I’ve written before about polyamory, in this post, Polyamory: Married and Dating and also about polygamy, in this post, The Pros and Cons of Polygamy and Turkey Leftovers, so I’m sure you realized it was only a matter of time before I wrote about polyandry. So here it is, my post on polyandry.
According to an article that appeared in this month’s the Atlantic, the practice of polyandry may not be as unusual as (mostly male, mostly sexist) anthropologists have led us to believe. The magazine article references a paper published last June in the scientific journal Human Nature, “A Survey of Non-Classical Polyandry” in which the researchers, Katherine Stark and Randall Hames, broadened the definition of polyandry.
In general, we define polyandrous unions as a bond of one woman to more than one man in which the woman has relatively restricted sexual rights toward the men, and the men toward the woman, as well as economic responsibilities toward each other and toward any children that may result from the union.
So instead of looking around for a woman living in a hut with a
gaggle harem of men servicing her day and night, Stark and Hames (doesn’t that sound like a cop show? Only instead of chasing bad guys, they’d take notes and publish articles. Must See TV!) examined the relationships that existed in the community, rather than only looking at who was humping who.
As I’m sitting here considering polyandry, I realize I don’t know what to do with the one husband I’ve got, so I usually just sit him down in front of the television and say, “Stay.” (Ah, who am I kidding? He learned to do that all on his own). I can’t imagine how you might occupy two (or more). I suppose in tribal societies, there’s lots of work that needs to be done, because you’d need someone to thatch your hut, and carry water from the river, and I’m not doing any of that. I might sweep the top dirt layer out of the hut each day. And I’d cook. I like to cook, though if one of my cannibal husbands brought home some hapless Western tourist who got caught in his net, I’d put my hands on my hips, roll my eyes at him and say, “Again?”
You didn’t think this post could get any more offensive, but it did just then, didn’t it?
But what would I do with additional husbands in the industrial society of suburban Philadelphia? Our roof doesn’t need to be repaired too often, and water comes straight into the house by
magic a series of complicated pipes and pumps (I think). My gaggle harem of husbands would all be standing around, looking for something to do.
Husband #1: We could have sex.
Husband #2: Yes! That sounds like a good idea.
Me: No no no. We had sex last night.
Husband #3: No, that was with me.
Me: Are you sure? I thought I did it with the brown haired one last night.
Husband #1: No, it wasn’t me.
Husband #3: It was me. She wasn’t paying attention.
Me: Downton Abbey was coming on!
Husband #3: I know. I always pick the nights I know her shows are on. That way I don’t have to work too hard at it.
Husband #2: Oh really? She watches Survivor, too, though she won’t admit it.
Me: I do not watch Survivor.
The Husbands exchange knowing glances.
Husband #1: Can we stay focused, please? I still haven’t had sex!
Husband #2: Neither have I!
Me: Neither one of you is having sex, because I’m not in the mood.
Husband #2: Of course you aren’t. Survivor is about to start.
Me: This has nothing to do with Survivor! (looking around the room) Who lost the remote?
You can catch the premiere of Survivor: Caramoan next Wednesday, February 13 at 8/7c on CBS.