So, yesterday we were entertaining a client of Graham’s at a restaurant. He said I would be in for a surprise, and when they arrived I could see what he was talking about. The man was Saudi, and he had brought his two wives… 🙂
At first,this made me really happy. Sometimes, living polygamy in the UK can be a lonely business, and meeting with other people sharing this lifestyle can help me feel, well normal.. 😉
The man was extremely polite, the way most Saudis I’ve met have been, and the wives seemed very sweet. We started talking about the weather, sight-seeing and the Royal Family, polite ordinary dinner talk. They had really enjoyed visiting the Tower they told us, and they had admired the crown jewels.
However, the man said, they felt that people had treated them awkwardly. They were used to having people look at them, as they said probably in response to the niqabs. But this time they felt, the stares and the comments had been about the two wives. They had felt that people had been overtly hostile.
The man said that he found it tragic that a society which prides itself in its tolerance and openness still holds such attitudes, that people should learn to respect other people’s culture, religion and choices. He was very eloquent on the subject of cultural harassment, intolerance and religious and ethnic oppression and held that attidudes against polygamy were based on racism and religious fanaticism and claims of cultural and moral superiority.
I said I agree with a lot of what he was saying and that I can identify with their experience, since I myself am polygamous, sharing my life with two husbands. Graham just smiled…
I can tell you, you could have cut the silence with a knife….. 😉
Then, while the two wives slowly moved further away from me in the sofa, the Saudi started raving about how unnatural and disgusting the thought of a woman with two husbands is, how immoral and devastating polyandry would be to society, how women who are allowed to decide over their own lives destroy civilization… With two husbands – WHO IS THE LEADER?? he screamed…. I almost said that I am, but I held my tongue… 😉
Graham looked him straight in the eye and said that those views, in his opinion, are outbursts of cultural harassment, intolerance and religious and ethnic oppression and that he holds that attidudes against polyandry are based on sexism and religious fanaticism and claims of cultural and moral superiority.
The Saudi looked like he was going to implode, but one of the wives actually giggled…. If glares could kill she would have fallen down dead the way her husband eyed her…. I hope she didn’t get too severe a beating when they came home…
I am not a religious person, but I do believe there is some wisdom to be found in religion, e.g.:
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.