Monogamy/Polygamy – relationships in the Tribe

In the Tribe, Ram practices polygamy – the state of being married to more than one wife. Java, Siva and Ebony are all married to him at the same time. Ram seems quite pleased with this arrangement. He thinks he has the best of all worlds with three beautiful women doting on him all of the time. You get the feeling he quite likes the idea of a Techno harem. Out of all of his wives, Ram appears most in love with Ebony, but some of this may be due to the fact that she plays hard to get.

Ram treats his wives a bit like possessions. One of the main reasons why Ram wants Ebony so much is so that he can have the full ‘set’ of sisters – he makes them sound a bit like bubble gum cards. As time goes on though, I think Ram experiences an inclination towards true love for Ebony – a reason why he is so distraught when she ‘betrays’ him for Jay. The consequence, of course, is Ram’s withdrawal from true life in favour of reality space.

Ram’s polygamous marriage has a negative affect on the relationship between the sisters, or in this case, wives. Feelings have always been tense between Ebony and the other two but things get a lot worse when Java and Siva realise that Ebony is after their man.

Java is the only one of the sisters who is truly devoted to Ram. While Siva runs off with Lex, and Ebony ums and ahs with Jay; Java is loyal to Ram’s ideals and loves him in the true sense of a wife – husband relationship. During the last episode of Tribe IV, it is Java that is still at the bedside (or should I say at the Cryogenic-container-side) of the ailing Ram and trying to make his wish become a reality.

Java is filled with jealousy and hatred for Ebony. You can imagine that in any polygamous relationship, jealousy and squabbling would quite likely be the norm. And you would have to ask yourself – is he really all worth it? A good dollop of religion, guilt and intimidation is often thrown into the mix in order to instil loyalty in the wives in such a relationship.

Java, Siva and Ebony, in their position of wives, are expected to serve Ram to an extent – giving him back rubs, fetching him Techno coffee and scones, and pandering to his every need. Ram plays the wives jealousy off against each other, appearing to almost take turns or having favourites on particular days. I ask you how this would make you feel? If it was your rostered day, it would be very tempting to pull a sickie wouldn’t it?

As is usual with Ram, he manipulates events and in this case, his wives. He showers his wives with power and perks. Java and Ebony in particular are quick to take advantage of this. Ebony is careful to get Ram to agree to her conditions of marriage before the actual event.

Ebony is most sceptical of the wedding arrangement and complains about having to share her husband. She only agrees to the marriage because she sees it as a win – win situation. She is certainly not in love with Ram. I suppose you could liken her position with somebody who married for money or for the opportunity to gain residence in a particular country.

Of course, other characters in the Tribe who may have a bit of the Polygamist in them as well. For example, Lex gets a big shock when Tai San turns up again at the end of the series. He is in a relationship with Siva at the time. Of course, he thought Tai San was out of the picture so it would be a bit tough to start pointing the finger at him. However, Lex still had an affair behind Siva’s back in Tribe IV, attracting one of his many fans back to the very same love nest that he used to entertain Siva.

Most of the characters in the tribe have an ethos of monogamy. For example, Ebony is shocked when she sees the computer programme portraying images of Jay with Amber. This of course leads to acts of jealousy and revenge.

Monogamy v Polygamy

Polygamy has been practised for many thousands of years. The Ancient Israelites often had hundreds of wives. Polygamy was accepted by the Christian Church, right up until the 17th Century. The Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints) have regularly practised polygamy in modern times.

Why get married at all?

The main reasons for getting married are to make a relationship permanent, to produce children and a family. It is still an expected norm in our society. Many people see marriage as a way to happiness and security. Most societies regard permanence of marriage as an ideal.

Monogamous marriage is encouraged in Western society as it is supposed to create a cohesive society where the needs of man, woman and child are all met. If both partners remain faithful to each other it is thought that society will be stable and harmonious.

Many people see their marriage and family as the most important and rewarding aspect of their life. It can make everything else seem worthwhile. On the other side of the coin, if marriages break up it can lead to negative affects on partners and children – leading to something far from harmonious and stable.

Polygamy is illegal in many western societies. It is considered to breach women’s rights. Imagine how it would feel to have to share a husband with somebody else. Does this not automatically put women in a position where they are made to feel inferior to their husband? The fact that the man can choose between wives must cause immense hurt in the respective wives. In many traditional societies, the women would also take a subservient role to their husband. So as well as having to share him, she would have to serve him as well! Not exactly equal rights.

From a man’s point of view, there would initially appear to be some advantages in this relationship. They would have a bunch of women running around pandering to their every need. Surely though, this would get tiresome and quite hard work! The husband may be after a soul mate to share his life with but instead has trouble remembering all his wives names!

What do you think about Polygamy and Monogamy?

I guess any marriage, in order to succeed, needs to be based on trust. If the two partners show true respect and trust for each other, then there is a good chance that they will last the distance. Like in any other aspect of law and society, marriage requires some rules. These need to be worked out and agreed to by both parties.

It is when the rules or trust is broken, that things can go wrong.

What are your feelings about Polygamy?