Join Lindsay for the primer series on Mormon Polygamy that will begin with the wives of Joseph Smith and eventually broaden to contemporary strains of the practice today. This episode deals with Presendia Huntington Buell.
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Links mentioned in this podcast:
‘Time’ magazine, January 17th 2014
‘It Makes Economic Sense for a Woman to Have More Than One Husband’
by Judith Warner
Barbara Ehrenreich: “When you say to women, to get out of poverty you should get married, my question to them is how many men (do) you have to marry. Marrying a $10 an hour man gets you nowhere, so you’d really have to marry three or four.”
The above statement makes no sense. What Barbara Ehrenreich is describing is a matriarchal society. There is no “marry three or four”, or indeed “marriage” or “husband” or “wife” or “polyandry” or “polygamy” in a matriarchal society. All matriarchal society is concerned about is who is the mother of a child. The father of the child is almost always the brother of the mother, unless the brother is too young, in which case the father will be some other close blood relative. The inseminator or inseminators of the mother will always be from another clan. In a matriarchal society, the father of a child can never be the inseminator or one of the inseminators of the mother.
Matriarchal societies have been limited to savage societies.
All civilizations are polygamy civilizations, except for only one. Western Civilization, Minoan Civilization, Mycenaean Civilization, Hellenic Civilization, Christian Civilization, Protestant Civilization, Enlightened Civilization, and North America Civilization, forbids polygamy under any circumstances whatsoever, and limits every man to only one living wife.
In a patriarchal society not only must the mother of the child be known, but the inseminator of the mother must be known too. Western Civilization was established by marriage which combined the role of the inseminator and the father into one man.
As we can see from ‘The Iliad’ and ‘The Odyssey’ of several thousand years ago, and other classical writings, it is true that Western Civilization was not only unique among civilizations in strictly forbidding any man from having more than one living wife, but also unique in allowing a woman to have up to two living husbands.
But the marrying of two husbands was largely limited to women from the highest income classes, not women from the lowest income classes, as Barbara Ehrenreich proposes. And Barbara Ehrenreich becomes completely lost when she proposes that a woman, high income or not, be allowed “to marry three or four” so-called “husbands”. Western Civilization has never allowed that, and indeed it is physically impossible for a woman “to marry three or four” so-called “husbands”.
The purpose of Western Civilization marriage is for the husband or co-husband to share his “bed” and share his “board” with his one and only living wife, and to clothe and feed any children that are his, and for the wife to deliver to her husband a healthy son, and to deliver to her co-husband a healthy son.
It therefore follows that if a wife delivers to her husband a healthy son, she has completely fulfilled her marriage contract, and therefore has the right to take a co-husband in marriage. The woman’s marriage with her co-husband cuts off her husband from having another son, although the husband has all the daughters from both his marriage and the co-husband’s marriage. But after the woman marries her co-husband, any further sons belong solely to the co-husband. Indeed the co-husband can only have sons, as all daughters belong to the husband.
Remember, the sole purpose of a woman marrying a husband is to deliver to the husband a healthy son, and if she does so, she can decide to marry a co-husband with the same sole purpose of delivering to the co-husband a healthy son.
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