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    Sun Ship

    Polygyny, monogamy, or the sexual evolution of Black women

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    by , 02-12-2008 at 06:23 PM (13855 Views)

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    The more I think about this subject the more I feel I’m having a epiphany, for over the years I have studied this subject and debated it from a problem/solution perspective, but I have to admit, if something is not part of the developing modern American paradigm, than it may not be relevant regardless if it might be part of a “perceived” solution.

    There are two parts to the marital cultural paradigm that has to be considered when one looks back to prehistory and female-based matristic societies; one is the communal nature of women that I feel was responsible for eventually developing an unadulterated non-patriarchal form of polygyny, and secondly along side that the possible absolute sexual expression of women on every level including ritualistically, spiritually, and what men described as a form of exhibitionism, all of which were something men feared and equated to whoredom, promiscuity, and infidelity later in patriarchal culture associated with sin, wickedness, demonology, and punishable by death.

    I think the latter is clashing and even being exploited in today’s world as women attempt to rediscover themselves as sexual beings in a distorted male dominated society, in which many women have inner-conflicts with what they themselves have long agreed with within this patriarchal cultural paradigm, as in the need for monogamy.

    A lot of this exploitation is exemplified in this consumer-driven society in which people are not attracted or attached to what they need, but to what they want to experience at any given time. And facts mean nothing when it comes to living out those experiences. And for consumerism to be so strong, individuality and self-gratification has to be the “drug of the day”.

    So many Black women in general see themselves doing much better in the American and European cultural experience, regardless of the discrimination, their poverty rate, their homelessness, the wife battery, and the abusive relationships that comes along with a society that is still trying to romantically promote a traditional monogamist goal for all women on one hand, and promotes all types of infidelity and non-commitment on the other…an interesting mix to say the least. And I think this type of compromise is given over to this culture because in some convoluted way it allows women also the option of an uncloistered life free of libidinal oppression, which is expressed sexually, intellectually, and in social-consciousness.

    There is a thin-line between a non-committal woman and an independent woman, singlehood amongst women is not always a lack of choice, as much as it is a choice from a position of strength that is preferred as it relates to their deeper personal desires and individual needs.

    Regardless of what we dream of and try to promote, right now this situation is not going to change, for I have to realize that women strongly embrace and are helping to develop the culture we have today, which is sexually charged with a lot of titillation, expectations, full of hope, and fantasy. It’s all part of the virtual reality and pursuit of happiness we live in. Men will not change, because the culture we have now is a players paradise and is more conducive to having pseudo-committal, or non-committal relationships with multiple women over a lifetime, which is more than polygyny could ever offer, and even if you get involved with one woman this culture let’s you easily replace her, and get another one (even women cosign this idea); and I have rarely met a single Black woman who will not be your other woman if not for just the one-time thrill alone, let alone for the long-term. And I ‘m NOT making this statement as a moral judgment, I have realized, “it is what it is” , and more importantly there may be an unseen archetypal psychological reason behind the veil of what seems to be dysfunctionality or a lack of social responsibility.

    I have yet to prove women are wrong for supporting this social construct, or yet to find men who don’t enjoy or exercise this option.

    What helps these ideas regardless if they're not conducive to what we liken to civility or stable community in present times, is the fact that we like most American’s like competitiveness and sports (another consumerist past time). There is also a lot of hypocrisy inbred in American culture, along with dishonestly and the intrigue of a woman being able to get a preying man when her friends can’t, or a man being able to have as many experiences as he would like (in both cases, this is on some deeper physiological level). Also, I think women more than men like their ever-evolving sexual freedom even if they are not always at peace with it or admit to it, more than they like being settled down or committed, especially in a community whereas so many Black women are free, single, and “perceivably” happy.

    So I don’t think it’s about polygyny being right or wrong, or monogamy being the preferred if obtained, I think it’s really about subliminally a sexual evolution amongst Black women that is going to be the culturally defining rule or clarifier of the future, and is no doubt responsible for an ever-changing dating and marriage scene as we know it. I think both Black men and women have to be open to this perspective and find the honestly that is now lacking to explore and resolve the inevitable within a workable social construct.

    Brother Sun Ship

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    1. nattyreb's Avatar
      This is sooo good, it's just the right mix of common sense and controversy to be published somewhere. i really loved the way you put it together so thoughtfully.

      A couple of things came to my mind when i was reading it. When "abuse" was mentioned, all i could think of was some fool feeling empowered to physically/mentally beat up on more than one woman on the strength of being their paternalistic figure. i also remembered bearing witness to many such relationships where the Bro. was living off the welfare checks of as many lonely women as would tolerate his being their husband (pimping).

      i really liked the different scenarios you spoke on, very, very insightful and true. i loved my single sisters so much that i wouldn't even talk that much about whatever mate i was with when i knew they were lonely and hurting from whatever relationship they were recovering from (and i use that term deliberately!). The loneliness was the worst part, tho, and it even crossed my mind to ask my mate about going over to be with one of them on some of their worst nights, but i never could quite figure out how to even get the words together to describe it correctly to any of the parties that would be involved.

      i would like to believe that i could deal with my husband taking another wife at another address, but when i mentioned it to one of my sista-friends she asked me, "but what if he falls head over heels in love with her?". Now that, i couldn't answer!

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    2. tyydae's Avatar

      you have given me something to think long and hard about. I have never thought about having my husband give a woman that is going through some comfort and support. I admire that strength in you, and the ability that you have to separate yourself from him in those moments, and do whatever is best for your sister.

      Question: What do you mean by going over there to be "with" her?

      However, I can relate to just giving an ear to a friend, when she is going through, and putting your joy in the back burner. I do that often, because it was shown to me.

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    3. nattyreb's Avatar
      Ona Move, Sis. Tyydae, i re-read the portion you're referring to and i can see how you came to question my meaning cuz i didn't write it well at all! i appreciate your words very much, tho.

      What i should have written is that i was divorced and had some relationships (some boyfriends we useta refer to as 'plumbers' to be really real) before my 2nd marriage. When i was once in a monogamous unmarried relationship and my sista-friends were hurting for a mate, and i'm talking about that lonely late in the midnight hour kinda pain, that yes, i would consider asking my mate to provide them with some sexual healing. i didn't know how to say it to any of them, but i sure like to think it wouldn't have bothered me had they taken me up on such an offer. Many a Sista has certainly had times in our lives where just trying to ease that pain led to some dangerous situations, and i wanted them to be at least temporarily fulfilled. Sometimes i would even feel guilty having a mate and them not, and just wouldn't talk about my relationship that much.

      Once i got remarried and had more children, then i would revisit the notion cuz i would think more about possibly being incarcerated or even being killed. Sometimes i wonder if my ancestors are whispering in my ear with these thoughts, especially after i was away for so long last year and almost didn't make it back. A sista-wife sure would have been a tremendous asset and relieved a whole lotta stress by nurturing the entire family during that period. Like i said, tho, i'm not sure that i wouldn't be hurt if he actually *preferred* her to me, not to mention taking *her* feelings into account!

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    4. tyydae's Avatar
      I still admire you, and the level that it takes for you to operate on in order to consider a sister needs. That is mouth dropping in a lot of ways for me. If a situation like that ever came my way, I want to make the best decision for everyone involved.

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    5. Sun Ship's Avatar
      Sister nattyreb and Sister tyydae I’m highly appreciative of both of your responses to this short essay. And Sister nattyreb your comments are amongst some of the most honest, sensitive, and thought provoking I have ever heard coming from a progressive sister in response to this subject. Your words further makes it evident to me that it was the innate intuitiveness of Black women that brought forth the manifestation of our very ancient marital systems that along with other cultural developments addressed every aspect of civility within the African community before European intervention, and the genocidal encroachment upon our people deemed as chattel slavery and colonization.

      After reading both of what you sisters shared, I’m going to write a part 2, continuing sharing my thoughts on this subject…

      Quote Originally Posted by nattyreb
      What i should have written is that i was divorced and had some relationships (some boyfriends we useta refer to as 'plumbers' to be really real) before my 2nd marriage.
      BTW_sister nattyreb, I have this friend of mines who use to always say jokingly to the sisters, "don't sleep with a drip tonight call a plumber"...LOL... and believe it or not, he was actually a plumber! (of course, in more ways than


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    6. jahcrown's Avatar
      1 man 1 wombman= life and creation anything else is unbalanced and will create chaos-story dun!

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