Full disclosure, I am a descendant of serious polygamy. My great grandfather was a senior chief and like other senior chiefs at the time he had several wives. Actually he had 16 wives. The interesting thing is that he was able to provide his 16 wives and his myriad children a better standard of living than the ones who were poor and had one or two wives.
Disclaimer :As a Christian raised by monogamous Christian parents and grandparents and extended family I find polygamy to be immoral and not in line with the tenets of my faith.
So I am arguing this issue as an intellectual. Not as a Christian and not as a descendant of a patriarch who was a polygamist. So it’s arguing for arguments sake.
Now back in the day when polygamy was the norm,pre colonial days probably, if you were poor or just had issues, it was very possible for you to miss a wife, become enslaved and or a eunuch. So men had alot of incentives to work hard bcz your posterity depended on it. So you as a man were very motivated to work hard.
Monogamy actually favors low status men in society because the wealthy man or high status man can only have one wife, so even if you are poor, lazy, blind, deaf, have mental problems you are at a par with any other man bcz they can’t marry more than one woman. So if the ratio as per the last census 50% or 51% and of course women are more eligible than men, so good women may be 51% and men 49%, mental disorders, disabilities and other genetic deformity affect men more than women, also in a capitalist society, most men are actually very poor. So this women who are educated, physically sound, fairly able to make a living have no choice in monogamous society than end up with low status men. If polygamy existed 16 women could go to one extremely wealthy man and actually enjoy a better lifestyle for them and their kids than the one wife of a low status guy, so eventually the low status men wouldn’t get wives.
Monogamy so favors low status men that nowadays men are looking for women who work for UN and blue chip companies so they can live off those women. Basically it’s become role reversal. Instead of low status women being the ones in need of high status men. It’s the low status men who are hunting these high status women. A man doesn’t need a career or a business. He just needs to find that high status woman and get her pregnant to look her down to him. I know several such women who are married to men who do not work, don’t do anything and they are not even trying. They just drink and lead lives of leisure, as frustrating as it they can’t leave bcz of the kids and the stigma of being a single mother.
What is happening in all of these husband snatching situations hips is women’s attempt to escape from the grip of low status men who want the women to work and provide for them while they are trophy husbands. Men have become hypergamous and especially high status are resistant to that hypergamy from men, so theyd rather go to a man who is older or has a family already who is high status than a single but low status man.
Hayo ni maoni yangu tuu. The problem is that nowadays people marry for love, back during polygamy days marriage was purely functional, so if the man can keep me at the standards I want for me and my kids I don’t really care about how many women he married. Even if he has a favorite as long as he provides who cares.
From recent events it appears that the more things change the more they stay the same. Polygamy is creeping back slowly but surely, for high status men and women who are at par. Or considered high status women by society. My own tribe is still extremely conservative but kikuyus are going back to polygamy for high status men. The moguls, the celebs, musicians name it.
Monogamy works very well when society is enabling to all men regardless of background but as the country becomes more of an oligarchy, extreme wealth is in fewer and fewer hands. There are alot of frustrated men who have not made it in life and probably never will with the prevailing circumstances, they still want children and families though. So it’s either they become the trophy wives or they remain single. They must accept the role of the house husband or the emasculated kept man. Sad but true. And women can also be tyrants when they hold all the economic power in the relationship or marriage.
I’m not supporting either side. I’m arguing for both sides analytically. Based on what I have observed and the conclusions I have drawn.