I know what many of you must think of me, and I understand why. I accept it if you consider me a bad muslim, a bad husband even a bad father. Honestly I have tried hard to be the best I can be. But just like most people, I stumble now and again and sometimes I fall.
Right now, parts of my life are a mess. But still I’m kind of happy. My life isn’t what I thought it would be, but it’s not bad. Yes, we have issues, yes I have regrets. But I have a lot of good things too.
Right now my main worry is Fiona.
She has been through so much. Polygamy, her brother’s death, the drama of our lives, her extremely demanding work. Now she has become a mother. And recently she went through surgery.
I have asked her to stay away from the blog for a while. It hurts her to stay away, but it hurts her to be here too because she feels great pain every time she reads about other people’s pain. Every time she shares the hurt of somebody else’s polygamy, she relives her own pain.
She has promised me to stay off the blog for a while.
I have promised her to keep it going. Publish your comments and maybe answer a few questions. And sometimes I can pass messages along.
We have agreed to try and keep it like this until Guy Fawkes, a special day for us.
When women defend polygyny, they often claim that it’s a test meant to improve their and their husbands deen. For men it means more responsibility and that could be claimed to improve a man’s maturity and level of commitment. For women it’s a test of sacrifice. Women must fight their jealousies and insecurities and become generous enough to share their husbands.
So, does it work?
It is obvious from all the comments and e-mail I get that for most women polygyny is destructive, humiliating and excruciatingly painful. The betrayal, hurt and violation of polygyny makes many women doubt their self worth. Many women lose their sense of self and get lost in a void of self doubt and pain. For some women it means losing all religion. For others it means that they must accept misogynist dogmas, that men are superior and have superior rights, in order to survive the pain. Stockholm syndrome is common.
Does any of this increase these women’s deen? Of course not. Not unless you define deen as survival strategies under extreme stress.
What about the men?
Well, according to my experience men get a high out of feeling superior and this can be achieved by polygyny. They feel like macho men having two or more women. They also get a kick out of breaking their first wife, watching her bend to their superior rights. They get an increased sense of divine rights and superiority, combined with some exhilarating s/m ting.
Does this increase their deen? Of course not. No more so than wanking while reading 50 Shades of Grey.
So why do pro-polygynists keep claiming that polygyny is good for your deen, and for the religion of the Ummah?
Growing up in a Scandinavian country, my experience of sexuality, modesty and the concept of hijab are markedly different to even those living in the UK. I say this as is it is common knowledge that globally Scandinavia leads the way when it comes to gender equality. As a child in school it was a mantra that you were conditioned with, and in almost every class one took, it was an underlying truth that directed the way we interacted with opposite sex. I would have to say that personally, I am very grateful for this as I developed a healthy attitude towards my own sexuality and very rarely ever felt that my sex hindered me from certain pursuits or that I had anything to fear from the other boys.
That last point is an important one, as it underlies much of the traditional arguments for female-male interaction in Islamic discourses…