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It is difficult for any monogamous person, but especially a monogamous woman to understand how living a life of polygamy could be considered joyful and fulfilling. Being a young woman, happily married to my “true love,” the idea that the same kind of happiness I feel could exist in a plural relationship at first seemed completely illogical to me. However, as Kathleen Flake pointed out in the 2009 Arrington Memorial Lecture, “logic is not an absolute set of assertions about something. People that share your premises will think you’re logical, whereas people that don’t believe the same things as you will think you are illogical.” Although the historical consensus is that polygamy was an instrument of social control that oppressed women and led to a monopolization of power and resources, when successful Victorian marriages are compared to successful polygamous marriages, the Mormon polygamous marriages produced more empowerment for women, whereas traditional Victorian marriages produced dependency that only oppressed women.


Arrington Student Writing Award Winner for Third Place.



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