling them. Of course, females sexually harass as much as men, and therefore whatever real-world negative implications are equally split between the genders, right..? ;)

I'm going  to go out on a limb here with some observations which might upset. I don't (necessarily) agree with these observations, But I believe they're points that should be considered and haven't been up to this point.

There's been a lot of talk about creating imbalance. And further, that women are just as likely to form relationships with more than one partner as men.

To the latter point I say, "no, I don't think so". In the words of an old friend of mine, "Anthropologically speaking, it's a woman's job to select the "best" possible mate - it's a man's job to spread his seed as far and wide as possible." This might point to polygyny being a more "natural" state than polyandry. (Again, I don't want to imply that what is perceived to be "natural" is necessarily socially acceptable in our society.

As to the former point. Daria spoke only of money. I don't believe this to be THE driving force for selecting a mate - or even the major one. If a man is handsome, intelligent, strong and powerful, gentle, funny (this guy's got everything), and is, therefore able to attract 10 women who are willing to share him, while nine other ("lesser") men must do without, this strikes me as, again, a perfectly "natural" situation. This, of course creates problems. But isn't it also true that natural selection has been turned upside-down over the last hundred years with lower "classes" reproducing at 10 times the rate of the upper classes?

Please don't jump on me too hard. I'm just putting these ideas out there so that IIIiii may learn. Teach me.

You are clearly not listening.

"Anthropologically speaking, it's a woman's job to select the "best" possible mate - it's a man's job to spread his seed as far and wide as possible."

Bullshit.  That's not "anthropology", that's evo-psych, which is a flawed course of study at best.
How many times do I have to say THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN?  The problem that you and everyone else here seems to have is that you keep forgetting that it is religious, patriarchal, dogmatic institutions that prescript polygyny.  When women and men (and other genders) are given equal power to make their own choices based on love and sexual orientation, we do not have polygyny, we do not have "surplus men", we do not have "limited females", we do not have any of these problems.  And if another fucking man tells me what my "job" is as a woman, I'm going to stop being so fucking polite.  


There is already a community of tens of thousands of people right here in the US that you all seem insistent on ignoring.  Women are the ones writing the books, women are the ones driving the research, women are the ones talking their male partners into opening up the relationship, women are the ones taking multiple partners.  We simply do not have single men with 10 wives, leaving 9 "lesser" men without mates.  And your depiction of a society that only doesn't do that because we have laws to prevent it is about as frightening as those fundies who insist that we only don't rape and murder because we have a commandment from god not to.


I have 4 male partners.  One of those male partners has 5 female partners, including me.  One of those female partners has 5 partners, some male, some female.  One of my other male partners has 4 female partners, including me.  Two of those female partners are dating each other.  One of those female partners has only 2 male partners, and the other one is dating the female partner of my male partner.  And that other male partner is one of my 4.


You can clearly see that when women and men are given equal freedom and equal power in a relationship, it does not result in a single man with 10 women all competing for the "best".  It results in each individual having as many partners as he or she has time and energy for, and of whatever gender each individual prefers.  My network is actually more than 50 people, I only listed 6 of them.  Besides my own personal network, I am also a community organizer, and have access to the numbers of members of local groups around the world.  I'm sorry, but my sample population size is far more representative of what *actually* happens in an egalitarian society than your "my friend once told me" anecdote.  I can also tell you preliminary demographics of this group, such as average age & religious affiliation (majority atheists, btw), as well as gender.  
The problem is not how many people are in the relationship.  The problem is creepy old men who hear voices and who use translations of translations of books to justify asserting and maintaining their privilege.  Get rid of the religious edicts and you get rid of the problem.  As we have demonstrated, and have been demonstrating, for decades now.


The people in this thread are so busy patting themselves on the back for remembering some vague, culturally-biased assertion from a college anthropology class that you're not listening to the people here who have actual, real-life experience with an actual, existing, non-patriarchal, non-religiously-based society.  It's a lot like when theists smugly proclaim that all atheists are angry, or nihilistic, or miserable, or fat, or secretly Muslim, while the atheists jump up and down shouting "No I'm not! If you want to know what an atheist thinks and feels, just ask me!"
So rather than a bunch of privileged monogamists sitting around debating whether or not to continue to criminalize an entire population of people based on stereotypes, assumptions, and half-assed memories of some college class or article they read online, instead, listen to the people who are actually living this way tell you what it's like to live this way. 


"I'm just putting these ideas out there"


Yeah, and "teach the controversy" is a legitimate lesson in science class.  Your points, and those of everyone else, have been contradicted, repeatedly, by those of us actually living in these communities that none of you even knew existed until we jumped in here.  I'm happy to teach those willing to learn.  But when the lesson has been spelled out, repeatedly, and the response is to doggedly ignore it, or to make proclamations instead of ask questions, I can only conclude you people are not willing to learn.  Ignorance may request "don't jump on me too hard".  Willful ignorance does not deserve it.

I think it might be time to remind you that the tirade you directed at me was directed toward the person who opened this thread with a defense of polygamy. You're railing against someone simply trying to introduce principles (more accurately, trying to dismiss "principles") that may have contributed to governments all over the world finding it necessary to outlaw polygamy. Your introduction of "teach the controversy" is a fallacy. If there were a legitimate controversy, it should be taught - but there's not. It's just the opposite. I would say there is (almost) NO controversy about polygamy. The prohibition of polygamy is almost as widely accepted as evolution. I would LIKE there to be more of a controversy - more intelligent debate about the subject.
If you don't like my anthropological principle, great. That's what I was hoping for. Now what did YOU learn in Anthropology that contradicts this?
You constantly return to your anecdotal cases. It doesn't matter if you cite 6 successful relationships or 50, it's still anecdotal. Anecdotal evidence in support of a postulation adds strength. But you seem to be saying, "I'm TELLING you it works for me (and my friends). How dare you deny it as (general) FACT."


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