Sunday, July 10, 2011

One Wife Not Enough

Ah, marriage, domestic bliss. Hey, what are you laughing about?

Two stories here.

Michelle Bachmann, the Great White Hope of the Clueless Right, has signed a 14-point pledge, (hey, she can count to 14, that makes her smarter than Sarah Palin), eschewing things like "polygamy, adultery, and polyandry", along with a few minor points like homosexuality, (no Bachmann-Palin slash fanfic), and Sharia Islam. Just, you know, in case she felt the urge to suddenly recite the Shahadah...

And it's interesting that she didn't include polygyny.

You can check the links above, but here's a summary.

Polygyny is a man with two or more wives, in which there is no direct marriage bond between the wives. This is what Islam endorses. This is typical of the patriarchs in the Old Testament of the Christian bible. This is also what Fundamentalist Mormons practice, although neither LDS nor RLDS endorse it.

Polyandry is a woman with two or more husbands, in which there is no direct marriage bond between the husbands. This is rare.

Polygamy is a marriage with more than two partners, in which each partner is married to each of the others. In the USA, we usually call this group marriage.

Meanwhile, back in Jordan, land of the last Hashemite king, the "Committee For Supporting Polygamy" has been launched to promote polygyny, although they call it polygamy. Confused yet? No? Well then, read on by all means. It only gets better. "Spinsterhood," says the founder, "is a dangerous social phenomenon that, if unabated through marriage, would lead to social and ethical degeneration."

Now, those of you who read this blog regularly, know by now that I am a staunch opponent of Islamophobia. I'm no Arab-basher. And I grant you that my North American perspective on society is not well-suited to judge social phenomena in the Middle East. But...

Back to the story. It seems that in Jordan, the number of unmarried women over thirty is 15 times what it was in 1981.

Now, if you want to hear a calm, reasonable Jordanian, from a charity that pays for weddings for those who cannot afford them, explain why he thinks "polygamy" (polyandry, dammit) is not a good idea, read the story and watch the video. The gentleman in question comes on about 1:15

So, the other man, at the beginning of the video, who just married his third wife. Islam allows him a total of four, do you think we could get him to marry Michelle Bachmann?

There exist a number of related posts on polyandry among the Jewish community over at the Mostly Kosher blog, much to my surprise. Life educates us every day.

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