Jun 14, 2012

Can a plural marriage work?

As a Muslim woman from South Africa I am certainly aware of all the pros and cons of a plural marriage. When I was younger and did not know enough I condemned it outright. But I have changed my mind since then. Take statistics into account and you will see that women far outnumber men, and that with adultery, and stealing the affections of another woman’s man, it makes a lot of sense to at least consider it.

Cons of a plural marriage

• Jealousy is number one in this department. Where a plural or polygamous marriage is not understood properly and especially with younger women who will hate one another, it is not going to work and eventually one of the women or both of them are going to leave the marriage.

• Children of these marriages are confused and will be embarrassed by their parents if they are not in agreement with having a father and two mothers in the house. The children might hate one another too, as well as their parents.

• Because polygamy is frowned upon, there is a stigma attached to being part of such an arrangement and the husband will have his hands full with two angry women who are fighting over him.

Pros of a plural marriage

On the other hand, there can be benefit too for the women if they first decide for the right reasons to become a first or second wife and understand the process. Look, men are sexual creatures and they can bed women without falling in love. It is all about the sex, and little about fidelity. So if it is going to happen anyway is it not best to be part of this arrangement which can be very beneficial to you especially if there are children and the women are protected? Think about it. Men can never plead lifelong allegiance, and will cheat anyway if it is easy for them to get away with it. If you take the emotional equation out of it, you can have a lot of benefits, not lose the man, and have financial assistance to raise your kids. You will also have days off where he will be with the other woman, and there are two mothers for the kids.

Polygamy in Islam

God is not in favor of polygamy but because of the nature of man, God allows it. God does not recommend it. So it is not a sin to have more than one wife, IF the man is fair to both women, if the man can afford it, if all the parties agree, and not to exceed four wives. This is surely a better arrangement as more women will be cared for and protected. It is not for everyone, but it is better than adultery.


Imagery in The Grapes of Wrath

Reading John Steinbeck’s novel set in the Salinas Valley in California in the 1930s for the first time at around age 12 or 13, I was astounded at the richness of the story although I knew nothing about writing. I was still a kid, had hopes of becoming a writer myself, and never had I read a book with such wonderful imagery and never forgot the old turtle trying to cross the gravel road in the scorching heat of the hot Salinas Valley. Today I am a writer and often teach creative writing, and have read the novel about four or five times, even purchasing an extra two copies so each of my kids could have one.

Here is a description of one of the characters: “the man’s clothes were new – all of them, cheap and new. His gray cap was so new that the visor was still stiff and the button still on, not shapeless and bulged as it would be when it had served for a while all the various purposes of a cap – carrying sack, towel, handkerchief. His suit was of cheap gray hard cloth and so new that there were creases in the trousers.”

What a flawless and descriptive piece of writing. Steinbeck had described the inner character without mentioning vital statistics and the color of his hair, which happened to be the same color as the sun burnt wheat in the background. This was not a cardboard character. He had created a new kind of hero. It was hard to copy Steinbeck’s style of writing. It was effortless, real – so real that one felt it in the muscled struggle of the turtle as it moved agonizingly upward and out of the way of an oncoming truck.

“…over the grass at the roadside a land turtle crawled, turning aside for nothing, dragging his high-domed shell over the grass. His hard legs and yellow-nailed feet threshed slowly through the grass, not really walking, but boosting and dragging his shell along. The barley beards slid off his shell and the clover burrs fell on him and rolled to the ground. His horny beak was partly open, and his fierce, humorous eyes, under brows like fingernails stared straight ahead.”

The struggle of the turtle continues for two or more pages when the turtle finally reached the top and an oncoming vehicle swerved to hit it and struck the edge of the hard shell and flipped the turtle “like a tiddly-wink, spun it like a coin, and rolled it off the highway.” The storyteller is a master novelist and the book a sprawling tale, timeless and beautiful and which will speak to its readers for decades to come.


Leaving the children in the care of a pre teen to sleep at the boyfriend’s house

Mothers who do this to their children do not deserve the title of a mother. A child of nine or ten is not capable of looking after his brothers and sisters, and even ten minutes away from home leaving the kids unattended is irresponsible. Anything can happen. Some stranger might knock on the door and see that they are alone, and God knows what can happen. There can be a simple accident in the kitchen like the kids trying to make pancakes and a fire is started. What do you think they can do? And how will they save themselves?

In the first place, it is wrong to give your pre teen that kind of responsibility. He is a kid himself and will not have the wherewithal to save his siblings when he is in danger too. He might even be upstairs in the room playing computer games and not even hear what is going on. The children also become fearful as they realize that their mother is gone and only coming home the next day. And the later it gets the worse their fears will become. A mother who puts her children in jeopardy, whether for a man or not, should be prosecuted and have her children taken away. She is not deserving of them and does not have the skills to parent and keep her kids safe.

Dangers of leaving kids alone overnight

• One of the children could become ill during the night. Maybe they will know how to dial 911 but in their confusion and fear, it is likely that one or more of them will start to cry and there will be mayhem.

• There could be an accident where a glass falls on the floor, breaks, and there is glass all over the place.

• The water pipes can burst, a fire might be accidentally started, people might show up at the door, the toddler might be wet and unfed or put something strange in his mouth or fallen down the stairs; just anything can happen.

• The children have been given a key, but they have misplaced it and cannot get out of the house.

• Worse, they will start to fear that their mother will leave them as their father had also left them.

It is selfish, irresponsible, and just plain cruel to put babysitting on the shoulders of a young child and go out for a night of carnal pleasure. This kind of mother should be reported. She does not deserve the gift of children and should be locked up and have her kids taken away.


Handling an unsettling relationshhip

A relationship has gone stale and the parties involved have no clue what is wrong and whether they should stay on in a toxic relationship or bale ship. They are clueless, act like kids, and have neither the questions or the answers. The article provides solid advice on the kind of relationship they are in and how to go about maintaining a meaningful relationship.

I agree with Jessica Hess. If you have to ask a stranger what to do without offering enough information as to the problem area in your relationship, how can someone advise you? As well, even if you do provide information no one of us can tell you what to do. You know the person, his weaknesses and his strengths. Other people can't make this decision for you. To be successful in your relationship you should at least know how to articulate the problem and have some ideas. Here are some suggestions to help you determine what it is that you want to fix or change - and remember you can't change anyone; they must want to do it.

First, your letters give sparse information and I get the feeling that you yourself can't put your finger on the problem. So here is a first bit of advice. Don't play the damsel in distress when you seek help. Know what is wrong and what you want and ask for it.

Ask your partner what it is exactly that he wants and listen to what he has to say. Some women listen, but nothing sticks and they just ramble on and on and go in circles.

Discuss your problem quietly when the kids, if there are any, are asleep or not around. Children can be deeply scarred if they witness a parent in distress or fear they are leaving the house.

If your problem with your partner is so bad that you cannot discuss it with anyone because extracting information is like pulling teeth, seek the help of a marriage counselor or a psychologist to help you get to the heart of the problem. We don't always know what is best to do and we are homemade psychologists.

Anyone who has to ask someone else if they should break up makes one think that you don't really know anything about men and don't know yourself what is wrong. Usually, partners know exactly how they feel, and will list their complaints or grievances in one sentence - he cheated on me - he smacked me in the face - he stole money out of my purse - he did this or that.

Ask him directly what his problem is and whether he is interested in making the relationship work. If he is vague or shies away from the question or refuses to answer, it may be that he is no longer interested. Yes, you have to take that answer into account. We fall in love, and we also fall out of love.


Understanding the dangers of child abduction to keep your kids safe

Did you know that in the United States a child goes missing or is abducted every forty seconds? That is a startling statistic. According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC), 840,279 adults and children went missing in 2001. Although the vast majority of these cases are resolved within hours, unfortunately not all cases have the same ending. Be prepared. One has to be ruthless in making sure the children are safe. It is not only strangers who kidnap children. It can be relatives and friends and acquaintances also. Maybe they have seen the children before and bank on the fact that the children will not pose a problem the next time they meet as they have met him. Here are some facts to make you think and prepare.

Family kidnapping, acquaintance kidnapping, stranger kidnapping

• Family kidnapping is mostly committed by parents, while acquaintance kidnapping is perpetrated for the sake of victimizing juveniles and teens. This happens mostly in a home environment. Stranger kidnapping has a toll of mainly females and are more often of a sexual and physical nature. This kind of abduction takes place outdoors most of the time and very likely will entail the use of a firearm.

• About 20 percent of the children reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are not found alive. It is said that the first contact between the child and the kidnapper occurs within a quarter mile of the house.

• It is important to teach your children never ever to get into a stranger’s car; not even Uncle Billy’s car or Auntie Jane’s. Most kidnappers grab their victims on the street and push them into their vehicles. When coming and going from school your children have to walk together in a group; the more children, the better.

• Have your children report to you if they see a strange man lurking around the neighborhood and seems not to belong in the area. Don’t go up to him; just get home and tell your father.

• The safety of your kids starts in the home. Educate them on the dangers of talking to strangers and running off alone into the nearby woods.

• Another startling fact is that about 74 percent of abducted children are dead within three hours of the abduction.

Child abduction is a frequent worry for parents. Ensure your children’s safety by educating them and telling them not to get in a stranger’s car, not to talk to strangers, not to go with strangers looking for a lost dog – not even the milkman who brings the milk to his door. Also make sure that if you have an infant in a car seat and stop at the shop to pick up something, that you don’t leave the baby in the car; anything can happen.