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Jan. 24th, 2006 | 05:51 pm
sentiment: thoughtfulthoughtful
posted by: lolweasel in philobate

Why do you think monogamy is important in society?

Where do you think it comes from?

Is it important to you?

What does it mean to you?

My two cents:

Of women, the Bible's Paul has this to say (referring to the fall from Eden):

"For Adam was formed first and then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty."
- 1 Tim. 2.13-15 New Revised Standard Version.

This passage highlights several main points that hint to the roots of monogamy.
- women are not equal to men, because Eve's sin was greater than that of Adam, and because Adam was created first
- women will be saved, despite the sins of Eve, through childbearing, faith, and love (assumedly, from what I know of the Bible, this means marriage to one man)

To further condense, from these points it can be assumed that women ought to enter monogamous relationships because it increases their soul's purity to the level of men's souls.

To summarize my next related topic, I will merely quote from a research paper (one that I've written, to clarify). So be warned - it sounds a little awkward out of context.

"Because of the anatomical construction of their genitals, men proceeded to “rule” over women for quite some time by keeping them forever in fear of rape. Women soon began to seek out allies who had the power to protect them from assault. They could not productively ally themselves with other women, who were also similarly dominated by men with little or no power, so instead they sought out allies among their predators. And it was thus that women paid a steep price to put an end to “an open season of rape,” and female monogamy was born. Essentially, women consented to belong to one man exclusively, and became a sort of possession. It became the custom that a woman belonged to her father until she wed and her betrothed paid a dowry – at which point ownership was transferred from father to husband. By then, any “crime committed against her body became a crime against the male estate,” rather than a crime against an individual."

I cite: Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape (New York: Bantam Books, 1976), 3-5.

Please consider this topic.

The most incredible thing is how few people have ever asked why monogamy?

Question all. I beseech you.


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Comments {9}

mouse fitzgerald


from: lolweasel
date: Jan. 25th, 2006 02:46 am (UTC)

I'm glad you raised the issue of female versus male polygamy. I think it's quite relevant to Brownmiller's theory (the theory belongs to other people as well, I would imagine, but for the sake of simplicity...). If marriage was originally a contract between a man and a woman, where a woman agrees to give up her body for exclusive use by one man in return for his protection from other men, of course it would follow that polygamy is primarily a male thing.

I don't think there is anything wrong with polygamy or monogamy, as long as the same "rules" apply to both genders. Meaning, a woman can have multiple partners or only one, likewise a man.

Polygamy is, of course, less practical now, in a sexual relationship. It means a higher probability of spreading disease. It's risky.

Another thing you have to look at in regards to polygamy versus monogamy is your definition of a romantic relationship. After all, you can form meaningful friendships with multiple people. What polygamy means (for our discussion purposes, but not always) is multiple meaningful friendships with some sexual/physical aspect to each relationship. In that context, it's not such a stretch to believe that polygamy can offer profound, loving relationships as well.

As for me, personally, I doubt I could ever be polygamous. I have been conditioned by society for a very long time to believe that polygamy is unnatural and wrong. And while I consciously disagree, there's too much "nurture" to wade through for me to leap into polygamy. Too many issues - primarily jealousy, I can assume - would arise.

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from: justrandomwords
date: Jan. 27th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)

i agree. i think because of my culture it would be natural for jealousy just to become a huge issue. and while i can understand even the idea of sexual, close relationships with multiple people at the same time, i can't see long-term relationships ever existing like that.

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