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Never Thought of Linking Polygamy and Inequality

Updated on September 24, 2020 at the 14th hour
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DISCLAIMER: Expressed views on this blog are my own.

The period of polygamy

Some interesting quotes

Wherever it is widely practised, polygamy (specifically polygyny, the taking of multiple wives) destabilises society, largely because it is a form of inequality which creates an urgent distress in the hearts, and loins, of young men.

In the West polygamy is too rare to be socially destabilising. To some extent this is because it is serialised. Rich and powerful men regularly swap older wives for younger ones, thus monopolising the prime reproductive years of several women. But that allows a few wives, not a few dozen.

and ROFL (only because it sounds ridic to me)

Polygyny is hard work for men but good for women, says Gurmeet, because it is “undesirable” for a woman to be unmarried. Asked about polyandry, Gurmeet says, “I strongly disapprove. It is against nature for a woman to have multiple partners.” He elaborates: “As a young man I kept chickens. The cock has many hens, but he does not allow the females to mate with more than one partner. So it’s against natural law.”

In South Sudan, nearly 80% of people think it acceptable for a husband to beat his wife for such things as refusing sex, burning the dinner and so on. Divorce requires that the bride’s family repay the brideprice; they may thus insist that the abused woman stays with her husband no matter how badly he treats her.

At least the article ends off on a good note... kind of anyway

One day, when Akech was at university, her father asked her to come and see him. “We had never had a father-daughter bond, so I was excited,” she remembers. When she arrived, he introduced her to a fellow officer and ordered her to marry him. She was horrified. Her father’s friend was 65. Akech was 19.

She pretended to accept the proposal and said she just wanted to pop back to her college, which was in a neighbouring country, to collect her things. Her father agreed. She went back to college and stayed there.

That was more than a decade ago. Akech went on to complete university and find a good job. She recently bought her now-elderly father a house, partly to show him the value of her education, but also out of a residual sense of guilt at having once defied him. “In my culture, your parents are your earthly gods. I tried not to disappoint him,” she says. He has never said sorry for attempting to sell her.


Just surprising what a good education can do for society.

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