Friday, June 14, 2019

Quickies: Harems

     Because of what I write, I have to keep abreast of trends in speculative fiction. One of the trends that puzzles me greatly is the swelling wave of stories that deliberately include harems: harems of women, harems of men, harems of…well, maybe we shouldn’t go there.

     For example, consider E. William Brown’s “Daniel Black” fantasy series. I’m a fan of that series, not because it features a “harem” of sorts – Daniel’s coven of beautiful and eternally willing witches – but because it’s imaginative and consistently exciting. However, a fair number of Brown’s readers have cited the harem element as what they like best about those books. It’s got me wondering whether there are some barely repressed desires for such arrangements abroad in these United States.

     Mind you, the ladies are not exempt. “Reverse Harem” stories – one woman, several men – are also growing in number. I suppose we have “women’s liberation” to “thank” for this. After all, the thrust of the movement was to persuade women to emulate men in all things, including our tendency toward sexual profligacy. But whatever the cause, you can find a fair number of such book s and series at Amazon.

     I don’t get it, from either side. What man would want to have more than one wife to hector him about leaving the seat up and wearing ten-year-old underwear? I wouldn’t want to be outnumbered in such a fashion, I’ll tell you that straight out. Also, there’s Robert C. Townsend’s observation that the cost of maintaining two women is twice the cost of one plus certain fringes. It gets geometrically worse from there. But apparently not all Y-chromosome bearers have approached the idea from that perspective.

     As for one woman maintaining a stable of husbands, please! Women already complain about us night and day, to us and to one another. They already lament our failure to…uh, to…well, to be women in all but our genitalia! Granted that women are the master multiplexers of our species, I still think having to complain about four or five husbands would drain the zeal out of just about any gal. As for the nightly contests over which of them will get to make love to her, you can imagine the contretemps quite as well as I – and that’s without factoring in the ever-popular “headache” maneuver.

     So it all strikes me as rather fantastic, which I suppose is why it’s largely confined to fantasies. It goes without saying that these harems and “reverse-harems” always involve perfect, utterly seductive physical specimens, which makes the unreality even more unreal. But I suppose if you’re going to fantasize, you might as well go all out.

     For myself, I can only cite the wisdom of a great worldly philosopher, the late Jimmy Durante. He was once asked if he would have liked to be King Solomon. He dismissed the idea at once: “Who wants to find a thousand stockings hanging over the shower pole every morning?” Words to live by, Gentle Reader; words to live by.



An excellent point about having multiple wives. One's enough. (There are definitely times when one is MORE than enough... ;)

The harem concept in Islam of up to four wives - serving LUST - only makes sense if it also incorporates the idea that women are inferior and can be beaten if they are disobedient (serving WRATH). It also serves VANITY in codifying the idea that men are superior to women.

In parallel, the male/female ratio being roughly 1:1, if the wealthy Muslims are scooping up the women - and the more attractive women to boot - what's a poor Muslim male to do? Why, die for Allah and get 72 houris.

That Islam is infernally inspired is, to me, obvious. It has layers and layers of deviousness.

Mike Hendrix said...

As the old blues song says, "One's too many and a hundred's not enough."

Ragin' Dave said...

The definition of polygamy is having too many wives. The definition of monogamy is the same.