During a law school debate on April 15, New York University professor of social and cultural analysis Judith Stacey argued against the nuclear family and monogamous relationships, and for decriminalizing polygamy.
The debate, sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society and between Ms. Stacey and the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson, was on “the defense of marriage.”
Among Ms. Stacey’s wicked smart musings: “I say why should there be marriage at all;” “What should limit it to two and why should it be monogamous? Nothing in view gives the state that particular interest;” and “So I would agree that we should get rid of the sexual family, there’s no reason in the contemporary world to base our relationships necessarily on sex.”
On the subject of holding down many wives, Ms. Stacey said, “I’m not arguing for those other forms, though I do in my book argue for the decriminalization of polygamy — which I think is a deeply hypocritical stance, and we can get into that if you want — but it’s not because I advocate polygamy.” Polygamy is an ancient tradition still rocked by a number of cults and religious sects, Osama bin Laden’s friends and this [NSFW] Toba chieftain from 1892.
She also shared that she suspects that because “the children of gay male co-parents will wind up having probably the best parents. … I would say that children certainly do not need both a mother and a father. They need good parents of whatever sort.”
“Frankly, I would be much more in favor of the disestablishment of marriage as a the state function in general, and I would argue that it is not in its essence a state function,” Ms. Stacey continued, adding generously that she “would grant all of the religions the right to govern their norms of marriage however they choose.”
Outside of entertaining us this afternoon, Ms. Stacey’s contributions to civilization focus on “gender; family; sexuality; feminist and queer theory; [and] ethnography” — disciplines that amaze with their ability to render those who have studied them unbearable in social settings.
The entire boring debate can be downloaded here, but for those that don’t have an hour to spend, here are a few faves selected by Heritage: