Friday, September 19, 2008

Well this was obivously well researched

They are some news articles that you get a bad feeling about even before you read them and you just seem to know precisely what's going to happen. I got that feeling when I saw this article
" Polygamy uncovered: What's it really like for the women who have to share a husband?"

on the daily mail website this evening. Now the article is based on a new TV Documentary to be shown on channel 4 about a presenter who was 'given access' to two polygamous families, to document her domestic lives.

Yes, can you already see where this is going folks? If the article is anything to go by, the TV show is probably going to be reinforcing that old stereotype good and proper.

One of the Fathers is called Moroni and the article mentions
"So what should we make of polygamy, which is still practised by thousands of members of the Mormon sect? "
"True, physically speaking Moroni - named after a Mormon god - is hardly a catch. "
"a community of fundamental Mormons who still practise polygamy. "
"they were both Mormons, "

And in case your wondering no where in this article does this journalist/presenter make mention of the fact and for want of a better term the "mainstream Mormon church" does not practise polygamy and stopped doing so way back in the 1800s. So unless you happen to know about the 'offshoot' churches your not going to know thats theres any difference between the Elders who knock at your door and the people who practise polygamy.

Of couse I could be being harsh and she might mention this in the programs but considering one is called Dawn Porter: Free lover and Dawn Porter: The Polygamist's Wife it doesn't sound like this will be especially thought out or insightful programs. More a attempt at a cynical ratings ploy!

9 comments:

Kathleen said...

I got an icky feeling about
the journalist as well--and you need to brush up on your Mormonism.

During the 19th Century more marriages than in the Polygamist Marriages today were based on bonds between women. This was the pattern in nearly all indian tribes and marriages with Celtic
underpinnings. A tremendous number of women were very poor and
very like other women
who lived in Urban slums.

They were single mothers
and often gave birth due to the exploitation of
poor women by overseers,
empoyers, or just sold at
puberty outright by their
mothers who could not
feed or clothe them and their other children.

They were not immoral,
just desperate. The purpose of polygamy was
to find wealthy men or
to find the mothers a
trade.

A well off man with one wife was looked down upon, as was his wife.
Many women knew this
before leaving the old world for the new.

Mormonism was a means of
dealing with the mass
expulsions from Europe
with poverty or confiscation of property.

The situation today is much different and
journalists are doing harm when they focus on
the man's role in choosing the wife and
jealousy. New marriages
formed in this way are not likely to work out,
and the current trend,
which put the Jeffs in jail has hurt people,
because the marriages were both androcentric
and forced.

My interest in this is as
a writer and historian.
My Grandmother's Grandmother was the last
to practice polygamy in
our family. She had a long life and adored her grandchildren, so I have some family understanding of the practice.

drat said...

Hey saxon, this may sound really weird, but, being the media whore that I am, I actually know dawn. She's really nice, and has done lots of documentarys before.

She tries her best to "live" the life of the subjects, if that makes sense. And she always reports on a sort of "innocent" level, and really tries to understand the subject, so give it a watch it might be good. She did a really amazing documenatry on lesbians earlier in the year and I think it got nominated for an award.

As for the daily mail, I think you need to change your newspaper mate! They bring out the worst in every subject.

Kathleen said...

I wanted to explain the controversy about the use
of the term Mormon. Polygamous children in the main grow up in the LDS Church in the closet. Other than the practice of Polygamy, there is little difference between the LDS children and those from polygamous homes. And they havn't done anything wrong, neither have couples who
are monogamous and who
may not enter polygamy
for twenty years.

When they marry in Polygamy, then, if it is
found out or they make an appointment with the Bishop to Confess, then
they are excommunicated.

But in the traditionally
Mormon areas of the West,
they are still Mormon in
my view.

Dear President Hinkley's
profession was PR--but
all is fair in love and
the Propoganda wars.

You can excommunicate
someone from a Church. I
wish we could live in one Church together, but that is impossible. But can you excommunicate someone
from their ethicity.

My Grandmother grew up in a mixed Irish Family. She married a Lutheran and he
beat her. She divorced him. She got on a train in 1919 and had to be put
off the train.

She was taken in by a polygamous family who
juggled the rooms around so they could quarenteen
and nurse her.

She married my Grandfather, who was reared by nuns and had been baptized Catholic, so she went to church with my Grandfather and
Father. She converted to
Mormonism just before the war when he did.

So, was there any time
when she wasn't Irish-- dunno, don't think so.
Most of the LDS Church is
not etnicly Mormon, though they'd like to be.
Most Polygamous families
are as Mormon as I am.

There will be controversy
over this for a long time. Kathleen.

Your friend is free to email me.

Saxon said...

Hi Kathleen,

Thank you for your comments. I always find it interesting to get different viewpoints on Polygamy and Mormonism. It helps me to keep looking at things from all angles to make sure I understand it

Saxon said...

I read lots of news and newspaper websites Drat, I don't only read the daily mail.

I may watch the programs if I have time and as I admitted I may be beng harsh and she may go into detail about the difference between the 'mainstream church' and the offshoots which she didn't do in this interview. But if she doesn't although she may give a good insight in the lifes of polygamists she will simply be reinforcing old stereotypes

Kathleen said...

It's always rough in the
first Generation. There is a campaign going on Europe
that could get ugly. It's part of an anti-Morrocan
PR push that started with the bombings.

Just prior to that the police were looking at hate crimes Attributed to the Neo-Nazis After the
bombigs and Van Gogh
shooting, Holland changed
completly and the Neo-Nazi's dissappeared.

Pretty neat trick, huh.

Moroni Jessop & Family said...

Hey Saxon,

As I am "trolling" the net, looking for info on the upcoming show, I came across your blog. I found your commentary very interesting and enjoyable, as well, as Kathleen's comments.

Moroni, who is NOT "bucktoothed" lol

Saxon said...

glad you liked the comments Moroni

Kathleen said...

I'm curious when kids decide how they want to marry and how it turns out. My Grandma's best friend had her pelvis crushed in the late thirties.
Doc Mac didn't think she'd ever be able to have sex or bear children.

He built a house on main street and divorced grandma's friend and married again. He and his wife, later his 7 children, her sisters and sister in laws and my grandma
all took care of her and she ran a greenhouse business out of her house.

When the pediactric rhumatologist told me I would be disabled when I grew up I asked her who the girl in
the pamphlet lived with. She said with her mother or in a hospital and I just about barfed.

I braided my hair and wore long frilly dresses for a few years.

We lived in California.

It seem like there is a lot of sillogistic reasoning in the mainstream journalist's attempt to
''do'' polygamy.

Kimball Young did a study of 168
families on which he had sufficient
information.

He found 1/4 of the families to be miserable, 1/4 to be unhappy,
1/4 to be happy, and 1/4 to be very happy. Then of course the miserable and unhappy people could get divorced and try again.

So how to women [ie. all women]
feel about sharing a husband. Is the media painting an accurate pictures [all wives based on one or two families?

You have a one in four chance of
coming to any conclusion--and more probably, the conclusion comes first, then the selection. That's propoganda, and propoganda is the order of the day.

You know why Heraldo left Fox?
There was a county with several hundred DUI's a year. So Fox found 1 case of a Mexicican DUI and deportation and called it a srory
on drunk driving.

Go figure.

Kathleen