There’s an old joke.
A woman should have a man who will look after her and the kids, a man who will spoil her rotten, a man who can cook fabulous meals for her after making passionate love to her regularly and a man who will look at her lustfully and adoringly.
And it’s of the utmost importance that these four men never meet each other.
Well, soon that woman may no longer have to hide these men from one another.
But the idea of a woman legally marrying more than one man has got some people very hot under the collar.
Parliament is currently discussing amendments to the Marriage Act that will give women the right to legally marry more than one man.
Men with more than one wife, known as polygamy, has of course been part of many cultures since time immemorial.
We even had a president who openly practises polygamy, and it is further normalised by the fact that some of our religious beliefs make provision for it.
Other forms of polyamory have seldom been discussed, until the advent of social media.
Over the last 10 years or so, I have noticed more and more stories of various successful polyamorous relationships all over the world.
The big question is whether allowing this is going to erode our social fabric and cause problems we haven’t had before.
One problem that caused an explosion in parliament was when an MP said that proving the paternity of children in such a marriage would cause a massive backlog in the country’s DNA processing output.
It is of course a non-argument, because it assumes that such marriages are doomed to fail, leaving an ocean of women desperate to prove which one of her husbands is the father of her child.
As if polygamous men aren’t already overloading the system, when trying to prove that one of their wives cheated on them and that her child is not theirs.
I’m surprised that some pro-choice people who defend the right to equality are opposed to something that is really just an extension of that same right.
And of course having the law doesn’t mean people are going to rush to take advantage of it.
Knowing how troublesome we men can be in a marriage, I am honestly curious to know if there are any women who would seriously consider potentially doubling those problems by marrying more than one of us.
Then I also want to see who will be the first woman able to convince two or more South African men to put their insecure egos aside and share her.
I do think there could be situations where such an arrangement could be very beneficial to all involved.
But it would take a mountain of otherworldly maturity from the men to even engage in a conversation that would eventually lead to it in practice.
Besides, if we’re honest with ourselves, then we’ll admit that polygamy isn’t all merely about practising religious rites and preserving culture.
It’s still got a lot to do with the proud status of other males knowing you have more than one female fawning over you; not to mention the sexual envy you attract for all the fun everybody imagines you must be having.
Maybe it’s about time women had the same privilege.