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Argument: Polygamy ordains men to dominate and abuse wives

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Reasons to agree

Andrea Sachs. "Polygamy Survivor Carolyn Jessop". Time. Oct. 24, 2007 - "You describe physical abuse and beatings. How widespread was that?

It was a big part of the culture. Dominance and control. It was all to maintain the work of God. If it was done in the name of God, then you didn't question it. It was just a fundamental part of life. I think that in the community people did have their limits when it came to physical violence of what was okay and what was not okay. And so there were cases of extreme violence in families and people viewed that as not being okay. But a man was believed to have the spirit of God and he could get divine revelation from God that pertained to his family. If he had a revelation that in order to get a wife in line physical violence [was required], then he was within his right to use whatever means he needed to have control of his family. Mostly it pertained to children. It was frowned upon for a man to beat his wife, but they did it all the time."

John R. Llewellyn, former polygamist. "Polygamy vs. common sense. Tricked into 'Eternal Polygamy'". Retrieved 4.24.08 - "All through history religion has been tricking women into believing God made them inferior to men, and that their lot in life is to be oppressed. This thinking goes back to the Garden of Eden when chauvinistic priests concluded that Eve seduced Adam, compelling him to 'eat of the forbidden fruit' which resulted in 'original sin.' The early Christian priests were obsessed with the idea of 'original sin' and believed it was passed on to the rest of humanity via sexual intercourse."

The basis problem with polygamy is that it is almost always connected to religions in which men are religiously empowered as superior and dominant beings. This is often related to the Biblical story of eve's original sin in eating the apple in the garden of eden. This is a sin that polygamous fundamentalists believe carries through all women today, rendering them inferior to men. This is couple with a belief that men have a divine connection with God no held by women. As such, men in fundamentalist polygamous communities are placed in a position of absolute dominance over their wives, which opens the door to any variety abuses, which can be justified in terms of either man's superiority or his divine revelation. This is an inherent problem in polygamy.

Reasons to disagree

  1. You can't say Polygamy always ordains men to dominate and abuse wives. You can say "in general" or "most of the time" but almost every absolute statement is wrong.

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