Monthly Archives: May 2014
Legalizing Polygamy: Good or Bad News?
Uprooting and analyzing issues involved: Who is the ultimate victim? You may be
amazed at my findings. Read on.
Welcome to my blog again. In my last post, I promised to tell you more about my
proposed Positive Family Front. I am sorry that I have to move this down the
line because of the urgency of the above topic.
The news of Kenya’s Legalization of Polygamy is going viral in the media and on
the internet and so I want to address the issue now that it is hot. Please go
to this link to learn more about it: http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/01/world/africa/kenya-polygamy-law/
Then follow my insight or analysis of the issue and give me your ever-valued
feedback. Let me start by defining the terms so that we clearly see the
implications of this law as well as its pros and cons. Polygamy, according to a
standard dictionary, means: the practice or condition of having more than one
spouse at a time (compare with bigamy and monogamy). This word polygamy came
from the Greek word poly-gamia. So polygamy means the act of marrying or having
many spouses at the same time. I went further to check the cultural dictionary.
Here, polygamy means the practice of having several wives or husbands at the
same time. I also checked out these related words just to be certain of the
correct use of the words:
1) Polygyny: a) the practice or condition of having more than one wife at the
same time; b) (among male animals) the habit or system of having two or more
mates, either simultaneously or successively; c) (among social insects) the
condition of having two or more functioning queens in a colony; d) (in botany)
the state or condition of having many pistils or styles.
2) Polyandry: a) the practice or condition of having more than one husband at
the same time.
From the definitions of the above terms, I have a few concerns.
1) This law did not specify that only men can marry more than one wife.
Therefore, the wives can equally legally have other men in their lives.
2) The law did not specify the conditions, requirements, and responsibilities
for all the parties involved. In other words, the modus operandi was not
established. This can lead to abuse of this law. Anyone can decide to bring in
more spouses at will, even if it is not affordable financially or otherwise. It
now becomes a matter of instinct to satisfy an immediate urge or emotional
demand. Once that feeling is over, the situation cannot be reversed as the new
members have come to stay.This will create confusion and burden on the head of
the family and all others involved.
3) Now that the world is a global village and many people live outside of their
motherland and are raising their families there, this law is conflicting with
the cultures of the general modern society.
4) The details of the discussion that led to this decision of legalizing
polygamy have not been made available to the public or maybe there was no
deliberation at all. To pass such a law that will seriously impact future
families without a public dialogue may be undemocratic.
5) Bringing back or keeping up with the old traditions without any consideration
of the implications and suitability to the modern needs of the society may cause
more harm than good. These lawmakers might as well bring back the old tradition
of killing newborn twins and sending their mothers into exile as it was an
abomination to produce more than one baby at a time in those days. There are
countless numbers of outdated traditions and practices that should as well be
brought back to fall in line with this decision. What about slavery and the
“outcast” system? Should those ones not be revisited and instated as well?
My message to the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and his Parliament is this: be
sure this law is for the good of your country. Make sure that the people that
would take advantage of this law are equal to this task, financially and
otherwise. Make sure that the outcome of this decision, that is, the children
produced in these extra unions, will be adequately cared for. Be sure that you
are doing your best to address the health, well-being, and emotional and
psychological issues resulting from this practice of multiple sex partners which
are advocated by your law.
My caution to Kenyan men and others interested in this law : look before you
leap! Many of you are struggling to make ends meet for your family of one wife
and children. Adding more responsibilities – more mouths to feed and more wives
to deal with – may be too stressful for you in this short life. You should
weigh the pros and cons before getting yourselves into this commitment. This is
because if you bite more than you can chew, disaster and chaos may result and
your family may be torn apart. Guess who the ultimate loser will be? The man
who is the natural head of the family, the provider, the protector, the role
model, and the lover, who is usually cherished, respected, and appreciated.
With multiple wives and several children, are you sure that you can meet this
expectation given the current global economic situation?
In those days, the good old days, the demand for large families was somehow
justified because farming was the only occupation and more hands were needed on
the farms. The more wives and children a man had, the more productive his
family would be. There was cooperation in spite of built-in jealousies,
resentments, competitions, and scrambling for the scarce family resources.
These days, in most African countries, farming is no longer a popular
occupation. Every available piece of land now is converted into building
estates and factories. Mechanized agriculture has taken over the old farming
system. Modern technology has changed people’s lifestyles and value systems.
Children hardly follow their parents to the farm (for the few families that
still have an interest in farming). These days, in most societies, every child
must be in school by law and hired labor has replaced the family workforce.
Most women have becomed enlightened and may not want to share their husbands
with anybody. In some cases where polygyny was tolerated, the first wife’s
consent and cooperation were always vital. In Kenya (and possibly other
countries in the region), there was a clause that allowed the first wife to veto
her husband’s choice of additional spouses. Male members of the Parliament have
successfully pushed to get rid of this clause. With this law backing them up,
men are now free to introduce new spouses without limit or regard to the
existing members of the family. Isn’t this a great decision? How can those men
cope with the family now turned into a battlefield? Will this not bring more
confusion poverty , lack of progress and dysfunction to the family unit? What
is the new definition of family? Is this a healthy way to build up a marriage
and family? And how do you think the children caught in this battlefield will
fare? Most children end up taking sides with their hurting mothers and leaving
their fathers to deal with the consequences of their decisions. Usually in
their old age, such men end up abandoned, lonely, and miserable as they
helplessly watch their family members fight and sometimes kill one another over
the inheritance of this man’s hard earned meager resources. The entire family
may be adversely impacted by the decision but the ultimate loser is the man that
made the decision.The law makers in Kenya’s parliament must make sure that these
ailing and lonely men are protected and provided for at the last stage of their
miserable situations created by the system.Instead of planning for a national
retirement insurance or policy for citizens who made it to the golden age ,as
many civilized countries do ,Kenyan president and his team are busy planning on
how to inflict more burden to the misguided and struggling masses.
When will African countries learn their bitter lessons that any society that has
no respect for women will never progress? For other countries that may follow
Kenya’s example,remember that we are in the 21st century.Do not take your people
back to the Stone Age .It will do no good to anybody!
Therefore, guys, assess the situation well before you embrace this new law.
Make sure you can handle the package that comes with your decision. First of
all, embrace wisdom and value clarification to ensure that the outcome of this
decision is in line with your life goals. The men in the Kenyan Parliament may
think that the law will favor their fellow men, without knowing that it may
bring doom to those men and their families.
Let us discuss this issue further in my next post, with the input from your
feedback. My goal is to see that families flourish with better lives. My
father and my upbringing trained me to love and respect people, especially men,
as you can see in my book, Letters To Men, coming out soon. I hate to see good
family men end up badly. This is why I am raising this awareness so that
unnecessary evils such as Infidelity and Related Sins (I&RS) can be prevented.
Achieving this goal will give the family the greatest joy and give the Greatest
Glory to God, the Creator of this oldest institution – the family. Do you all
see my point? Let me know your thoughts about this law and its implications. I
am your friend DML, The Infidelity Doctor, fighting for the peace and harmony of