Stereotypes are common in association with any group, not just polygamists. We would like to address some of the misconceived notions about plural families as generalized by the public at large. While some of these stereotypes may apply to some polygamists, they just as easily apply to some monogamists. It is important to remember that we cannot all be painted by the same broad brush.
Who Pays For all of These Kids?!
“We do! We do!” the commenters cry on the Seeking Sister Wife Yahoo Press Release.
One of the most common stereotypes people have of polygamists is that they are paying for our kids through their tax dollars. While that might be true for some plural families and monogamist families, that is not the case for our children. Drew works very hard to support his large family and takes his role as provider very seriously! Drew has worked as a Business Law and Estate Planning attorney, serving his community for 15 years, before selling his law practice and moving to Oregon to pursue his writing career.
There a well known polygamous group who practices what they call “Bleeding the Beast” – essentially getting every kind of government welfare and support they can… much like many monogamous and single people we are aware of. We are not associated with that group and neither are most polygamists. In general, men and women with large plural families make great efforts to care for their large families and provide for them, despite opposing forces making it hard to live and work in a world that persecutes them. It is not uncommon for plurally married people to lose their job if it is found out that they are part of a plural family, so often polygamists own their own companies and/or are adept at self-sufficiency and bartering lifestyles. Polygamists are some of the most industrious people you will ever meet.
I Feel Sorry for those Poor Women!
That’s sweet … But in fact, there are many women who convert as adults and choose to marry plurally and we feel in bondage to unjust laws, not our husbands. Neither April nor Angela grew up in polygamous families. Both chose this way of life as adults. April grew up in a traditional mainstream Mormon home and was married monogamously to Drew for 8 years before choosing to add Auralee to the family. Angela grew up in a Born Again Christian home before converting to Mormonism at the age of 30, and embraced polygamy five years later.
Another deeply rooted stereotype is that plural wives are brainwashed and subjected by force or manipulation to this lifestyle. While that may be true for some plural wives, it’s not the case for plurally married women at large. It’s common both for girls who grew up in the culture to marry monogamously and for women to convert to this lifestyle of their own free will and choice.
Only Uneducated Women Become Plural Wives
It is commonly believed that only “dumb”, “uneducated” women live this way. Not so – at least not any more per capita than dumb, uneducated women live monogamously. In our circle of polygamous friends, we have women doctors, realtors, shop owners, bed and breakfast owners, writers, editors, professors, midwives, artists, college graduates, entrepreneurs, home schooling mothers, wine-makers, heads of charities, etc.
Only Ugly Women Become Plural Wives
Well, that’s subjective, we suppose but Drew believes his wives bust that stereotype without further comment. 😉
Oh, boy. I presume the English Royals have done more inbreeding than polygamists, but that’s just a guess.
Polygamous Women Only Wear Pioneer Dresses
Some do. Some don’t. So what? We don’t, but I don’t get why that’s a really big deal. Some polygamous groups who wear pioneer dresses do so as part of their religious belief in covering up and being modest… Much like a Priest has his clergy uniform. And with fashion styles changing with the wind, I wonder why this fashion style is any more repulsive to some than that of any other niche style… ?
The Poor Kids!
Ahhh… the poor kids with too much love in their lives! Too many eyes to notice. Too many hands to help. Too many hugs. Too many kisses. Too many playmates. Too much fun.
I wonder if all these people feeling sorry for our kids have ever spoken to them to find out if they feel ‘less than’ or somehow compromised…? Seriously, our children love their mamas and siblings! I wonder which of their siblings they would say they didn’t want as a brother or sister anymore, or which of their mamas they didn’t want anymore…? In fact, we recently asked the kids if they would rather live in separate houses with their own mama, or live altogether with all the mamas and siblings. Unanimously, they all prefer living together.
I’ve never heard of anyone saying that their child has too many aunts that love them. Or one too many grandmas. Generally, people welcome as much love as others are willing to poor into their children. We find it to be one of the most appealing aspects of plural marriage. We all feel that our children are better off for their siblings from the other mothers. Each child’s sphere of influence and potential is increased by their moms and siblings. I know that Lenny has so much more potential to be anything than he would otherwise be if he only had me. I don’t have musical skills or very good domestic skills, for instance. But Lenny has siblings who excel in playing all kinds of instruments. They can expose him to, and teach him, so many things that I could not. His life is more rich and fuller because of his many siblings and moms.
The Men Only Want Sex!
You don’t have to be plurally married to have more sex or a variety of partners. In fact, if only it were that simple! A man could satisfy his libido by having affairs outside the marriage much easier without the commitment and responsibility of family. In committing marriage to his wives, a man is putting himself on the line to love and support her emotionally, spiritually, financially, and otherwise. A plurally married man is embracing his many children and being a father to them, loving, caring, and providing for them as well. This man is creating a family that can be challenging financially and emotionally. Mere sex with multiple partners has little strings attached and little to no responsibility. So before jumping to this conclusion – think about it. It’s really hard hearing people call our loving and supportive husbands pigs, when they have such large and loving hearts.