Let me preface my commentary with these words, yes, my commentary is biased, yes, it may have even been a little bit emotional, and yes, I may have been a little curt if not with a tinge of anger, but sometimes when someone gets on YouTube and provides “disinformation” as if they are an expert on a subject they are talking about… well it just rubs me. It is a particular rub for me in this case as this is a subject that I have explored, studied, understood it pros and cons across cultures, etc. So, jump into this opinion piece with that in mind. Nana is on a roll in this one.
To the narrator of this video, first of all, I do not know where you are getting your facts about the so-called down side of polygamy (polygyny = one man, many wives) and I feel that if you have statistics then you should present them.
Secondly, I am offended by your gross generalization of the so-called backwards African societies that practice polygamy. I am also offended that you think that women are so petty that they have no clue of what it means to build a nation, or that building a nation means having many children. These women are not that naive that they don’t realize that nation building will take a long time with just one wife. To these people polygamy is not a matter of how much sex a man can have but how many children a man can help to produce and quite frankly getting pregnant does not require a lot of sex. It is the Western world with its suppression of the naked body that brought down shame on the indigenous people who were quite comfortable with their style of dress. Sexual implications based on what someone had on was not as overt as it has become in western hypocritically puritanical cultures.
If you want to point out backwardness of polygamous societies, then what about Saudi Arabia, The United Arab republic, Qatar, Sudan, Iran, India and others. These are predominately Islamic societies where Polygamy is practiced and they have booming cultures, technology and educational systems. None of which are “backwards” as you would define it.
I find your statement about African societies where polygamy occurs, and defined by you as backwards, to be quite disingenuous and falling way short of any valid study, survey or actual living in these cultures that you call backwards. The fact that you omit the ancient history of African Cultures, the Songhai Empire, the Mali Empire, the Great Kings and Queens who came out of Africa during ancient times and from a culture where polygamy was the norm shows the limit of your knowledge on this topic.
You fail to mention the impact of the European hypocritical influence on indigenous African culture and the imposition of hypocritical Western ideologies upon the African experience. You even fail to mention the irony of these so called Christians whose early prophets were all polygamous.
Your protestations are ill-founded even to this day when you do not understand the mechanism of the customs and culture of the society where polygamy is intrinsic to it. The in-fighting that you speak of hardly had to do with who was married to whom, and particularly, since natural selection had more women than men being in the world, then it is most advantageous for the women to be absorbed into a household or family unit, rather than having them left out.
And what if the wife is barren through no fault of her own, should her husband go with out having a progeny because his only wife cannot bare him children?
In strong societies where polygamy is the norm, many customs support it and encourage the family unit to work as a whole. The women and children are seen as resources and they help to build the community, take care of the children, teach and pass on the customs. The women are as industrious as the men and have markets, stores, farms and trading that increases the wealth of the family unit and community.
When many of the wars and strife were started, believe me, it was not over woman and who had the best looking women or pick of the crop. It was over resources, land, politics and hegemony. It was the male desire to fight and conquer his competition which quite frankly, was not another woman but what her husband had. Wars are socio-economical-political ventures that take place between warring tribes all over the planet. And it is modern society with its monogamy that has had the absolute worse wars of aggression against each other while you, and many others, consider Western society civilized.
I find your entire video disingenuous, insulting, linear in its presentation, and absent of the true facts and/or understanding of indigenous cultures and the how and why they participate in polygamy.
If you believe it is not a viable option for Western men and women, I have to agree because the culture is not designed to support that type of marital relationship. Western cultures are selfish, self-centered, narcissistic and pathological. They have abandoned the extended family for the nuclear one and have isolated themselves through individualism and personal ownership, thus creating a cesspool of fear, insecurity, paranoia, co-dependency and toxic relationships which according to the latest statistics, leads to 50% of marriages end in divorce.
There are a vast array of issues, concepts, nuances of indigenous cultures that you have blatantly ignored, therefore your conclusions, based on YOUR FACTS, can only be skewed and distorted. Western cultures create laws and regulations to manage their societies thus forcing people into unnatural relationship roles that sour, end, and foster mental health issues for all involved.
You do have the right to your opinion, but I think that if you are going to take on a subject such as polygamy, you either need to do better research or refrain from stating that cultures who practice it are backwards because that is patently incorrect, Sir.
ADDENDUM: The most ironic thing of all is that those countries that prohibit multiple spouses will punish the participants with jail time, a fine or both. That is to say, that it is criminal to have more than one spouse in some countries. How is that even a criminal offense? Who are you hurting when all parties agree? Civilization at its finest.
Polygamy In Africa
Polygyny and polyandry around the world
In most of the following examples, polygamy only refers to polygyny. Except when polyandry is explicitly stated, either all kinds of polygamy are forbidden, or the only allowed form of polygamy is polygyny.
Mayotte: Considered to be de facto illegal since a referendum sponsored by France in March 2009, forcing the island to comply with the French laws.However, pre-existing Muslim marriages are currently still valid.
Benin: Benin recognized polygamous marriages until 2004 when they were constitutionally outlawed. However, pre-existing marriages are currently still valid in Benin.
Burkina Faso: Both Muslims and non-Muslims can join in polygamous unions under Burkina Faso law.
Côte d’Ivoire: Akin to the situation in Benin, polygamy and such marriages were outlawed, though previous marriages are still recognized.
Gabon: Both men and women can join in polygamous unions with the other gender under Gabonese law, although in practice only men do.
Ghana: Illegal under civil law, but recognized under customary law and Sharia law.
Nigeria: Recognized in all northern sharia states, federal law recognizes polygamous unions under customary law.
Kenya: Polygyny legal under legislation passed in 2014.