69 million page views

Trouble and strife

Reader comment on item: Westerners Welcome Harems

Submitted by Rebecca Moulds (United States), Nov 28, 2008 at 13:56

The Bible states that "a man shall leave his mother and father and cling to his wife"-----it did not say "wives", although in the Old Testament Scriptures, many men did have multiple wives. Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, but he still wasn't very happy, and realised when he became older that perhaps he hadn't made very wise decisions in his younger days. It was only later in his life that he asked for wisdom. How many men in this country and others, where polygamy and polygyny is outlawed, would welcome a change in the law so men could marry multiple women? If really probed, it might be every man's dream to entertain a harem of beautiful women, but it is a fantasy that soon dissipates when petty jealousies arise and advanced age causes sexuality to slow down. And how many women would want multiple husbands? Not any that I know, including me.

In theory it all sounds like a very nice arrangement, but in reality doesn't work out very well. I know an Indonesian man who had four wives, but only the last, and youngest and most beautiful one, was taken out in public. The other three were stuck at home, tending to chores and children. Of course, the first wife has to give permission for the husband to marry the second, and so on, so it is not a free-for-all. Marriage between one man and one woman is good, is supposed to create harmony, lasting relationships, hopefully produce offspring----unfortunately many marriages end in divorce. I think most women are looking for security in marriage, hoping to find one man to love them, respect them, be their best friend, and in turn, the woman will love and respect their husband, be their best friend and advocate. Could the entire polygamy/polygyny question arise from dissatisfaction and boredom with one's spouse, not necessarily from a desire to procreate?

From a purely humanistic and perhaps unconventionally sexist point of view, women en masse in any situation can only produce discord. I wonder, though, if allowing polygamy and polygyny into our legal system would cause a stampede to the alter? Anything is possible, laws have been changed throughout the ages----however, if an institution that has been around for thousands of years, and believed by some (including this writer) to be brought to us by Our Creator, is changed, then our entire family unit is in grave danger of being destroyed. The institution of marriage is good, the family unit is an important cog in the wheel of life, and anything beyond that could be a threat to the balance of things as we know it.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)