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Polygamy: A Cruel Arithmetic?

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Heads-up, in particular to my Canadian poly* friends! Columbia Attorney General Craig Jones, who was the province’s representative in the polygamy law constitutional court case, has written a book about polygamy, released a few days ago:

“A Cruel Arithmetic describes how the author’s own views evolved from scepticism to a committed belief in the campaign against polygamy. This book is also an invitation to Canadians across political, philosophical, and religious spectrums to exercise their curiosity, approach the issue with an open mind, and follow along as the evidence converges to its powerful and surprising conclusion.”–inside-the-case-against-polygamy

[Thanks to Carole Chanteuse of the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association for the tip in email.]

My own personal opinion here, is that the conclusion is not surprising at all. Unfortunately, this inability to distinguish between a valid, loving, alternative relationship style, vs. splinter groups based in patriarchy and abuse, seems rampant amongst those invested in the monogamous status quo as the only option for everyone (with absolutely no offense meant to the many thoughtful monogamous allies out there!)

The UUPA (Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness) have posted what I feel is a pretty good description of the distinctions between Polyamory and Polygamy, by Jasmine Walton. One of her main conclusions is:

Abuse must be dealt with separately from family structure. As in monogamous families, only sensational abuse makes the headlines. Polygamous families don’t want to be defined by the offenders in their communities any more than the rest of us do.

Sadly (in my opinion), Jones and others of like mind seem unable to grasp this essential point.

What do you think about all of this? Are polygamy and polyamory the same thing, or radically different?  … or some of each? Does polygamy lead inexorably to one man and many women, or might there be other ways to have multiple spouses? Are multiple-partner families necessarily headed for abuse… and/or perdition?

As always, I welcome discussion and commentary, either here, or on my FB Page, Love Outside The Box.

~♥ Dawn

PS: If you’d like to discuss this more privately (or any topic related to polyamory or other forms of ethical multi-partnering), you can drop me a line to ask for your own free 30-minute (or half-price 60 minute) session. I’m always happy to help others chart their own ways to their own best life and loves.


©2012, Dawn M. Davidson

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