BiWives in Africa?

I had to share an excerpt from this article. I found the perspective on bisexual married women by the women themselves very interesting. The fact the husband’s support them as well is so awesome.

Sounds like the U.S could use a lesson…

Kendall is often quoted in discussions around homosexuality in Africa due to her research on same-sex relationships and sexuality among Lesotho women. Kendall spent a couple of years in Lesotho in the early 1990s; initially hoping to find women who identified as lesbians like herself, she was disappointed to discover that no Mosotho woman identified as lesbian. Yet some of the women who befriended Kendall became comfortable enough to reveal to her that it was not uncommon for women to kiss each other passionately in private, away from the gaze of men. Not limited to kissing, there were instances of tribadism, rubbing, fondling and oral sex between Basotho women who described these instances as women simply “loving each other” or “having a nice time together” while at the same time insisting that what they did was not.

Still Kendall reached the conclusion that Basotho women were aware of the erotic nature of their relationships with other women, even if they did not view their encounters as sexual. To these women, the erotic nature of their relationships with other women did not count as sex because to them sex involves a penis. One Mosotho woman, Mpho ‘M’atsepo Nthunya, spoke candidly about how her “special friend” chose her, and how elaborate feasts were celebrated to show the commitment between the two of them. These feasts involved eating, drinking, dancing, the exchange of gifts, and the ritual sacrifice of animals in what would seem like a wedding. The ceremonies were observed by other people, including the women’s husbands, all of whom knew and accepted that the two women were making a commitment to each other.

No matter that these feasts resembled weddings, they are not weddings, and yet these lesbian-like institutions are part of tradition, and suggest that in the pre-colonial past there were similar instances in which women formed intimate and erotic bonds that were publicly acknowledged and honoured. Kendall’s research highlights a very important aspect that is often overlooked in the battle to place, or to completely remove, homosexuality in African history. That indigenous African worldviews do not have names for same-sex relationships does not necessarily mean that such relationships were alien. The field of sexuality in Africa remains largely understudied, but we cannot assume that our ancestors would have regarded homosexuality as taboo even if they did not have a name for it.

We can thank European colonialism for the reconstruction of indigenous African modes of thinking and philosophy.Colonialism is also the root of the criminalisation of homosexuality that still persists in most post-colonial African countries, and also the crafting of identities on the basis of sexual preferences. At the same time, colonialism brought new terms in which sex is/was understood as well as encouraging the rise of homosexual identity as a social lifestyle. In the present day, while Western governments push for African governments to have more friendly approaches towards gay rights – counter-productively, because the harder they push, the more African governments resist what they see as neo-colonial meddling – other Western institutions,most of them religious, have encouraged anti-gay sentiment in countries like Uganda.”

Homosexuality and African history: the roots of the criminalisation of homosexuality

What do American BiWives think about this article?

-Jay Dee, Founder

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2 thoughts on “BiWives in Africa?

  1. I like this concept: not only means that they all honest about their feelings to others, but also to themselves. It is also linked to idea that labeling (not giving name, but actual labeling) makes many of our feeling and actions viewed by society as sin: those people do not have even specific name for those relationship, but they see them as real and part of their life. I like it!

  2. The truth is that if you don’t have reason to believe that it’s a problem, then it isn’t a problem – it only becomes one when someone else tells you that it’s a problem. Western minds would see their take on it not really being sex as a form of denial – but that is because we have a very different mindset about it and, of course, we’ve spent so much time getting beaten over the head with the Old Testament and its often fatal admonishments to keep things boy/girl only.

    To these women, not only is it no big deal but something to celebrate and it is something all of us here could stand to learn.

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