I've talked about TLC's show "Sister Wives" before in a big post about the channel in general. In that post I was a bit critical of TLC and wondered what exactly I was, "learning," from what was supposedly, "The Learning Channel." I did however think "Sister Wives" was an interesting show that actually taught me something. Namely, it taught me that those who are polygamists are not necessarily members of some kind of dangerous cult, but basically regular people who happen to hold a differing view on marriage and religion.
I don't really have a solid article about "Sister Wives" so much as some scattered thoughts, so here goes:
"Sister Wives" is a show that can quite interesting or horribly dull--but in a way even the dullness is good. This program shows that just because there are families that are polygamists that does not mean they lack normal everyday struggles. They have to work, clean around the house, and basically all that boring stuff which illustrates they are essentially normal folk who happen to face a few unique challenges (like trying to get four houses next to each other).
As I said, before I ever saw "Sister Wives" I only knew about polygamy from the news reports about cult-like compounds full of child-abuse and all sorts of horrors. "Sister Wives" shows there are people who just want to live their lives in peace, loving whom they want. I myself would never want multiple wives, as I feel my girlfriend is the only person I need. The fact that I lack the desire for multiple wives does not mean I want to deny others that right though. Just as I feel gay people should be allowed to marry the person they love, I feel if a woman loves two men or a man loves two women that is fine for them too (although legalizing polygamy would probably play havoc with the tax code).
I see the family of "Sister Wives" being told by other individuals they are horrible people, not morally sound, and shouldn't raise children. When I hear that I think of when interracial couples were told the same thing and how many gay couples hear the same thing today. Seeing people picked on for their beliefs bugs me if they aren't hurting anyone.
|Kody and his sister wives.|
It is worth noting I don't agree with Browns on everything. I may not like a variety of views held by the four families--I'm pretty sure they are Creationists and Kody has talked about thinking pre-martial sex is bad (I don't care if people do that either), but I feel they have a right to those views, and to love each other in the way they desire.
It cracks me up I've heard some people say the show "glamorizes" polygamy, because considering all the challenges Kody and his sister-wives face I would say this show discourages some people from wanting multiple spouses, if it does anything.
I also find it a bit funny to think that the most common polygamists seem to be these more conservative households that marry multiple spouses and super-liberal people who don't necessarily get married but engage in polygamous relationships.
In the end I think "Sister Wives" is a good show because it is both interesting, and helps dispel the idea that all polygamists are terrible, abusive (or abused), and brain-washed. Some are just everyday folk.