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Ross Douthat Stirs the Debate!

Posted on 5/31/2015

     Getting back from the Book Expo, and uPublishU, at the Javits Center, I felt rather depleted for a while. Then I read the NY Times Sunday Review.Ross Douthat, a conservative journalist, author of "Bad Religion", and former senior editor of Atlantic, wrote an article with the title: "The Prospects for Polygamy". He noted that, according to Gallup, "acceptance of polygamy has more than doubled...16 percent from 7 percent." He noted that polygamy is associated, in the public mind, with "patriarchy and sexual abuse." I hope he reads my novels to revise that stereotype.Although he does gloss over bisexuality, Mr. Douthat notes: "Is a culture where prominent men routinely have multiple kids with multiple wives...going to permanently deny marriage rights to people who want the same thing, except all at once?" Hah! Nice for a conservative! In response, I sent a letter to the Editor at the NY Times:

   When I read Mr. Douthat's article on polygamy in the Sunday Review, I saw, in print, the very same ideas I've shared in two novels. Although he comes from a conservative background and I'm more to the liberal realm, our thoughts overlapped significantly. In regard to the LGBT community, the "B" has not yet received its moment in the sun. When it does, it could be a cultural evolution of sorts. Ashley, in my novels, needs both to feel "complete". In "Menage 3", the main characters faced tragic losses and betrayals. Consequently, circumstances brought them together; the question is whether circumstances would also pull them apart. Bigger questions emerge: Why should the State determine whom you may love? When marriages can disintegrate into divorce, with economic hardship and emotional upheaval to adults and children, might there be another option? What if a "mistress" did not have to survive in "the shadows"? The vow of "Til death do us part" was devised when people lived to about the age of 30. We're living longer, healthier, lives. Relationships and needs evolve. Three incomes, three parents to care for a child, three adults sharing household chores --- and three people sharing the joys of love and passion. Can we transcend jealousy and attain the new concept of "compersion"? I would love to discuss (or debate) this further with Mr. Douthat and other interested parties. As a retired clinical clinical social worker who did a lot of couple therapy, I think it's worth considering as a personal choice. 

 

 

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