Re: Call for intervenors in litigation
X-Posting a X-Post...since I know that the author won't mind
VanPoly Yahoo group, 16 Nov 2009
Re: Call for intervenors in litigation
Xposting from VanIsle-poly since I've already ranted on the subject previously anyways....and this is just a continuation.
--- In VanIsleemail@example.com,
This is going to be backwards:
The second article is a much shorter read. Quick, to the point.
This one was actually really well written, and if anyone can wade through it all (I have to confess I did glaze over in a couple spots) it really demonstrates that whomever takes on the intervenors will have an enormous challenge ahead of them. And where the perception of Polygamy (and anything similar by association) lies in the system.
A couple foot notes:
WRT a UK challenge attempting to allow an immigrant to bring a second wife into the country:
"protection of morals"! This is exactly the reason that the charter needs to challenge this law. The charter is supposed to help prevent this kind of reasoning from being used to impose religious or personal based morals on the majority.
|While the Commission found that the claimant's Article 8(1) right had
|been interfered with, it held that the U.K. legislation was justified
|to preserve a Christian-based monogamous definition of marriage as
|part of the "protection of morals" exception under Article 8(2) of the
However, the paper does do a very good job of outlining all the ills of polygyny as it exists around the world, and it's affects on women and children, and specifically the harm it causes. The Harm principle is of course one of the main caveats for the government to restrict charter rights.
|While criminal prohibitions of polygamy in many states including
|Canada were originally premised on the preservation of a Christian,
|monogamous definition of marriage, there seems to have been a
|shift in the rationale for such legislation given the more complete
|understanding of the harms of polygyny and the nature of patriarchy in
The paper has a laundry list of rights, some your would see in the charter, some to do with international treaties on the equality of women, none of which I would expect anyone who cherishes freedom would object to. It also goes into detail, usually effectively, and I'm sure the references would back up the statements, about how polygyny brings harm to women and children and violates those rights. It also frequently ties things back to the context of bountiful.
Again, the case against Bountiful, or most of the other cases presented would be unconscionable for anyone I've met or read in the poly community.
This is probably where if the polyamory community has any chance of showing a bright light in an otherwise dismal image ... this is probably the pressure point.
|In addressing some of the harms often associated with polygyny, it is
|important to note that some academic commentators have questioned
|whether the practice is inherently harmful to women and children or
|whether the typically associated harms are merely indicative of
|patriarchal social contexts. Christina Murray and Felicity Kaganas have
|questioned the supposition that structural inequalities can only be
|addressed in one-to-one relationships.
|Sexual stereotyping, male domination and the treatment of women as
|property, they argue, are neither limited to polygyny nor inevitable
|While Kaganas and Murray are certainly correct in arguing that the
|sexual stereotyping of women is not limited to polygyny, they seem to
|underestimate the degree to which the inherent asymmetry of polygyny
|tends to perpetuate sex-stereotyping. Where polygyny exists, it often
|stereotypes women into reproductive and service roles. As a result of
|such stereotypes as well as its inherent structural inequality, women
|can never be truly equal in polygynous unions.
In terms of evidence, and studies of how polygyny has been practiced seem to be there, and will include a long list of wrongs against the freedom, rights, and equality of women. There won't be any way to deny it. The problem is that the issue of polygyny, polygamy, bigamy, will all be confused in issues of religion, womens' rights, gender equality, and patriarchy! The quote above says it all...they are just trying to mute it.
The challenge will be to seperate the issues where they belong. Polygyny isn't really the issue. Especially not in our world...or at least it doesn't need to be. The issue is the patrarchal contexts that polygyny currently takes place.
Most of the wrongs they list happened in monogamous...and particularly even god-fearing "good christian" families less than a century ago...when women were still chattel even in this country. (Beverley Baines article, the 2nd one says pretty much the same)
Bountiful and the abuses, discrimination, stereotyping, inequalities, etc, that go on there...and elsewhere are issues of patriarchy run amok. And shouldn't be tolerated in our country anywhere...not even in the monogamous context. No effort need be spent on defending anything that would restrict womens equality and freedoms.
The centre of gravity then will be...demonstrating the free of patriarchical norms, and where women have the freedom of choice and consent, and an equal power base and legal protections, that plural marriage (of ANY configuration) can work. If there's anything the poly community should be able to bring up in this case it will be that Women CAN be equal in these relationships, can still determine their own terms, have informed consent, and keep their right to self-determination in the process. Most of the problems the paper pins on polygyny already have mechanisms or solutions in the polyamory community....and most people I've met in the community (male or female) would never stand for it.
In particular reference to the harm visited on children...where they may not have access to the father, and poverty prevails at the whim of the patriarch (or his lack of earning potential) I'd challenge them to find the same results in a household with multiple parents of both genders. Not to mention the earning potential of multiple adults when both genders are free have careers.
Anyways...food for thought. If you haven't read the articles, but are interested in the issue...it's worth the time.