A man’s 1st wife sparked the horrifying wedding inferno in Kuwait?

Hmm, well, this is what I read on Maktoob this morning, anyway.

Now, how much you want to bet that the groom couldn’t give a rat’s ass about his first wife’s opinion when he decided to marry another woman? And that patriarchal society cheered on and approved his choice – because he, having been born a man, is allowed to make choices that women are not?

I’m not saying this to excuse the behaviour of the person who, they say, started this blaze. Whatever your jealousy, whatever your grief, whatever your sudden irrelevance, or whatever other problem you may have, you don’t slaughter innocents like that. The wedding was segregated along gender lines, and the fact that it was the women’s tent that was set on fire is striking. Without knowing what was going through the alleged perpetrator’s head at the time – it seems that the interloper was being punished, not the husband. Of course, it may have just been easier for her to sneak up to the women’s tent. Who knows? Either way, it was women and children who paid the ultimate price here.

In thinking about this tragedy, I can’t say with any degree of certainty that it was preventable. Who knows how things worked in that particular family, after all? Perhaps the woman in question would have set a birthday tent ablaze, if given half a chance. But this does need to be said – when men have the ultimate say and divorce is stigmatized, when men are like suns and women are like satellites orbiting those suns, it does make for a messed-up situation.

I don’t have an opinion on polygamy either way, though I’ll say that I’m a supporter of polyandry alongside polygamy, if either is to practiced. Marriage is a complicated business, and, regardless of religious teaching (which I, in my infinite privilege as well as general frustration with the very idea of religious society and how it tends to be practiced, tend to ignore), people ought to be able to make arrangements that they can live with. Emphasis on the word live here. As opposed to, you know, destroy themselves and that which is around them.

ETA BBC confirms it as well. Apparently, the original couple were divorced, and the wife was “avenging ill treatment.” Good Lord. Talk about futility. A bunch of women & kids died, but the ex is walking around in perfectly good health. Pssshhhh.

10 thoughts on “A man’s 1st wife sparked the horrifying wedding inferno in Kuwait?

  1. Here’s what I don’t understand- something like this happens and we don’t hear a peep about it, but someone mistreats some dogs and it’s all over the news?

  2. I could hardly understand how on earth can she does it unless she was badly treated from her ‘great pround’ husband so maybe it’s not “jealousy” as they say but she is “victim”!

  3. Completely tangential from the substance of your post – and dear gods why is it so often the women and children who take the brunt of responses to men, damnit? – “polygamy” is a gender-neutral term; ‘polyandry’ pairs with ‘polygyny’ as gendered subsets thereof.

  4. Yeah, I read about that distinction – but in the context of conservative countries, polygamy is always understood as purely “man with multiple wives” kind of deal, I believe. Although I could be totally wrong right now…

    And yeah, she has now specifically said that she wanted to punish her ex-husband’s female relatives, whom she blames for all her unhappiness.

  5. I think Dina’s comment on “In a society where married men feel free to hit on young girls” just about sums up the mindset of women competing for the favour of a man and their ability to dehumanize and blame each other.

  6. hey natalia, im a kuwaiti women , particularly 5 minutes away from the tragedy, the number of the deaths is 47 women and children for now
    and there r some facts everybody should b aware of :
    – the woman, who started the fire , is 23 years old .
    – the woman threatened the family of her husband that she’s going to burn the tent a week before she does it for real .
    -the 1st wife and her husband were separted , but not divorced, 6 months before that.
    – Non of the groom’s family was hurt.
    – the second wife’s mother and aunt died in that tragedy.
    – the groom got the divorce from his second wife .

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