Polygamy Going Mainstream?

One of my favorite guilty pleasures of late is the HBO show Big Love. I find it fascinating and have become hooked. On the same note, I was watching Oprah the other day (yes, I am a SAHM and I watch Oprah. Shut up.) and they had a Lisa Ling special where she went inside the Yearning for Zion Compound in El Dorado, Texas. They spoke with the men, the younger women and the girls. While I found the girls to be semi-brainwashed, I have to admit that I didn't find the people on the ranch to be all that crazy and/or evil. Then, the FLDS spokesman, Willie Jessop, came on and he was actually charming and cordial to Oprah. This morning I was cleaning up the kitchen and thinking about the show, and had a thought - are we softening up as a culture on plural marriage?
Growing up in a very Protestant household, I was always taught that Mormonism was a cult, and have always been very wary of the religion. I can't say I have any Mormon friends - not that I would dismiss someone simply on that basis - I just have never had the opportunity.
So with the whole Warren Jeffs drama and the YFZ Ranch raid, I have been very interested, wanting to know more - wanting to know what really goes on and why people choose to live like that. Though, granted, most don't feel it is a choice - it's what is deemed from above.
I absolutely do not condone young women or girls being forced into marriage. I'm positive that young girls have been abused, molested and raped at the hands of the much older husbands they are given to by their parents. So let me be very clear here - I am talking about plural marriage where all parties consent and all are of age.
During the Oprah interview, Willie Jessop raised a very thought provoking point - why does our society frown on plural marriage, yet seem to turn a blind eye to infidelity and men having children with many different women?
For me, neither infidelity or plural marriage is acceptable. But it is an interesting point. And as I watch Big Love and actually feel sympathy and compassion for the sister wives and the plights of their families, I wonder if I am the only one who has had to step back and tell myself - hey - polygamy - not cool.


Jenn said...

Big Love is one of my favorite shows! We will have to start talking about it on Mondays. :)

Vrieling Mom said...

I love big love!1 I was baptised Mormon and half of my family is Mormon...I have not watched this season due to budget...but I will be getting the season on DVD!!

megant599 said...

I had two thoughts...one, I just saw my first episode of Big Love and I am kinda hooked too. But remember, this is the same actor that made us think chasing tornados was cool. I think the show is well written and well acted, hence my big love for the show. Second, we as a society don't condone adultery and men having children with multiple women as a lifestyle choice (as Jessop implied). We may have turned a blind eye, but we don't support it as a cool way to do things.

Heather D said...

Yeah, I think you're right. That show though...man. That's some damn good writing to make me feel compassion - though I think it's more for the woman - I don't feel so much for Bill.