Friday, January 30, 2009

Argument for Polygamy from a Very Educated Senegalese Woman

Okay, so in lieu of our regularly scheduled programming (regularly scheduled, who am I kidding-- only by Senegalese standards!) I am going to repeat what my Gender and Development professor said regarding polygamy. All of this was prefaced by a "Some very educated Senegalese women would say that..." which left me wondering if her husband was polygamous or if it really was just some women who think this and not her.

Anyway, she said that some professional Senegalese women who have their own projects and agendas prefer polygamy because it entails more freedom and less work. Senegalese women are expected to do everything for their spouses-- right down to cutting up their food. It's kind of like having a two-year-old and a husband, which is a lot of work if you're also, say a professor and researcher at the University. This way, a woman has a husband (women are generally not allowed to live on their own here, although it happens), but only has to wait on him hand and foot a couple of days a week. The rest of her time is her own.

This is a fabulous argument as far as I can tell as long as you're not actually in love with your husband. (Can you imagine the jealousy involved if all the wives were in love with the husband?)


Kineh said...

But, in fact, many of Senegalese women ARE NOT in love, neither loving, their husbands. The main responsibility and chastity of a husband is not sexual fidelity, but sufficent financial support. That is why many women accept becoming second, third or fourth wife... and that is also the main reason why many first wives do not want to have a co-wife; not because of jealousy (eventhough that occurs too, often), but mainly because of material reasons.

Ali K said...

That's so sad... I can't even imagine living life in a loveless marriage.

Susan Ruosu said...

all i can say is... i'm glad i'm not a senegalese woman.

even though, if you think about women everywhere still have to choose between a family and a career but perhaps to a lesser extent.