marriage to more than one spouse

Polygamy is the custom or condition of having multiple marriage partners. The word polygamy comes from the Greek word poly, which means many, and the Greek word gamos, which means marriage or union.

Postcard photo of Prince Manga Bell seated for portrait with four women nearby, possibly late-19th century style
Prince Manga Bell and favorite wives

Quotes edit

  • As for my two wives, what can I do about it? They married me off at thirteen, to my cousin. I was thirteen and she was twenty-three. I didn’t even know what it meant to have a wife, and when they tried to explain it to me, I went out of my mind with rage. With fury. I didn’t want a wife, I wanted to play cricket. I was very fond of cricket. To calm me down, they had to give me two new cricket bags. When the ceremony was over, I ran off to play cricket. There are so many things I must change in my country! And I was fortunate. They married my playmate off at the age of eleven to a woman of thirty-two. He always said to me, »Lucky you!«
    • Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, April 1972 interview to Oriana Fallaci, as quoted in Interviews with History and Conversations with Power (2011).
  • When I fell in love with my second wife, I was twenty-three. She was also studying in England, and though she was an Iranian, that is, from a country where polygamy is the custom, it was hard for me to persuade her to marry me. I didn’t have many arguments except for the two words, »So what, dammit!« No, the idea of divorcing my first wife never went through my head. Not only because she’s my cousin, but because I have a responsibility toward her. Her whole life has been ruined by this absurd marriage to a boy, by the absurd custom in which we’ve been raised. She lives in my house in Larkana; we see each other every so often. She’s almost always alone. She hasn’t even had children—my four children are born of my second mar­riage. I’ve spent little time with her—as soon as I was an adolescent I went to the West to study. A story of injustice. I’ll do everything I can to discourage polygamy—besides it causes no small economic problem. Often the wives are separated in different houses or cities, as in my case. And not everyone can afford it, as I can.
    • Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, April 1972 interview to Oriana Fallaci, as quoted in Interviews with History and Conversations with Power (2011).
  • In pious times, ere priest-craft did begin,
    Before polygamy was made a sin;
    When man, on many, multipli'd his kind,
    Ere one to one was cursedly confin'd:
    When Nature prompted, and no Law deni'd
    Promiscuous use of concubine and bride;
    Then, Israel's monarch, after Heaven's own heart,
    His vigorous warmth did variously impart
    To wives and slaves: and, wide as his command,
    Scatter'd his Maker's image through the land.
  • In the reign of James the Second,
    It was generally reckoned
    As a rather serious crime
    To marry two wives at a time.
  • In polygamy, children are mere extensions of their mothers and normally are their fathers’ property. With so many children, they are thought of by fathers as a group rather than as individuals. Men, who believe they are the God of the home and who already live outside of societal norms, often make their children victims of ever more deviant and unimaginable abuses. Polygamy is patriarchy spun off into its furthest possible extreme.
  • With the power of the scriptures, polygamy continues its enslavement of women who are manipulated into believing that to do otherwise is to reap eternal damnation; by believing, however, they make of their lives a hell on earth.
    • Andrea Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, Part 1, “Contemporary Fundamentalist Polygamy in America” (p. 46)
  • The abusive nature of polygamous relationships often extend to women within one household vying with one another for the affections and attention of one man. As Vicky and Rowenna explain, “What is going on with a sister-wife, or wives, is that you are sharing one penis. That’s what it all revolves around.”
    • Andrea Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, Part 1, “Contemporary Fundamentalist Polygamy in America” (p. 51)
  • Vicky says that she has never seen any truly happy families within these polygamous groups. “Every man has his favorite wife,” she explains. “It causes a lot of hurt.”
    • Andrea Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, Part 2, “The Women Who Escaped” Chapter 1, “Vicky” (p. 58)
  • In keeping with her reputation for outspokenness against the lifestyle she endured for too long, Rowenna says, “You can tell a man dreamed all this up. Polygamy is one big eternal fuck.”
    • Andrea Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, Part 2, “The Women Who Escaped” Chapter 2, “Rowenna” (p. 73)
  • As a dedicated male in the AUB, George rose quickly in the hierarchy to become a councilman under the prophet, Owen Allred. “George ended up with eight total wives but two left him,” says Lillian. “I grew up with six mothers and 39 siblings, but only six of us were my mom’s kids and two of my dad’s wives never had children.”
    • Andrea Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, Part 2, “The Women Who Escaped” Chapter 3, “Lillian” (p. 74)
  • “It’s the sickest way of living ever; and women do it for a ticket to heaven, thinking the hell they live now is worth it,”she says. “I look back and recognize the signs of a cult: fear and the parade of ‘how happy people are’ bullshit. They’re conditioned to say that. It’s what you’re taught because if you don’t say you’re happy, you'll go to hell. They don’t recognize that. It took me a long time.”
    • Andrea Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, Part 2, “The Women Who Escaped” Chapter 3, “Lillian” (p. 82)
  • Perhaps no one else has seen and lived through more of the inner workings and daily lives of as many varied Mormon fundamentalist polygamist groups as Laura Chapman. Based on her firsthand experiences and observations, there is one message above all that she wants to convey about living in polygamy: incest, statutory rape, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, deprivation of education and forced marriages of young girls are endemic to all of the polygamist communities and not, as some have proclaimed, no worse than in the general monogamous population or isolated to only a few polygamous groups.
    • Andrea Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, Part 2, “The Women Who Escaped” Chapter 5, “Laura” (p. 90)
  • Her diagnosis was a cancerous brain tumor requiring chemotherapy….Because a pregnancy would aggravate her fragile medical condition, the doctor ordered Abby not to have been any more children. But polygamist women are to have a child per year so she had three more babies. The last one she delivered while dying—unconscious, without knowing she had given birth.
    • Andrea Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, Part 2, “The Women Who Escaped” Chapter 9, “Cora” (p. 126)
  • “Some women are afforded autonomy in polygamy, but it’s at the expense of other women having to live in complete servitude,” says Cora. “And not a single woman I've ever known is happy even though they all say they are. And believe me, a lot of them confided in me.”
    • Andrea Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, Part 2, “The Women Who Escaped” Chapter 9, “Cora” (p. 128)
  • As far as polygamy goes, it never works out. It’s first and foremost a way to subjugate women. No woman can have any worth because value is dictated by the husband, so she has no inherent value.
    • Andrea Moore-Emmett, God’s Brothel, Part 2, “The Women Who Escaped” Chapter 16, “Wendy” (pp. 189-190)
  • So then if, while her husband is living she marries another man, she shall be called an adulteress, but if her husband has died, she is free from that law, so that she is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.
    • Romans Chapter 7 v 3
  • We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does.
  • I will now say, not only to our delegate to Congress, but to the Elders who leave the body of the Church, that he thought that all the cats and kittens were let out of the bag when brother Pratt went back last fall, and published the Revelation concerning the plurality of wives: it was thought there was no other cat to let out. But allow me to tell you, Elders of Israel, and delegates to Congress, you may expect an eternity of cats, that have not yet escaped from the bag. Bless your souls, there is no end to them, for if there is not one thing, there will always be another.
  • This is the reason why the doctrine of plurality of wives was revealed, that the noble spirits who are waiting for tabernacles might be brought forth
  • [I]f you have in your hearts to say…”we will not, therefore, be polygamists lest we should fail in obtaining some earthly honor, character and office, etc,"-the man that has that in his heart, and will continue to persist in pursuing that policy, will come short of dwelling in the presence of the Father and the Son, in celestial glory. The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessing offered unto them, and they refused to accept them. The Lord gave a revelation through Joseph Smith, His servant; and we have believed and practiced it.
  • Just ask yourselves, historians, when was monogamy introduced on to the face of the earth? When those buccaneers, who settled on the peninsula where Rome now stands, could not steal women enough to have two or three apiece, they passed a law that a man should have but one woman. And this started monogamy and the downfall of the plurality system. In the days of Jesus, Rome, having dominion over Jerusalem, they carried out the doctrine more or less. This was the rise, start and foundation of the doctrine of monogamy; and never till then was there a law passed, that we have any knowledge of, that a man should have but one wife.
  • [W]e shall continue to do it until God tell us to stop, or until we pass into sin and iniquity, which will never be.
  • "A man may marry many wives, for Rabba saith it in lawful to do so, if he can provide for them. Nevertheless, the wise men have given good advice, that a man should not marry more than four wives."
    • Talmud, (Arbah. Turim. Ev. Hazzer, 1.) quoted from T.P. Hughes, Dictionary of Islam

See also edit

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikisource has original works on the topic:
At Wikiversity, you can learn about: