People do strange things I will tell you right now, people do strange things. To me personally, the practice of polygamy seems a bit excessive. I mean, that is a lot of work, most men can barely handle one wife, let alone many. But to each their own I suppose. Most people don’t agree with that though, they like to state their opinions on such things, which they are entitled to do. Two such people, who happen to have opposing viewpoints, are Cheshire Calhoun and Thom Brooks. Before I go into this, I’d like to point out that polygamy is not some unnatural unholy destruction of the sanctity of marriage. You want to see the sanctity of marriage destroyed, look at some celebrities. Polygamy is something that has been in many cultures and religions through the ages, including the good old USA. A lot of people feel revulsion towards it because it is uncommon, they were not raised that way so it’s wrong. For the purposes of this response, I will be ignoring public sentiment, most of it is irrelevant from a moral standpoint anyway.
Calhoun, in her assessment, believes that there is nothing truly morally objectionable to polygamy. She does concede a few negative facts, but it is not enough to break her argument. Calhoun take a much more legal approach to things than Brooks does in his response. Many Americans right now are living in polygamous marriages, it may not be recognized by the state, but that honestly doesn’t stop them. Most of these people are living this way because it is what their religion dictates. The point is, no matter what the law says, these people will continue living this way, religion is a powerful thing. Unfortunately, from a legal standpoint, this puts the women at a disadvantage. Since their marriage is not recognized under the law, they are not afforded the same rights as a wife would have. Even though that is exactly what they are. By legalizing polygamy, we would be giving power to these women. A man might not take as many wives, knowing that they are protected by divorce laws and the right to share assets and make decisions. The only real objection she argues against is the idea the polygamy facilitates gender inequality. But she’s quick to present her rebuttal that, if handled the right way with the correct laws put in place to protect these women, inequality would not be an issue. As best I can tell, she’s running with the slippery slope argument of “why not?” Just because someone doesn’t agree with it doesn’t mean it should be illegal.
Brooks is of a mind to disagree. His argument was a bit clearer than hers and the main thread which seemed to stick out was his belief that it is unfair to women and children. He chooses to ignore most of her talk about laws and such and makes more of an emotional appeal. For example he sites studies about women in these situations being at a higher risk for low self-esteem and depression than women in monogamous relationships. He goes on the site more studies, stating that these women enjoy less marital satisfaction and even more strained mother-child relationships. This logically makes sense, one man cannot give many women his full attention. They feel as if they have to compete with the others. He goes on