Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Saturday, December 10, 2005


I just read a book called "God's Brothel" A book with 18 stories of women who escaped Mormon cult polygamous marriages. I went into the book unopinionated about polygamy. I can imagine the upsides to a polygamous culture... all the women have the opportunity to marry and have children, the women can live together and share household responsibilities as well as be emotionally supportive of each other. Also, though it is clearly not supported by The Bible, we do find examples of it in the Bible by hero's we love- King David, and Jacob.

What I read, however, removed all doubt from my mind that polygamy is unacceptable. Each story recounted horror after horror of sexual abuse, incest and physical abuse by the men. Almost worse than that, the "tightknit family" I imagined is NON EXISTENT. These women hid their relationships to avoid punishment from the state and as a result, most of the children did NOT EVEN KNOW WHO THEIR FATHER WAS. Many of the women told of living in complete poverty, getting no financial support, having to dig through garbage cans for food. As if that weren't bad enough, the women were expected to produce one child a year and since they were so brainwashed by their religion they complied.

Even though I imagine a utopian-like community, the truth is, these women reported, there is NO WAY to avoid the competition and hurt these woman feel to be the most loved wife. It is not a happy situation.

One epiphany I had was when I thought about Elizabeth Smart, the Mormon girl who was kidnapped and held hostage in a polygamous marriage. I always thought it was strange that she never escaped, but I just chalked it up to fear. After reading this book though, I feel like I have more insight into the situation. You see, these women are taught in the Mormon faith that in the afterlife they will live in polygamy. So it is not such a huge leap to start in this life. Elizabeth Smart was probably easily brainwashed into thinking she was now married to this man and had to stay.

polygamy is a HUGE step backward for the rights of woman. I am by no means a "modern feminist", but I do believe in respect and esteem for woman. Polygamy holds no room for either.



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