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DS's RS teacher "polygamy not that bad"

(116 Posts)
IfyouseeRitaMoreno Tue 19-Sep-17 17:12:04

and when asked why women weren't allowed multiple husbands he said that this wouldn't work as you wouldn't know who the father is.

DS was annoyed bless him but didn't challenge. I felt a bit rageful because really he should his evo-psych opinions to himself and it's not exactly great for his female pupils to hear.

But then maybe that is life and he's just describing it like it is. Genuinely not sure IBU.

Pengggwn Tue 19-Sep-17 17:14:55

I would want to hear that exact wording. As an RS teacher it is his job to present beliefs, not judge them. If he was saying that in his personal view polygamy is fine, I would expect him to say this in the context of: 'This is my faith, my personal view, I am not telling you to believe this.' If he was telling your child what people who practise polygamy believe, that is his job!

Copperspot Tue 19-Sep-17 17:15:06

Depends how it was said, if it was "so and so people believe / belived that men could have multiple wives, and didn't think it was a bad thing'

That is very different to " i thjnk polygamy is great, who doesn't like an option *wink wink"

DailyMailReadersAreThick Tue 19-Sep-17 17:16:09

Agree with Pengggwn. RS teachers have to present all kinds of crap - they can't preface it ALL with "As [group] believes..." The kids should be smart enough to fill it in themselves.

SnowBallsAreHere Tue 19-Sep-17 17:16:20

Maybe context is needed.
Perhaps they said polygamy wasn't as bad as murder.

Phosphorus Tue 19-Sep-17 17:16:26

It's just their opinion.

Good teachers are always exploring different viewpoints, if your child had spoken up it could have made the discussion more interesting.

backOffSunshine Tue 19-Sep-17 17:19:10

Whilst it isn't for me, I often shower-ponder if we're as far removed from other animals as we like to pretend to be.

Men fight over the best mates. The mates are pregnant for 40 weeks and then rearing offspring for years afterwards.

In terms of survival of the species, it's a careful balance between having multiple offspring with multiple partners and forming a bond with your sexual partner. Different animals have different approaches.

Fathers are of course less likely to stick around when there's paternal uncertainty and why should they?

It often strikes me as pretty arrogant to assume that we're on this planet for some higher reason than to ensure the continuation of our DNA; as with every other living thing we know of.

Why was your son annoyed?

Remember, it's illegal to be married to multiple people. Nothing sexist in those laws, nor any others in our country.

FenceSitter01 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:19:24

There are cultures with polyandry, various sub cultures in the Himalayas practice it but it's mainly found in Tibet.

Userwhocouldntthinkofagoodname Tue 19-Sep-17 17:22:36

If you want religion taught in schools then that is what your going to get. If you want morality taught in schools then we need to make schools secular.

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Tue 19-Sep-17 17:24:44

Yes, I did press DS for exact wording and tone! DS definitely thought that he was justifying the inequality of it, as in why it was ok for men but not women.

backoff yes I ponder that too, but it's such a controversial subject when it comes to teaching our kids equality that I think that more caution is needed.

I realize that it doesn't apply to this country, but I think it still has an effect on how kids think, what their teachers believe is correct or not.

FenceSitter01 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:26:15

Religion isn't taught as in "you WILL believe this" - it's overviewed so that students learn about a wide variety of cultural beliefs. Compare and contrast. Eg: Why do some people bury their dead and why do some have funeral pyres?

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Tue 19-Sep-17 17:26:27

If you want religion taught in schools then that is what your going to get. If you want morality taught in schools then we need to make schools secular.

Well indeed but I don't think we have much choice about what is taught in our schools do we? RS is compulsory and it gives DS the rage (he's a staunch atheist) but he has to do it.

Pengggwn Tue 19-Sep-17 17:28:31

It is compulsory because it is considered to be important that our children are informed about the range of beliefs and practices that exist in the world. There is no element of teaching them to believe anything, it is perfectly compatible with atheism. I think this is good for your DS.

PricklyBall Tue 19-Sep-17 17:28:50

The interesting thing is that whether it's polygyny (multiple wives) or polyandry, the men remain in charge of the process - polyandry in Tibet is also referred to as "wife sharing" and takes place because there aren't enough women to go round. It's not a neat inversion of polygyny where one woman who's a hell of a stud (what would be the female equivalent of "a hell of a stud"? don't think there is one... all the words for women who have multiple sexual partners are pejorative) gets the sexual services of lots of acquiescent men.

Fidoandacupoftea Tue 19-Sep-17 17:30:04

I am happy for the teacher to present various practices around the world. I am on the fence re personal beliefs, which I rather they kept to themselves just like I wouldn't want a sexist or a racist to talk about their beliefs.

hesterton Tue 19-Sep-17 17:30:11

You make a better staunch atheist if you know the facts of worship within organised religions.

TheNaze73 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:32:14

I think there's probably big yarns that RE teachers spin

ChelleDawg2020 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:32:23

It depends on how and why it was presented. Religions have ideas that contradict those of other religions, things that seem normal or essential to one religion will be obscene or offensive to followers of another.

Think bacon - a wonderful thing to eat for most people, but in some parts of the world you would find yourself in a lot of trouble for doing it.

Then there's Mohammed - many people would find the idea that a leading figure of a religion married a young child to be rather repugnant, but followers of the religion find justifications to excuse it ("it was part of God's plan", or "there's no proof the marriage was consumated before she was 15", or "people died younger then so got marrying a child was pretty common", for example).

Polygamy was/is a fundamental principle of some religious people's lives. The current way of the world is to be tolerant of people of different beliefs, to be able to openly discuss them, and to respect them.

VeryCunningStunt Tue 19-Sep-17 17:38:23

DS definitely thought that he was justifying the inequality of it, as in why it was ok for men but not women

Unequal or not, the unacceptability of a system in which two or more males invest time and resources in raising offspring that might not be theirs was presumably correct in the context of the specific group under discussion.

Out of interest, how would you have preferred the question to be answered? And which polygamous group was under discussion?

Pengggwn Tue 19-Sep-17 17:39:22

The idea that there are some beliefs and practices that perfectly normal people from two different groups will, respectively, find desirable and repugnant in equal measure is a difficult one.

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Tue 19-Sep-17 17:39:47

You make a better staunch atheist if you know the facts of worship within organised religions

Well, quite, and that is how I've sold it to him. Know what you're arguing against.

It's hard to put into words but I just feel uncomfortable with girls being taught about unequal practices as if they're inevitable and natural, without teaching the other side.

Pengggwn Tue 19-Sep-17 17:42:02

In what sense was your DS taught that polygamy is natural and inevitable? Sorry, I am not quite getting it.

VeryCunningStunt Tue 19-Sep-17 17:42:32

It's hard to put into words but I just feel uncomfortable with girls being taught about unequal practices as if they're inevitable and natural, without teaching the other side

Is there 'another side'? My view is that most of the 'main' religions are patriarchal (though I'm happy to be corrected if this is not the case)

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Tue 19-Sep-17 17:51:17

Out of interest, how would you have preferred the question to be answered? And which polygamous group was under discussion?

Well that's it isn't it? I think I would have responded that the religion in question had been written at a patriarchal time, which would then have prompted a discussion of patriarchy, feminism etc. Which yes, would have taken up a lot of time and probably led to pissed off parents as well.

No way out!

Puzzledandpissedoff Tue 19-Sep-17 17:54:03

I just feel uncomfortable with girls being taught about unequal practices as if they're inevitable and natural, without teaching the other side

But surely they are teaching the "other side" - or at least presenting it for discussion?

For me, this is the danger in allowing RS to be in the curriculum; it's all well and good if a large variety of beliefs are taught as being just that - beliefs - but certainly not if a teacher's advocating for any of them

Would it be worth having a quiet chat with the RS teacher to ask how he views presentation of these issues?

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