A 9-table stimulated matrix cluster vignette titled PolygynyAndry by J E D Cline on Saturday, April 19, 2008 7:28:13 PM US/Pacific
Can the inhumanity of ancient polygamy be balanced by polyandry?
Sometimes, if something is ignored, it just won' t go away, especially if it is an ancient thing; one such thing is explored here, uncomfortable subject that it can be. But surely it is remembered from school that an essential part of the solution to a problem is to correctly and fully define the problem itself? Since there is a 50-50 ratio of male to female births, for every exclusive extra mate of a polygamist, somewhere there must be one man that has to live life mateless and without progeny. That is close to his life been effectively terminated very early, or no life at all re passing on his genes. That surely is an inhumane act; yet, an ancient established practice, effectively. For example, in recent news was a man who had 20 wives, and if they all were exclusive to him, then it was much as if he had thereby genetically terminated the lives of 19 men, even if their specific identity is undetermined. Polygamy has been with people for a very long time. Origins of religions both ancient and recent often include a forefather who was common to the offspring males who formed the effective identification requirement of membership in the religion. Thousands of years ago it was common for one group to invade a neighboring city and if successful in conquering it, killed all the males and the soldiers thus had wives; the soldiers were probably mostly the "extras" happening when polygamist elite of the group took large numbers of extra wives from the group population, thus equal numbers of "extra" men were decreed, and their hope of reproducing was in the conquering of a neighbor city and being rewarded with the wives taken over thereby, by killing all their former husbands. Even in the mammalian herd world, from elephants to walruses, often one male will assault the other males so as to have exclusive reproduction rights of many females. So polygamism has a long history; it is with us today even among humans in places. Here in America we have laws against a man hoarding reproductive wives, but it is simple to bypass those rules by using the well-supported "single mom" identity for the extra exclusive wives. The "extra" progeny males of such societies have to go find mates among the neighboring groups, but at least it now does not follow the rules of war and slaughter of other males, although the genetic legacy is about the same in the end result. The mutual support of genetic brothers makes them powerful competitors in the larger world of a peaceful blended society, and the supportive nature of the overall religious-justified group can be a welcome relief to a woman seeking a place to have children. It is not new; for example, the largest Amerind nation got that way by stealing women from other tribes, one at a time, not enough to start a war over, and now they are by far the most populous of all: each woman taken from the neighbors, not only multiplies their own progeny, but also cuts the number of progeny of the neighbors. Polygamism is often religiously-justified and enabled by a supportive reproductive environment for women and the favored descendant males, and population explodes, important when the popular vote is the aim. Is their any relief for the men who are left having to live a mateless life, as well as leaving no genetic progeny for the future to show for their lives? Consider the similarity of "polyandry" to polygamy, merely a different gender as the one who has multiple exclusive mates. Polygamy is simply too powerful and too ancient and too deceptive to be eliminated at the present time, but maybe a compromise can be achieved to reduce the inhumanity of it. One way would be for a woman to have multiple men as husbands, and to have progeny by each of them. That could provide an abundance of support for the woman and her children. If she has many husbands, each man would likely have fewer progeny than if having their own exclusive wife; but at least they would not be totally wiped out of the genetic pool for the future's needs. Also, another relationship form comes to mind, that of several women having a common pool of multiple husbands; if there are fewer women than men in the arrangement, that frees up some women for the polygamists, fulfilling their requirement. The need to find a solution to the polygamy-instincts of some genetic strains is quite apparent in a vast array of forces bringing tragedy around the world, from the ethnic rivalries of the middle east, to here in this country the Waco conflict (80 lives) and the building destruction (168 lives) in Oklahoma exactly 2 years later (although it may not have really been the purpose, it was synchronized to appear that way); polygamy has its invisible ways to let others know to leave them alone to do their thing, else more horrid things "just happen." It is too ancient a mammalian force to be confronted, it is in our deep roots. Yet maybe its basic inhumanity to the ostracized males can be ameliorated by fully enabling some women to openly have extra husbands, busy little bee that would make her, surely some women would fill that role, say with three husbands each. For each such polyandrical woman, it frees up two extra "wives" for some powerful virtual polygamist, and maybe that would placate the system. The very ancient polygynical force would still be greatly out-reproducing other males, thus fulfilling its basic drive; and yet the other males would still have a good chance for passing on some of their genes into the future, even if fewer. And the women of each group, whether the mutually supporting groups of multiple wives of polygamists, or the women who have multiple husbands supporting them, all have extra support for themselves and their progeny. Although this is an uncomfortable "tell it like it is" thing on this infamous day of 19 April, it suggest clear vision of the problem and clear vision of possible solutions, instead of continuing to turn a "blind eye" to what has been going on. Face it fully with understanding and compassionately for all, and deal with it with love for all, not just for some. No one need then live mateless nor without hope of progeny; although it would be quite unequal, that would be the instinctive reward for the "winners" of the system, yet the "losers" would not be total losers, this way. Have compassion for all humanity. And then instead of each eventually fighting for ethnic survival with world neighbors, perhaps all will be able to pitch in to bring this world we all depend upon, back to long term great robust health. A little kindness is much better than no kindness, in this 50-50 gender world.
Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of a link back to this site and acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.