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The Right to Polygamy?
That legalization of or especially creating a constitutional right to same-sex marriage will lead to a constitutional right to polygamy is a favorite “scare tactic” of social conservatives. But Slate's Jillian Keenan argues, with a good deal of sense, that nobody should be afraid of legalized polygamy:
All marriages deserve access to the support and resources they need to build happy, healthy lives, regardless of how many partners are involved. Arguments about whether a woman’s consensual sexual and romantic choices are “healthy” should have no bearing on the legal process. And while polygamy remains illegal, women who choose this lifestyle don’t have access to the protections and benefits that legal marriage provides.
As a feminist, it’s easy and intuitive to support women who choose education, independence, and careers. It’s not as intuitive to support women who choose values and lifestyles that seem outdated or even sexist, but those women deserve our respect just as much as any others. It’s condescending, not supportive, to minimize them as mere “victims” without considering the possibility that some of them have simply made a different choice.
The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less “correct” than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though polygamists are a minority—a tiny minority, in fact—freedom has no value unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups among us. So let’s fight for marriage equality until it extends to every same-sex couple in the United States—and then let’s keep fighting. We’re not done yet.
Here are the key points:
Most of the pathologies we currently associate with polygamy come from polygamists operating in secret and outside the law. If polygamy were legal, it would be far easier to deal with the various forms of abuse.
Legal polygamy would make it clear that, like any other human relationship, it must be consensual. That means, of course, no child brides and all that.
Many polygamists live decent and responsible lives. They should have equal access to the various social services and other resources that support families.
The Supreme Court has said that women have the right to define their own identities, the mystery of their own existences. The same, of course, goes for gays. Respect for the relational choice of polygamy is part of the autonomy protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
It’s “condescending, not supportive” to think of women who choose polygamy as “victims.” We should regard their choice as “different”—and not inferior. It’s not a violation of anyone’s rights. Polygamists so far—being mainly dissident Mormons—are social conservatives who raise their children with traditional values. But polygamists wouldn’t necessarily stay that way, and people have the right to raise their children as they please. Polygamy (and polyandry) might be really compatible with a kind a feminist personal independence. And studies show that children are happier who are raised in large families with the presence of lots of caring adults.
We think marriage is “plastic.” It evolves. It evolves, as our Court says, in the direction of liberty. Our opposition to polygamy isn’t “necessary and proper,” but a Christian prejudice. Declaring the choice of polygamy as a constitutional right would be very hard on the Mormons, but that’s their (religious) problem.
Our understanding of “equality” leads in the direction of inclusiveness. Isn’t this the next step in “marriage equality?” The takeaway: Don’t be scared into dissing polygamists just to humor social conservatives. Legalized polygamy won’t be any big deal, and it won’t weaken anyone else’s marriage.
I don’t mean this to be ironic in some “modest proposal” sense. For one thing, it’s not my proposal. I do mean it to be a kind of thought experiment about the evolving American idea of liberty.
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.