Isn’t it funny that for all its proclaimed merits, monogamy has totally failed marriage? Wherever you look, marriages are falling apart and divorce is now an existential probability anywhere you look. Infidelity has never been more rampant in human history than it is today. Married men and women now play each other, often with reckless abandon, you wonder why people even bother to marry.
A friend recently told me that as soon as we adopt education insurance policy, we can forget marriage as we know it. More marriages are now loosely held together by children, more so, if the young ones are in school. For the slightly older generation, it is the societal mores that are acting as glue. Sociologists have not conducted a research on this, but I can bet that nearly half of the married couples aged over 45 sleep in separate beds, if not rooms.
The absurdity surrounding marriage today springs from our adoption of capitalism, which encourages selfishness and crass consumerism that controls our daily lives, leaving little time for the family. American historian and social critic, Christopher Lasch, once wrote, “It is the logic of consumerism that undermines the values of loyalty and permanence and promotes a different set of values that is destructive of family life.” I can’t agree more.
A woman now would rather a glamorous wedding than a glamorous marriage. We live in an era in which some women think that life is one endless party that never stops until it hits them they are 34 and can longer compete with younger, nubile 22-year olds, who turn and twist their flexible waists with erotic recklessness. In the same vein, we have men in their 30s who drink beer in Nairobi West with no sense of direction in life, other than their beer useless banter about football. I knew we had lost it as a society when women stopped suffering hangovers.
These misguided men and women in their 30s long gave up on marriage. Some are irresponsible single parents who have burdened their mothers with raising up their child. All they do is the miserable M-Pesa remittances as they drown more and more beer, while dancing Tsa Mandebele Kids by Oskido, featuring Candy. It’s really disgusting! For this, we deserve Muthama and his ilk. But all is not lost. We can still rescue marriage and instill a sense of hope among the hopeless men and women who long gave up on the institution. For starters, whereas the 2009 census indicated the number of men and women in the country to be more or less the same, what it did not reveal is that the number of marriageable men is actually less than the number of marriageable women. Therefore, the only logical thing is for women to share the few, eligible men. Rather than lie to ourselves that monogamy works even as infidelity wrecks marriages, why not formalise this. We forsook the wisdom of our forefathers and now the chicken have come home to roost.
When you think about it, polygamy was the most liberating thing for women. The biggest lesson we should all learn when we are younger is that you can never own anything in this world. Not even a man. Our grandmothers knew this and settled to sharing their men. There was world peace as we have never known. They led fulfilled lives, compared to some 35-year-old women coming to terms with the cheating ways of their husbands. You can’t really suppress the biological urges. Studies have been done to confirm man’s natural proclivity to polygamy. We just need to be rational: share a man. At least, if you grow tired of him, you can rent him out to your co-wife!
What is needed is a better formula of sharing his wealth in which case, all that is required is an update of inheritance laws to come up with a more equitable formula of sharing a man’s wealth. That will make it easy to keep a tab on the man and tame him. With additional mouths to feed, he will be more responsible.