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Do you know of any matriarchal societies where polygyny is the norm?

 

The Vanatinai of Papua New Guinea, off the top of my head.

 

Poly households in what setting?

 

A standard, secular, polyamorous household in a free country.

 

And do you mean women taking new partners, or bringing in new wives for their husband?

 

Both. the former happens more often, but the latter is still more common than a bloke bringing a new partner in for himself.

 

I found this thread of Muslims discussing polygamy. The majority among them seems to say "absolutely not" or "well, if I have to." If women desperately want a permanent arrangement, of course they'll agree to polygamy - they risk their husband cheating, leaving, or worse if they say no.

 

That's very interesting. It disagrees from anything I've ever heard from Palestinian muslim women, however. One of the women who works with Aisha at the hospital is always saying how horrible she feels for women whose husbands have only one wife. So, all I can say to that is it is a very different narrative from the one I hear on a regular basis. I would ask what the demographics of that thread are, but it's impossible to know.

 

Sorry but I have to disagree here.

 

Feel free to disagree. I'm simply giving you the opinion of someone who was raised in a muslim poly household and saw it in her culture, and what happened. Frankly, I'm going to go with her opinion.

 

n, there's a greater chance of the non-abused party seeing it for what it is instead of telling her "you deserved it."

 

Not in the muslim world, by and large. With a multiple-wife household, you have a greater chance of witnesses to the abuse that allow you to file for divorce. In a single-wife household, you don't.

 

Again, I've personally never been there, this is simply me repeating Aisha's opinions.

 

SIGH. Again, this is how I personally feel about particular setups.

 

I get that. I'm just saying, you could very easily anger someone because you're basically accusing a loving partner of being oppressive. It doesn't have anything to do with my set up, obviously, but I do know people who would consider that very insulting, as if saying your family is somehow more enlightened or better.

 

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The Vanatinai of Papua New Guinea, off the top of my head.

 

Everything I can find says that they're mostly egalitarian, not female-dominated.

 

A standard, secular, polyamorous household in a free country.

Both. the former happens more often, but the latter is still more common than a bloke bringing a new partner in for himself.

 

Alright, but do you think it would remain this way if polyamory were to become widespread? Because I don't see that happening, not in a male-dominated culture. With it on the fringes, women can be in control, but if it suddenly became widespread I really believe we'd eventually end up with the dynamic seen in countries where women aren't free - men would take other wives against the wishes of their first, and women who took other husbands would be vilified. We already see this double standard where men are allowed to have as many individual partners as they want but women are vilified if they have more than one.

 

I get that. I'm just saying, you could very easily anger someone because you're basically accusing a loving partner of being oppressive. It doesn't have anything to do with my set up, obviously, but I do know people who would consider that very insulting, as if saying your family is somehow more enlightened or better.

 

I can't control how others feel about or react to my opinions, unfortunately.

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Everything I can find says that they're mostly egalitarian, not female-dominated.

 

It's a matrilocal, matrilineal society with egalitarian rights.

 

Alright, but do you think it would remain this way if polyamory were to become widespread?

 

Absolutely.

 

We already see this double standard where men are allowed to have as many individual partners as they want but women are vilified if they have more than one.

 

Which is a problem to fix with the society, not with the relationships themselves. Heck, I've had rocks thrown at me at a charity event because people view me as an oppressive misogynist.

 

I can't control how others feel about or react to my opinions, unfortunately.

 

But can you understand how that opinion may be hurtful and inaccurate?

 

Aisha was raised the first daughter of a third wife, as a Palestinian muslim. Her father eventually took another wife after the death of his second. All of the wives were treated as human beings, all of them were loved, and all of them acted as a family unit, even though they were not sexually involved. Aisha's mother was so distraught when the second wife died that she locked herself in her room and cried for twelve hours. When he eventually took another wife, it was his wives' idea, not his. He had every plan to remain with just the remaining two, but they put their feet down.

 

In your view, that is "inequal" and "oppressive." It's like you have this view that a guy comes home and says, "Oh, sorry dear, forgot to tell you, I'm bringing so-and-so home, whether you like it or not.

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That's not actually true. I know of at least on culture where polyandry is the norm and it's still a male-dominated society, because they believe that one child can have multiple fathers. Thus, women are encouraged to go after the handsome one, the funny one, and the good provider, because they then believe the child will have traits from all three "fathers."

 

What society is this?

 

Actually, it's more common in poly households for the women to be the ones to bring in new partners. Men tend to favour the "open relationship" ideal while women tend to want to have more permanent an arrangement.

 

Do you have any statistics on polyamory households? It just seems like you’re generalizing here.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story...-by-choice.html

 

I’ve seen these articles crop up several times. It’s also occurring in countries like China.

 

You can't use Mormons as a good example of polyamory, because Mormon women believe that women should not have equal rights with men. That is a completely different dynamic. Legally they may have equal rights, but they don't want them. They believe it's wrong.

 

You can say the same about Muslims and even some Christians.

 

According to Aisha, who grew up in a muslim poly household, A single man who has a single woman completely. In a poly household, even an inequal one, multiple wives meant the women had a better support network and structure than a woman with no other wives, because in that case, a man could easily isolate her from any other contact, make sure she has no friends, etc.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Philpott ; )

 

In multiple states yes. In the map below, cohabitating with a married couple is illegal in the states marked with maroon/dark red

 

How many of them would actually try to persecute?

 

It's a matrilocal, matrilineal society with egalitarian rights.

 

Depends on how "matriarchal" is defined. It would also be helpful to know the ratio of polygamy to traditional marriages, too. It’s also not that great of an example. There’s only like a few thousand isolated individuals.

 

“Lepowsky spent hours in libraries searching and found her island, Vanatinai, between New Guinea and Australia, where men and women lived side by side in an almost egalitarian society.

"There was an absence of male superiority. The only edge was polygamy, but that was rarely practiced," she wrote in "Fruit of the Motherland," published by Columbia University Press.”

 

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I have a question for you guys. Why is this a polygamy thread not a polyamory thread? From my understanding, polygamy = one man many wives whereas polyamory = more than two people in a relationship. Shouldn't the name of this thread be changed to polyamory?

 

One thing that I haven't seen over the past few pages is polyandry. The case where a woman has multiple husbands.

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Absolutely.

 

World history shows that it would. There are exceptions, there are always exceptions, but exceptions aren't the rule, and I'm going to err on the side of world history in this case.

 

But can you understand how that opinion may be hurtful and inaccurate?

 

In some cases, it is inaccurate. In many, it isn't.

 

In your view, that is "inequal" and "oppressive." It's like you have this view that a guy comes home and says, "Oh, sorry dear, forgot to tell you, I'm bringing so-and-so home, whether you like it or not.

 

That's awesome that their family was so happy and so close. I mean that, it sounds like everyone really loved each other and I'm glad they could be so happy.

 

But what if they had wanted another husband, instead of asking for another wife?

 

If the women had wanted to, would their husband have allowed them to have multiple husbands? If the women had been involved with each other, would that bisexuality have been viewed as sinful? Without that information, I can't tell you if it's unequal or not. If the answer is yes to both, then there is no oppression or inequality. But if the answer is no to either of those, even if they never would have taken the opportunity to do either of those things, then there was a double-standard and, yes, that was unequal.

 

Note that just because a situation was unequal, doesn't mean that I think they were unhappy or that I'm invalidating Aisha's family experience. But happiness in a position doesn't suddenly make it an example of equality, just like a woman in the 1800's being happy as a housewife with no job and never voting doesn't suddenly make her situation objectively equal to her husband's. Does that make any sense?

Edited by AngelKitty

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I have a question for you guys. Why is this a polygamy thread not a polyamory thread? From my understanding, polygamy = one man many wives whereas polyamory = more than two people in a relationship. Shouldn't the name of this thread be changed to polyamory?

 

One thing that I haven't seen over the past few pages is polyandry. The case where a woman has multiple husbands.

Technically, Kiffren, polygamy means multiple spouses. Polygyny is specific for more than one wife.

 

We all have those moments, no? I have epic ones. biggrin.gif

Edited by ainisarie

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Technically, Kiffren, polygamy means multiple spouses. Polygyny is specific for more than one wife.

Oh, herpaderp I had a derp. Let's just ignore me. Thanks for clearing that up.

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World history shows that it would.

 

World history also shows the same thing about monogamy. World history shows lots of things, like that rape goes up when wars occur.

 

Modern history and statistics have shown, however, that rape levels have stayed steady over the last ten years, despite being in an active war.

 

World history also shows that the people are willing to go to war for their beliefs, modern statistics, however, show that number has dropped by more than half.

 

History is not always something we are doomed to repeat.

 

If the women had wanted to, would their husband have allowed them to have multiple husbands? If the women had been involved with each other, would that bisexuality have been viewed as sinful?

 

I cannot answer that, because all of the people involved were straight, and the women themselves would have viewed a relationship like that as sinful. They would not want another husband, either. Too much work. That does not mean they wouldn't have been allowed to do that. The first thing Aisha's mother said when Aisha told her she was bi, was to fall in love with the wife as well as the husband if it would make her happy.

 

My point is you can't call a relationship oppressive to the women if the women and the husband both view the woman as in control of the household. From the outside, no one is capable of judging another's relationship. From the outside, you would have looked on that relationship and called it unequal or oppressive.

 

Note that just because a situation was unequal, doesn't mean that I think they were unhappy or that I'm invalidating Aisha's family experience.

 

You kind of are. You're saying that fundamentally, an equal relationship is "better" than one you view as unequal. i hate to bring kink into it, but it's the best analogy I have at the moment. A dom and a sub may not have equal amounts of "power" in a scene, but if everyone is giving 100% of themselves to the others, and loving the others in entirety, they are both equally in the relationship.

 

a woman in the 1800's being happy as a housewife with no job and never voting doesn't suddenly make her situation objectively equal to her husband's.

 

So, what about a woman in 2013, with no job and never votes, is she by virtue of that, unequal to her husband?

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World history also shows the same thing about monogamy.

 

Yes, monogamous marriage has and still is used as a tool of oppression, but it is easier to have an equal monogamous marriage than it is to have an equal polygamous marriage where there is one of one sex and many of the other, because the one has access to many while the many have to share the same one.

 

World history shows lots of things, like that rape goes up when wars occur.

 

Modern history and statistics have shown, however, that rape levels have stayed steady over the last ten years, despite being in an active war.

 

Rape where? Worldwide or in a particular country? Source?

 

I cannot answer that, because all of the people involved were straight, and the women themselves would have viewed a relationship like that as sinful. They would not want another husband, either. Too much work. That does not mean they wouldn't have been allowed to do that. The first thing Aisha's mother said when Aisha told her she was bi, was to fall in love with the wife as well as the husband if it would make her happy.

 

My point is you can't call a relationship oppressive to the women if the women and the husband both view the woman as in control of the household. From the outside, no one is capable of judging another's relationship. From the outside, you would have looked on that relationship and called it unequal or oppressive.

 

But if they had decided at some point that they did want those things, would their husband have allowed it (if polyandry is even legal)? If not, then it was a double-standard and unequal, because the man was allowed to do something the women were forbidden from doing. If you can't answer that, then I can't say if it's oppressive or unequal.

 

You kind of are. You're saying that fundamentally, an equal relationship is "better" than one you view as unequal.

 

I'm not talking about my personal views of what is unequal (the whole "one person has more love" thing), that's subjective (and I recognize that) and separate from what I'm trying to say here.

 

An equal relationship, where all parties have the same things available to them, is better than one that is objectively unequal, where partners of one sex are actively forbidden something partners of the other sex are not.

 

When someone is not given the opportunity for something based on their sex, race, creed, etc. that is oppression.

 

So, what about a woman in 2013, with no job and never votes, is she by virtue of that, unequal to her husband?

 

If she has freely chosen that without coercion from her husband or family, then no, she made that choice. If her husband or family coerced her into it, then yes, that is unequal and oppressive.

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But if they had decided at some point that they did want those things, would their husband have allowed it (if polyandry is even legal)? If not, then it was a double-standard and unequal, because the man was allowed to do something the women were forbidden from doing. If you can't answer that, then I can't say if it's oppressive or unequal.

A better way to phrase that might be "Would their culture/society/country allow it?".

 

Asking whether their husband would implies that he makes all the decisions. That being said, there may be numerous reasons why he wouldn't want it. What if one of the wives wanted it and the other wife didn't?

 

Edit: Another point is that there are many things a woman is allowed to do that a man isn't. Let me give the example of restrooms in the united states. In any restroom/locker room a woman can go into the men's locker/restroom. The moment a man steps foot in a woman's locker room/restroom he will be yelled at and perhaps persecuted for child molestation/abuse/something. Men and women are not treated equal in any society.

Edited by kiffren

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A better way to phrase that might be "Would their culture/society/country allow it?".

 

Asking whether their husband would implies that he makes all the decisions. That being said, there may be numerous reasons why he wouldn't want it. What if one of the wives wanted it and the other wife didn't?

 

That's exactly what I was thinking. There comes a point where you have to take into account the cultural aspect; for example, a lot of Americans view Islamic women as oppressed because they are heavily garbed for religious and cultural purposes. However, many of the women don't necessarily feel that way and would be rather offended if you suggested that she remove her clothing.

 

I don't have much knowledge on the subject of polygamy or Muslim households, but I remember reading about them in A Thousand Splendid Suns. The wives of the protagonist's father were very structured and pretty much ran the household together. THEY were the cause for putting the girl in an arranged marriage with a man that would later beat her within an inch of her life (or something to that degree). Now that I think about it, the polygamous marriage compared to the monogamous marriage in that book was very clear that the polygamous one was favored and much better for the parties involved. It goes to show that judging another cultural aspect by a different cultural point of view will always cause disconnect and be, at the very least, inaccurate.

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A better way to phrase that might be "Would their culture/society/country allow it?".

 

Asking whether their husband would implies that he makes all the decisions. That being said, there may be numerous reasons why he wouldn't want it. What if one of the wives wanted it and the other wife didn't?

 

Edit: Another point is that there are many things a woman is allowed to do that a man isn't. Let me give the example of restrooms in the united states. In any restroom/locker room a woman can go into the men's locker/restroom. The moment a man steps foot in a woman's locker room/restroom he will be yelled at and perhaps persecuted for child molestation/abuse/something. Men and women are not treated equal in any society.

 

Who doesn't permit it doesn't make that big of a difference - if he would permit it but the culture/law/whatever wouldn't, it doesn't make the situation any less unequal, it just means that the husband respects his wives. That's excellent, more men should be that way, but if the law doesn't have the same respect then the women are still not equal to their husband.

 

And the reason that men are generally driven out of the women's restroom is because men DO try to access women's restrooms for less-than-savory purposes. It's not because men are being oppressed, rather, it's the response of women to their own oppression and objectification. Women going into the men's room pose little to no overall threat to men, but men going into the women's restroom often do pose a threat.

Edited by AngelKitty

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*peeks in* Can I ask a question? Just, like, people's opinion?

 

Do you think a poly relationship would work long-term if it was... more for two people's benefit then the third's?

 

And that sounds confusing even to me. Without getting into too much detail, someone from my girlfriend's past has recently come into our lives and I knew before all this that my gf never really stopped loving her. They were never actually together, just... messed around and stuff... But it seems that this woman is very very serious about my gf now. And it's sort of that situation where I want Reese to be happy, no matter what, and I'm not in love with this woman but I have grown to care about her, and I don't *think* I'd become like a third-wheel or something, I know Reese still loves me... I've just never been in this situation before. I'm really not opposed to *trying* something between the three of us, I'm just.... nervous?

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Marriage should be between one man and one woman. You CANNOT split your love between more than one person and truly be giving them all of your love. You can give them both a LOT of your love, but not all of it. That's what's so sweet and beautiful about romance; you have to pick one true soul mate to cherish above all others, you can't just go around collecting every person you like. Having to choose is what makes the bond so strong and so precious.

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Marriage should be between one man and one woman. You CANNOT split your love between more than one person and truly be giving them all of your love. You can give them both a LOT of your love, but not all of it. That's what's so sweet and beautiful about romance; you have to pick one true soul mate to cherish above all others, you can't just go around collecting every person you like. Having to choose is what makes the bond so strong and so precious.

By that logic, no one should be able to have more than one child, or more than one friend, or more than one pet, because having more than one means you care about the first less and less each time you let another into your heart.

 

I'm sorry, but love doesn't work that way.

 

If you care about someone or something, and someone or something else comes along that you also care about, you will find that you have more love to give.

 

I mean, c'mon. You simply cannot give EVERY SINGLE LAST OUNCE of your love to a single person. If you did that (and it were possible), there would be no room for you to love anything else at all.

 

They may be different kinds of love, sure, but love at its core is simply a deep, strong emotional connection to something, and that's something that just cannot be quantified.

 

And if you believe that it is...I feel sorry for anyone or anything who comes into your life after you marry, I really do.

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Marriage should be between one man and one woman. You CANNOT split your love between more than one person and truly be giving them all of your love. You can give them both a LOT of your love, but not all of it. That's what's so sweet and beautiful about romance; you have to pick one true soul mate to cherish above all others, you can't just go around collecting every person you like. Having to choose is what makes the bond so strong and so precious.

Errr isn't that like saying you should only have one child because you can't truly share your love between more than one child?

 

EDIT: totally got ninja.gif 'd

Edited by Syaoransbear

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I'd have to agree with the lovely fellows above me. I have many friends whom I love very equally. I love both my parents equally. When I had more than one pet I loved them equally. I would never be able to choose between them.

 

The only reason I wouldn't be capable of polygamy myself is because the only serious relationship I've ever had ended up being mentally and emotionally harmful to me, and I've developed some icky insecurities because of that.

 

But if all those involved in that kind of relationship were aware of one another and gave their consent, then I say why not? smile.gif

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Marriage should be between one man and one woman. You CANNOT split your love between more than one person and truly be giving them all of your love. You can give them both a LOT of your love, but not all of it. That's what's so sweet and beautiful about romance; you have to pick one true soul mate to cherish above all others, you can't just go around collecting every person you like. Having to choose is what makes the bond so strong and so precious.

The thing I don't understand about this idea is that it makes it sound like love is something that can be measured. I always thought of it as infinite, there's no real set quantity.

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You CANNOT split your love between more than one person and truly be giving them all of your love. You can give them both a LOT of your love, but not all of it.

One must not have very much love in their heart to begin with, to be able to only give it to one person. (I'm not talking about monogamy either - there's family and friends to love too.)

 

That's what's so sweet and beautiful about romance; you have to pick one true soul mate to cherish above all others, you can't just go around collecting every person you like.

I find it sweet and beautiful to have two soul mates who I don't have to choose between. I don't collect them. I just happened to fall in love with two guys.

 

Having to choose is what makes the bond so strong and so precious.

Me having to choose would leave more than one person hurt. It would not strengthen any bond.

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*peeks in* Can I ask a question? Just, like, people's opinion?

 

Do you think a poly relationship would work long-term if it was... more for two people's benefit then the third's?

 

And that sounds confusing even to me. Without getting into too much detail, someone from my girlfriend's past has recently come into our lives and I knew before all this that my gf never really stopped loving her. They were never actually together, just... messed around and stuff... But it seems that this woman is very very serious about my gf now. And it's sort of that situation where I want Reese to be happy, no matter what, and I'm not in love with this woman but I have grown to care about her, and I don't *think* I'd become like a third-wheel or something, I know Reese still loves me... I've just never been in this situation before. I'm really not opposed to *trying* something between the three of us, I'm just.... nervous?

Talk to your girlfriend and the other woman about how you feel. That's the most important action right now. Communication is always important, whatever the end result.

 

I don't know any of you so I can't say that polyamory would or wouldn't be a good idea, but I do feel that everybody involved in any relationship should be happy with how the relationship is - if you're not comfortable with a polyamorous relationship, for any reason, don't be afraid to say no. It might seem like the selfish choice but one unhappy party can throw a wrench in the whole relationship. Someone who loves you and cares about you will respect your choices and won't begrudge you for your feelings.

Edited by AngelKitty

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Marriage should be between one man and one woman. You CANNOT split your love between more than one person and truly be giving them all of your love. You can give them both a LOT of your love, but not all of it. That's what's so sweet and beautiful about romance; you have to pick one true soul mate to cherish above all others, you can't just go around collecting every person you like. Having to choose is what makes the bond so strong and so precious.

Thanks. Good to know no one in my household loves anyone else enough. Never mind that I've never felt so loved or safe as I have with this woman, who also loves a man. Never mind that she would do anything for both of us.

 

Tact, dude. There are people here living that life, and you're being super rude about your opinion. Maybe YOU can only love one person, and that's fine. But you aren't me. I'm a different person, with different experiences.

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Marriage should be between one man and one woman. You CANNOT split your love between more than one person and truly be giving them all of your love. You can give them both a LOT of your love, but not all of it. That's what's so sweet and beautiful about romance; you have to pick one true soul mate to cherish above all others, you can't just go around collecting every person you like. Having to choose is what makes the bond so strong and so precious.

And that's your opinion. Perhaps it would be best if you had said "I don't think I could split my love..." and carried on from there, rather than saying no-one can love more than one person at a time. I have a lot of love for my ex and I think I always will; she was a wonderful person and a brilliant part of my life, she just wasn't the right one for me. And even if I can never talk to her again I still will always love and cherish her. That doesn't mean the next woman in my life will have to compete with her or feel any less loved; I will love them for being them, in their own way.

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And that's your opinion. Perhaps it would be best if you had said "I don't think I could split my love..." and carried on from there, rather than saying no-one can love more than one person at a time. I have a lot of love for my ex and I think I always will; she was a wonderful person and a brilliant part of my life, she just wasn't the right one for me. And even if I can never talk to her again I still will always love and cherish her. That doesn't mean the next woman in my life will have to compete with her or feel any less loved; I will love them for being them, in their own way.

That's exactly how I feel, Kestra. The first girl that I fell in love with is still very special and dear to me, and I will always care about her and love her. But I am still completely capable of loving and giving my all to my girlfriend now. The human heart is a beautiful and unlimited thing c:

 

unless you're Iron Man

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I feel that I can only romantically love one person at a time. When I'm in love with someone, all men on the planet seem to gain some ick factor about them that makes it feel yucky if I try to think of them in a romantic way. It's like all men on the planet become my brothers or something tongue.gif.

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