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In Nigeria polygamous families are not more diabolical than monogamous ones: Family : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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In Nigeria polygamous families are not more diabolical than monogamous ones

By: dayan (M) |Time : April 21, 2019, 07:55:11 AM
This opinion piece is a response to a twitter post by one of Nigeria’s top social media activist in which he used flawed logic to conclude that polygamy is “a main cause of diabolism and witchcraft” in families. He posited that polygamy (polygyny really) is naturally more diabolical than monogamy (by implication).

His argument is that women are “naturally spiritual” and therefore they disproportionately resort to spiritual solutions to disputes. In this person’s opinion, women who believe in God are prayer warriors, while those who do not believe in God visit native doctors a lot. He essentially left no room for other women (the silent majority) who would settle differences through dialogue and other forms of compromise, than seek spiritual remedy.

Secondly, he completely sidestepped the issue of justice in the whole argument. What would a prayer warrior woman or a diabolical woman have against a just outcome? Normal persons respect and support, or at least acquiesce to a just cause. They only resort to “prayer warfare” or witchcraft (as the case may be)  if they feel maltreated or cheated. This is true regardless of the marriage configuration they are engaged in. When injustice is foisted on such women though, all bets are off!

For example, in one particular part of Nigeria, the most common way by which men initiate polygamy is by simply going behind their wife’s back to impregnate another woman. They then bring the already pregnant woman in, while totally ignoring the protests of their wife. Why wouldn’t a woman feel cheated or offended by this type of practice?
But to use this example to paint the whole polygynous  institution in all parts of Nigeria and everywhere for that matter, is wrong, because in other parts of Nigeria men reach agreement with their wives first before marrying extra wives. Still in certain cases, the wife may even instigates or pressures her husband for a second wife for whatever reasons. These are also facts of polygamy in Nigeria.

The social media person’s  broad conclusion was based on the first scenario alone, and is therefore flawed.

That flawed conclusion is even demeaning to women; but I shall get to that point later.

There is a persisting but specious argument by anti-polygamy campaigners, that all polygamous marriages end up in diabolism. At the minimum this is not true of all cultures and of all participants in it. Diabolism and witchcraft are factors of culture, character ,and proclivities of individuals; it is not caused by any particular marriage structure.

This point is easily provable because majority of marriages in Southern Nigeria these days, for example,  is monogamous. If we were to accept the opinion of this social media individual, why then are there so much wickedness and diabolism in the monogamous families of Southern Nigeria these days?

A “family” is made up of father, mother and the children(siblings). In African context, a family includes extended families. It is not just about the immediate couples; it is also about the children and members of the extended family. Granted, there is a possibility of co-wife rivalry inside polygamous families which may lead to diabolism, but what about the co-wives rivalry across the monogamous extended family? What about  sibling rivalries inside monogamous families these days? The submission here is that, again in African context,  both family systems (monogamous and polygamous) can be diabolical depending on the participants’ character, and the immediate dominant culture. Singling out polygamy/polygyny as institution for sole blame for diabolism in families these days, is dishonest. Again, I shall return to this point later.

If these anti-polygamy campaigners really want to eliminate diabolism and witchcraft from African families, why do they often ignore the wickedness inside monogamous families and even monogamous societies these days? These campaigners often use mistransliterated Bible passages to support their arguments, but they don’t even read the Bible in detail to note cases from the Bible that weaken their argument. Granted, the first marriage in the Bible was monogamous, but then Cain killed Abel his brother. The second monogamous marriage was Isaac and Rebbecca, but again Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and created an everlasting enmity between himself and his only brother.
Would it then be proper to say that because some monogamous marriages are conflict ridden (perhaps due to internal sibling rivalry), that all monogamous families are inherently conflict ridden?
Of course not!

But we are talking about women and polygamy, you may ask?

No, we are talking about diabolism in families, and sibling rivalry will eventually add women rivalry to the dimensions of internal family conflict. In Africa, men from the same monogamous families retain extended family relationship even after the men got married. It is not like in western societies whereby men leave their original families after marriage and never look back. African women who would, often take their husbands’ sibling rivalries to diabolical levels, again for those who are inclined (whether by culture or by personal proclivity) to do so.

Sibling rivalry is a persistent, dangerous, but often underrated fact in monogamous African marriages.

The issue of sibling rivalry is relevant to this argument because it lays the foundation for the wickedness and diabolism that subsequently crop up in monogamous families after the male siblings marry. Upon marriage, these male siblings bring women who may take existing rivalry (where they already exist, of course) to dangerous levels, including diabolism and witchcraft.

It is flawed argument to say that due to co-wife rivalry that may occur in polygamous marriages, that polygamy is inherently more diabolical. Monogamous parts of Nigeria these days are far more wicked and diabolical than polygamous parts of Nigeria. For reference and comparison, the polygamous part of Nigeria has been ruling the country one way or another for the last 59 years since independence.
In that part of the country, men are more agreeable with one another, and women do the same, too. As a society, that part of Nigeria is more united than their monogamous counterparts in another part of Nigeria. In the monogamous part of Nigeria, men burn with envy for one another, and almost never agree with one another, and women tear one another down while comparing sibling-husbands.

However, the most powerful point to make here is based on a simple natural truth.
An Igbo philosophical proverb says that “Na nwoke na ibe ya ha, bu so n’onu” - to say that all men are equal is a mere cliché. The truth is that all men are not equal and that is why we need laws to control society.
Those laws are fine and the reasoning behind them should be understood; but they are never perfect.
Marriage should be a local affair that correlates with local culture and traditions rather than a universal foisting of cultures across continents. That is why it is a mistake to paint polygamy with common brush of diabolism.

Lastly, it is unfair to always present women as disagreeable and inherently fractious in marriages and family situations. Granted, not all women would accept polygamous marriage proposals, and not all women might be able to live in peace within polygamous marriages or families. Conversely there are LOTS of women who have no problems with such arrangements whatsoever, and who would NEVER engage in any diabolic acts no matter the challenges they faced in marriage.

A diabolical woman would be diabolical regardless of the marriage architecture she participates in. Some people are naturally wicked, while others are naturally loving. Some are naturally selfish, while others are naturally benevolent, compromising and love to share things.
What should concern society is to rein in wicked people who spread diabolism and wickedness in all marriage systems.


Conclusions
Saying that polygamy/polygyny should be removed from marriage options is like saying that Calculus or Polynomial Algebra should be removed from Mathematics because they are difficult for most people.
It is also analogous to saying that because marathon races are difficult, they should be scrapped from Olympic athletics. Calculus or polynomial equations are not for everyone, yet these types of Maths do “heavy lifting” for science and engineering. Without Calculus and Polynomials, we cannot produce engineers and computer scientists. If everyone did only basic Maths, the world would be a remarkably different place, devoid of major engineering breakthroughs. Again if only short distant races are adopted in Olympic sports, the world  would never know which person had the strongest stamina.

Therefore, polygamy/polygyny is NOT for everyone.

Marriage as a whole is a spectrum of sorts, because there are people who cannot even marry at all, because marriage comes with huge responsibilities. A discussion thread at Quora.com sampled opinions of childless persons in their seventies; they were asked whether they regretted not having children. Over 99% of them said emphatically that they did not regret it at all. Most of them  knew what they wanted even from childhood.

In similar manner, a lot of men cannot handle more than one woman at a time, and this is a fact.
But the kicker is that though some of these men cannot handle more than one woman at a time, a lot of them divorce severally in their lifetimes to marry up to 7 different women (Larry King for example) -one at a time.
How then are they different from those who married 7 women and stayed with them for life?
The only difference really is that the divorced men lacked the energy to cope with the women simultaneously.

Yet, there are men who can comfortably handle more than one woman simultaneously; satisfy them sexually and emotionally, as well as attend to the needs of the children. In one of the popular TV reality shows, a man had 38 children by many women, and he was seeing all the children and paying child support. Much as one would not support mushrooming of children, the solution may be in enforced reproduction control rather than in enforced marriage architecture.

Societies have a right to decide, through legislation, to outlaw polygamy, for example, and that would be fine if the society finds its practice to be harmful to it. This is a cultural and anthropological(and even political) determination, because culture and politics heavily influence human behavior.

This is why marriages should be regulated at LOCAL levels.

- Nigerialog

Re: In Nigeria polygamous families are not more diabolical than monogamous ones

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : April 21, 2019, 10:12:37 AM
Any of both type of family could be diabolical, I have seen a monogamous marriage in which the wife was the culprit of the husband's misfortune and I have seen a happy polygamous family in which both the senior and junior wife lived happily. It depends on the scenario, but overall polygamous marriage could lead to conflict and other disagreement, that's why the Bible usually points to Adam and one Eve not Eves. I rest my case.

Re: In Nigeria polygamous families are not more diabolical than monogamous ones

By: dayan (M) |Time : April 21, 2019, 10:18:25 PM
Any of both type of family could be diabolical, I have seen a monogamous marriage in which the wife was the culprit of the husband's misfortune and I have seen a happy polygamous family in which both the senior and junior wife lived happily. It depends on the scenario, but overall polygamous marriage could lead to conflict and other disagreement, that's why the Bible usually points to Adam and one Eve not Eves. I rest my case.

Well, it is not entirely true when you put it that way, because in the Bible, the only time I can think of that a sibling killed another in polygamous family was when Absalom killed Amnon his half brother because Amnon raped Tamar Absalom's sister. One can totally understand that such a death could have happened in other situations. Levi and Simeon killed the Hivites of Canaan because Shechem had sex with Dinah their sister.
So that was normal in those days.
Again, when the sons of Jacob sold their brother Joseph to the Ishmaelites, they did so in "unity" within themselves (they did not discriminate Joseph because he was of another mother). They did so out of jealousy for his dreams and could have done the same thing to their own brothers if they felt similar jealousy (reference Cain and Abel).
As for Adam and Eve, again I reference that Cain killed Abel, and so it was not really a "peaceful family".
But by far the greatest pointer, to me, about how God views these things is that he chose to have his son come from the lineage of a very polygamous king who had 8 wives and many concubines. Jesus was called "the son of David". To condemn polygamy outright is to condemn Jesus' type of lineage by implication.
Man dwells on earthly (or temporal ) things while God focuses on eternal (or celestial) things.
Marriage structure is an earthly construct. If God had wanted, he could have made it that once a man marries one woman, he would not be able to impregnate another woman. But that is not what obtains in real life.


Re: In Nigeria polygamous families are not more diabolical than monogamous ones

By: Ramjoe (M) |Time : April 23, 2019, 11:11:45 AM
Any of both type of family could be diabolical, I have seen a monogamous marriage in which the wife was the culprit of the husband's misfortune and I have seen a happy polygamous family in which both the senior and junior wife lived happily. It depends on the scenario, but overall polygamous marriage could lead to conflict and other disagreement, that's why the Bible usually points to Adam and one Eve not Eves. I rest my case.


Hehehehe  :))

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