One of my heroes is Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon, a physician and a plural wife who in 1896 became the first woman legislator in any U.S. state or territory. Dr. Cannon once said, “You show me a woman who thinks about something besides cookstoves and washtubs and baby flannels, and I will show you nine times out of ten a successful mother”. With all due respect, Gloria Steinem has nothing on Dr. Cannon.
As a journalist, I work many unpredictable hours in a fast-paced environment. The news determines my schedule. But am I calling home, asking my husband to please pick up the kids and pop something in the microwave and get them to bed on time just in case I’m really late? Because of my plural marriage arrangement, I don’t have to worry. I know that when I have to work late my daughter will be at home surrounded by loving adults with whom she is comfortable and who know her schedule without my telling them. My eight-year-old has never seen the inside of a day-care center, and my husband has never eaten a TV dinner. And I know that when I get home from work, if I’m dog-tired and stressed-out, I can be alone and guilt-free. It’s a rare day when all eight of my husband’s wives are tired and stressed at the same time.”
Not every woman likes to clean, cook or sew. Some have a marvelous rapport with children, but they don’t want to give birth to them. Some are very career-oriented, or have an enviable knack for making money. If a man marries several women with different talents, preferences and ambitions, and they all get along, it could make for one very happy family.”