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woman accused of polygamy

2006-05-03 17:10:53.350359+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Michigan police accuse woman of polygamy scam:

"In polygamy cases, usually it's a man who is married to more than one woman," Tobin said. "In my 12 years here, I don't remember there being a case involving a female polygamist. I haven't even heard of such a case."

This apparently revolved around her marrying someone, milking them for all she could, and moving on without benefit of divorce.

[ related topics: Sociology Law Current Events Law Enforcement Marriage ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: [Entry #8902] woman accused of polygamy made: 2006-05-03 18:31:03.12263+00 by: Unknown, from NNTP

Dan Lyke <danlyke@flutterby.com> writes:

> female polygamist

Somebody misspelled polyandrist, I think.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-05-03 18:48:44.605012+00 by: petronius

This woman is neither a polygamist nor a polyandrist (polyandrette?). She is a bigamist, pure and simple. Polygamy and -andry are, at least in theory, voluntary associations, with all parties fully aware of the other participants, and accepting of the situation. Bigamy is keeping the other party ignorant of the other marriages, making them think they are the only spouse. Often this is done for reasons of financial fraud, which seems to be the story here.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-05-04 18:15:20.272128+00 by: baylink

I don't believe, petronius, that even bigamy has an inherent negative denotation, as you seem to be implying that it does.

It's the name of a defined crime in most jurisdictions, but adopting it as the name doesn't in some fashion make it mean that. All of the terms you mention refer to non-traditional extended collections of people. I can't really say I agree that there's an inherent difference between polygamist and bigamist, as you assert.

Polyamory, now, is a coined word specifically intended to mean a different thing entirely.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-05-05 15:09:55.009218+00 by: petronius

Seems to me that if a word like bigamy is adapted as the name of a defined crime, it has attained a pretty negative connotation, indeed. Yes, if you do the breakdown it means "two-wives", while polygamy would mean "more than one wives", but in everyday usage they have come to mean different things. Just as the word polyamory had to be coined to differentiate the concept from conventional (!) polygamy, the need to differentiate voluntary multiple marriage from fraudulent multiple marriage leads us to use different names.

Which leads to an interesting question: In societies were multiple marriage is common, do they need different words to separate single from multiple groupings?