Queen’s University feminist says that polygamy should be permitted

What does feminism really mean? Is feminism compatible with traditional marriage?

Well, take a look at this post from the Vancouver Sun.


A Queen’s University law professor says that polygamy should be legal in Canada.

Queen’s issued a news release on the day that a polygamy reference opened in British Columbia, where the government is seeking a legal opinion on whether Canada’s 128-year-old ban on multiple marriage violates the freedom of religion guarantees in the Charter of Rights.

Bev Baines, head of the Department of Gender Studies and a constitutional law expert, argues that Canada is a multicultural country and it is therefore unconstitutional to criminalize people for their marital relationships.

“The law achieves nothing,” Baines said in the release. “We’ve had the law on the books since 1892 and we had no prosecutions in the last 60 years aside from a  failed attempt last January. We don’t stop polygamy by having a law.”

Who is this person? Let’s read her faculty web page:

Bev Baines

Head of the Department, Undergraduate Chair

Professor Baines is one of the founders of feminist legal studies in Canada.

She recently published The Gender of Constitutional Jurisprudence (Cambridge University Press, 2004, with Ruth Rubio-Marin) in which the contributors examine constitutional cases pertaining to women in twelve countries to explain how constitutions shape and are shaped by women’s lives.

More generally, her research interests include Charter rights, human rights and judicial review. She was involved in the movement to entrench women’s equality rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights; and she continues to be a strong advocate for equity issues in Canadian universities and society.

After co-coordinating the Women’s Studies Program in the Faculty of Arts and Science between 1991 and 1993, she served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1994 until 1997. She has also taught Law and Public Policy in the School of Policy Studies, and is now Head of the Department of Gender Studies.

This person is teaching the next generation of students her views, and is being paid to do it, (and to travel around the world), at taxpayer expense. Her research, which changes the laws of the land, is taxpayer-funded. I’m sure she means well, but I am not sure that polygamy is as good as traditional marriage is for children. And I don’t think that it’s fair to women either – women need an exclusive, life-long romantic commitment.

In Canada, polygamous Muslims can already collect multiple welfare checks for their multiple wives.


Hundreds of [Greater Toronto Area] Muslim men in polygamous marriages — some with a harem of wives — are receiving welfare and social benefits for each of their spouses, thanks to the city and province, Muslim leaders say.

Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, said wives in polygamous marriages are recognized as spouses under the Ontario Family Law Act, providing they were legally married under Muslim laws abroad.

“Polygamy is a regular part of life for many Muslims,” Ali said yesterday. “Ontario recognizes religious marriages for Muslims and others.”

He estimates “several hundred” GTA husbands in polygamous marriages are receiving benefits. Under Islamic law, a Muslim man is permitted to have up to four spouses.

However, city and provincial officials said legally a welfare applicant can claim only one spouse. Other adults living in the same household can apply for welfare independently.

The average recipient with a child can receive about $1,500 monthly, city officials said.

Why do feminists want that?

I think the reason why feminists support polgamy is because they are hostile to traditional marriage.


In 1974, the outcry grew still harsher. Ti-Grace Atkinson, a member of The Feminists and author of Amazon Odyssey, called married women “hostages.”29 Atkinson concluded:

The price of clinging to the enemy [a man] is your life. To enter into a relationship with a man who has divested himself as completely and publicly from the male role as much as possible would still be a risk. But to relate to a man who has done any less is suicide…. I, personally, have taken the position that I will not appear with any man publicly, where it could possibly be interpreted that we were friends.30

Feminism’s shrill animosity toward the married family continued beyond the 1970s. In 1981, radical feminist author Vivian Gornick, a tenured professor at the University of Arizona, proclaimed that “Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession…. The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn’t be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that.”31

Some influential feminists asserted that marriage was akin to prostitution. In 1983, radical feminist author Andrea Dworkin declared, “Like prostitution, marriage is an institution that is extremely oppressive and dangerous for women.”32 In 1991, Catherine MacKinnon, a professor of law at both the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Chicago Law School, added, “Feminism stresses the indistinguishability of prostitution, marriage, and sexual harassment.”33

Read the quotes in that article… feminists don’t like marriage!

So what would happen if people who believe in feminism wrote the laws of the land? Would they encourage people to get married and have children? Or would they pass laws and policies that encouraged people not to marry (no-fault divorce) and not to have children (high tax rates) and to make them incapable of staying married (sex education, pre-marital sex)? Is the decline of marriage, which is caused by feminism, good for children? Does it make them happy, prosperous and safe?

Is there a backlash against feminism by normal women who want husbands, marriage and children? Are they thinking hard about how to encourage men to marry and stay married? Are they heads of Gender Studies departments, writing and researching pro-marriage and pro-child laws? Do normal women vote overwhelmingly for smaller government, lower taxes, pro-male and pro-marriage policies? Are they informed about these issues? Should they be informed? Whose job is it to inform them? I guess I would like to see traditional women informing themselves and voting for limited government, and fewer research grants for feminists and other non-scientific ideologues.

(By feminism, I mean third-wave feminism)

5 thoughts on “Queen’s University feminist says that polygamy should be permitted”

  1. Most normal women who actually like the idea of marriage and family don’t become heads of Gender Studies departments because 1) the radical feminists there would never hire them, 2) they don’t feel like sitting through years of reading material, and lectures that denigrates everything they think is good, 3) they see no reason why they should do a course with infuriating, made-up rot for content, and where they’re likely to be marked down and get rotten marks while they could do another (useful) course and do well, 4) a lot of them are busy actually getting married and having families which they are not prepared to sacrifice for an academic career, 5) it’s not exactly the kind of job description that is going to make normal men interested in them. Guy: “So, what do you do?”, Girl: “I’m a lecturer in gender studies.”, Guy: “I see. Well, nice meeting you.” (as he hurries away as fast as his legs can carry him)


    1. Good point.

      But I know lots of social conservative Christianis who do vote to expand government because they like the idea of government taking care of people by appropriating the funds of people who have funds. (I am picking on women, but men do it too)

      For example, there is this one man I am thinking of in particular who is always asking me whether government has a role to help this group or that group. He is a leader in one of the fringe Christian social conservative parties, and he knows nothing at all of fiscal conservatism and limited government. And he is not the only one. Another Christian guy wants to become active in yet another fringe Christian party. This moron takes great pride in lecturing me on how he is a social conservative and how social conservatism is compatible with single-payer health care and a well-funded public school system. These men are fools – they vote with their hearts, and their hearts are filled with covetousness, which results in theft from one group to another. (Redistribution)

      I think what I would like to see is for Christians to realize that big government uses a bait and switch. When liberal politicians want to destroy the family, they whine and complain about poor people or sick people or single mothers or AIDS victims or endangered polar bears or world peace through appeasement or whatever will tug on the heart strings of voters. They are swept into office based on this desire to redistribute wealth and equalize life outcomes regardless of personal choices. And when they get there, they use the money that was ostensibly taken to help the poor to create MORE poor – by destroying the family – which they think is oppressive, according to what Bev Baines, etc. taught them at Harvard, etc. They do this so that there will be even more of a crisis for them to solve, and more money for them to tax to solve it with.

      Now when they were campaigning, they did not state their intention to destroy the family so there would be a need for bigger government and more social programs. They would never get elected that way. But that’s what their plan was. That is something that individual voters have to discern by putting down the sports shows and Oprah and picking up the Thomas Sowell and Jennifer Roback Morse. I have sat in the gym and watched Christian man after Christian man watching ESPN instead of FOX News. These men think they are Christians. They say they are pro-life and pro-marriage. But they vote Democrat because they want to “help the poor” by electing social engineers who in their own writings admit they want to destroy marriage and raise children without fathers. Christian social conservatives who are not also fiscal conservatives are morons.

      The worst is the socons who tell me how great single-payer is who do not realize that all major single-payer systems fund abortion. They don’t understand and they don’t want to – it’s a pose. Turn on the ESPN and watch basketball.

      We need to realize that what animates the left is not a superior knowledge of how anything works. The left is animated by two desires: 1) the desire to “do something” so that they can be seen by others as being heroic and compassionate, regardless of what the outcome is, and 2) the desire to break down moral judgments and personal responsibility so that no one feels bad about the stupid/evil things they do, and no one has to pay for the stupid/evil things they do. That’s the political left. That’s what many Christians vote for.


  2. My grandfather in Africa had three wives and numerous children from all three. I lived in a society in which Islam predominated, but also, quite apart from Islam, “traditional” marriage also allowed polygamy–not limited to four, as many as one could afford–so I can converse very intelligently on polygamy.

    First, the women HATED being the second, third, whatever wives. The first wife HATED there were other second, third, whatever wives. This led naturally to a climate of stress and strife for both the wives and their children.

    Secondly, children growing up in such households were never properly taken care of, leading to massive delinquency and ultimately criminal conduct in most cases.

    Polygamy is a TERRIBLE idea for everyone involved, including–need I say–society.


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