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Friday, June 22, 2007

Marriage, polygamy, Single

In one mailing list I join, there is quite hot discussion about one public figure who married another woman’s husband. They got married some years ago, and only a year ago the case was revealed publicly when the public figure delivered her baby. The first wife together with her two children was reported to attack the second wife’s dwelling last year. It became a national hot gossip last year because the man was one son of the second president of Indonesia. (I also wrote it in my blog last year.)

This triangle love reached a higher peak some weeks ago when the husband decided to divorce the first wife; one proof that polygamy will always bring about sadness and misery to those involved: let’s say the wives and the children. Many women in Indonesia emotionally judged the second wife as a flirtatious bitch who stole another woman’s husband. However, there are also women who support the relationship between this man and his second wife, judging the first wife as lacking some things that made the man seek for another love from another woman.

In the discussion in the mailing list, one woman said that the imbalance number of men and women in the world (more women than men) seemed to be one proof from God that God consents polygamy (polyginy). She said that it was really a very sad thing for women to be single. That means it was better to be the nth wife of a man rather man to live single. I can also conclude that for her it was okay for a woman to hurt another woman rather than to live miserably without a spouse, although only half time spouse. She also said that despite the fact that more people live single nowadays, still the majority dream of getting married. A man said that God created more women than men as the best proof (or excuse?) that men indeed were created to be polygamous.

To counter the statement that God created more women than men, one member of the mailing list gave statistics of population in the whole world and also in Indonesia. Below is the statistics:

sex ratio (world):
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

sex ratio (Indonesia):
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

This discussion reminded me of my students’ essay in the written test two weeks ago. They got three topics to write: first, how to prepare a presentation; second, advertisements on television engenders consumerism, third, being a successful businesswoman and living single or having a family. Seven students chose the third topic, six girls and one boy. All of them would rather get married and have a family than to be a successful businessperson and live single. They mentioned almost similar reason: marriage is the ultimate goal in someone’s life and it will make them live happily.

For your information, those seven students are still in their late teenage, around seventeen till nineteen.
I was not surprised to read their essays of course. They are all still too young to know the real problems of marriage life. They are still lulled by some fairy tales telling them about “Then the prince and the princess got married. They finally lived together happily ever after.”

How did I perceive the woman in the mailing list? Even though I believe she already reached a mature age (since she called herself as IBU XXXX, in Indonesian language, the word IBU refers to a mature woman), her way of thinking to view marriage is just like the rest of (naïve) society that still idolize marriage institution as the only gate to get happiness.

PT56 17.45 210607

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