Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Debate Tuesday - Another wife for my husband?

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Or is polygamy totally bad? I don't think so. I believe that if the people involved are genuine and agree, it could actually work. And yeah, I'm not against another wife for Atala. Actually, there are so many reasons for polygamy, especially in the Nigerian society, including looking for a male child, or any child, having more hands to help (eg, when the first wife is a career woman, the second can be SAHM) and of course the fact that, a woman is not regarded as responsible unless she is married.

So how did this issue arise? I was on the radio with Mandy Ojugbana of Smooth 98.1 FM in Lagos Nigeria a couple of times. The first was talking about AHTM, Naija Stories and my upcoming book tour in Nigeria. The second was a recap of my trip and also a book review of Lola Shoneyin's book, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's wives. While we discussed the polygamous home of Baba Segi, I mentioned to Mandy that I actually supported polygamy which made her speechless but later she asked if I would welcome a new wife for my husband. I answered in the affirmative and when my FB friends heard it, they raised the roof!

BTW, Baba Segi's wives is a fantastic book. This is the book's description from Amazon...

When Baba Segi awoke with a bellyache for the sixth day in a row, he knew it was time to do something drastic about his fourth wife's childlessness.

Meet Baba Segi . . .

A plump, vain, and prosperous middle-aged man of robust appetites, Baba Segi is the patriarch of a large household that includes a quartet of wives and seven children. But his desire to possess more just might be his undoing.

And his wives . . .

Iya Segi—the bride of Baba Segi's youth, a powerful, vindictive woman who will stop at nothing to protect her favored position as ruler of her husband's home.

Iya Tope—Baba Segi's second wife, a shy, timid woman whose decency and lust for life are overshadowed by fear.

Iya Femi—the third wife, a scheming woman with crimson lips and expensive tastes who is determined to attain all that she desires, no matter what the cost.

Bolanle—Babi Segi's fourth and youngest wife, an educated woman wise to life's misfortunes who inspires jealousy in her fellow wives . . . and who harbors a secret that will expose shocking truths about them all.


  1. @ Myne: Wooow you are strange! One thing I know is that deep down, no woman really wants to share her husband, even the one from the muslim homes. I really wonder if you will feel the same way if it becomes reality

  2. I agree with you that polygamy would work for those that need it. We are individuals and it is not every single one of us that will always fit the general mold defined by society.

  3. I think a man who is polygamous is a honest man. But, in this day and age, polygamy is still dysfunctional. It sucks.
    I'm new to Blogland. I hope to meet good friends/readers here. Do stop by when you can...I could use some pointers and adverts.lol.

  4. More grease to your elbow Myne. I wonder how many women out there share your point of view.

  5. @iLola, On this subject and a few others I guess I am. But I wonder, if some women can and are living with it, why the initial gra gra?

    @GHF, they say is polygamous in nature, I'm not sure about that but yeah, it is a fact of life.

    @Who am I, you're welcome. That's true, most polygamous homes are dysfunctional but are nuclear families exempt? Will check you out.

    @Prism, let's see how many of them will say so. I assume you don't then?

  6. I had to read this post over and over and over....

    For real? You would encourage Atala to have a 2nd wife? I do hope you are kidding o!

  7. Polygamy is a NO NO NO NO!
    What happened to 'he made them man and wife? The bible never said man and wives.

  8. Hmmm, I cant ooooo, abeg, i cant shout...lol.

  9. Sorry o! but I no fit! I think it's one man one wife, one more is too much!
    Maybe because I grew up seeing such homes around me and it was not pretty. No matter how rich the guy is. The stress, bickering and constant 'oju-aye' is too much for me to swallow.

    @Myne, I seriously hope you don't entirely mean that? anyway I trust Atala. Or shouldn't I? :)

  10. @Remi, what is Oju aye? LOL...

  11. I honestly do not know if I can. Well like someone said it can work for those who needs it.


  12. Thanks for your visit to my blog.

    Polygamy can be present in some societies, and as long as it does not lead to abuse it could be ok.

    Personally, I would not like my husband to have another wife, but that's just me.

    Also, I wonder if men would be okay with women having multiple husbands...

  13. i think a lot of times, there are no hard and fast rules, i would not like to share my husband, but i guess some people are okay with it, and who am i to judge.

  14. My only issue against polygamy is that it breeds suspicion and anger among the children.

    I never grew up in a polygamous house but ALL - and I mean ALL - my friends who did, do not have one good word to say about it.

    This is because more often than not, the children unconsciously absorb the hostility and rivalry that the wives often display towards each other.

    Naija politicians do not even know the meaning of political intrigue. If you want to see what competition, suspicion and insecurity can make women do, you need to live in a polygamous house.

    Truth is men are very fickle - and are likely to show more love to whichever wife fawns and bows down to them. A recipe for disaster!

  15. I like the choice of picture.

    I have always thought polygamy was unnecessary but I have not lived around it.

    What about unequal love and stuff?

  16. @Naijamum, things to think about indeed.

    @Nakedsha, what about them?

  17. Well, There's no concrete reason why Myne is standing for Polygamy that I can see on this blog but it's alright.

    On one hand, if the women are not forced to be married, why not? People are free to do what they want, abi?

    On the other hand, No Woman who allows this, has the right to complain about 'cheating'
    Only then would you realise that Marriage was never meant for convenience sake, but as a binding commitment between two people.

    This is one thing that pushes me away from, being 'Married' in the eyes of society and everyone else.

    If two people are committed to each other for life without doing a single marriage ceremony, that right there is true marriage. Everything else na management, just like Polygamy.

  18. Hiya, I've tagged you for the Stylish and Versatile Blog Award. Pls Visit my blog and find out what you are to do.

  19. I guess it works for some and not for others. However, I do believe it does breed jealousy because we're all human and it's difficult for a man to treat all his wives exactly equal. I don't think it's worth the trouble. But if you ever talked to a Mormon, you'd see that it seems to work very well for them. So to each his own.

  20. myne, another wife for atala, no ooo...lol..u are prolly saying it because you know he won't dare take a second wife...lol

    On a more serious note, I guess this is one area where I can't agree with you. the dismerits definitely outweigh the merits (none really) for me.

    So if u agree that a man can have many wives, then it is ok for a woman to have many husbands ya?


  21. @Gamine, you've hit on all the spots! Cheating, and all other things that make marriage "management" are all the same in both monogamy and polygamy. So why are we BSing ourselves?

    @H, thanks, will do.

    @Suzanne, Personally, I'm a romantic, happily ever after and all. But I wouldn't push my beliefs on others and condemn a way of life for many people wholesale.

    @Aloted, lol...at the first line. He is free to dare o, but at the end of the day, it's about agreement and being on the same page.

  22. this is a first oh!!! in my opinion, polygamy is just another way of men shoving it into our faces and telling us its a man's world. i hope u support polyandry too oh...after all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander!!!

  23. @Kiah, polygamy includes both polygyny and polyandry. Polyandry is a recognised marriage type is several places in the world. And it works for them so who am I?

  24. Polygamy will work if the husbands love each wife equally.

    But is that really possible?

    I understand polygamy from the prism of say a 56 yr old woman maaried to a 76 yr old man, who cannot cater to her increasingly demanding hubby's needs so needs a younger woman to step in. This is as long as the younger woman knows the exact situation which she is signing to of course. :)

  25. I have read ALL the comments & want to ask W-H-Y?...you seems to be passionate about this 'polygamy issue'. I remembered you made similar comment in one of my older posts ;BTW THE DEVIL & THE DEEP BLUE SEA'..MW, until you spell it out to we sisters here in blogsville W-H-Y? you prefer polygamy when the modern world & Christianity condemns it!

    NOTHING good comes out of polygamy! In the days of yore, it was strictly becox of farming that men married more wives that would help in the farm & bore many children & not becox of love.

    In this 21st century with the global economy depression & socio-political issues, YOU WOULD PREFER POLYGAMY?...well a word of advise sis..DON'T LIVE TOGETHER & DON'T TRY IT IN 9JA BUT ABROAD because YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO COPE WITH THE 'POWER PLAY!'...polygamy is not for the faint-hearted o!....my aunt is the 3rd wife [even when we warned her] & we know the 'PAINS' she is going through!...is it EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL ABI SPIRITUAL?....hmmm...MW...Polygamy no be MOI-MOI oo!

  26. Oh Myne! You are one generous woman!!
    Like you, I believe that every one has a right to hold opinions that differ from mine.
    Unlike you, however, I don't like the idea of sharing... I also don't have the emotional energy to deal with the bickering and competition. I would also fear for the safety of my children...
    I doubt think the 'one flesh' concept that God put forward in Genesis is polygamous.
    While life sometimes turns out different from what we expected and we find ourselves in circumstances where we have to adjust our expectations, I wouldn't DELIBERATELY go looking to bring trouble home in the form of another woman....no way!

  27. @Mena, you're so funny! That scenario you painted is so down to earth, melikey.

    @Ibhade, seems you misunderstand me and this post. I am not preaching polygamy, nor do I PREFER it, WHAT?! But I can see why other people may go into it and for those it works, why should I condemn? And since I like to walk my talk, then my own is not exempt.

    @Gbemi, most often, people don't see that generosity which is key for polygamy. I dare say it is the selfishness on the parts of those involved that leads to its downfall.

  28. @Myne, how could a man show equal love to two women the way women need to be loved?

    If he cannot/would not, then why get married to two of them? Or more of them?

    I think it is another of those things that is unnecessary, whether ''men are wired to be polygamous'' or not.

  29. Wow; great subject.

    Thanks firstly though for the comment over at my place.

    I have always been horrified by the idea of this but I saw an edition of Oprah recently where she went inside a community where there were lots of wives. I'm sorry I can't remember the sect/religion/name and I found myself thinking 'wow; what a really amazing supportive female environment.'

    But the truth is I can't imagine being so cool about it myself. Ideals and reality? There's a shortfall.

  30. Thank you for commenting on my blog.

  31. he he Myne, id say whatever swings your boat honey and i wont shock your followers by complicating issues here.
    If it genuinely works for the parties involved then I am happy for them.

  32. Interesting Myne. Like you said, to each their own.

    I personally cannot imagine sharing my spouse with anyone. I'd rather get a divorce than do that.

    But as long as we support polygamy, we should also support polyandry. Equality is the rule.

  33. Fascinating discussion and it's good to see the debate being just that-- a debate and no mean-spirited comments.
    Me, I'm not for polygamy, but I appreciate you openly talking about your views.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  34. Thanks for all the comments. I'm glad too that it was civil. It was interesting seeing all the different opinions in the comments.

  35. @MW...misunderstood????...MY APOLOGIZES...I HATE POLYGAMY WITH A PASSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. As for me.. God knows, I simply can't share, I can't even imagine it..
    I'd rather be on my own than share..

  37. Thanks Ibhade, :)

    @2cute, I know you now....

  38. errr, i fail to see why you support polygamy . How does that correlate with your 'feminist' views. me thinks you are just seeking attention. Perhaps you might be quite insecure hence your bold stance on giving your husband the license to take a 2nd wife. bullshit much! you live in America, it is illegal. I'll suggest you move back to naija with him, then you can run your mouth and you'll see how quickly he'll fall in love with a younger, hotter chic than yourself. I bet you'd still be shining your 32 when it happens, NOT!

    don't let this come back and bite you heavy in the ass as some of us will be laughing...

  39. Hi Ego, I'm an equal opportunity feminist. Let each and all women have the freedom to choose. Some women DO choose to enter polygamous marriages; for whatever reason. More power to them. I also choose whether or not to support such women, and to be in one too if circumstances dictate. You think polygamy is illegal in America? Tell that to the Mormons in Utah, or you can watch BIG LOVE on cable.

  40. Ha! I'm so happy to see this POV. I too think that polygamy works depending on who is in the relationship.

    All parties need to have an understanding (be enlightened), they need to be of one mind. Being enlightened does not mean travelling abroad or going to school, after all there are people who have done neither and will still amaze you with their thought processes. (I guess what I am trying to talk about is the quarreling/mistreatment/poisoning fears that most people think about when confronted with polygamy).

    If the women involved are EMPOWERED, they will know themselves and their abilities/weaknesses and they WILL make it work.

    As long as none of them is being taken advantage of, I don't see what the problem is.
    (Polyandry also not an issue in this case).


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