You might remember the articles I wrote about our Universal Human Rights, which I wrote mainly for this reason: These days violence, intolerance, racism, discrimination seems to increase again. More and more people need to flee their homes and/or their countries, in the hope to find safety and peace elsewhere on our big world. When even leaders have forgotten our Universal Human Rights, I feel it’s time and very important to remind us all again of our Universal Human Rights.
In my opinion, it is not only the responsibility of leaders (political, financial, corporate, etc.) to educate themselves, but also our responsibility too… you and me, as neighbors living on our globe together. The saying “knowledge is power” can be used in a good way. Educating yourself about the views of your neighbor, will lead to more understanding, tolerance and even though you might not agree with other views, I strongly believe this will increase compassion and kindness towards each other.
Today I am going to share my thoughts on polygamy, a belief-system that intrigued me for a long time and to be honest: never understood why someone would choose this lifestyle voluntarily.
As always, Wikipedia is my source for general information about a topic. Reading the page about polygamy was enlightening. I knew already, I figure many of know this: Polygamy is the practice of marrying multiple spouses. In case one man is married to more than one wife at a time, sociologists call this polygyny. That it is named differently the other way around was news to me. When a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called a group marriage.
Apparently, this choice of lifestyle is allowed in more countries as I realized, when it’s about one man and several wives that is and mostly the reason behind the choice to do so is religion. In the Republic of Cameroon people chose for polygyny related to status and wealth, a man can be with as many women as he wants.
The reason why most countries forbid polygamy by law is still based on religious conviction, however, increasingly, this lifestyle is condoned, as long as, for instance, a man is only married to one woman by law and not with all his wives. There are still countries polygamy is not allowed at all. If one man and per example 4 women decide to live together in one house, they risk being thrown in jail. Married or not.
My personal view:
As I mentioned earlier, I never understood why someone would choose this lifestyle. The news articles about polygamy cults, how women and children were brainwashed and abused… In my head, it was always a lifestyle to stay far, far away from.
To understand a bit more about polygamy, I watched several episodes of Sister Wives @ TLC and by now, I am convinced that these people are happy and chose polygyny voluntarily. What a delightful family!
Today, however, it still wouldn’t be my choice. The idea of sharing my husband with another woman, no way! If I should need help with chores in and around the house, I can always lean on a family member, friend, neighbor, or even hire someone to do it for me. Intimacy, both physical as emotional is for me a very personal bond between me and my partner and, well, therefore the reason I am monogamous.
Fortunately, my husband feels the same way (by the way; discuss this when you start dating someone regularly ? ) and after being married for over 14 years, we are a happily married team.
This is our choice, based upon our belief-system. That doesn’t make polygamy wrong, or polygamists bad people. Yes, there were and probably still are men or women who pressure others in this lifestyle, adults and children brainwashed and abused. However, monogamous persons (like my husband and me) are not all saints either.
Again, I prefer just one man as my life partner, but to criminalize polygamy in general, I believe is unfair and even biased.