Thursday, September 24, 2009

Women Speak Out!

I'm not sure why any sane man would want more than one wife, but I guess the key word is "sane". (yes, I'm making light of a very serious subject because I can't imagine my husband being able to handle any wife but me, nor does he want to. Could he really love 20 other women? HA!)

It's easy to shrug, and say it doesn't concern you, but it's not that easy for the women and children that are affected.

Women Speak Out Against Polygamy

A woman who grew up in a polygamous family and lived for 28 years in a polygamous marriage says she’s shocked and saddened to learn Canada has quashed an opportunity to put polygamy on trial.

“If something isn’t done, women will keep on being abused and coerced into living lives that they don’t want to [live],” said Irene Spencer in a telephone interview from her home in Lodi, California. “It breaks my heart because I’ve been there.”

Taught to believe that polygamy was not only expected — but required — to receive the rewards of heaven, in 1953, she married Verlan LeBaron, a man who was already married to her half-sister. She was 16 on her wedding day. Spencer would go on to have 13 children with LeBaron, and to see him take another eight wives. She describes her life at the time as one of poverty, drudgery and despair.

“Girls are denied education. Many girls married at 14 and 15. The men always say ‘marry them young so you can train them.’ They’re told all they need to know is how to keep house and raise children, so it makes it impossible for women to move into the outside world. They can’t leave the family because they don’t have the skills to survive on their own. The men make the rules.”

Told of the September 23 ruling, Spencer said Canada has lost an important opportunity to ensure equality for all, no matter their age or gender. “Religion has no right to cover up abuse,” she said. “Abuse hidden under the guise of religion is absolutely wrong.”

Other fringe sects and some fundamentalist Muslims also engage in polygamous marriage. But according to Farzana Hassan, president of the Muslim Canadian Congress, polygamous marriage is an “oppressive institution.”

“It’s all about dominance, control and power structures,” she says, noting that “extremely young” Muslim women have been imported to Canada for the purpose of becoming polygamous wives. “I’m not even sure that their consent counts in such cases,” Hassan said.

“Freedom of religion has to be seen within the larger human rights issue. And if human rights are being trumped by a religious practice, then that’s not acceptable.”

I think that pretty much says it all.

A door was opened to polygamy when the definition of marriage was changed. The Liberals told us that polygamy would not be made legal because of the changes in the rules. Any thinking person understood that the lefties were lying. If one man and one woman can be changed to one man and one man, or one woman and one woman, what logical argument can be used against one man and 20 women, or one woman and 20 men? How can you deny them the same rights and freedoms under our glorious charter of rights and freedoms? Why did the judge throw out the case? Supposedly for some kind of interference but in actuality, the courts could not rule that polygamy is illegal, if gay marriage isn't. They would have to rule that polygamy should be made legal, so to protect the lefties, they found some pithy reason to throw the case out.

Now two adults of any combination wanting to get married is good because you are committing to that one individual out of love. Can one man love 20 women? He might love the powerful feeling of being in charge and a kind of god or ruler, but he can not seriously love all 20 women. He is the lone wolf on the fringe of society, a flea of a person who rules by intimidation. They are fringe dwellers and they force "their" women and children to be marginalized in society.

As a woman, I am horrified by even the thought of young girls being married off to some 60 year old man at the age of 15 or 16. If a 60 year old guy raped a 16 year old girl, that guy would be put in jail, he would be considered a pervert, but if he marries her, it's okay? There is a thin line in polygamist communities, and our legal system is failing to protect those young girls.

Imagine growing up in a tightly monitored community where you are expected to obey your father, and you have been told, that 10+ wives are normal, from the day you could talk. This is a CULT, not a religion. If it is a religion, it needs to change. These guys are like Charles Manson, without the violence to outsiders. They are controllers.

Unfortunately, the ones being hurt are the women and children. It is unhealthy and must not be condoned.


L said...

Absolutely correct. The Charter needs to be clearly amended to make these faux marriages different from civil law marriages. I do not have a problem with civil unions of gay couples, with pension rights etc., but the buck stops with ONE partner. We made a huge mistake in permitting same-sex marriages as equal to traditional marriages, which are the basis for continuance of our nation.

These types of religious cult arrangements can most definitely harm young girls and women across the world and Canada must be smarter. As well, the 2-mommy or 2 daddy image is not a healthy model for child rearing or adoption. Yes, some "families" (usually moms and children who were previously in normal marriages) do pull it off, but this should not be an approved normal variant. And, no, health care should not pay for aged women to become pregnant either. Anything does NOT GO, folks!

Bec said...

Why isn't society speaking out about this? I am disgusted and shocked by the silence and unfortunately, the female victims know of no other life outside of this one and likely perceive it to be normal.
The little boys that eventually grow into these monsters, the same.

I'm not sure we can legally change this lifestyle but we can change how they receive social and tax benefits.
Somehow, this and others like it must be isolated.
If these men cannot LEGALLY be married to more than one woman but FATHER dozens of children from other women, then maybe the answer is to pull out the child support card.
Marriage is not required in order to pin a maintenance order on a guy. If he was registered with the provincial MEP and didn't pay, the wages could be garnisheed etc.
Regardless, the applicable govts could make things very difficult if they specifically concentrated on ways to make this lifestyle unattractive and expensive.

The way it is now, tax payers are supporting these guys perverted abuses.

East of Eden said...

I find it quite amusing (not in a good way) that the feminists and SoW types are so silent on this issue. And, where is the NDP and where is our LPC on this issue? Funny how they say that PM Harper hates women and yet they turn their eyes from this issue.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Here's a rare Feminist speaking out against polygamy. Good for her.

Frances said...

And what about the young men in these colonies? They are just as victimized, but in a different way. The boy children are very much surplus to requirements and will be driven off the colony, without the education or skills to succeed in the wider world.