Remove “Sister Wives” & Polygamy Shows from NOT Reality Television
A decade ago, TLC producers and Kody Brown began merchandizing the crime of polygamy and financially profiting from it. Media producers and men using women to influence public opinion and financially gain from patriarchy is nothing new.
It’s time to STOP IT. #stopsisterwives
Patriarchy is a power system that enables men to dominate women, and polygamy is a system within patriarchy that creates a mock family unit to subjugate and control women.
Although the terms “husband” and “sister-wives” are commonly used for polygamy, it is not a lifestyle or family unit – it is a crime that has been labeled and misrepresented as a family. The same elements that describe domestic violence are inherent in polygamy due to a man believing he has authority to take multiple intimate partners he calls “wives” and control them through various forms of abuse.
Consistent with women in abusive relationships or enduring Stockholm Syndrome, women within polygamy are not able to view themselves as “victims” and instead, call themselves “wife” or “sister- wives.”
By the same token, the public has the right to demand more of the media. Polygamy is not polyamory or an alternative lifestyle that empowers women. It is seldom prosecuted, if ever. This does not take away from the inherent harms of polygamy and doing more to prevent polygamy.
According to the U.S. Federal Government, polygamy is illegal, and the United States Supreme Court has upheld its law against polygamy. (Immigrants cannot bring multiple “wives” into the United States.) The United Nations has deemed polygamy a human rights violation, and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women regards the practice of polygamy as inherently discriminatory. In 2011, after the most exhaustive research of its kind, the law against polygamy was upheld in British Columbia Supreme Court.
TLC “Sister Wives” reality show does not detail the recruiting process and ways in which women are controlled and kept subjugated within a so-called “family” unit and how “sister-wives” are systematically conditioned to be complicit. Even among the professed “happy” women, due to psychological conditioning and control it is more similar to a cult or high-demand group, and difficult to leave.
It is reprehensible that for the last decade Kody Brown and TLC has used national television to help decriminalize polygamy in Utah while knowingly misleading the public.
We emphatically petition TLC producers to remove “Sister Wives”: 1) Gender inequality should never be tolerated and normalized on reality television. 2) Minors in polygamy should not be used for the purpose of ratings 3) Criminal behavior should not be financially rewarded 4) Deception and lack of transparency has been a common theme on “Sister Wives.” 5) Kody Brown has used “Sister Wives” as a platform to garner support to decriminalize polygamy in Utah, which has taken crime reparation funds away from victims. 6) “Sister Wives” does not represent the vast majority of polygamous families who suffer from poverty, neglect and other forms of abuse.
TLC “Sister Wives” reality show has not only had an adverse influence in our own backyard, it’s rippling influence is disempowering and harming women and children all over the world.
Kody Brown saying, he doesn’t “believe in polygamy anymore” is not good enough.
Polygamy and its abuses have been ongoing and ignored. This is not the first time we have warned TLC advertisers about the harms associated with patriarchy and polygamy.
Stop “Sister Wives” #stopsisterwives