Male communities are polygamous. The average American male has seven sexual partners and every culture finds some way to channel some of its men's needs for more than one woman. The West prohibits polygamous marriages permitting polygamous behavior while many Middle-Eastern and African countries make such marriages legal, making adultery illegal. Here, I would like to fine-tune and provide legitimacy to an already prevalent practice.
The male experience is quite challenging. During winter, both the veiled Saudi-Arabian women and the average American have to dress like Mother Mary. But come Spring, men are constantly exposed to cleavages, swimsuits, short-skirts, etc. This hyper-sexualization combined with media influence have short-circuit men's thinking to having multiple temporary partners with vague unconscious commitments that sway like the leaf. Affairs abound while the single-mom university has branches everywhere. Men think less about leaving women or children behind and more about the futuristic pursuit of more sexual partners. Right below his belly, is another bottomless belly that is never satisfied!
An intervention is required. The misery is for both women who look for genuine companionship only to find the next male seeking a short-term stint and also for men who don't meet their needs for holistic love. Women are not accountable for men's jumpy behaviors but men act based on both their environment and inner-selves. The influence of spirituality, community and conservatism may decrease male polygamous behavior, yet some men just can't stop with one.
I discussed polygamy with my supervisor once stating that some men want it like a buffet! He said that if you have a really good steak, you don't need an extra one. The polygamous mind's response is that some men are wired to prefer a more ordinary steak and mashed-potatoes together than just the best steak. Quality is in breadth and not in depth and the quest is not just sexual, but also emotional adequacy. Sadly, some men, polygamous by nature, suppress their own inner drives fearing social disapproval and end up cheating pretentiously.
What am I suggesting here? -- To create social acceptance for a conscious arrangement where men can have multiple concurrent partners with mutual consent, respect and quest for a long-term relationship. All the women in the marriage should consent and have equal rights to time, attention, property, childcare, etc., while the man should strive to treat them fairly. As long as multiple marriage licenses are not sought, a legal quest isn't required. Providing this outlet will also reduce temporary affairs and when men think of the nature and responsibilities of a long-term relationship, only those who really want polygamy will seek it.
It's not unfair to identify some of our hypocrisies. Both liberals and conservatives have these flavors, yet we deny it. Just when you thought it is hard to beat the Prophet Muhammad's (peace) odds of a dozen wives, Biblical Solomon exponentially surpasses it with 700 while the Puranas give Lord Krishna 16,000! Protestant Reformation's Martin Luther finds no objection to this while Christian polygamy supporters argue that Matthew 19:3-9 doesn't forbid you from becoming one flesh with a second wife. For liberals, we can start with Amy Schumer's Trainwreck or quote Will Smith or Hugh Hefner. Liberal thinkers generally reason, "If it's consensual and doesn't hurt anyone, it's okay," Despite these, conservatives deny polygamy as outdated and liberals just believe in non-concrete affairs.
What's in it for a woman? 99% cannot speak for 100%. When social pressures are lifted, we can unravel women's diversity and exploring polygamy pockets can help. Shall I reference Muslimah.com's two White Muslim girls looking for one husband or the deserts of Utah where living beyond the mountain somehow helps women share better? There are first wives on secondwife.com looking for a co-wife (not gay) either because they are busy, time-restricted and want to keep their husband or because they want more emotional and household support. Some are okay being the second wife due to their age or having children or just for the excitement of being with an experienced man. It is okay to not be in this 1%, but not okay to deny their existence. Also, sociological reasons complement psychological ones. The excess of 6.5 million American women, higher female birth rates and life expectancy tilt the gender ratio in favor of women making the 1-1 reality less practical.
Why wouldn't this work for women? -- Simply because it's not within her nature to seek concurrent husbands. Women may seek it under the premises of 'reactivity' and 'rights' -- "If he can do it, I can too", but no feminist organization has fought for it yet. Condoms may prevent STDs and DNA testing can identify the child's father, but we are yet to establish the practicality of sustaining a life-long relationship with multiple male partners. However, in a democracy, this is one's right and women are free to try it.
If divorces don't lead us to curse marriage, polygamy-problems shouldn't lead us to curse polygamy itself. It's not necessary to have 18 wives and 30 children nor do polygamous marriages have to be forced or have wives fighting each other. My African ex-roommate would tell that his biological and other mother got along and cared for him so much that he didn't know who his real mother was until he hit 5. The house doesn't have to break down due to challenges, it can be fixed and rented to more folks who need it.
So what's a good tagline now?
Bet you can't have just one!
White, Black, Yellow and Brown, life's good in flavor-town
If he gets a little hissy, pass him on to the next missy.
Oh men of the Semite! Abraham, our father is one, his wives are two, our religions are three, and as for the women - ye can have up to four!
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