Obama: My Muslim Family’s Polygamy was Empowering
Well now that we’ve gotten gay marriage out of the way, next stop is polygamy station. Consider this a little trial balloon.
OBAMA: This is where sometimes traditions can get in the way. As many of you know my father was from Kenya. We see this in other parts of the world. Some of the old ways of gender relations might have made sense in a particular setting, all right? So in Kenya, for example, in the Luo tribe, polygamy existed. It was based on the idea that women had their own compounds, they had their own land, and so they were empowered in that area to be self-sufficient. And then urbanization happened, suddenly the men may be traveling to the city, and suddenly there is another family in the city and the women who are left back in the villages may not be empowered.
Polygamy wasn’t based on the idea that women have their own compounds. That’s a blatant inversion.
Obama is dramatically rewriting the reality of his Muslim family and the Luo tribe, which is about as feminist as Mohammed.
A woman in a traditional Luo context has no embedded right to inherit land from her deceased husband. Additionally a woman does not inherit land from her natal family, as only male children are obliged to inherit land. A family member, most of the time a brother of the diseased, inherits not only all property, but also the widows. Within the polygamous setting of the Luo society a man often has three and more wives. Inheritances can easily double the size of a family.
Yes, men inherit the “wives” in the literal sense of the word. It’s known as wife inheritance and has resulted in the spread of AIDS.
Widows often call their inheritors “terrorists” who make their life more dreadful.
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