Can you imagine being a woman who was taught that the only way of life was to sacrifice her happiness to serve a man with other wives? Polygamy is a growing epidemic that has been occurring for centuries. It isn’t just in developing countries either. It’s happening in our country and in our states. Our government has set up loopholes for the monstrous acts to continue and for these girls to still have no voice. Polygamy infringes on a woman's rights and leads to young girls being sexually assaulted. Therefore, the government should try harder to stop polygamous marriages.
The act of polygamy is ripping the rights away of women giving them no way to make their own choices in their life.“... he told me not to question the prophet,” she says. “I just went home and told my daughters I had to leave...” (Hannaford 18). This quote shows that this poor woman had no choice, but to obey her religious leader and to leave her family. Which just shows how little of a choice women in polygamy have. What they’re told they must follow showing that their rights of an American citizen and as women have been stripped from them. Polygamy took the right of this woman to choose what was best for her and her family and forced her to leave and go into hiding. She and many other women in polygamy are faced with challenges like these.
Young girls are being sexually assaulted and illegally married to older men with the idea to become mothers due to polygamy. “Elissa Wall suffered multiple miscarriages after being made to marry her cousin at the age of 14”(Baynes 18).This quote gives just one example of a girl who was faced with adult issues at just the age of 14. Keep in mind that she is just a child having to deal with not only marriage but having children and sadly having to deal with the loss of them too. She was married at age 14 to her cousin, who was 19. This should have been stopped by our government but was not due to the lack of the government enforcing the laws with polygamy this poor young girl was taken advantage of and forced to deal with adult situations.
Polygamist should have the right to choose who they want to marry and how many they want to marry because of freedom of religion. “If polygamy is an expression allowed because of the religious freedom we cherish, one has to ask, how can the social harm of polygamy be considered reasonably justified? It can’t...”(Dueck 17). As said above, polygamy its self isn't a choice done by each party. It is usually the religious leader who makes the choice and the parties are forced to comply. It causes social harm and does no benefit for society. Although considered a religious act it endangers both parties involved.
Polygamy is ripping the freedoms of women away and leading to little girls to be forced to deal with adult situations while being sexually assaulted. Therefore, the government needs to take stand up for these women and punish the people who are violating the laws against polygamy. Women are being forced by religious leaders and their husbands to do what they’re told and aren’t allowed to make their own decisions which go against women’s rights and freedoms. Young girls are being indoctrinated to believe that the only way to heaven is to go into marriages with older men and have as many children as possible putting their lives at risk for these terrible men. To these women and girls, it isn’t a choice. They don’t get the decision to leave and the government is taking no action to stop this. What makes your voice and life more important than theirs?