Polygamy or Polyamory?

I find this interesting:

A long-awaited verdict in the trial of two Canadian religious leaders accused of polygamy is expected on Monday.

Winston Blackmore, 61, is accused of having 24 wives and his former brother-in-law James Oler, 53, is alleged to have married four women.

They are both former bishops of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

The landmark polygamy trial is expected to test the boundaries of religious freedom in Canada.

Polygamy is illegal under Section 293 of Canada’s Criminal Code.

On the one hand you have old, fat white men being prosecuted for having multiple wives. On the other you have puff-pieces in the NYT and Vice promoting polyamory and agitating for legal and societal recognition of the sleeping arrangements. If polygamy is illegal then the marriages are not valid, so how does this differ from polyamory?

Personally I find both situations rather unsavoury, but if Blackmore wants to avoid a 5-year jail sentence he ought to grow a goatee beard, stop eating until his arms take on a noodle-like girth, move to Brooklyn and start whining to journalists that people continually judge his lifestyle. I’m sure at least one of his 24 wives has a personality disorder of some sort, she could be shoved to the front along with her kids to get the liberals on board. Just get her to dye her hair green and wear an “I’m With Her” badge, she’ll be featured in a column within a week.

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19 thoughts on “Polygamy or Polyamory?

  1. A thought occued to me the other day. Without social pressure to monogamy, both men and women tend to polygamy. Women will deny this, but if a group of women is chasing a much smaller group of men, then those men will inevitably have multiple partners, de facto polygamy.
    So the only thing separating patriarchy and matriarchy is the identity of the lucky chaps. Funny old world, eh?

  2. It does seem to me that polygamy is illegal because traditionally it has been fraud, the first and second wives being generally unaware of each others existance. I don’t think polygamy as a crime really maps onto the situation where the wives know what they are getting into.

  3. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: why anyone would want more than one partner is utterly beyond my comprehension.

  4. It does seem to me that polygamy is illegal because traditionally it has been fraud, the first and second wives being generally unaware of each others existance.

    That, and I think it generally isn’t good for society. Certainly, the societies which practice it seem to be ones that have a Big Man syndrome whereby one guy in the village hordes all the wealth and gets all the women and the rest live off his discarded scraps.

  5. if Blackmore wants to avoid a 5-year jail sentence he ought to grow a goatee beard, stop eating until his arms take on a noodle-like girth, move to Brooklyn and start whining to journalists that people continually judge his lifestyle.

    Growing a bigger beard and converting to Islam would be quicker.

  6. I agree, monogamy is one of the cornerstones of civilization, but good luck telling women they have to be shared out equally. That ship has sailed.

  7. Anecdatum alert, but
    If you make women in public as ugly as possible, you permit 4 wives per man, etc
    You will get a lot of frustrated young men.
    And then a lot of homosexuality
    And then a lot of mullas and imams raging about homosexuality.

    Short skirts and monogamy is a way of reducing homosexuality. (Not sure about this last.)

  8. @James

    More like:
    “Short skirts on attractive ladies is the best way to reduce Islamist terror”

    In’Shallah! An anti extremism policy that doesn’t mulllah* free speech, and one I can truly get behind!

    (Or underneath. Or on top of)

    * god bless autocorrect- it’s funnier than i am

  9. “Certainly, the societies which practice it seem to be ones that have a Big Man syndrome whereby one guy in the village hordes all the wealth and gets all the women and the rest live off his discarded scraps.” That’s the way it worked in the Fundamentalist LDS communities in northern Arizona/southern Utah. The young men were driven out so the old men could ‘marry’ the young women. A lot of nastiness there, beyond the polygamy; child ‘brides’, welfare fraud, etc.

    “the first and second wives being generally unaware of each others existence.” That wasn’t true in Utah in the early days, and it’s not true today in Fundamentalist LDS polygamy. All of the women married to one man consider themselves to be ‘sister wives’. Mark Twain had some interesting comments about life in Salt Lake City back then.

  10. John Square
    Good joke your autocorrect mullered your comment.

    Marginally more serious
    Free love communities have been founded everywhere. There was even one near where I was born in Somerset. They rarely last longer than the sex fiend /religious charismatic who founded it though. Sadly, the one in Somerset died out a century before I qualified.

  11. The young men were driven out so the old men could ‘marry’ the young women.

    Yup, that was a theme in the Bill Paxton TV series Big Love, which was about polygamous Mormons.

    Mark Twain had some interesting comments about life in Salt Lake City back then.

    I’ve not seen them, but I read Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer, which was good.

  12. They rarely last longer than the sex fiend /religious charismatic who founded it though.

    The Mormons initially adopted polygamy because Joseph Smith wanted to shag around and his wife objected. He then announced he’d had a revelation commanding him to take extra wives.

  13. Here’s the verdict. Both Winston Blackmore and James Oler have been found guilty of polygamy by B.C. judge. IMHO polygamy should be legal in Canada (I live in Vancouver, BC) as long as all involved are of legal age and were of legal age when the romance began. IMHO for a polygamous marriage 21 years of age. It avoids all the child bride problems or at least the majority. In addition, it shouldn’t be necessary to obtain the permission of all participants in the marriage to add another to the marriage. Also if divorcing the regular Canadian divorce laws should apply.

    Can you imagine what someone like Winston Blackmore would say if one of his wives suddenly announced she had married another man? Or married a woman? And was planning on adding him/her to the family housing unit?

    Canadian divorce laws would in themselves would probably end the idea of most polygamous marriages. Once one wife had left the marriage divorcing her husband and taking at least half the assets, maybe more, for child support, 10 kids are expensive to support. The other wives would look around and probably decide to leave while there’re still some assets left. After a few of these divorces made the news the idea of some old rich guy gathering a harem of young, nubile females would soon lose its lustre.

    BTW same sex marriage is legal in all areas of Canada. IIRC Canada was the 2nd country in the world to legalise same sex marriage and we haven’t been swallowed whole by the Earth or invaded by demons. We are occasionally invaded by hordes of Americans when American politics goes wonky but Americans aren’t quite demons, some are simply ill mannered and poor drivers.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-polygamy-trial-1.4218735

  14. Polygamists sue using gay marriage logic

    Here’s the simple logic behind today’s conventional wisdom about who should have family law fundamentally restructured on their behalf and who shouldn’t:

    Gays are good, so they should get whatever they want. Fundamentalist Mormon wackos are bad, so they shouldn’t.

    And that’s all you need to know. The rest is just an exercise in legalistic rationalization of the basic who / whom distinction of gays good / Mormons bad.

    That logic will stand to keep polygamy banned as long as it’s just blond Mormons doing the suing. But, at some point, say, two immigrants from Guinea here on fraudulent asylum visas will sue for a third spousal visa to import a third spouse into their polygamous marital union. If they are all gay black immigrant HIV+ men who are members of a [long-awaited] progressive gay-friendly Muslim sect and they want immigration laws changed to recognize their culture’s ancient history of gay polygamy (just wait for the scholarly books), well, then they’ve got what will, over a few decades, turn into an obvious slam dunk case. I can’t predict exactly which legal rationalizations will be trotted out in that kind of case, but it’s only a matter of time.

  15. Canada was the 2nd country in the world to legalise same sex marriage and we haven’t been swallowed whole by the Earth or invaded by demons.

    Gay marriage in Canada was never about marriage. It was about using the pincer attack of legalized gay marriage and draconian anti-discrimination law to attack the Catholic church and other religious institutions that preached against homosexuality.

    Except for Islam, of course. The reason you don’t hear much about gays suing bakeries in Canada is that Muslims have replaced gays as the royal flush in the left’s victimhood poker.

  16. Gay marriage in Canada was never about marriage.

    Same in the US.

    Muslims have replaced gays as the royal flush in the left’s victimhood poker.

    Yup: white gay men are being thrown under the bus.

  17. Dunno about Polys in Arizona/Utah being rich white guys but I got the impression these guys in Canada were backwoodsmen living more or less a subsistence lifestyle. The wives were probably there to do the hard work as much as for sex/children.

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