Sister Wives.

Do you watch it? It’s a show on TLC that follows the Brown family. The Browns consist of Kody (the husband), Meri (the first & only legal wife), Janelle (the second wife), Christine (the third wife), Robin (the fourth wife), & their collective children (which I think total 17). The children go to public school, & Kody, Meri, & Janelle (& maybe now Robin, too) work outside the home. Meri actually lost her job not long after the premier & had to search for a new one. Christine stays home with the younger children. They used to live in Utah, but had to move after their show aired its first season. Why? Because Utah officials were investigating their family. Not because of abuse or neglect allegations, but because they are polygamists.

Now, let me just clear something up. I am not a polygamist. I would never be a polygamist. It’s not the lifestyle for me. But I respect the decision. & it is their decision. I believe it is their decision.

Let’s look at this at a few different angles for a moment.

A man, (we’ll call him Larry) has a rather, ahem, promiscuous sex life. He fathers several children with several different women. He makes no commitment to his children or their mothers. If the kids are lucky, he has a job & pays child support. If they are super-lucky, he spends every other weekend with them (presumably not also with their mothers). Unless someone suspects abuse or neglect, they live their lives without any interference.

Another angle. I’m sure you’ve heard of Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar & their 19 children. They own rental properties & car dealerships (& who knows what other businesses). They support their children, homeschool, go to church, & believe that the only birth control they need is faith in God. They buy used clothing, toys, books, cars. They built their own house from the ground up – it was a family affair, with all the kids pitching in to help.

So how do these compare to the Browns?  Well, in all situations there are multiple children with a single father. The Browns & Larry have multiple mothers in common. The Browns & the Duggars both support their children, share a commitment to each other, & have religious ties.

Personally, I think the Browns & the Duggars are miles above Larry & his baby mamas. They support their children, parent them, & are committed to each other in holy matrimony (the definition of which is dependent on their chosen religion).

So why are the Browns persecuted while the Duggars aren’t? Sure, the Duggars have their own share of nay-sayers, but as far as I am aware, none of them have resulted in legal issues. Both call on their religion to guide their family structures – the Browns follow a religion that embraces polygamy (though they have never publicly specified which religion), while the Duggars are Christians who believe that God will bless them with as many children as He wants them to raise. So why the disparity? Why should the number of women make a difference if Larry can have all the baby mamas he wants? At least Kody is present for his children.

There are blended families everywhere you look. We are one. McDreamy gets custody of Zola every other weekend. We rarely get to see her in between. Which means we go two weeks between visits. Based on what we see through the show (which I know is somewhat scripted, but seems to be pretty “real”), Kody sees most of his children on a daily basis. Sure, he may miss a few of the older kids a couple of days here & there, since they are off with friends or involved in sports, but by-&-large, they all get to see him at least once daily. We would love to have that opportunity. Does that make their family structure superior to ours? If it does, should we hire a lawyer?

& doesn’t Utah have anything better to use their resources on? Why spend so much time, money, & manpower to investigate a family that, for all intents & purposes, seems healthy, taken care of, & well-adjusted? It really makes no sense to me, except as a political move. Once the series premiered, media & the public’s attention was placed squarely on the Browns (& thereby Utah). Because of the controversial family structure & Utah’s anti-polygamy laws (which define polygamy as co-habitation vs. other states who prohibit multiple marriages), I can only surmise that the political bigwigs of Utah felt that something needed to be done. So, they initiated the investigation & waste of resources.

But wait! Didn’t the Browns bring this on themselves? NO. Yes, they decided to broadcast their polygamist lifestyle on a national level. But the ridiculous notion that polygamy should be illegal, is “wrong”, et cetera is to blame here. If this antiquated notion was put to rest, this family could go on living, as they have for decades. In peace. As a family. Happy. Healthy. Whole.

What’s so wrong with that?


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