on marriage, I think


Mbiti, in African Religion and Philosophy, writing about dowry, bride price or bride gift writes

This marriage gift is an important institution in African societies. It is a token of gratitude on the part of groom’s people to those of the bride, for their care of over her and allowing her to become his wife. At her home the gift ‘replaces’ her….. The gifts elevates the value attached to her both as a person and as a wife.

which if read together with

[…]In others, the bridegroom (and his relatives) must in addition contribute labour; and in matricidal societies the man lives with his parents in-law working for them for some years in order to ‘earn’ his wife.

contradicts the claim that

Under no circumstance is this custom a form of ‘payment’, as outsiders have so often mistakenly said.

And on virginity he writes

The blood of virginity is the symbol that life has been preserved, that the spring of life has not already been flowing wastefully, and that both the girl and her relatives have preserved the sanctity of human reproduction. Only marriage may shed this sacred blood, for in so doing it unlocks the door for members of the family in the loins to come forward and join both the living and the living-dead.

He adds

Virginity symbolises purity not only of body but also of moral life; and a virgin bride is the greatest glory and crown to her parents, husband and relatives.

As you weigh in below, does your culture dictate bride price? And how does it treat female virginity?

 

 

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

92 thoughts on “on marriage, I think

  1. Tish Farrell says:

    I’m thinking that with the ‘bride price’ custom there are not equivalent or easy ways of understanding this for those grown up in a monetary society. As far as I can grasp it, a traditional marriage is not about 2 individuals but the cementing of relations between two communities/clans/families. Bride price can of course be seen as payment, or compensation for loss of a daughter, but it seems to be more complex in practice. Lots more layers of meaning beneath the tangible exchanges of goods and farm stock.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. renudepride says:

    In the USA, I don’t think the dowry and/or virginity are important/valued any longer. In Greece, it was valued up until World War II. The Nazi occupation didn’t leave too many virgins after they abandoned the country in 1944. As a result, the dowry custom fell by the wayside.

    As long as both marriage partners adhere to the customary beliefs and practices, fine. As long as they both understand what’s expected from them both.

    Naked hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Patricia J Bennett says:

    Virginity is no longer much of an issue here….even within the religions. Couples move in together now almost all the time before marriage, & many are religious or at least church goers.

    I don’t know about now, but many girls used to collect household items for a ”hope chest”, so when they got married, they’d have a bit of a start on supplies……linens, dishes, cookware etc.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. In America, it appears to me that the fundamental connection between marriage and familial heritage has been lost. Today, the institution is more of a legal and financial contract between individuals. Therefore, the relevance of dowries and virginity has also been lost.

    However, the role of marriage as a symbol of social status remains strong although in a much more subtle cultural expression. Men still value pretty young wives, and women still value wealthy successful husbands.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. john zande says:

    I’m always dumbfounded how the whole “virginity” bit only applies to the women.

    Liked by 4 people

    • AtheistsMeow says:

      Yes, & I never saw what the big deal was anyway.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Swarn Gill says:

      Agreed on the gender imbalance. However I can see why virginity might be important in a world where there is no protection from STD’s.

      But if I were to put some logic behind why it only applied to women it might be the following:

      1. Males taking less interest in raising offspring they are not sure are their genetically. This is biological in many primate species, but I think our human compassion and the fact that we tended to raise children communally in our hunter gatherer days should sort of override this.

      2. Pregnancy is just a much bigger health investment for women. At times when basic hygiene wasn’t well understood and the mother could easily die, it would make some sense to control a woman’s sexuality from that perspective.

      That being said, one might also ask, well if the same restriction isn’t put on men, aren’t they in danger of getting STDs? Yes. Aren’t the also in danger then of impregnating other women? Yes and no. Don’t forget there is also gay sex. Apparently it’s quite common in Pakistan for instance a male is supposed to remain chaste when it comes to other women, but they are free to take advantage of the transgender community there (there I think the transgender community is more gay men who dress effeminately, over what we think of transgender nowadays). Sex, prostitution with effeminate men/boys has a pretty long history.

      Anyway, I’m not saying there isn’t some hypocrisy in whole virginity only applying to women, only I can see, how a long time ago, it might have leaned in that direction. There is zero modern justification though.

      Liked by 4 people

      • john zande says:

        That’s interesting about Pakistan. Throughout Polynesia there are Fa’afafine’s, boys raised as girls. If I remember correctly, if a certain number of boys are born in a family (5?) the last has to be a girl. It’s literally a third gender. Not sure what their sexual orientation is, though.

        Liked by 3 people

      • AtheistsMeow says:

        Plus the reputation of being cheap sluts & not marriageable if we weren’t virgins…….

        Liked by 2 people

        • Swarn Gill says:

          Well clearly the reputational costs were a method is trying to enforce a rule that didn’t make a lot of sense. Typically shame has been a way of enforcing the morals attitudes of a culture. It’s horrendous that such psychological abuse should be placed in anyone for the natural desire for sex. Even moreso when applied to only one gender.

          Liked by 4 people

      • makagutu says:

        No, Swarn, you are being the prof you always are :-). Your point number does make sense a little, I think. Given especially the fact they married quite at an early age but I don’t see the justification of the imbalance

        Liked by 3 people

        • Swarn Gill says:

          I’m certainly not saying I agree in any way. It simply seems that when you look at the very start of what seem like ridiculous norms you are left with a group of people who saw death everywhere with no reasonable explanation why and came up with ridiculous rules to try to keep some sort of order out of chaos. False patternicity is our trademark and without systematic investigation methods we were making ridiculous claims about how the universe worked and sticking to them perhaps just to keep community. I don’t know… The most important thing to recognize is we know we got it all wrong and we should move forward. The fact that anybody thinks there is some entirely natural reason for such imbalance to continue is ridiculous.

          Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      I, too, is dumbfounded by the same

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Scottie says:

    Just tell me one thing. Why is it always the female’s virginity that is the value and question, yet not the males? So if all the young females are virgin, just who are all the young males having sex with? Hughs

    Liked by 3 people

      • Scottie says:

        John I love this, but I have to mention I listened to a long thing on the incel movement today. Guys taking their anger out on society because they can’t get laid. They feel no girl or anyone wants to have sex with them. So they turn their anger on society and think they should be entitled to their “relief”. They are becoming a problem with at least two now doing mass murder and claiming this is why. My point is how they view females. Not as people. They don’t take any blame themselves. They don’t think they have a responsibility for their situation. No they are pushing for the right to rape or take females against the will of the females for their sexual pleasure. They really have convinced themselves that females are not humans like they the males are. It sickens me. I do not want to say the words that I spoke to the computer screen as I watched this crap. I was angry , then sad , that this is what the young males in the US have come to. Gods young males have always wanted to and failed to get laid at one point in their lives, they did not need to dehumanize the females of the entire society. Heck if they are that hard up, ( shoot bad pun ) then get together and help each other solve your problem. Then go back to their computers and complain about life some more. Sorry I was really upset over this whole thing. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      I, too, do not know. They claim the woman’s honour is in virginity

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Barry says:

    Almost 30% of adults in Aotearoa New Zealand (including the Prime Minister and deputy Prime Minister) live with a partner outside of marriage (known as a de facto relationship here), and that trend is increasing. And cases where a couple don’t live together for a few years before formalising a relationship are quite rare. There’s no property, financial or social advantage by formalising a relationship, and contrary to what some fundamentalists would like to believe, marriages and other forms of partnership are lasting longer. Partnership breakups are treated the same regardless of whether the relationship was a marriage, civil union or a de facto relationship.

    Virginity? What’s that? It most certainly has been irrelevant since WW2 and possible well before. I was a teen in the 1960s and I recall being advised “not jump into the ocean without learning to swim first”, and it wasn’t to do with water safety.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      I think they were wiser folk, Barry.
      Do parents of the bride get anything from the grooms side?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Barry says:

        Of course they do. They get a son 😊

        Financially, no. At one time it was traditional for the bride’s parents to pay for the wedding and it wasn’t unusual for the groom’s parents to contribute depending on the relative wealth of the parents. This was more true in the 1960s when teen marriages were common.

        These days, the average age for a first marriage is 30 for males and 29 for females, and typically it’s the couple that pay for the wedding. Parents may contribute financially, but such arrangements are informal and are negotiated as circumstances demand.

        As most couples are simply formalizing living arrangements that have existed for several years, most couples have an established household, so the old tradition of gifting household items is falling by the wayside. After all if you already have a toaster why would you need any more? It is becoming common for wedding invitations to make a financial contribution in key of a gift to offset the cost of the wedding.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Barry says:

          Argh! typing on a phone is a pain. It is becoming common for wedding invitations to make a financial contribution in key of a gift to offset the cost of the wedding. should read:

          It is becoming common for wedding invitations to include a request for a financial contribution in lieu of a gift to help offset the cost of the wedding.

          Like

  8. AtheistsMeow says:

    It was always told to me I had to be a virgin until I got married, but a dr. broke that when I was 7 years old because of some infection treatment I had.
    Then I start learning to count pregnancy months to realize my parents were married in June of 1946, & I was born in late January 1947…..& overdue at that…….hypocrites!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Veracious Poet says:

    Mbiti sounds very archaic to me. There is no proof that virgins make better wives or mothers? Most African culturalists claim the bride price is not payment for the bride but the groom was mandated to pay anyway. I read somewhere that among certain tribes in India it’s the woman’s family who pay groom price. I’m not sure if those tribes are matriarchal. Whichever way, generally speaking, I think the institution of marriage has lost its significance. Humans have become more selfish and that’s the problem.

    Questions:
    Scottie, are the guys you speak of saying the can’t get laid at all or they want it for free? And how will killing people get them laid?

    Barry, you said “there is no property, financial or social advantage for formalising relationships….but partnership breakups are treated the same regardless of the type of relationship.” Ok, so there is definitely a consequence during break up and the specifics of who gets what is determined by a judge. And as long as such judgements are subjective someone will be at a [dis] advantage. All relationships end up with someone feeling used.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barry says:

      In fact most relationship breakups do not end up before a judge. The law is very specific that all property is divided equally as is the responsibilty of bringing up any children. This applies no matter whether the relationship was a marriage, civil union or de facto relationship. It might even apply to other forms of relationships but that has not been tested yet.

      The definition of a relationship is quite broad and there is no requirement for there to be a sexual relationship or even for them to share the same house. Essentially it boils down to how they present their relationship to the community at large.

      I find your last sentence rather odd and a pessimistic view of relationships. Most endings of relationships are resolved equitably. We are not a litigious nation and the only grounds for the dissolution of a marriage or civil union is living apart for two years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Veracious Poet says:

        How exactly does the law define relationship? What do you mean by “equally” and “equitably” because equitability differ from couple to couple. For instance, if during a breakup a house was liquidated and each party recieved half of the money, you will agree that one party may love or prefer the house. That party will be hurt though he or she recieved part of the money. The money does not amount to equitability or justice. I hope you get my point. I’m sure NZ is a decent country and maybe the people are very comprising.

        I’m not pessimistic Barry. I’m realistic. I simply perceive the world the way it is.

        Like

        • Barry says:

          I likewise perceive the world the way it is. It’s our worlds that are different.

          A characteristic of the Kiwi character is an avoidance of conflict. By this I don’t mean papering over any cracks (although that does occur), it’s more that we are intensely value “fairness” as much as, or more so, than Americans value “freedom”. Much of our legislation reflects that.

          Separations are by agreement. Separation orders have not been removed from statute, but are used very rarely and considered very old fashioned. If there is a dispute as to whether a couple are in a de facto relationship:

          A de facto relationship means a relationship between a woman and a man, or a woman and a woman, or a man and a man, who:

          live together as a couple, but are not married to each other, and
          are both 18 or older

          In deciding whether two people live together as a couple, the court considers all the relevant circumstances, including any of the following if they are relevant:

          the length of the relationship;
          the nature and extent of common residence;
          whether or not the couple have a sexual relationship;
          the degree of dependence or interdependence between the two people, and any arrangements for financial support between them;
          the ownership, use and acquisition of property;
          the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;
          the care and support of children;
          the performance of household duties;
          the reputation and public aspects of the relationship.

          No single factor is essential for the two people to be considered as living together as a couple.

          A de facto relationship ends if the two people cease to live together as a couple.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Veracious Poet says:

            And they never dispute over any of these in court? Especially the degree of [inter] dependence and the mutual commitment to a shared life?

            Anyway I get you. The typical African will also avoid conflict if possible. In fact he is described as “naturally courteous and polite” (by F.D. Lugard). But we are more and more becoming Europeans each day so most divorces now take place in court unless the marriage was contracted traditionally. In that case it ends by both families mutually agreeing to the divorce and the “defendant’s” family accepting a bottle of liquor at the insistence of the “aggrieved party.” Traditional divorce is much simpler and takes place at a single meeting. In ordinance marriage (which most modern African women favour because it entitles them to half of the man’s properties), it can take two years or more to be divorced and the process is usually initiated by the woman.

            I must however add (As Tish rightly said that the meanings of gifting are layered and symbolic) in traditional Africa. In a deeper, traditional sense the woman had been “loaned” out for the purposes of reproduction. Children validate the marriage. But her family can take her back anytime if she is not treated well by her in-laws. No tribe tolerated a suitor who doesn’t pay bride price. I think it shows a sign of disrespect for the woman’s family. The biggest tragedy, however, is that among certain tribes when the woman dies while living with but still not married to the man, the man was heavily fined by bride to be’s family and in addition to the numerous rituals that he MUST perform is, publicly sleeping with the wife’s corpse. This practice was only banned a couple of years ago by the government but I believe it served as a deterrent to seeking free or cheap sex.

            Like

            • Barry says:

              It’s not possible to be a “defendant” or an “aggrieved party” in Aotearoa New Zealand when it comes to the dissolution of a marriage. Even adultery is not grounds for dissolution. The only grounds is living apart for two or more years.

              Perhaps, the ease with which a marriage can be ended means that agreements are usually reached before too much animosity develops within the relationship. On the rare occasions where an agreement cannot be made, the dispute goes before the Family Court, which operates quite differently from criminal courts or other civil courts. The court provides mediation and counselling services as well as handing down rulings of the division of property and the care of children if the parties can not agree.

              If the couple are not married or in a civil union, and there is a dispute over whether or not they are a couple in the legal sense, then the Family court can make a ruling on the matter.

              What I find interesting is that as it has become easier (and cheaper) to end a relationship, and more people choose to live in de facto relationships, the percentage of relationships that fail have fallen, and the length of the relationship before separation has grown. This is the exact opposite of what many fundamentalists and other traditionalists claimed would happen each time the marriage laws have been liberalised.

              I find the idea that a person can “belong” to another person or group abhorrent. The custom of a marriage celebrant asking “who gives this woman to this man” is still reasonably common here. Traditionally it’s the father who responds with “I do”. When my daughter asked if I would give her away, I refused, and I made it quite clear that if she wanted to be given away, I would absent myself from the ceremony. I felt so strongly about it, that I devoted part of my speech as Father of the Bride to why that tradition had been removed from the ceremony.

              Like

              • Veracious Poet says:

                I see. I don’t think NZ has done anything unusual especially the fact that there seem to be no legally enforceable obligations on both parts during the relationship. In most jurisdictions a man was mandated to care for his wife in the way and manner the woman is accustomed to. What NZ did is that it has only loosely defined relationships, ignoring traditions and removing all traces of legal permanence from it. This no doubt makes it easy to dissolve but the union will likely lack strength. I’m conservative when it comes to matrimonial affairs and I see NZ’s legal definition of marriage to be extremely lose because either party can take sexual liberties without legal consequences. No doubt you say more and more people are choosing de facto relationships because marriage will not add any meaning under these legal circumstances. I hope you get my point.

                Like

                • Barry says:

                  Of course there’s no legally enforceable obligations imposed by the state on personal relationships. The state has no more right to regulate my relationship with the person I have shared the last 47 years of my life with, than it has regulating my relationship with any of my friends. We are quite capable of managing our own affairs with those who are important to us.

                  The evidence is that relationships are more stable as the divorce rate has been steadily declining for decades. A relationship is essentially a “good faith” agreement that is in a constant state of revision. If the good faith is lost, then an attempt should be made to recover it, and if that fails, then it’s time to end the agreement.

                  There is no evidence that our “no faults” system for ending a relationship has lead to an increase in extramarital affairs. Look, if I decided to have an affair, the day my wife discovered it would be the first day of our two year separation period. End of matter. Having a “bit on the side” would most certainly be an unrecoverable case of betraying the good faith in our relationship. The same may not be true for another couple with a more “open” relationship.

                  You are wrong in assuming the laws have lead people to choose de facto relationships over marriage. In fact it’s the other way round. That trend started decades before legislation caught up with the status quo. Fairness dictates that all couples should be treated the same, which is why the law was updated.

                  Where a bride became the property of her husband, then it may have been reasonable to mandate that a man take care of his wife in the manner she is accustomed to (did that mean if her parents were cruel to her, the husband could be cruel as well?), but wives have never been the property of the husband in New Zealand. Don’t forget that New Zealand was the first country where men and women gained equal voting rights.

                  Don’t forget too, that NZ is a bi-cultural, multi-ethnic society. Marriage customs vary considerably from one ethnic group to another., and by loosely defining what a couple is, people are free to live by the customs they are most comfortable with. That’s fair isn’t it?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Veracious Poet says:

                    There is no evidence because possibly no one has carried out any research on people’s private lives. Your system can be summarised thus: instead of putting all of my eggs in one basket which comes with great pain should there be failure, the law allows me to disperse the eggs in various other baskets if I so wish. That way I diversify my emotional investments, so of course I will not seek divorce even if I suspect that my partner is cheating. Because while she is having fun, I’m also having fun somewhere – we’re even – pain has been neutralised. So divorce rates may have reduced but it doesn’t mean marriages are blissful.

                    Also, in my earlier comment I used the word “care” which cannot in any way mean being cruel to someone. By “in a way and manner that she is accustomed to” I mean meeting her lifestyle and economic needs fully.

                    Like

                  • Veracious Poet says:

                    Ladies and gentlemen….and there you have the evidence. No offence Barry, I just googled out of some strange curiosity and found a report by Daily Telegraph saying NZ women are the most promiscuous in the world https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/worlds-most-promiscuous-women/news-story/386896861cdc1f45a87171b50845d1c6?sv=4f07c064a306c1c1176638215dc9f41

                    Like

                    • That settles it. I’m moving to New Zealand!

                      Liked by 3 people

                    • Barry says:

                      Kiwis are very discerning when it comes to sex. You must be taller than you are round, and we only do it in the dark, so lightning bolts need to be switched off.

                      Otherwise you’re going to require cash or a credit card. Prostitution is legal throughout the country.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’m coming there right now!

                      Liked by 3 people

                    • makagutu says:

                      Please don’t fill up space you will not be able to use. We all know you are too short

                      Liked by 3 people

                    • makagutu says:

                      Inspired1 is too short. He will not qualify

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • HEY! I resemble that remark!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • makagutu says:

                      Ha ha
                      I know you have that hand going for you though

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That’s my lightening, baby! Great stuff.

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      It opens doors where your height could not get you up the first step

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’m 5 ft. nuthin’….that qualifies as short.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • makagutu says:

                      That makes you so tall. I don’t think he made a foot yet

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • See what I mean. 😀

                      Like

                    • Oh, ok. Nice to know someone is shorter than I am…..hahahahaha.

                      Like

                    • I’m actually 5’11, but, since my avatar is of a small dude with a lightening bolt, we kinda just run with that. 🙂

                      Like

                    • Hahahaha……about my shape too….hahahaha…..

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Barry says:

                      That’s why there’s a cash or credit card option 😊

                      Like

                    • makagutu says:

                      I wish him well on that score

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Barry says:

                      The figures were gathered from a single survey in 2007 by, of all things, a condom manufacturer! There is no information on the methodology of the survey or the analysis.

                      Problem 1: The survey was about the number of sex partners, not the number of sex partners while in a relationship. The survey does not “prove” that NZ couples are any more promiscuous than in other nations.

                      Problem 2: Even if NZ couples are more promiscuous elsewhere, what bearing does that have on the the strength and durability of a relationship? Cheating on a partner is no more acceptable here than elsewhere, and it no doubt causes just as much heartache. But having no fault divorce laws does affect the outcome. In my immediate whānau there are approximately 50 couples. Within that group three spouses have been caught having an adulterous relationship. I can assure you that the three aggrieved spouses were just as hurt, humiliated, angry as anyone would be in that situation. But in only one case did it result in the ending of the marriage. Had there been fault provisions in the marriage laws, all three marriages would have been over immediately. The two year separation rule gave time for two of the couples to resolve the issues that existed within the relationship and resulted in intense and loving bonds that have been the envy of many. The third relationship was never going to recover as the offending party wanted to return to the relationship but keep the lover “on the side”. That was never going to work. The same group has also seen four divorces, but as I have already stated, only one was was because of infidelity.

                      Problem 3: Self reporting of sexual activity is extremely unreliable in most cultures. Men significantly over-claim the number of sexual partners they’ve had, while women under-claim. You only need to consider how differently many societies view promiscuity in men and promiscuity in women to understand why this may be so. In men, sexual prowess is regarded as a sign of virility and manliness, while being chaste and pure is regarded as a feminine virtue. In Aotearoa New Zealand, differences in the way we regard sexual activity in men and women has largely disappeared. If this isn’t taken into consideration when analysing the results of self-reporting, comparisons will have little validity.

                      Problem 4:In pre-European New Zealand, there was little or no restriction on pre-marital sex. On the other hand, extra-marital affairs could lead to warfare. While Pakeha are now the largest ethnic group, some aspects of Māori culture have made, and are continuing to make their way into the wider NZ society. Have you considered the possibility that the youth of New Zealand have always been more promiscuous than the youth in some other societies? Have you considered the possibility that attitudes towards premarital sex and extra-marital sex are independent of each other and it’s not unreasonable to be liberal with the former and restrictive with the latter?

                      In my view, the survey has no bearing on our discussion. And come to think of it, what is it you are trying to prove? That no fault marriage laws weaken marriage bonds? That Kiwis are immoral or amoral? That being a couple outside of marriage is wrong? That property relationship law that doesn’t differentiate between gender or marital status weakens the bonding of couples? That marriage should be a legal contract and not a special, but personal relationship between two people? If you have an objection to the way Kiwis view relationships, please state precisely what it is, then I can see where to go in this discussion.

                      Like

      • makagutu says:

        I know why I will come to NZ. You are mostly sensible people

        Liked by 2 people

    • Scottie says:

      @ Veracious Poet. From what I have heard they are socially immature / unskilled and have trouble dealing with issues relating to sex, females, intimacy. For different reasons they take that anger at their own failing to attract a sexual partner out on women in particular. They get very anti female. I did watch the video of their hero Elliot Rodger who went on a killing spree after girls he felt should have thrown themselves at his feet ignored in and in the worst possible insult dated other guys. He was pathetic. He was driving a nice BMW and yet railing his dad failed him because even though he provided a nice income and living for the kid, he was not super rich. He blamed everything for his problems except himself. Then he went on a killing spree. Now another one has done it. They anger me as they are not teenagers trying to figure it out for the first time. Everyone is awkward as a teen. It works out. But these are guys in their 20’s to even 40’s. Hugs

      Like

      • Veracious Poet says:

        This is ridiculous. Throwing tantrums because they’re not getting sex? Were they raised in a cage? Truth is most of these guys can’t even keep a girl or maintain a relationship if they happen to be in one. They deserve their “starvation.” All women generally are attracted to one particular type of men: nice, soft spoken, mild tempered, agreeable men; not necessarily rich but kind men. These guys you speak of won’t get laid anytime soon.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Scottie says:

          Yup, and they get more and more convinced it is not their fault but a conspiracy by woman folk and the men who they let have sex with them. Hugs

          Like

        • basenjibrian says:

          I doubt that “all women” fall into this category. Women, like all human beings, have a wide variety of experiences, tastes, and preferences.

          I agree with your last sentence, though. 🙂

          Like

          • Veracious Poet says:

            It doesn’t matter the woman’s taste or specific preferences. You can’t get anywhere without the attributes (niceness, kindness etc) I mentioned earlier. It starts from there.

            Like

      • Barry says:

        I can think of plenty of reasons to be angry at them, but being awkward at 40 shouldn’t be one of them. I’m 68 and just as awkward now as I was as a teen. It doesn’t work out for everyone. I’d still be looking for my first sexual encounter if I had relied on conventional means of getting a girl. However instead of getting angry and bitter, I got original. All my wooing was done by snail mail and I had the girl hook, line and sinker before she saw me in the flesh, so to speak.

        That was in 1971, and she is the only girl I have ever successfully wooed. Not that I’m complaining. We’ve been married for 46 years 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • Scottie says:

          Hello Barry, I am glad things worked out for you. To clarify, it is the men who are angry at the woman because the men are too awkward socially to attract the females attention. It is not the female who is angry, but the men / boys blaming the females for the males failures. Be well. Hugs

          Like

          • Barry says:

            I understand that. You commented that you felt anger towards those men because they were still awkward with with women even though they were no longer teenagers. That is what my opening sentence was referring to.

            If I hadn’t been as fortunate as I am, I probably would hold some grudge against women. Being “unlucky with the ladies” and not understanding why might have adversely affected how I viewed women. Autistic men seem to be a turnoff for most women and I didn’t discover I was autistic until I was 60.

            Mind you, establishing relationships with men is just as difficult, so perhaps if I hadn’t found the girl who became my wife, I’d be bitter and angry with everyone, not just women ☺

            Oh, and no hugs please. I find them very unpleasant, even virtual ones.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Scottie says:

              Barry you misunderstood why I was angry at these people. I was angry that they take their anger out on females, that they blame others without seeing their own part in the problem, that they call a hero a young man who rather than take his life in his own hands blames his father for not making enough money so the boy could be wealthy while driving a nice expensive car. It has nothing to do with them being awkward at any age. It is that they think their situation in life is all someone else’s fault. They anger me because we all have faced problems in life without shooting up a bunch of people or running them over with a van, while complaining things were hard for us. (no hugs for you)

              Liked by 1 person

              • Send the hugs my way. I needs ’em!

                Liked by 2 people

              • Barry says:

                As I said, I’m awkward with everyone 😦

                I took the section “They anger me as they are not teenagers trying to figure it out for the first time. Everyone is awkward as a teen. It works out. But these are guys in their 20’s to even 40’s.” literally, in isolation and out of context with the rest of the comment. I’m rather good at doing that. A sort of not seeing the forest for the trees. Like a lot of people on the spectrum I’m good at seeing details but often fail to grasp the overall picture. That’s possibly what’s happening with the conversation on this page that I’m having with Veracious Poet.

                Send another hug to the divine one 🙂

                Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      Mbiti was writing in late 60s so we can agree it is archaic. The rest of your sentiments I agree with. How is it a gift if I must pay it?

      Like

      • Veracious Poet says:

        That’s the point. I will surely request receipt (as evidence of payment) when I eventually pay the bride price of my sweetheart. In-laws can be overly greedy so the receipt will be used as a reminder that I HAVE PAID.

        Like

  10. Sonia says:

    Yes my culture dictates brideprice. It is meticulously recorded & no deviation is allowed. For e.g. the parents of the bride to be cannot receive any dowry if her father hasn’t paid any. Even if said parent is dead. Custom must be adhered to. As for virginity, it is prized in so much as it will either push the dowry up or down. A bride whose ‘leg has been broken’ by the groom attracts a fine.

    Like

  11. I’m not a virgin, though the first time I had sex I was terrified cause I was alone.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. nannus says:

    In my own culture, virginity does not play any role. In the old days this might have been different. There was no bride price. The bride got something from her parents (called “Mitgift”, but that remained her own property. This often consisted of textiles, like bedsheets etc., often made (stiched etc.) by her as a young girl.
    In the culture of my wife (from Kom, Bamenda Highland) there was something like a bride price. Howvr, I don’t know if the concept is one of “buying” the wife, since women have a very strong position there (they traditionally own the land). She is Catholic, but we did not marry in church. However, we did a traditional wedding. This involved giving my father in law some money (not more than he had been giving to his own father in law, and since there had been a lot of inflation since his marriage, it was only a very small, symbolic amount), a drum of palm oil and a certain amount of dried, smoked beef, as well as some fire wood. Essentially I payed some money for these things to be bought and some people from the village played the role of my family (since nobody from my family was present). I think the oil, meat and wood actually went to my mother in law. There is a matriclan system, so the female line is quite important. I think virginity of the bride does not play a role there traditionally.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. wittysally says:

    Very beautiful piece

    Like

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