Polygamy

.. their children once that wife started questioning the husbands absolute authority. Many women stay in these bad situations, because of their children. They do not want their children growing up without a father in their lives. However, once the husband starts abusing the children, then the wives feel that things have gone too far and they finally decide to break away, but not at all for the womens sake but for her children instead. The question is to what extent does freedom of religion go hand in hand with womens freedom and to what extent the freedom of women is restricted by polygamy.

Also many debates are centered on womens rights and the potential for abuse in a polygamous marriage. Tapestry of Polygamy, an anti-polygamy group that is made up of women who used to be married to polygamists, maintain that polygamy makes victims out of women and puts children in harms way. It was founded in 1998 and the group was named for the pattern their stories create when woven together. The majority of their work is counseling men and women that want to leave polygamous marriages, and they also push for enforcements of Utahs laws that ban polygamy. Within the last year, more than three hundred women followed the example of the former polygamist wives in the Tapestry, and left their plural marriage. The organization receives over two dozen calls from women and even some men who need someone to talk to about their polygamist religion.

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The Tapestry of Polygamy states that, polygamy is the biggest con in the world, men are in it for sex, not religion. Polygamy also means poverty, because there are so many children in the family, and the husband often does not hold a job. The husband has no reason to hold a job. This is because many of these husbands are spending each day of the week with a different wife and children. They stay the night with the wife so they do not have to pay rent.

The wife provides that days meals so there is no need for food or utility bills either. So in other words, the husband lives off his wives. There are other countries, besides America, that have polygamy being practiced within them. In Uganda, Africa polygamy is common. The statistics in this country say that between forty to fifty percent of unions are polygamous. In the rural areas it has become an economic necessity, since multiple wives and children provide unpaid farm labor.

The right of a man to take as many wives as he wishes is even protected under law, provided he could secure their comfort. However there have been studies that show that in many cases a second wife is put into humiliating roles, pushed aside, and her property is confiscated. In Uganda though there are more and more women who are challenging this practice. The FIDA, which is the Ugandan Association of Women Lawyers, has drafted a fifty-four page that defines the rights before, during, and after a marriage. The Law Reform Commission set out to regulate polygamous unions. It recommends that each man be restricted to two wives and that the need for a second wife must be justified in front of a Family and Children Court first.

Some say that the argument is not about wives, it is about letting people marry according to their beliefs. Beliefs should be healthy and not harm others or society. If it were someones belief to kill their wife after a year and then remarry and repeat this ever year, would it be tolerated and allowed. Islamic laws permit a man to take up to four wives, but there are strict conditions that this is allowed to take place under. He must go before an Islamic religious court and prove he will be able to afford it, will be fair and just to all of his wives, and he will not cause harm to the existing wife and the existing children.

Some opposing views are that Islams code of law says that men have the right to four wives and that any limitation of that right would create a huge violation of the freedom of religion. However the rules and laws of Islam may end up changing a little bit, because the Prime Minister of Islam, Mahathir Muhammad has been notably outspoken on the subject of polygamy. Some Parliament members have suggested that polygamy has been justified because women outnumbered men in the country of Malaysia by fourteen to one. However, the statistic department reported there were actually more Muslim men than women in the country. So women outnumbering men is no longer a strong enough opposing statement. There are so many things about polygamy that are different and just not right compared to a conventional marriage.

The sexuality behind closed doors is not intimate, because the wife knows that he is just following his schedule and that yesterday and tomorrow he will be with a different woman. It is nearly impossible to give yourself one hundred percent to a man who you know for the next six nights will be sleeping with about six different women. Some say that in sharing a husband you are not losing anything, but instead you are gaining salvation and sister-wives. Yes the woman gain sister-wives who can help with the children and household duties, but is it worth all the negativity that goes hand in hand with this kind of marriage. Yet to others polygamy represents a tie to an earlier time when their pioneering forefathers came to the west side of America and began a new future there.

Todays world is not the same as it was for their forefathers. Things do change and people need to realize this. Also just because a generation before us did a certain thing, does not make it right, and it certainly does not mean that we have to follow in those footsteps as well. Social Issues.