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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Play Fair! Character Counts Part 5--- "Sister Wives"

Play Fair!
Character Counts – Part 5


Fairness:  It almost seems too simple a concept to have to discuss, right?  We all learned in school as kids to be equal (or equitable), impartial, consistent and employ due process.  However, as adults we sometimes forget these lessons.  Many of us comment on how Kody is unequal / inequitable with his time and affection among his wives.  A big concern is how he spends his time as a dad with his kids.  Is it equal / equitable?  That would be very difficult when Mariah would receive more attention during his stay at Meri’s than would occur for Janelle’s 6 kids or Christine’s 6 kids during his stays at their homes.  This is one thing that bothers me a lot because children are so important and once we harm their psyches we cannot “unring the bell”.

I had hoped to see “Big Love” style family meetings or wives planning sessions when I first tuned in to Sister Wives.  Yes, I know, I’m hopelessly naive (I thought a 401K is what you get when you are almost finished writing the letter “K” 500 times).  Everyone would get their turn to say their piece and have their turn at doing things their way.  Ha ha.  I also learned that Kody is happy go lucky only when everyone agrees with him.  When there are disagreements he quickly shuts down discussions and becomes Kommissar Kody, the not-so-benevolent family dictator.

Care Bear Kody

The central reason we have manners and ethics is because of caring, the 5th pillar of ethics.  Ethical people care about how their actions affect other people.  Ethical people do not treat other people as tools to be used and exploited to further their own ends.  Ethical people do things for the good of others that they don’t even know and they do things for the good of others when there is no benefit in it for themselves because they care about the well being of others.

I am very sorry to say that I don’t see a lot of evidence of caring, selfless actions by the Brown family on this show – or off it either. 

Logan has shown himself to be a fine young man who cares for and about his siblings.  I don’t know too many 15 or 16 year old boys who are up and making breakfast.  To be fair, we did see the family paint Grandma Brown’s house and help on the ranch in one episode.  Perhaps those kinds of things are done all the time; if so it would be nice to at least hear more references to them.  I am, however, thinking more along the lines of caring touches when there were tears on the TH couch and other everyday gestures of caring; I rarely saw any type of comforting gestures when heavy emotions are present. 

The final ethical pillar is citizenship.  We are individuals, but also belong to communities.  This brings with it obligations to know and obey laws, volunteer our time (and perhaps some money) to charities and good causes, stay informed about current issues and events, and contribute to community life (recycle, conserve resources, etc.).  As good citizens we give back more than we take.
I guess I don’t even have to “go there” regarding the Brown family’s record on knowing and obeying laws.  Honestly, I have no idea whether they volunteer their time to charities and good causes.  I know from their bankruptcy papers that they give substantial amounts of money to charity, which I assume to be “tithing”. So many things that they have said lead me to believe that they would rather be insular than mix with their community.    This can be a difficult value for many people to live, but it can also be the most rewarding.  Hopefully the Brown family will change a little over time.
We have come to the end of the pillars.  I wanted to say more nice things about the Browns and am sad that I couldn’t.  Hopefully, things will be different in a year or 2.

Written By; TERRASOLA!


  1. I've see Kody turn cold as ice at times he should be caring.

    And, even the Sister Wives to each other- How can you sit next to someone that is your family when they are bawling, and not touch them or hug them?

  2. I completely agree MS. They want us to believe that each adult is an important piece of the puzzle and they all fit together, but the wives act like coworkers! "I'm stuck with them so I'll be distant and courteous but gosh I can't stand her!" The women do not act as if their relationship with one another is as important as their relationship with Kody. I thought the whole benefit of this idea is to have a strong supportive community of women? If they showed us that side I might be more encouraged about the concept, but they can't even fake it for TV.

  3. Sadly, in polygamy, there is no such thing as "fairness" with the women.
    Women are there to "collect"
    Get your 3 - go to heaven.
    They really are not like what you see here on Sister Wives.
    Sadly, they are like chattle.
    And since they added #4, you wait, Kody will add more later. If he keeps some money back.

    I think it's kinda weird that these teens are sooooo excited. i mean, it's not the first baby - they get a new one every year. And, this one is different mom. i think it's a play, a show, a farce.
    Teens are told not to have a kiss till they are 18, but hey, you can get married then too! BS.

    I can't believe I keep coming back here in one day!

  4. Great Article!

  5. Robynisafreak, I agree with you about how women are treated like chattel in polygamous religions and their marriages inherently create a legal inbalance when it comes to property division and rights.

    Creating more children than you can afford to take care of should be a crime, in my opinion, but there's obviously no way to enforce that. If that were an actual law, many Catholics would be behind bars too.

  6. Sincere, Excellent, and Thought Provoking.

    Thank you, Terrasola!