April 10, 2008

I Don't Suppose We Could Save the Girls . . .

without also assuring the women that they were also, in fact, the victims in this "victimless crime."

Posted by Attila Girl at April 10, 2008 12:01 AM | TrackBack

Polygamy in science fiction or in the mind of the crazy guy I met this weekend (flying cars! robot slaves! gay/straight/bi polygamy for everyone!) is sold as a feminist, respectful, harmonious arrangement among equals. Maybe some day it can be.

Even on Big Love, the three wives look pretty happy... and I've read articles by polygamous wives that claim it works for them. But these are urban, educated women with solid identities of their own.

What goes on in these compounds with semi-educated, sheltered, manipulated girls who've been provided with no options or alternative world views breaks my heart.

Posted by: Rin at April 10, 2008 09:56 AM

Exactly. Just as there is a difference between prostitution in developed countries versus prostitution in, say, Southeast Asia /other developing regions / slave operations in this country (just as the locked compounds wherein immigrants are held against their will and separated by society--for garment work, etc.).

But what we cannot do is try to solve either problem by infantalizing grown women. Even if we feel that an adult woman has been infantalized/enslaved by her culture (which could be the offshoot sects from fundamentalist Mormonism, or certain strains of Islamism, with the woman-as-property mindset and a culture that encourages "honor kilings" of rape victims, or of young ladies who were seen in the presence of a non-related male).

The law cannot make these distinctions; all we can do is rescue the minors who live in compounds on which THE LAW IS BEING ACTIVELY BROKEN. Children, we have a right and a responsibility to protect. Women HAVE to be on their own, or we will have philosophically thrown out the baby with the bathwater.

There are no battered women's shelters in some Muslim-dominated countries, but they are swamped, in England, with women escaping abusive Islamic households.

As you know, I was in an open "marriage," and I would have been fit to tied if the State had infantalized me by attempting a "rescue."

But we can do a lot without going all "nanny state": for instance, all of the areas in the Southwest that host a lot of these quasi-Mormon sects (Arizona and New Mexico, especially--as well as Texas and Oklahoma) should have lots of battered women's shelters, and public advertising campaigns that explain that abuse does not have to be physical--it can also be verbal and psychological.

And, yes: I do believe we must legalize polygamy / polyandrous arrangements among consenting adults, precisely BECAUSE that will help society to weed out the abuse of underage girls that goes on now, while all of these sects are forced to live further underground than would otherwise be the case.

We cannot regulate something that we have forbidden to begin with.

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 10, 2008 02:50 PM

Odd, that some feminist positions have an apparent side effect of infantilizing women. Some pro-choice arguments, for example, take the tone that women should be free to get out from under any mistakes or undesirable circumstances in which they find themselves. Now, I'm pro-choice (reluctantly, and more pro-birth control than anything else), but I don't want to argue that women, the poor little dears, shouldn't or can't be expected to live responsibly and cautiously, just like grownups. You know, men.

I have mixed feelings about first-world prostitution, the (more or less?) "chosen" prostitution of intelligent women (like those on Cat House, the Showtime show, where they seem to have options and to feel fine with their choices). I don't want to make decisions for other women, but I wish they made other decisions for themselves... and I'd like to be surer that they know there are other decisions to be made.

As for polygamy and open marriage, I am ok with the idea on paper, but I've seen it fail more often than I've seen it succeed, and I know for sure it's not for me! Still, if it's truly chosen, and safe, and respectful, among adults in possession of the facts, condoms, and options, I don't want to be the one to forbid it.

In oldentimes Philadelphia (where my father was raised) the name for a brothel was a "disorderly house" and the name for a slut was "a girl who danced with gentlemen to whom she had not been properly introduced."

Sometimes, in order to fight oppression, you gotta call a spade a spade.

I, of course, am glad to say that I have never seen a spade.

Posted by: Rin at April 11, 2008 12:42 PM

I had some direct dealings with these people a few years ago. They had a construction company based out of Colorado City, AZ that won a couple of contracts with my employer.

It was a peculiar and creepy thing to see some of the very young "women" (girls actually) that sometimes came around to the job site occasionally where their "husbands" were working.

Posted by: Desert Cat at April 11, 2008 08:55 PM

Eeek. This is a legitimate use of state and Federal dollars: find out where it's happening. If it's all among consenting adults, the DAs should "lose track of the paperwork," and "forget to prosecute." If involves the underaged, throw the book at 'em.

But do not cofuse the two.

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 11, 2008 09:47 PM

Wow, cool man, big thanks! http://tbqynpozrx.com

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