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Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009, 02:40 am
WTF of the day

a movie about a man living in the midst of tel-aviv, who has (at least) 32 wives and 89 children and the authorities are unable to do anything about it.


Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 11:35 am (UTC)

Because he treats them like servants?
[I'm not trying to start a discussion of polygamy/polyandry, I'm focusing on this guy and him only]

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)

Well, it's not as if her forces them to be his wives. Or servants. Or does anything at all which is, technically, illegal in this country (and it seems like the authorities have been trying really hard to dig up some shit about him for years, and failed).

This one got me wondering how legitimate is, for example, to not want someone in your neighborhood and protest against that by closing schools just because his relationships are different than the norm.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC)

He's obviously not doing anything illegal, but something's off in the way he communicates with his wives. They're so subservient, so submissive. He's not a husband, he's a boss, a commander. He does not eat meat, so none of the wives and kids eat meat [so I wonder what if there's a health condition/situation in which eating meat would be necessary?]; he wants the wives to dress modestly, so they have to. They have to follow his orders.
I don't remember if this is something that was mentioned in the movie itself or I read it in one of the articles that were written when this documentary first came out, but he met each of his wives when they were going through a rough time. Those he met when they were teens, were very deeply disturbed teens. Adults - when they were going through a crisis or something. Now, this really smells fishy, because you can tell he's a smart guy, and I'm wondering if there weren't any manipulation, any kind of I'm-your-personal-savior thing. It's really easy to manipulate a young woman who's disturbed and very easy to make her believe he's "her man", and then she'll follow him anywhere. Of course, it's her choice whether to move in with him and have his babies, but you've got to wonder what he told them, because some of his wives completely turned their lives around to get into his commune.
And again - nothing illegal - just sort of make you feel icky.

As for the article you linked me to - it's legitimate for them to not want those kids in schools, but it's NOT legitimate to actually prevent the kids from going to school.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)

I'm watching the movie now [though I watched it before] and he recounts an episode where he was in a foul mood and his wives took it hard. He says that they were all really upset because he was in a foul mood and thought they were the culprit. He says some took pills, some cut themselves. Now I'm sorry, but that's just SO unhealthy. There's no place for that in a healthy relationship. When my husband is in a foul mood, he's in a foul mood is that's all. When my husband is in a foul mood because of something I did, we talk about it, I apologize or change my act [depends on what happened, yes?], and that's it. If these women react so strongly to him being a foul mood, something's deeply fucked up there.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)

I'm not saying it isn't fucked up. Can anything at all be done about this though?

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)

He's not breaking any laws. You can't do anything, really.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)

my point exactly.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)

Although, it's a really interesting situation and provides great material for discussion.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)

Why should anything be done about it? One of the few things more fucked-up than adults in fucked-up relationships is other, non-related adults, deciding that they have the right to interfere.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)

I do believe that in some cases (example) a government, or society might have some right to intervene in relationships, even when those are between consenting adults.

I'm not sure how to formally define the difference between the kind of relationships where it, in my opinion, has the right to intervene (e.g incest, consensual cannibalism) and the kinds where it doesn't (e.g. homosexual relationships), but I believe there is a kind of difference between the two that exists.

I might be wrong on this.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)

The example you brought - honestly, if they didn't have any kids, I'd say - fine. I'm grossed out to no end by the idea of siblings having sex, but you know what - it's their business. I also wouldn't want to have hardcore BDSM-type sex, but I'm not going to prevent anyone from having it, right? But the fact that they have kids, that's, IMHO, why government interferes.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)

Well the law, anywhere where incest is prohibited by law, doesn't say "having kids from incest is illegal." It says: "incest is illegal." Should it, according to you, be amended just to prohibit having kids from incest?

And also, kids. You say the government may interfere in this one because of "kids". Does the government always have a right to interfere in dictate who may have kids and who may not? Can people with genetic incompatibilities who aren't siblings have kids if there's a high probability of an unhealthy kids resulting from that? Can insane people have kids? Can this man have 89 kids from his 30+ wives?

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)

Oy, why do you always want blanket statements? I'm talking about incest and incest only.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)

Most kids from incest are healthy. If we aren't willing to prevent diabetics and other people with inheritable diseases (Sach's, anyone?) from procreating - why them?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)

Which was exactly what I had asked.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)

That's a perfect example of when society shouldn't interfere. They are two consenting adults. Incest laws are a barbaric atavism of a paternalistic society that are interfering with their right to pursue happiness without hurting anyone. And there's nothing wrong with consensual cannibalism between adults, either. Why should there be?

Just because I wouldn't do something gross myself (like eat pork puffs with catchup or excrements, sleep with a family member or a corpse, break my own bones or anyone else's, wear purple with puce or fishnet stockings) does not mean it should not be legal as long as it is done consensually by sane adults.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)

And yet the society/government finds it right to intervene in all sorts of affairs between sane and consenting adults. Example: buying, selling and even the mere possession of certain substances. And the government couldn't care less as for whether the people in question are sane, consenting, adults, understand the risk involved, do not harm anyone else unrelated, or whatever. Are all laws like that fucked up in their very essence?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)

Here's a well-thought post on the subject: http://correlation.livejournal.com/85154.html

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)

"The women are subject to strict discipline, but say that they are all living with Goel Ratzon by their own accord...there had been several attempts at collective suicide when some of the women thought he was going to leave them "
If he convinced 32 women that it's a good idea to live like this, why shouldn't it be their right to act according to their conviction? Yes, this is a religious sect. Yes, this is a personality cult. That's ok. People have the right to follow weird prophets, serve them, abase themselves, and even kill themselves in the prophet's name. That's what freedom of religion means. As long as the children are healthy and educated and no one is physically prevented from leaving - why not?

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)

Look, legally nothing is wrong there. But read my other comments to Talash - something is awfully wrong in that relationship between Goel Ratzon and his wives. Of course there is nothing the public or the legal system can do, but that doesn't mean we approve.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)

As Tonto said to the Lone Ranger - who's "we", paleface? ;)))))
Generally, our opinions are very close, except that I don't even disapprove. It's weird, it's not my cup of tea, but as long as it makes them happy...

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 08:29 am (UTC)

Well, there are advantages in the way those women are living. Remember how this one wife said that in a polygamous family, there's no such thing as a woman alone, when she gets older? Those women always have company and they are very well organized as far as taking care of children and the house goes. If someone gets sick, she doesn't need to worry that her kids will be unfed, you know?
It's just that some moments there are very unhealthy and honestly, if my daughter wanted to be one of his wives, I would not be happy about her choice.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)

I suspect that in this particular polygamous family an elderly wife would be kicked out, but never mind my suspicions. I don't know what you mean by "unhealthy", it's obviously better for them than being on their own, which matches up with my definition of "healthy". Given that, if my daughter wanted to became one of these wives I would also be unhappy. And probably ashamed.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)

That's interesting - why do you think the elderly wife would be kicked out?
[Not arguing - it's totally plausible - it's just that I haven't thought of it, so I'm interested.]

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)

Because he claimed not to know the name of one of his wives. That tells me he doesn't care about them all that much. And if he doesn't, and they loose their attractiveness and their income generating abilities (the single mother subsidy only lasts for a few years, right? once the children grow up it's gone), I just see no motivation for him to keep them around.