I remember having a chat with a young woman and one discussion led to another and I asked her “Would you marry a man old enough to be your father?”
She answered “Yes, why not? What is wrong with that?”
Honestly, I tried to hide my biases, but I couldn’t hide my surprise. So, I asked again “Why a married man?”
She said because they can cater to her needs. I also remember a Ghanaian actress once made a comment about women having to depend on men to sustain themselves. Of course she was dragged on social media for uttering such statement during her interview.
Voices of Youth is UNICEF's community FOR YOUTH, BY YOUTH ✊✊🏽✊🏻✊🏿
Discover other stories from young voices around the world -and share yours! How?
Register in our web, follow us on Twitter or use the hashtag #VoicesOfYouth on your social media channels. Ready to speak up for the issues you care about?
I think polygamy is a widespread ideology among women and their preference with men, especially in African countries. However, I do not believe the idea of “one man, one wife” is totally applicable because people have their own life rules, philosophies and patterns to doing things and handling issues.
From my conversations and observations, provision of basic needs is one of the major reasons why women tend to prefer married men to single men. Married men are more secure sources of funding for women because they can provide for their needs. In some cases, women find love and companionship in their relationship with these men. Age, single men unwilling to settle down, the maturity of married men and experience amongst others are also reasons why single women prefer dating married men.
I believe men on the other hand, usually involve themselves with several women to satisfy their desires for companionship amongst other reasons. Sex is often the exchange for the money, gifts and outings women receive from married men. While some women end up marrying single men and starting their own families, some of these women end up as “baby mamas” since the relationship does not always lead to marriage while others end up as junior wives in polygamous homes.
Lola Shoneyin’s article “Polygamy? No Thanks” gives a description of what women in polygamy go through and the influence it has on children. The same principles apply to married women whose husbands engage in extra marital affairs. The women are usually bitter, crushed and unhappy inside though they seem cheerful outside especially those whose husbands have children from these affairs. The men on the other hand, are often distant from their families especially their wives.
Now that feminism and women empowerment is in vogue, I wonder why women still have to depend on men for money to provide their needs. Can't women work for their own money to cater for their needs? Also, does this practice not put the parties involved at the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and other diseases especially when it is with men with many sexual partners? I wonder why single women would want to put themselves at such risk. Interestingly, some women still aim to go into polygamy while aware of the negative sides to it; at least it’s better to settle in polygamy than die single anyways?
While I believe women should have the freedom to make their life choices, I’ll my advice is that it is safer for single ladies to stick to one partner. Stop being pressured to end up married to avoid making costly mistakes.