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.
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.