SISTER WIVES Kody commands wives to ‘conform to patriarchy’ after Christine leaves

Since the Brown family has shared their story with the public they have claimed to have a more egalitarian setup in their plural marriage in which the women enjoy a depree of independence even as they all make decisions together. In the past few years, however, the family has fractured beyond repair, which resulted in Christine choosing to divorce Kody and live her life separately.

A few years ago, Kody openly questioned whether or not polygamy was a “failed experiment” that hindered the happiness of the women. Now that Christine has left, Kody has been wounded by this loss of power and is responding by trying to tighten his control over his remaining three wives by declaring their family a “patriarchy” and demanding compliance to his will.

During today’s episode of Sister Wives, (Season 17, Episode 4) titled “And Then There Were Three” Janelle announced that she was moving into a trailer on Coyote Pass and Christine told the wives that she was leaving Kody and Arizona. The conversations took place during two separate meetings. Janelle’s conversation was with the production crew present, but Christine’s announcement was private and recorded on their personal cell phones.

After Christine told her now former sister wives that she was leaving the marriage, Kody made a chilling declaration of power aimed at the remaining wives. While he acknowledged that his marriage with Christine has been bad for a while and it was facing reality to admit that it was over, he seems scared that he doesn’t have control over the women in the marriage.

Instead of gaining mutual power through respect and love, Kody has decided to make a dictator-like move to declare power and control and force submission to his will.

“I’m gonna be the head of my household again,” Kody tells the wives while they’re processing the fact that Christine is leaving the family for good. “And so I’m not gonna be circumvented in that.”

“And so, if everybody’s wiling to confirm, to patriarchy I guess, because I’ve been fighting to make everybody happy,” Kody says. “My bitterness is trying to do that and not having the family that I have thought about and designed.”

Janelle, who has always been very adamant about her belief in independence and feminism, remains silent and looks away as he drops this bombshell.

“Yeah, I didn’t know I had signed up for patriarchy,” Janelle tells producers. “That’s not what we all agreed on in the very beginning.”

Kody, who was told about Janelle’s comment by producers, tries to argue that Janelle had signed up for “patriarchy” all along. “Ironically, Janelle did sign up for patriarchy. When her and I made an agreement that she would come into the family she agreed wholeheartedly that she would run her will into mine because I had to be the head of the family. And she made that agreement.”

Not only is he upset about Christine making the choice to leave him on her own, he also feels threatened by the fact that Janelle chose to buy a trailer without asking him. The lease on her rental house was up and she had to either choose to buy it or move somewhere else. She decided that she wanted to put the money she would have put into a downpayment and mortgage on the house into possibly building on Coyote Pass. Kody agreed with her reasoning but still was annoyed that she made the decision without him.

What are Kody’s consequences for not conforming to patriarchy?

Back at the family meeting, Kody goes on to say that if things get too awkward with anyone, or if he doesn’t feel like he’s the head of a household then he’s not going to have anyone together. In this announcement of patriarchy, it sounds like he’s laying the groundwork to ostracise Meri and Janelle for not being controlled by him and only being with Robyn full-time because she is the “obedient” wife.

Ironically, these consequences would give Janelle or anyone else who defies his freedom from his control. His punishment would mean more if they were not already living separate lives, supporting themselves financially and emotionally on their own. In a closed polygamous system where the women have no financial independence and are living hidden lives, they would likely have nowhere to go if their husband changed up the script on them like this.

“I’m at a point now in my life where I don’t have time to waste on people who won’t respect me,” Kody goes on. “So, we’ll see how that goes. And I’m disappointed in how I’ve managed this ’cause somewhere along the lines I should have taken the reigns. But I felt like all of your independence was more important. And so, in that, we sort of lost some form of unity.”

The saddest thing about this is the consequences this kind of attitude will have on the children because it’s not just the wives being held to this standard. It seems that at this point Kody is already estranged from many of his adult children, and this loss of control over them as adults is another thing he feels wounded by. He seems to be coping with the lack of connection by rejecting them for not “respecting” him at all costs.

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