So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

06 April, 2008

Seven Potato, Or

So there was a reasonably sane and rational discussion of polygamy/polyamory issues at Scalzi's Whatever. (For the record, I am pretty much in agreement with Scalzi's layout of the issues involved.)

And then someone notes that the bloody FLDS raid is relevant to the general population. And the thread is mostly dead, so it's not really a hijack, and I'm too tired and cranky to start it up again, even if anyone were likely to be listening in the out of sight, out of mind attention span of the blogworld.

Just, the whole damn thing depresses me.

Let's see. In this corner we have a sect of crazy religious schismatics who have decided that patriarchal polygyny is required by their god, and perpetrate it by coercing underage girls into marriages and exiling young teen boys so that they have enough adolescent poontang for the elites (who didn't get kicked out), as well as bonus indoctrination, physical and sexual abuse, and all the stuff that comes of living in a crazed isolationist compound because if someone outside the group notices that they're pulling this shit the gummint will come down on them like a ton of bricks. We have extensive welfare fraud because the marriages have to be kept secret and thus the mothers claim absent father, too, in yet another one of those unintended-consequences fun times.

In this corner we have adults conducting relationships with other adults, under the same circumstances of misogyny and abuse as are present in the ordinary monogamous world (in other words, too damn much anyway, but not bloody mandatory).

Why the fuck am I supposed to be answerable for the behaviours of the fanatics, again? "Dance, monkey, dance; you're weird in a way that might be claimed relevant to this question so explain those people in a way that makes me believe you're not one of them!"

I'm burned out on this shit. I haven't done much poly-activism for years, and I'm burned out on this shit. I'd like to, y'know, point out things like not only is it not legal to marry more than one person, it's a felony to suggest that it might be a nice idea in Michigan, and that sort of thing, if I were doing activist shit, but whenever I poky my head out from under my rock, I keep running into "What about the FLDS?"

What about them? I think they're godawful perpetrators of a system that destroys lives. I think that the criminalisation of polygamy probably makes it worse, because they are driven more thoroughly to hide what they're doing and perpetrate their fraud and abuse in ways that encourage it to get worse and keep any sort of social oversight from being present -- but that falls in with my whole position on "consensual crime". I think Jeffs is a fuckwit and at best a repeated accessory to rape. I think their theology is wacked, that they have a right to believe wacked things, and that their established system of dealing with their batshittery abuses their young people horribly and unforgiveably in criminal ways most of which would still be criminal ways if their marriages were legal.

I think I'm tired of people who abuse children and adolescents being used to shut down or hijack discussions about what adults choose to do with each other.

(The relevance of this point to other discussions kicking around the blogworld is left as an exercise to the reader.)

7 comments:

WordK said...

How fun! The first thought that ran threw my brain was "monogamous" fundamentalist religions are facilitate abuse of women and children through their theology. This is bad for the proponents of one man, one woman marriage.

That's a frustrating situation. You shouldn't have to explain how consensual polyamory/polygamy differs from abusive set-ups. It should be blindingly obvious.

WordK said...

How fun! The first thought that ran threw my brain was "monogamous" fundamentalist religions are facilitate abuse of women and children through their theology. This is bad for the proponents of one man, one woman marriage.

That's a frustrating situation. You shouldn't have to explain how consensual polyamory/polygamy differs from abusive set-ups. It should be blindingly obvious.

Daisy Bond said...

Yeah, its really ridiculous how often that happens. As wordk said: it should be blindingly obvious. Whenever one is talking about sex-related issues, consent isn't some tangential thing, it's the entire freaking point. So when you're analogizing, if the consent situation is different between the cases, the analogy doesn't hold and simply shouldn't be made. Polygynous marriage of girls below the age of consent is to polyamory as child molestation is to sex.

It's the same reasoning as the bizarre "homosexuality = pedophilia" stuff.

A. J. Luxton said...

I had no idea about the Michigan law.

It inclines me, if I had a spare year and some cash, to go there and purposely violate it. In a police station. As innocuously as possible. Just so as to get the ACLU to come up and say "um, hello, guys? Free speech", and overturn the damn thing.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

I was for a while on a mailing list for people who were interested in doing polyamory activism stuff, and I believe one of the organisers was in Michigan.

It struck me as one of those things that was really higher priority than starting to agitate for multiple spousal rights ... getting it at least legal to have the conversation.

joscelinverreui said...

Has that Michigan law been enforced in a while?

I know there's quite a few states that have bizarre laws that are never actually enforced, like that it's illegal to whistle while walking in the parks or something. A lot of them are unenforceable because of legal precedents established in courts and it seems (I suppose?) the legislature/people never bothers cleaning them out because they don't really affect anyone.

The Michigan law is 77 years old, older than the overwhelming majority of Michigan residents.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

That sort of law is the sort of thing that gets ignored up until someone starts shaking things up -- and then someone starts to take the notion to shut people down by whatever means possible, and digs up all kinds of mechanisms for doing it with.