It was an intense time with Kody Brown and the family on last night's episode of Sister Wives, as they have chosen to participate in a panel discussion on polygamy at UNLV. Kody is concerned that it could turn into a debate. Not surprisingly, Robyn is unnecessarily fired up, Meri couldn't care less, and Janelle is the only one who comes across as sounding very intelligent. Christine doesn't want any part of the negativity, and daughter Aspyn wants to attend to support her mother.
We learn that Christine's Aunt Kristyn is on the opposing side of the panel, as is Kollene, the teenager that Kody's older children met when volunteering at a shelter for people trying to escape abusive polygamist situations. Christine's aunt is worried that the Browns are painting a rosy and unrealistically sunny picture of polygamy. Kristyn is one of eight children (her sister is Christine's mother), and her mother was the first of thirteen wives to her father. She married at seventeen and it wasn't long before her husband was finding new wives. Kristyn finally left him at age fifty. Something tells me Janelle is going to be very interested in hearing her story…
Kollene grew up in a cult-like polygamist family, and she is quick to admit that her experiences are far different from the Browns. While she's never said it, I have a feeling she suffered a lot of abuse. Kristyn shares that met Kody when he was first courting Christine and she was fully supportive of polygamy. Willie is also a panel member who was part of Warren Jeffs FLDS family. He is one of forty-two children and escaped the lifestyle with his mother and six sisters.
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Kody and the wives are meeting with a professor at UNLV who has been working with polygamist families. He is very curious about the complexity of plural relationships as a viable alternative to monogamy. Robyn knows they aren't going to be able to change anyone's minds regarding polygamy, but the professor shares that their story could affect people with neutral opinions.
Meri secretly finds it silly that everyone is getting riled up about this debate. She doesn't really care what the haters think. Janelle, who is looking very good with her new lifestyle regime, is telling the producers that Kody usually get the most heat at these events because people tend to think that the man manipulated the women into the relationship. She finds this way of thinking laughable.
Christina Marie is the final anti-polygamist panelist. She shares that she was led into a plural marriage by a false prophet and nine months into her relationship, she learned that he was really just a con man. I must also mention that she lives in a makeshift dollhouse and has a penchant for Betty Boop hair. Kollene admits that she was married to her second cousin (because that's okay…the first cousin would be gross, she jokes) and has a sister who married a brother from another mother. She really wants to speak out against the incestuous nature of some polygamous communities.
Christine understands why people are so against what the media shares about plural marriages, but she insists that isn't what polygamy is about. She is sickened by child abuse and forcing girls into marriage at young age, but she wants people to know that polygamy doesn't support that horrific behavior. Christine gets stuck in the bathroom with her aunt and Kollene outside the door. Meri and Robyn go fetch her, and Kollene and Kristyn laugh about the junior high drama of it all. I must point out that laughing outside of a bathroom knowing that you're purposely making someone uncomfortable is also very junior high.
The panelist share snapshots of their pasts, and Willie and Kollene share that their sister wives/moms hated one another and abused their sister wives' children as a way to take out their jealousy on the other wives. I cannot even imagine what those kids had to see. As for Christine's aunt, she wasn't prepared to share her husband with other women, and Christine takes the opportunity to break the ice. She tells her aunt that she loves her and reminds her that her husband wasn't a good person.
Everyone seems to agree that the Browns are not a bad family, but Kristyn believes that they are the exception to the rule. Robyn disagrees because her sisters and mother are also in happy, healthy plural marriages. She reminds everyone that sadly there is abuse in all kinds of relationships and cultures. A woman in the audience thinks Kody has anger issues and notes that his wives look to him for permission to talk. Are we watching the same panel discussion? Meri has to laugh out loud at that one as Robyn gets into a semantics war with Kollene. Kristyn starts talking about their husband cheating on them, and Meri laughs some more…she thinks that Kristyn is ridiculous. Robyn gets feisty, and nothing is resolved. However, there were hugs all around when the panel concluded.
Now…who watched My Five Wives??
TELL US-WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE? THOUGHTS ON THE PANEL DISCUSSION?
[Photo Credit: TLC]