Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009, 02:40 am
WTF of the day
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 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.
Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Because I believe that (in an ideal world) there should be an underlying principle, reason or logic behind every law that exists and if such a principle, reason or logic cannot be applied to other, similar cases then either it is not a principle at all or there exist differences between what seem to be similar cases, and I want to know what that difference is.
You see, reasons and principles behind things and how they work usually interest me more than things themselves and some level of abstraction in generalization is (in my humble opinion) crucial for such cases.
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
OK, how's this for a principle: "Anything done by consenting sane adults that is not harmful to and does not in any way require involvement of anyone other than consenting sane adults should, however weird and unpleasant, be safe for them to do without fear of interference."
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 12:21 am (UTC)
I know. Saw your comment later than hers.
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
Well, if you ask me, I think the fact that all those genetic tests exist and those for really terrible stuff like Tay Sach's and CF are free, if sort of the government's polite way of saying - "maybe you shouldn't be having those babies with TS or CF". It's an excellent thing, in my opinion.
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
So, just to make sure, by saying ""maybe you shouldn't be having those babies with TS or CF". It's an excellent thing, in my opinion" did you actually mean to say "it's an excellent idea for people with genetic diseases not to be born", or did I completely misinterpret you?
Because you do realize, don't you, that there are people out there who are capable of wanting and loving sick babies, and even sick adults?
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
I'll explain where I'm coming from. I have CF. Yes, I know people are capable of loving sick kids and adults, because my family loves me, I have very good friends, and I am happily married, and I know I am not the exception but rather the rule.
I think there are some illnesses that are so terrible, it is better to not have been born than to live with that illness. CF is one of them. I cannot say for sure about anything else because honestly, I know what it's like to live with CF and diabetes, but I don't know what it's like to live with, say, epilepsy, because I don't have it [and don't know anyone who has it]. In my humble opinion, it is better for the child to not be born if they are going to be born with CF, because living with it - and dying of it - is really, really awful, and I'm speaking from experience here.
The government may agree with me that extremely sick babies are better off having not been born, but I'd say our reasonings differ. I'm sure that the government would prefer there are no CFers in the country because our healthcare being what it is [and I am grateful for it], we cost tons of money. Our care is expensive. Plus factor in social security, we pay less taxes even when we are healthy enough to work, we don't pay "arnona". We cost a lot. I can understand that. My reasoning is that I wouldn't want a child with CF to be born because I wouldn't want them to suffer.
Now, having said that, I don't think - in Israel, at least - there will ever be an actual law regarding who can be born and who can't. That's eugenics and again, especially in Israel, that won't fly. Nor there should be a law like that, because it's just like the case with Goel Ratzon - it's not illegal, we may not want to live the way he does, but it's his right to have 32 wives if they are all consenting adults. Same with having sick babies. I personally wouldn't have a baby with CF. My husband was tested and found to not be a carrier of the gene, and if we conceive, we will still do the amniocentesis test to make absolutely sure the baby doesn't have it, and if the baby's sick, we're aborting. But that's OUR choice.
The only thing the government can do is to provide those tests, both for the sake of the parents and the unborn children, and, well, it benefits, too, because less sick babies are born now than before the genetic testing.
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 02:05 am (UTC)
Yes. However, there is a danger here of mistaking consumer protection laws for this type of law. To avoid this mistake I hereby further define "consenting" to include "accurately informed".
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
Yes, but even if you are a sane and accurately informed adult, the government believes it is right to intervene if you possess certain substances, even if you don't harm anyone else. Is this essentially fucked up in your book?
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)