One Woman. Two Men. One Bed

SM tipster “Sirc” sent us the Village Voice review of a documentary that has been around for over a year, but seems to finally be opening to a larger audience (Oct 19, 2005 NYC, Nov 11, 2005 LA).  The film is titled ‘Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family.’  From the review:

This well-told doc follows nine years in the lives of a gay couple and the woman they invited to share their relationship. When we meet this happy threesome–Sam, Steven, and Samantha–they’re trying to get pregnant. In winning interviews spliced between suspenseful EPT tests, the assertively bourgeois strivers chat about their setup, their decision to marry, their spa business, their mix-and-match sex (“There’s never a feeling of being left out!”). Actress hopeful Samantha explains how her traditional Indian family absorbed the news.

Ummm.  Wow.  Trinogamy.  I just imagined the sound of several desi parents dropping dead of heart attacks.  Hell, I almost suffered a heart attack when I saw the trailer.  That “horror-movie feeling” descended upon me.  You know, it’s like when you watch a character on-screen with your eyes half covered saying, “Don’t do it.  Don’t go in there.  You are going to get knifed.  Ooooh, they went there.”  The “monkey wrench” in this case is the birth of a baby.  How will it change the dynamic given that only one man is the biological father? In a perfect world without human insecurities a relationship like this could probably work.  There is unfortunately no such perfect world.  I don’t know how it turns out but I am pretty curious.

The filmmaker gives her quick take on the film and its coincidental political overtones:

We began filming “Three of Hearts” in August 1996, the night of Samantha’s 30th birthday party. When I got home from the first night of filming my boyfriend at the time, and later husband David Friedson told me that the senate had passed the Defense of Marriage Act that day, defining marriage for purposes of federal law as the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. David pointed out that the love story I had elected to tell was highly political. And as we premiered in Toronto, the whole issue was exploding in San Francisco, Massachusetts and around the country. So even though our film is not overtly political, we take pride in the fact that it does have political overtones.

We thank Sam Cagnina, Samantha Singh and Steven Margolin for their courage in sharing with us eight years of their journey.

The reviews of this film are glowing.  Here is screening info.

186 thoughts on “One Woman. Two Men. One Bed

  1. Here, read this. A few excerpts: “Nine years ago, they fell in love with each other,’ reads an intertitle – but in fact it was a little more premeditated than that. Turns out, the two men had already been together for seven years, having met in their first week at college, before they decided to try inviting a woman into their relationship. Sam and Steven ‘auditioned’ a number of potential candidates,..”

    “Finally Sam met Samantha at the restaurant they both worked in, the pair became friends”

    “The lesson? Be careful what you wish for.” Moral of the Story: Enjoy movies, have a good laugh, talk about it at the starbucks but never take up as a cause because it is there without really evaluating it objectively.

  2. Thank God Kush is around to articulate matters so concisely and eloquently. I support everything he has said in his last couple of posts, 100%.

    By the way — I’ve noticed that a number of people on this thread, both men and women (including some of the “regulars”), are falling into the typical desi mentality of resorting to hurling insults and sarcasm at the other party as a way of attempting to undermine their arguments and enforce their own point of view. This is unacceptable and has to stop. Being sarcastic, insulting, aggressive, or speaking as loudly as possible, does not make one’s statements correct or appropriate if what one is fundamentally saying is wrong. No amount of verbal bullying or personal insults can change this basic fact. Browbeating and undermining the other party into “submitting” or giving up, does not necessarily mean that one’s viewpoints and assertions are actually correct, even if one superficially “wins the argument”.

    The analogy of inter-racial relationships, although understandable, is also inappropriate in my opinion. Beyond a certain point, the very concept of “race” is artificial, false, and man-made (this also happens to be heavily emphasised by a number of religions, including my own –which neither has the concept of “caste” nor “kafir/believer”, remember). The basic idea of “inter-racial” is as false as “inter-caste”. Gender, however, is very much a real biological fact, and although (despite the beliefs of some of the more orthodox and patriarchal members of the human race) men and women actually have far more in common with each other than things that differentiate them (both biologically and psychologically), there are actually two separate genders in humanity which no amount of well-meaning-but-misguided political correctness or trendy thinking can change. This is an utterly inalienable scientific fact. So I don’t think you can automatically use the same arguments for relationships involving various gender dynamics that you would otherwise use in the (completely legitimate) argument against prejudice & ignorance regarding so-called “inter-racial” dating/marriage.

    DesiDancer made a valid point earlier on about how many participants may be irate about Samantha’s scenario because she happens to be Indian/South Asian. However, a number of other commentators — myself included — may not have concerns for this reason, but because of the fact that children are involved. I’m all for a live-and-let-live attitude towards the way that people conduct their personal lives, especially their relationships — people can do whatever the hell they want to, as long as they’re sure that they’re taking a particular course of action for the right reasons and take responsibility for the outcomes/consequences of their behaviour, for better or for worse (unless someone is being either grossly self-destructive in their thinking and behaviour, or if someone is being manipulated, bullied, tricked, or exploited).

    However, when children become part of the equation, it’s an entirely different ballgame — because one’s ideas and actions will have consequences for vulnerable people (ie. your kids) who are in a subordinate position to you and for whom you are responsible.

  3. And so Jai Singh and all, watch the movie. Your ‘concerns’ about the children are addressed in a very thought-provoking way.

  4. I have one point to make.

    Noone, I repeat noone, who has NOT had a child can with complete determinism say what will work and not work.

    Its best to begin with “ideals” “hopes” and “thoughtful action,” with the recognition time brings its own anaswers.

    hence, when one deviates from accepted norms of parenting and family structure, while at one level it may be a great potential for social change, on the other hand it also means exposing children to strifes and challenges they may not have faced under a more regular and socially acceptable situtation.

    The rest is merely rhetoric….of people who dont know what they are talking about….. Its not without reason rasing children has involved a two gender identity…Now if this means two ends of the gay spectrum, then they must acknowledge it…while looking for acceptance for the relationship at a larger level. Two of the same kind is not a good model for any kind of balanced team building(as any marriage is)

    So I feel, for aacceptance of a gay model, gays would do better to emphasize the dissmilarity of the sexual roles within the gay relationship, rather than focus on similarity.

    The question of social acceptance for kids will always remain, whether one likes it or not. As long as its an informed choice, its fine.

    Sumita

  5. Also,

    This whole model of seduction to get someone to do what they would not want to do undernormal circumstances is , in my opinion, merely another name for manipulation

    Anyone who respects another human being as a rational conscious thinking entity, would not think of doing this. To take advantage of someone who is not thoughfully aware of the consequences of their behaviour, is morally reprehensible.

    It boils down to ” Should I, just because I can?”

    Is it in the true interest of mutual welfare?

    This may be complex situation, but most sexual situations involve this manipulation, unless both parties are at an equal level of exposure, awareness and consciousness and mutually agree to go ahead. For the term “consenting adults” to be used, the level of awareness is key.

    This is a huge mix-up.

    In most situations, someone who is emotionally stronger, more aware/experienced, expoits the other person for personal gains, to the other person’s detriment. Many sexual open relationships fall into this category, obiously not all. Its important to make that distinction.

    The litmus test is the question: Is an encounter mutually benefical for both people?

    Unfortunately most people do not ask this question.

    It is at heart a basic ethical human issue. To confuse it with gay, race, gender etc very loaded and value drives words is to confuse the issue.

    Sumita

  6. I kind of wonder if “we” are more interested in this because of the desi angle?

    i kind of think thats not a very good thing in that everytime someone desi does something do “we” have to analyze “our” feelings about it?

    desi does ganja…..how do i feel about it? what does it mean for second gen desi culture?

    desi does not put the toilet seat down? what does this mean about patriarchy in the second gen desi community?

    desi is involved in a threesome relationship….has nothing to do with me on its face other than i probably am like three people removed from her/him

    i’m not saying no one else should talk about it, just pointing out that the world is a bit easier to handle if i don’t analyze my life and life priorities whenver i get news about a desi doing something

    if this was not a desi person my reaction would be different that if it was. i like my reaction if this was not a desi person much better.

    this might actually be obvious to some people here

  7. Kush and Jai, Your comments 145, 147, 149 and 152 were really good. I too am an open-minded liiberal, but I get annoyed with “I am more open-minded than thou” sanctimonious reactions that one sees so often. Kush mentioned Sartre’s open relationship in comment 147. I strongly encourage you to read the article on Sartre and Beauvoir in the New Yorker recently http://www.newyorker.com/critics/books/articles/050926crbo_books

    Here is an excerpt: “..Still, it was possible to stick to the no-fault view: these were consenting adults. Their erotic lives were no oneÂ’s concern but their own.

    That view soon lost tenability…With the publication of “Letters to Sartre,” it was clear that, privately, he and Beauvoir held most of the people in their lives in varying degrees of contempt. They enjoyed, especially, recounting to each other the lies they were telling.”

    If you read the article you see that essentially they seem to have exploited a lot of vulnerable women

  8. Two of the same kind is not a good model for any kind of balanced team building(as any marriage is)

    You can make the same argument about single parenting that it isn’t as good as having both parents. But, the single parents are hailed as heroes, while gay parents are subjected to vicious attacks. In my view, the people fall into different life styles based on their natural inclinations as well as their experiences. While we all could do argue on end about what the perfect story should be, the fact of the matter is that the deviations from the norm do exist, and such deviations like this have no bigger implications outside the realm of the lives of the parties involved in. So, what’s the big deal?

  9. If you read the article you see that essentially they seem to have exploited a lot of vulnerable women

    Read the article, and these bored losers exploited a lot of vulnerable GIRLS. I would not consider 16, 17 year olds to be women at all. Their minds and ideas are still developing. Yes, these two conned these little girls, no doubt.

    On the topic of conning, since the definition seems to have expanded from lack of consent and legality to bad intentions being sufficient, you can then add numerous other relationships to the “conned” list. Think of how many times you’ve seen a guy date a beautiful women just because she’s hawtt even though they have nothing in common, or a woman date a guy just because he makes good income, or both silmutaneously. Then, according to your definition, that’s a con, too: these people don’t really love or like each other, their (fully aware) intentions behind the relationship are bad. Must be a con. I have no problem with your definition: I hate fake relationships, period, but don’t forget to include all other relationships that fall under said definition to your conned list.

    As for Samantha, I will have to see the movie before I come to ANY kind of conclusion. I am not going to rely on previews which are often sensationalized to get people to watch.

  10. such deviations like this have no bigger implications outside the realm of the lives of the parties involved in.

    How do you arrive at this conlusion, am curious

    Sumita

  11. Ang, I don’t wish to go off topic, but perhaps you should read the article a little more carefully…”..In 1952, when she was forty-four, Beauvoir began her affair with Lanzmann, who was twenty-seven. In 1953, Sartre began an affair with LanzmannÂ’s sister, Evelyne. She was twenty-three.” And the article is by no means an exhuastive list of the people they bedded… Furthermore, you seem to have missed my original point, which was that such alternative relationships that get the PC crowd excited can in reality be terribly ugly. (And I would like to repeat for the record that I count myself as a liberal and do not encourage hate against “alternative lifestyles”).

  12. “which was that such alternative relationships that get the PC crowd excited can in reality be terribly ugly. (And I would like to repeat for the record that I count myself as a liberal and do not encourage hate against “alternative lifestyles”). “

    Exactly, my thoughts. Well said. I have been reading the New Yorker article too.

    Any situation (conventional or non-conventional), look carefully, if anyone is getting royally f**d – they are many ways of it – someone of them not so “overt”. Again, they are degrees of them and all of them are not even in the same league – therefore, this list thing is a useless exercise.

    The worst thing you can be – is to be a trooper.

  13. Furthermore, you seem to have missed my original point, which was that such alternative relationships that get the PC crowd excited can in reality be terribly ugly. (And I would like to repeat for the record that I count myself as a liberal and do not encourage hate against “alternative lifestyles”).

    And I would like to repeat myself that I choose to watch the movie before coming to any conclusion.

    Furthermore, it would be naive to assume that ALL of Sartre’s conquests were conned. Some probably were, and some probably weren’t (there very may well have been some that didn’t give a damn one way or the other and wanted to have a good time). I did read the article, and alot of their conquests, were, horridly, young teenage girls that Beauvier or Bouvoir brought home – gross. It’s undeniable that the chances that the ones that weren’t conned increases with age and experience, and that’s why we have laws about age of consent, etc. That doesn’t mean a 50 year old can’t be conned; it’s just that life experiences usually make you wiser – not an exhaustive rule, just a probabilistic one.

    I ain’t PC man,I just like to look at the probability of certain occurrences, all the evidence, and then go from there. I haven’t come to any conclusion, so it’s interesting that you accuse me of being PC and going along with some liberal rhetoric agenda. Even if I do, later, AFTER watching the film, smell foul play, what I think won’t matter much.

    Also, I have to agree with Raju’s assessment of the reasoning behind all the interest generated here. Since, I’m not too worried about “being conned” myself, that’s what really scares me.

  14. I kind of wonder if “we” are more interested in this because of the desi angle?

    I am seeing a lot of reasoning in these lines. An extension of this would be like saying, why do you need a separate messageboard for South Asians anyway?

    As I explained in a previous post, this is a fallacious line of reasoning to discredit others who have a different opinion than you.

  15. I saw this post on friday, but only now got a chance to read through all the comments

    MoorNam wrote

    Rupa, >>Is it possible to not personally agree with their choices, yet be respectful and accepting and treat them equally all the same? It depends on the situation. I don’t agree with smoking – I think it is a bad habit. Yet, I respect smokers, and I will defend their right to smoke – but only as long as I don’t have to inhale. So when I have parties, I have a strict rule. No smoking inside. I don’t care if its is -30degrees and a blizzard out there. Step outside if you guys want to smoke. Smoking, however affects only the individual (by and large). Threesomes and other “deviant(imo)” lifestyles affect society. It certainly affects their children – adopted or otherwise. It has an adverse affect on their families (most likely, parents).

    I can’t believe no one challenged you on this yet, but I will even though it happened 100 posts ago, because several people have mentioned the fact that they are OK with people’s actions “but what about the children?”

    Well first of all second hand smoke is horrendously detrimental to the health and well being of those forced to inhale it. In addition to the harm of second hand smoke, children of smokers are way more likely to be smokers themselves, and the same can be said of alcoholics, people who are overweight etc. So your smokers argument doesnÂ’t hold much water when it comes to children.

    Children deal far better with these things than most people will lead you to believe. They are not so fragile as to be unable to function if they are teased or unaccepted by society. Should we then terminate all foetesus with downs syndrome, or make sure our kids have average grades lest their peer group ostracize them? And don’t you think that with the numbers of divorces and remarriages, kids today have knowledge and understanding of families with two mommies/two daddies (and combinations thereof). Kids need love understanding and support.

    Several people have also said things to the effect of: well polygamous situations in the middle east aren’t so great etc. Violence in these situations are usually a result of the low status of women, NOT the polygamy per se. I’ve seen wonderfully functional polygamous families, and just because it is not a social norm here does not make it “freaky” or “deviant.” And as recently as my great-grandfather, my family practiced polygamy in Gujrat. What seems to upset people here is the fact that the situation is flipped, that we are talking about polyandry, and that a desi woman is involved.

    Argus you keep mentioning “evidence” that there was coercion involved, but the “facts” you mention—

    <blockquote>Samantha: I am with two guys, this is not what my picture was supposed to be, this is not a relationship I expected to have. Sam and I had become friends and he is just so nonchalant about it he asked what do you think about a relationship with two guys and I went, no way, are you crazy?</blockquote>
    

    Well just because you think one thing one day, does it mean that you donÂ’t have the RIGHT to change your mind willingly. And if cajoling is coercion, then by God, what bunch of nit-wits we all are when we buy any product for which we have seen a commercial. I have never heard of a dating situation where both parties have revealed all on the first date, as for the premeditated part of the men involved, they simply knew what they wanted and went looking for it. A bit like any of the brown dating sites, no-one puts all their cards on the table, but everyone is out looking for specifics.

  16. god, this thread is getting really boring with all the lifestyle pimp-like pitches for “last tango in paris” being on the forefront, bending out of shape…………all dating sites are very specific – single men for single women, bisexual relations, etc. and so forth (and also with warnings, dos and don’ts)….go into anyone reputed.

    gotta go, i need to call my pal hugh hefner for thanksgiving plans. on any day, we’d rather practise and have fun than evangelize. love when lifestyle is reduced to deterrgent advert analogies and children are raised with just sanctamonious slogans.

    will put pictures of my chicago tryst with the hefner bunnies on my blog, see ya. all those hefner bunnies when everything is over – are at least millionaires and they know what they are getting into upfront.

    i’m outto of here. have fun…..sorry for disturbing. i am not into sublimal marketting – it irks me, be it chewing or anything.

  17. ……..you (whoever) may please continue cajoling. i do not want to be close, or you do not want me close (i would not act decent)………cajoling is euphemism for many things…….

    definitely shows weakness of character. hefner said to you all – send me pictures if you want to part of the empire.

    is this intellectual depth of sepia mutiny? tata

  18. Kenyandesi,

    As to the kind of emotional problems children of “alternate lifestyle” households go through, is a different discussion. I have enough evidence (statistical and otherwise) to have my opinion about this. That’s not the central point of my objection.

    My objection was that some folks on this thread started questioning others’ opinion and their right and the propriety to judge the situation. This is what riled me. I cannot stand thought-police, neither from the extreme right nor from the extreme left.

    M. Nam

  19. Ms KenyanDesi,

    Good to see you. How was your weekend?

    What seems to upset people here is the fact that the situation is flipped, that we are talking about polyandry, and that a desi woman is involved.

    Does not apply to me. Let me repeat, I do not belong to the camp that believes girls should not have fun. If you follow the Dr Reddy/prophylactic thread, you will see all my arguments are based on science, analysis and rationality.

    First, let us take the issue of rationality. As I mentioned in the Dr Reddy case, my view of rationality is long term. Let us analyse Ms Samantha’s choices here – go for a normal relationship leading to marriage, stay single and experiment, experiment leading to novelty living arrangement. If she chose the first two, I would have nothing to say. In fact, if she chose the third option, which she has, I would not be so concerned (but probably judge her severely). The alarming thing is young and bright women like you are championing her cause as if it is an achievement, a goal worth pursuing.

    Think about this for a moment, where does this leave her? Evidence from the website shows the relationship did not last. What were the odds that it would? Was it really a rational choice? After the collapse of this relationship, what are the chances that she finds another man? Agreed, marriage is not the goal of a woman, but to be put into a situation which pretty much decimates your market equity is not a rational choice. Let’s talk about the children. Some otherwise intelligent posters believe the relationship was justified by the creation of two “adorable New Yorkers”. Phooeeey! In the end, when the two freaks take off after their sinister experiment, there is a great danger of this helpless woman left alone to fend with two kids. How is that rational?

    The question of con/coercion can not be evaluated in isolation with the question of rationality. Let me give an example: in Japan, there is a widespread practice of pre-teen/teenage girls dating older men. Most of these girls are nonchalant about it and some people believe it prepares them for life. But in western/civilized society (our baseline context), this is nothing but underage prostitution. Another example, closer to home. Many women willingly gave up their lives after the Sati tradition, probably some still do. Would you endorse these cultural phenomenons?

    Wide-spread polygamy in Gujarat does not justify cheerleading deviant relationships these days. There is a reason we moved away from it and I hope you will agree, vastly for the better of society in general and women in particular.

    The situation has not flipped Ms KenyanDesi, freaks like those two losers (one the son of a leading Mafia hit man too!) still find suckers like Ms Samantha and people like you to cheer from the sidelines.

  20. cajoling (coercion) is………

    the infamous (or famous) “butter” scene in “Last Tango in Paris

    when a 10 year old girl in the Calcutta district is told by her mother that being street walker is her most attractive option.

    a pimp tells a 18 year old girl in Cambodia his real motives after he has made her fall in love for last six months.

    when a 45 year old women is told by her husband in middle east that he is going to marry an 19 year old and she should accept her and play second fiddle, obviously willingly. What I am going to do? My mother is a PhD and where I work, they are dozens of very accomplished, intelligent women (ocasionally with alternate lifestyle), essentially world leaders what they do – I tell them about the movie and ask whether such a situation was doomed from day 1. I bet every will have a very negative view. Even Anais Nin, an incredibly accomplished woman with a very famous alternate lifestlye never left her rich banker husband or put herself in an untenable position.

    If anyone of them (my survey group) gives a thums up on a situation where a struggling actress walked in into a relationship that ended in a “train wreck” – I will let you guysnon sepia mutiny know.

    what surprises me that no seemingly intelligent women on sepia mutiny called spade a spade for fear of not looking PC- the story above is essentially an explotative situation which a struggling actress went through by two conviving guys (and of them son of a mafia hit man). You can spin it so much.

    my pal, hefner at least makes them very rich and never cajoles.

  21. MoorNam, I do not object to your right to judge, just to your right to name-call, make people uncomfortable, or make bad comparisons with inaccurate information. There is a difference betwwen thinking something is wrong, and calling the wrong-doer a freak. Judge the sin not the sinner.

    The alarming thing is young and bright women like you are championing her cause as if it is an achievement, a goal worth pursuing.

    I do no such thing. I simply am saying that there more sides to this that are not so black and white. YOU (and I) don’t know what exactly transpired between those three. Perceptions change over time too. Something that was said 9 years ago can be interpreted very differently by all three of them in the present. Also I don’t really want to focus so much on this situation as much as the fact that words like “freaks” is being used to describe “people like them.” That’s really dangerous language/sentiment.

    After the collapse of this relationship, what are the chances that she finds another man?

    That’s what they used to say to keep women from divorcing their abusive husbands.

    Let me give an example: in Japan, there is a widespread practice of pre-teen/teenage girls dating older men. Most of these girls are nonchalant about it and some people believe it prepares them for life. But in western/civilized society (our baseline context)

    First of all the woman in this situation was NOT a teen. She was an adult. Second, it is only VERY recently that teenagers were considered children. My great-grandfather left India at 15 came to another continent, and made a life for himself. What a horrible man his father must have been to throw a child like that into the world. The thing is he was not considered a child.

    Third, who ever said western = civilized, AND that it was the baseline context we must ALL adhere to? isn’t my handle enough to tell you that I don’t always subscribe to whitewashed veshtern ideas.

    Another example, closer to home. Many women willingly gave up their lives after the Sati tradition, probably some still do. Would you endorse these cultural phenomenons?

    widows kill themselves because they are badly treated in indian society, and it’s not so close to “my home” as it is to yours. I mean people in India still get upset if a widow remarries. I think what you are talking about is the systematic cultural oppresion of women, but you wanting to dictate this womans expression of her sexuality is just as vile (note, you’re not vile, your judgement is). No one has the right to dictate who you should love and not love, who your family consists of and who it doesn’t include.

    Wide-spread polygamy in Gujarat does not justify cheerleading deviant relationships these days.

    it is not deviant from where I stand. Kenyand still live polygamous lives, some quite happily.

    There is a reason we moved away from it and I hope you will agree, vastly for the better of society in general and women in particular.

    i think that it doesn’t work in today’s society. i don’t think that it never worked. and I’d like to point out that we are not moving BACKWARD to what things USED to be. Infact an argument could be made that we are moving forward, affording women the same choices that our fore-FATHERS had. And honestly, Indians (and Chinese people) better get used to this kind of situation because at the rate their’re killing off girls in that part of the world, men are going to HAVE to share.

    The situation has not flipped Ms KenyanDesi, freaks like those two losers (one the son of a leading Mafia hit man too!) still find suckers like Ms Samantha and people like you to cheer from the sidelines.

    I’m cheering her right to choose (because i’d hate it if that was taken away from me), not her choices (because i don’t know enough of the situation to put myself out there, except in the hypothetical)

  22. Ms KenyanDesi,

    How was trick or treatin’?

    I see that you came up with some clever arguments, craftily avoiding my comments about the getting stuck with the kids part and the fact that the relationship did not really survive. You also managed to twist one of my points to make me sound like a chauvinist.

    One way to look at it would be to ignore all the facts and claim that Ms Samantha actually exercised a true polyandry and hence was able to enact retroactive revenge on the practice of polygamy.

    This, alas, is not true.

    a) In polygamy situations, men got to choose the women. In this case, she was courted and possibly conned (as myself and Mr Kush strongly believe).

    b) In polygamy cases, men acquired women of equal stature, often attractive and much younger to them. In this case, she basically got two gay/bi men, none rich, one considerably unattractive compared to her and from a questionable background (son of a mafia hitman) etc.

    I’m cheering her right to choose, not her choices

    At least we are getting someplace. But this is merely wordplay. Her “right to choose” is not her creation, it is the creation of the society we live in. So, the fact that she enjoys this right does not at all elevate her, it elevates the society she lives in.

    What we are really concerned with here is her choices.

    Personally, the way you are extolling the virtues of polygamy, I am seriously concerned. Are you a muslima by any chance?

  23. no seemingly intelligent women on sepia mutiny called spade a spade for fear of not looking PC- the story above is essentially an explotative situation which a struggling actress went through by two conviving guys (and of them son of a mafia hit man). You can spin it so much.

    Kush

    Am quite fine with not being intelligent(its highly overrated anyways), but I take exception to the fact “no woman” called a spade a spade.That identity I cannot give up as easily.

    You probably did not read my posts #156, 157.

    Sumita

  24. Argus_nj, trick or treating was fun. I love kids and it was doubly fun because I had my lights and rangoli still up from a sat night diwali party so I got some interesting comments from the kids and their parents

    I wasn’t ignoring the points you made about her being left alone with the kids. But like I said I can’t speak of this situation definitively because I don’t know enough of it to make a judgement one way or another. If she was taken advantage of then it’s a bad situation, but no different than ANY situation where anyone is taken advantage of. I’ve been taken advantage of in a non-polygamous situations, can you honestly say that you would find this less reprehensive if she had been taken advantage of by one man? Then she should be left alone?

    Again when inter-racial couples got divorced and the woman was left with the kids, it was said, “see we told you it wouldn’t work, we told you that s/he would leave you, it’s unnatural for the races to mix” blah blah.

    Hetero-sexual men (and women) in monogamous relationships abuse, manipulate, lie, cheat etc. It makes it no less horrible. I’m just saying, don’t use the fact that she’s now a single mom to say her relationship was wrong because it was with two men instead of one. And besides, even when things end horrendously, sometimes it’s enough to have had the few good moments to look back on too…she mentions that she was treated better by either men than she had been before in any other relationship, and that was then multiplied by two.

    And I don’t have the time to go through the entire post, and I’m not sure it was you who said it, but what I found most disturbing was this (paraphrased) sentiment:

    I would not give this person the time of day if their LIFE depended on it

    wow, just wow. that’s downright hateful and mean and horrible. That if someone was dying, and you (not you Argus, you in general) were in a position to help them, you wouldn’t.

    And Argus, whether or not you yourself would go to that level is not the issue, it’s that you give the people who would enough fuel to keep their hating fires burning.

    One way to look at it would be to ignore all the facts and claim that Ms Samantha actually exercised a true polyandry and hence was able to enact retroactive revenge on the practice of polygamy.

    First of all I did not couch this as revenge. Progress does NOT equal revenge. Or do you think that educating women is revenge for the illiteracy of the past? Giving women the same choices as men is NOT revenge for the past. It is progress for us ALL. Revenge is vindictive and destructive. I couched this as much more of a progree issue, not a revenge one. And notice I said that it is an argument that could be made potentially, if one was to keep insisting that this two man one woman situation was synonomous with polygamy of the past. No sir-ree, this is a whole new ballgame.

    On a side note, can I ask you if you’d have the same reaction if these two men or any two women had adopted children and then the relationship had fallen apart?

    This, alas, is not true. a) In polygamy situations, men got to choose the women. In this case, she was courted and possibly conned (as myself and Mr Kush strongly believe).

    actually alliances were generally chosen by families, she had the choice to say NO. She was an adult, and from what I can tell a pretty smart one, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t manipulated, but my saying this doesn’t mean that she was.

    b) In polygamy cases, men acquired women of equal stature, often attractive and much younger to them. In this case, she basically got two gay/bi men, none rich, one considerably unattractive compared to her and from a questionable background (son of a mafia hitman) etc.
    1. In the past all women were married off, ugly, fat, one-legged, buck-toothed, skinny, mean, dirty. Someone married them too especially in polygamous societies.

    2. who says bi men are less than straight men? or rich ones better than poor? or that she didn’t find both of them HOT HOT HOT????????

    3. I have some incredibly horrendous relatives (downright abusive etc) who have produced wonderful offspring, please, just because he is someone’s SON does not make him his father.

    I’m cheering her right to choose, not her choices
    At least we are getting someplace. But this is merely wordplay. Her “right to choose” is not her creation, it is the creation of the society we live in. So, the fact that she enjoys this right does not at all elevate her, it elevates the society she lives in. What we are really concerned with here is her choices.

    I’m not, I’m talking about any woman’s or man’s right to choose how to express their sexuality, and to do it without being persecuted.

    Personally, the way you are extolling the virtues of polygamy, I am seriously concerned. Are you a muslima by any chance?

    why are you concerned when I say that I’ve seen it WORK? I’m not endorsing warped versions of polygamy, only when it works for the benefit of ALL involved. And what does my religion have to do with it? I know Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, Animist and Muslim polygamists.

    A little OT, but since I mentioned it earlier I thought I’d throw out some stats to back it up:

    50 million girls are “missing” in India. This is due to sex-selective abortions, female infanticide, girls being starved, girls being taken to doctors less often as boys etc. Ultrasound vans go around villages touting “spend 500 rupees now, save 5 lakh later” This number is not going down, it’s going up.

    This means there are going to be a whole lot more men looking for wives than there are women to be wives. Where do you think this is going to lead? Just as polygamy came about because there were more women back in the day compared to men….take it to it’s logical conclusion, albeit a little down the road…

    Supply and demand, supply and demand. I have to say though if these guys treated her as well as she said they did (even if only at the begining) I think she was being selfish by taking both of them…dammit, woman you should have shared ;)

  25. Ms KenyanDesi,

    Good to know you had a great time.

    50 million girls are “missing” in India.

    Just a little OT eh? Or is it part of your argument?

    I think you are just repeatedly side-stepping the issue. Specifically you are making unfair assumptions and insinuations.

    Let me ask you a question, would you think it so HOT HOT HOT if the men in question were Indian gay/bi men?

    Also, since the proof is in the pudding, if a man takes on more than one wife and it turns out they live happily ever after, would you feel as cheerful? I am willing to bet if polygamy was permitted, many Muslim (and perhaps from other religions too) men would take on more than one wife. There would be many happy unions too. So, should polygamy be also permitted? After all what’s sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander!

    dammit, woman you should have shared ;)

    Really, Ms KenyanDesi? Would you really like to have one of those men?

  26. Sumita,

    “You probably did not read my posts #156, 157.”

    I am sorry. It was lapse on my part…..an oversight. You did speak up and am glad that you did.

    Right now, I am out of this discussion, because it has reduced to “persecution, human rights, racism etc.” basically a post that was on narcissim (why would make one a documentry on their sexual experiment) or hedonism (the edinburgh film critic was surprised the trio were so disconnected that he seemed odd if they shared bodily fluids) or nihilism (the sam dude called the relationship like sharing other’s pudding)***.

    we are not talking about a deep-rooted love story here – say cascablanca, english patient style.

    i have nothing against alternate life style – but will celebrate not narcissim, manipulation – richard simmons style.

    we going to hear hitler analogy soon from the some of the young intellectuals here. so, please excuse me. i need to get some work done. people are forgetting that with rights comes power and responsibility.

    again, you did speak up. sorry. see on other thread. bye now. i cannot take it anymore.

    kush

    *** please read edinburgh film festival critic’s view. i also read the nyt one – they liked the documentary but basically said that it comes out to be cautionary tale.

  27. V. IMPORTANT NOTE: If anyone asked me a question on this thread, I am not going to reply, not because I am rude, because I am busy and do not evangelize.

    Talk to Kofi Annan about it. Have fun, guys and gals. see you.

    Again, Sumita’s your points are very intelligent.

  28. I saw this movie at the Toronto film fest a couple of years ago. It was truly fascinating. This discussion has sparked a lot of commentary, but I think the commentary has more to do with the sensationalism/titillation of the subject matter. For me, the more important and interesting points of the film had to do with the incredible “normalcy” of these relationships — the highs and lows, as well as the nitty-gritty of daily family life. We started out with expectations of the story (I admit, I was shocked to see that the girl was brown) and the film challenged those expectations in a really thoughtful and surprising way.

  29. Ok, I haven’t seen this film. I was doing research for a film script and came across it, so I am not really in a position to comment on their arrangement. I don’t have any judgements to pass on them. However, I am the offspring of a polyandrus setup and I can tell you it’s complicated. I have watched my Mum for the past 20 years expend so much energy on maintaining her relationships that she never has time for herself, which has kind of hindered her growth as an individual. Sometimes I think that people who are involved in complicated relationships (eg. Simone de Beauvois and Satre) are more concerned with the ideology of it than the reality and the emotions. My familys’ polyandrus setup produced me, and I am a single mother. My child is happy, I am happy, the boyfriends come and go and we work it out along the way. Not sure if I can say the same for too many of my married friends. I say, get it how you need it!

  30. Two men and a woman becomes common now. Last my trip to United State in Anchorage Alaska at 26th street hostel. I saw three owners, two men and a woman, they are living and working at the same place. They look happy to me. The woman are smiling all the time, she is preparing our room, cleaning the hostel. One man working half day outside and half day in the hostel. another man are taking care the baby, cooking for them. I think they have no problem with two men and a woman. The baby when growing up, he should have two dad and a mom. He should happy with the extra one then :-) .

  31. Just to point out on the Hindu bit Polyandry is still practiced in some parts of India, Nepal and Bhutan, but is largely dying out. Theres even a BBC story on it called ‘Nepal’s wife-sharing custom fades’ on their website you will find it with a search.