polygamy Polyg­y­ny, or polygamy, is a form of mar­riage in which one hus­band can have sev­er­al wives. Tra­di­tion­al­ly, this mod­el is char­ac­ter­is­tic of patri­archy. At present, polygamy is com­mon among some Mus­lim peo­ples, and tra­di­tion­al­ly it is the priv­i­lege of rulers and social elites. The form of mar­riage denot­ing polygamy is polyg­y­ny, this term should not be con­fused with polygamy.

Socio-demographic aspects of polygamy

Polyg­y­ny has been around in the world of Judaism for many years. It solves in its own way such prob­lems as hunger, wid­ow­hood, the bar­ren­ness of a woman. How­ev­er, there is an impor­tant rule: a man can have as many wives as he is able to pro­vide, there­fore this is a priv­i­lege exclu­sive­ly for the rich. There are more women in the mod­ern world than men. In this regard, there is a point of view point­ing to polygamy as a solu­tion to demo­graph­ic prob­lems: after all, this way, legal­ly, sev­er­al women can give birth to one man, and all of them will be pro­vid­ed for and live a com­fort­able, hap­py life. Does the law allow polygamy? In a num­ber of coun­tries it allows, and this is a def­i­nite plus.

Polygamy: pros and cons

In the view of a Euro­pean per­son who has long been famil­iar with fem­i­nism, polygamy and polyandry are unac­cept­able things. Despite the fact that in the mass con­scious­ness polyg­y­ny has remained far in the past and its echoes are present only in the lives of Mus­lims, polygamy among the Slavs, and indeed in the Chris­t­ian world, also takes place. Only in this case it can be found in indi­vid­ual reli­gious sects. How­ev­er, there is no need to turn to sec­tar­i­ans to find exam­ples of mod­ern polygamy. The same Euro­pean women often delib­er­ate­ly mar­ry a Mus­lim who already has 1–2 wives. Usu­al­ly, such steps are met with a mis­un­der­stand­ing of rel­a­tives, but there is also a down­side to polygamy, in which there is no need to wor­ry about infringed rights. The fact is that only very wealthy men can have many wives. In addi­tion, accord­ing to Sharia law, all wives should be sup­port­ed equal­ly: hav­ing bought gold jew­el­ry for one, a man is oblig­ed to make the same gifts to every­one else. In addi­tion, not in every coun­try all wives are gath­ered under one roof, which usu­al­ly gives rise to quar­rels and con­flicts. For exam­ple, in the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, each wife has her own house or apart­ment. Arab men no longer con­sid­er polygamy a means to sat­is­fy lust — this is a great respon­si­bil­i­ty and a sign of wealth and aware­ness. Anoth­er aspect of polygamy is the arrange­ment of the harem. A harem is a sep­a­rate part of the house in which all the women of the fam­i­ly live — wife, moth­er, sis­ter, broth­er’s wife, etc. They all help each oth­er and look after the house togeth­er. Ori­en­tal men nev­er see their women in an unat­trac­tive way. An East­ern woman does not go to work, does not car­ry heavy bags home, and nev­er pays for her­self. How­ev­er, receiv­ing finan­cial free­dom, she also receives moral lack of free­dom: such a woman can­not take a sin­gle step with­out the knowl­edge of her hus­band. In addi­tion, she has no right to con­trol a man, to find out where he is and with whom. Polygamy for and against By the way, if the rela­tion­ship becomes dif­fi­cult, the cou­ple may divorce. For this, a man sim­ply needs to announce this to his wife, and a woman needs to con­tact the appro­pri­ate author­i­ties. A divorce will be car­ried out if it turns out that the man pro­vid­ed the woman poor­ly, did not con­stant­ly buy new clothes for her and did not please her with gifts. There are plen­ty of plus­es and minus­es in polygamy, just like in a clas­sic monog­a­mous mar­riage. Of course, such a step is clear­ly not for free­dom-lov­ing natures, and cer­tain­ly not for jeal­ous own­ers. How­ev­er, some women in this state of affairs live bet­ter. All peo­ple are dif­fer­ent, and it is dif­fi­cult to find a sin­gle recipe for hap­pi­ness for every­one.