Author Topic: Feminism and Polygamy Part 2  (Read 2540 times)


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Feminism and Polygamy Part 2
« on: February 01, 2009, 05:25:23 PM »
Feminism and Polygamy Part 2: MSNBC Interview with Elizabeth Joseph.

Due to “popular demand” and given the responses I have received, I decided to post a part 2 of the Elizabeth Joseph story. Some of the respondents accused me of “promoting polygamy” but I am only doing what I have always done – give some attention to marginalized views because the mainstream and “main-street” is filled with “well dressed up” lies and disguise. I am simply “expanding” the realm of options for people to MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS THEMSELVES.

The Situation - Guest: Elizabeth Joseph
February 28, 2006 - Tucker Carlson, MSNBC
Guests: Elizabeth Joseph

Tonight, the new HBO series “Big Love” already is generating controversy before it even hits the air.  The shows stars an otherwise regular guy who happens to be married to three women.  Does that show glorify polygamy?  In a minute, we‘ll talk to a practicing polygamist who says her plural marriage was the ultimate expression of feminism.  Ponder that for a minute.
Well the latest series from HBO is stirring up controversy even before it hits the air.  “Big Love” is a comedy about the joys of polygamy, featuring a suburban husband and his three wives.  It‘s already gotten some more Mormons hot and bothered, since the church officially banned polygamy more than 100 years ago, though it does persist in parts of Utah without the church‘s blessing.
My next guest says that‘s missing the point.  She calls polygamy, quote, “the ultimate feminist lifestyle,” and she ought to know.  Elizabeth Joseph was married for more than 24 years to a man who had seven other wives.  She was widowed in 1998 and is now a radio station news director in Page, Arizona.  She joins us live tonight.
Elizabeth Joseph, thanks for coming on.

ELIZABETH JOSEPH:  You‘re welcome.

CARLSON:  I think most men who hear polygamy described as the ideal feminist arrangement sort of chuckle to themselves, because they think of polygamy as the idea man‘s arrangement.  You‘ve got all these women there for your pleasure, maybe a couple of them at once.  I mean, it‘s kind of—it‘s like porn in the eyes of your average man.  How is this a feminist ideal?
JOSEPH:  Well, let me just first say that Wilt Chamberlain said he slept with 25,000 women, and I don‘t think he took responsibility for them or their children.
JOSEPH:  So there‘s easier ways for a man to get as much sex as he wants.
CARLSON:  Well, that‘s a good point.
JOSEPH:  As this lifestyle.  But from the feminism thing, I have friends who sacrificed their dreams of career and children—or excuse me, family and children for their career and then the other stripe, too.
CARLSON:  Yes.  You have friends, in other words, who sacrificed their careers for their children and their—or their children for their careers.  But what does polygamy have to do with that?
JOSEPH:  Well, I was able to fully embrace my career, because I had children.  But when I went to work, they were at home with Dad and with other women who loved them very much.

And the other thing is, come home at night, I don‘t feel like making dinner every night.  But I was raised that way.  I was raised that my husband should have clean shorts in his drawer.  I didn‘t have time for that, but there were women in the family who did.

CARLSON:  Yes.  Well, that seems like a pretty good deal for your husband, certainly, and I guess a good deal for you to some extent.  But isn‘t polygamy itself organized around the desires of a man?  You never see polygamy in which one woman has a number of husbands.  I‘m not sure that‘s ever existed in history, at least in large numbers.  Why is it always the man who‘s the center of all these women orbiting around him?
JOSEPH:  Well, because I think men are built that way.  I think the sex drives are different.  I think men are vertical in their relationships, where women are horizontal and affiliative.

Women like to hang out together.

JOSEPH:  And it was a huge advantage that I really liked and respected his seven other wives.  And his relationship with Margaret, for example, that enriched him.  He brought that enrichment back to our relationship.  I was happy for Margaret and happy for him.
CARLSON:  Well, you seem a very tolerant woman and good for you.  I wonder, though, how common that could be.  I mean, for those of us not in polygamist marriages, it‘s hard to believe your wives getting along with one another.  How common is that?
JOSEPH:  I‘m not that familiar with other practitioners.  We were a very, very unique family in that the women were career oriented.  But my husband, Alex, liked to say how would you like eight women working your inventory 24 hours a day?  That was one of his favorite expressions.
CARLSON:  What does that mean, working your inventory?
JOSEPH:  We gave him a hard time.
JOSEPH:  He had to be on his toes all the time.  I picked a challenging career.  I wanted a challenging marriage.  I wanted to march marry the best man I could find, regardless of his marital status.  That he had five wives when I did, didn‘t keep me from marrying him.  If all—if all the women married the good guys, then the batterers would be bachelors, and that‘s what they need to be.
CARLSON:  Yes.  I think you‘re absolutely right in that regard, though it is also true that some women are attracted to men who are unstable and violent.  I mean, that‘s just a fact, unhappy and sad as it is.

However, doesn‘t that leave men with less money, less charisma, out in the cold?  I mean, in societies where there‘s polygamy that is widespread, there are a lot of unmarried men with no prospects of getting married.  And that‘s not good for society, is it?

JOSEPH:  No, it‘s good for society.  Those guys need to shape up so that a woman will want them.
CARLSON:  Did—did the women in your household, the other wives, every gang up on your husband as one?  All eight of you ever go at him?
JOSEPH:  Always.  Always.  I mean...
CARLSON:  Always?
JOSEPH:  ... just for our own—just for amusement purposes.  I mean, guys are such easy targets.  And—but it was all in good fun.  It was.
CARLSON:  Did your husband see it that way?
CARLSON:  I don‘t know any man who want eight women going after him at once.
JOSEPH:  We weren‘t vicious.  It wasn‘t like that.  It was good fun.  We had good times together.  For example, going out to dinner with him alone, that was special.  But I kind of preferred if three or four of us went out, because it was more fun, more conversation, and he was more in his element.  So that was my preference that I acquired over the years.
CARLSON:  He sounds like a quite a guy, I have to say.
JOSEPH:  He was.
CARLSON:  Elizabeth Joseph, thanks for joining us.  I appreciate it.
I appreciate your taking the time.
JOSEPH:  You‘re welcome.
CARLSON:  Well, for more on this subject, you can check out my blog at  I‘ve been in my office banging it out furiously.  I‘m not sure if I‘m right.  You can judge.