I had to step away from the television when one of the “sister wives” said, “We’re always in a state of chaos." What really made me see red, however, was when the guest family featured on the episode portrayed a man, his first wife, and identical twins as wives number two and three.
I’m an identical twin. I love my sister and would do nearly anything for her. The one thing I would not do would be to share my husband with her. This episode struck a personal chord. It pained me to see these poor women deluding themselves into believing they are not oppressed.
I felt a knot in my throat when one of Kody’s wives shared, “I was raised in a way where I could say how I felt . . . I could say what I wanted.” I wanted to reach out to her and tell her that it is her right to continue to express herself however she felt appropriate, that she has every right to say anything she wants without repercussion or the feeling that she might have overstepped her bounds as a woman.
Kody said that their lifestyle “works in theory,” but the tears that come forth in every episode say otherwise. In not one episode has none of the wives broken down in tears, either over jealousy, or a sense of guilt in her feelings toward one of her “sister wives,” or because of some other drama directly related to their lifestyle. One of the guest “sister wives” shared that she had, “to keep relearning” how to suppress her feelings of jealousy over her husband’s other “wives.” One of his sons shares, “Our dad’s just big, bald, and intimidating.”
What kind of life is that? What kind of meaningless existence is it to feel the need to “temper” one’s anger toward repression, sharing one man with multiple other women? What kind of life is it to know nothing but “sacrifice,” “adjustment,” and selfless endeavor in the name of suffering—solely in the belief that said suffering will deify them after death?
These men say they are preparing for something “eternal.” They have represent their “wives’” challenges as endearing. I only see sadness, deluded dreams of an afterlife that will never come to pass, and sacrifice that will never pay off. I see women treated like hens in a henhouse. Women are human beings, not hens. We deserve to live our lives feeling loved, cherished, and worth one man’s affection. We do not deserve relationships that bring us tears, even part of the time. I am the survivor of an abusive relationship. My ex cracked my skull and left my entire body black and blue by the time I was willing to leave him. He had cost me my self esteem—but only temporarily. When I met the love of my life, I finally understood what it meant to feel like a woman. I finally understood what it meant to be an equal—a partner—in a relationship, and it pains me to see these women suffering in the name of religion.
Religion can be a good thing, but it can also be the basis of great suffering. I entreat any who read this and hold firm to any specific dogma to take a close look at their beliefs. Do they bring you more joy than suffering, or do they evoke more tears than heartfelt smiles? If the latter is the case, I ask that you reassess the good your dogma truly has done—not only for you, but for your children and others who follow the same faith. If there is a God, I would think He/She/It/They would want you to be happy, regardless of whatever reward might await you in the afterlife.
Does this look like a happy family to you?