“… African arranged marriages are more successful than American fairy-tale marriages…” Said one passenger with a thick African accent sitting across me, to his skeptical timid friend while on the number 2 train; in an apparently one hour long attempt to convince his friend to accord with him and support arranged-marriages as the main ingredient to a successful marriage. And knowing my nosy self, I was all up in their business listening.
Anyhow since I couldn’t had intruded in their conversation and say my two cents, I will bore you guys with my opinion on this issue; because it isn’t the first time I heard this statement. I’ve heard it many times before, in different tones and approaches; however with the same intention of ridiculing American (western) marriages.
Now; It is actually true that America have one of the highest (if not the highest) divorce rate in the world, with a rate of almost 50%. However before you jump up and down to conclusions, take a step back from the tree and look at the forest. And ask yourself why is this? I mean, the man was basically right; African marriages are indeed more successful than those of the United States. But why? The answer to this may vary from person to person; so here’s mine.
The answer is… Women Rights.
The reason for this is because most marriages in Africa have a traditional backbone, with a present-little mix of western influence; however the majority is mainly still traditional. And we all know most if not all ancient traditions are extremely sexist toward women, from the savanna of Africa to the Caucasus mountains of Eurasia.
Almost every tradition on this planet had once and or still holds women down to a lower level compared to men. There may be many reasons for this, however; one for sure is the physical differences between the sexes. Men are naturally stronger; therefore within the early stages of our evolution (Homo Erectus), I’m sure most of the hunting and gathering was done by men due to physical strength (not to forget that the sexual dimorphism between males and females was greater then, than now), and the “housework” and every other aspect of caring was done by the women, the natural nurturers. Therefore it’s only logical that the one who brings food back to the compound (men) to be the one in charge, and it’s through this that sexism arose.
Now back to our topic. Knowing this, it’s only clear that in traditional (sexist) cultures, women don’t know their rights. I can’t say they don’t have rights, because everyone have rights-natural rights; it only takes courage and skepticism to know them. In many African places marriages are arranged. The man sees you, your picture, and or hears of you; then he suddenly knocks on your door with his family and talk to your parents. The next thing you know, you’re being introduced to your future husband; you like it or not (yes many are forced). Where’s the love? They will tell you that: you will grow to “love” him. And how old is he? Many of the times, he’s almost your father’s age; and you’ll be lucky if you’re not his third wife. Anyhow, now the question comes to… who gave anyone the right to arrange the future of another person?
The facts behind this marriage hustling and the African women getting no say in who they really want to marry, is the backbone of why African marriages are more “successful” than those of the United States. Because once the woman gets no say on who she wants to marry, she gets no say if she’s going to divorce.
And most of the times when African men gets tired of their wives and wants divorce, however can’t because of the traditional and family pressures and the shames behind divorce that the society puts on them; they just solve it by marrying another woman. And when the African women gets tired of their husbands and wants divorce… they just cry and accept what the sexist society has put on them.
Now, imagine a man treating his wife bad in the United States, let alone threaten with polygamy. His wife will leave him faster than a bullet from a gun.
Many men are abusive toward their wives, and are very unfaithful; this is common all over the world. And in a society such as that of the United States, women have the rights to leave their husbands whenever maltreated and or heartbroken. However in African arranged marriages, the women can’t leave; they just have to endure it and most of the time welcome the new younger wives of their distrusted husband. Because polygamy is nothing but institutionalized unfaithfulness.
And this is the reason why, “… African arranged marriages are more successful than American fairy-tale marriages…“.
*Note: This doesn’t apply to all African women of-course.
Well this is just a one man’s words.