“Polygamy is only acceptable to women if they can guarantee the man will be unjust,” Nikki said.
Aliyah laughed out loud. “You can’t be serious. Forced to be unjust? Men being unjust is the reason it’s not acceptable to us.”
“I’m not saying it’s a deliberate thought,” Nikki said. “But that’s what it boils down to. If you were really unattractive or crippled, or even a bit up there in years, then that brother would be the hero. And you would be the poor Muslim woman in need of a husband.”
“That’s possible,” Aliyah said, laughter in her voice.
“But don’t you get it?” Nikki said, a grin on her face. “We have to pity you before we accept you.”
“I can see that,” Aliyah said. “But what does that have to do with the man being unjust?”
“Everything,” Nikki said. “In the hero scenario, the man can only marry a woman we think he doesn’t want to marry. That way, women can feel he’s doing her a favor instead of actually loving and caring for her like he does his first wife.”
Aliyah nodded as she began to understand Nikki’s point. “That’s true.”
“But if he does marry a woman he’s not attracted to, then it’s almost guaranteed he’ll be unjust. Because, obviously, he’ll prefer the first wife over her. And that’s exactly what we want.” Nikki grinned and shook her head. “But when he chooses someone he can be just with because he’s actually attracted to her, we cry foul.”
“Oh my God,” Aliyah said, laughter in her voice. “You’re so right.”
—from “Attractive Women Can’t Be Broken” Story 14 HIS OTHER WIFE series by Umm Zakiyyah
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