On September 25, 2011, Sister Wives began its third season. Although I had enjoyed writing about the show each Sunday last year on Blogcritics' "TV Open Thread," I wasn’t certain I wanted to do the same this year.
To write about the show last year, I had to stay up later than usual (my husband commutes 120 miles a day, and needs his sleep). Yet this wasn't the full reason I had second thoughts about writing (at least in the TV Open Thread section). I also want to write about other things; but at the bottom my reason was that I had, and have, some doubts about whether this show depicts an image of multiple relationship to which I can relate.
Last year a surprising number of people responded to my Blogcritics articles on Sister Wives: some with curiosity, some with tolerance and positive support for the Brown family, and some with disdain for a life that encompasses four wives, sixteen children, and one husband and father.
My point of view is this: I have no problem with the issue of poly-marriage, but I do tend to feel that if a man is going to have more than one wife, the woman (or women) should be free to do the same. A children's rights activist since I was a child myself (so were my parents), I felt a good deal of concern for the Brown children as they fled Utah for Las Vegas at the end of last season. I had often wondered what, exactly, was the point of my publicizing and supporting this way of life?
It is not the multiplicity that bothers me. It’s the conservatism, the restraint of the younger generation; the certainty on the part of Kody Brown that he should be the one and only head of the family; and his lack of concern for the feelings of other family members in doing what he wants to do.