A disturbing new trend in pop culture isn’t so new after all. In fact, it’s a barbaric practice that was ousted by the West long ago for the sake of protecting women.
Hey everyone, a relic of barbarism is making a comeback!
If the reference is lost on you, I am referring to an expression from the mid-1800s, when the Republican Party was established to replace the Whigs on the platform of eradicating what party leaders like Abraham Lincoln coined “the twin relics of barbarism.” The first of those relics was polygamy, seen as a system that was fundamentally oppressive to one of the two sexes: women. Bigamy was formally abolished under the Lincoln’s presidency.
And yet, 155 years later, the concept is creeping back into the mainstream, with popular culture blowing wind in its sails.
But what happens to women in a world where we scrap the “binary axis” of monogamy? Women suffer, that’s what. Nobody is asking for a show called “Brother Husbands.” Nine of ten pictures for polyamory involve one man with multiple women. The other one in ten is usually just a crowd of people. Men may sleep around, but they don’t tolerate the degradation of being a part of a modern male harem, nor have they ever, really. Polygamy uniquely subjugates one sex; it’s like an institutionalized form of the hookup culture—with women on call for male pleasure, just with some boundaries and a relationship status. But that hasn’t stopped Hollywood’s big wigs from putting bigamy on the big screen like it’s NBD, no big deal.
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