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That's a lot to pay for a fish dinner
February 2, 2007 1:54 PM   Subscribe

The Bissagos Islands are off the coast of Guinea-Bisseau in Africa. One of them, Orango, has a rather unique social custom. There, women are the ones who propose marriage.
posted by pyramid termite (16 comments total)

 
I wouldn't really call that so unusual... I mean, my wife proposed to me...
posted by jacobian at 2:04 PM on February 2, 2007


Club Dead. (This is going to kill the sex tourism industry.)
posted by hal9k at 2:09 PM on February 2, 2007


Bissagos Island has addtional social customs not always noted. When a woman (wife) wants sex, often the man will say he is tired or has a headache or that there is not sufficient communication with the wife. Women stop off at bars and have a few drinks with other working women and the man is often annoyed that the food he cooks is cold when he serves it. At work, there is a palm tree ceiling and very few men get top jobs. Men outlive their wives here but feel liberated that they can now find themselves and develop the inner man.
posted by Postroad at 2:10 PM on February 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Nice warm place to go in the winter. Weather is decent. Food is good. Lovely places to stay. There's just one small catch:

You.
posted by hal9k at 2:15 PM on February 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thog: Here stadium, where our women basketball teams play.

Kug: We no can dunk, but good fundamentals.

Ornik: That more fun to watch.
posted by SBMike at 2:16 PM on February 2, 2007


Interesting story, although it's obviously a pretty thin analysis of the situation. I'd be interested in a more scholarly take on this. Other than one anecdote about missionaries and an acknowledgment that there has been a lot more contact with the mainland in recent years, there's not enough here about how these changes have come about. But newspaper versions of social science reporting always frustrate me. Heck, newspaper versions of the news usually frustrate me. But thanks for the post, pyramid termite.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:17 PM on February 2, 2007


Do the men still propose oral hijinks?
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:26 PM on February 2, 2007


Hmm, it's intresting that the men are not allowed to say no. If this were the other way around (as it often is) people would be talking about how horrible it is, etc. But in this direction, no one seems to have a problem with it.

At least so far, anyway.
posted by delmoi at 2:33 PM on February 2, 2007


jacobian: I wouldn't really call that so unusual... I mean, my wife proposed to me...

Yeah me to. But I got the distinct impression she had made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

She was really tricky about it. We had been living together for about five years. It was a Sunday morning. We were reading the papers enjoying our coffee. And I see her go get her calendar out. And kind of doing that biting her lip and looking up to the corner of her eyes thing like she was really cyphering something.

"What?" I asked while I read.

"If we are going to get married we should do it this fall." She said marking off days in a calender with a pencil, absent mindedly.

"Ummm. Ok." I said. Not quite getting it.

Next thing I know she walks over to the phone. Picks it up. Calls her Sister.

"Hi. It's me. Ok. Buy a ticket to Seattle for September 1st. We're getting married." She declares.

I can hear her sister over the receiver from across the room SCREAM. "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-yaaaaay!" And my wife starts jumping up and down going "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

And that's when it hit me. What just happened?

"Oh fuck."
posted by tkchrist at 2:46 PM on February 2, 2007 [25 favorites]


Hmm, it's intresting that the men are not allowed to say no. If this were the other way around (as it often is) people would be talking about how horrible it is, etc. But in this direction, no one seems to have a problem with it.

Very true, and unsurprising I think.
posted by brundlefly at 2:50 PM on February 2, 2007


Wow. I guess it's safe to say she's from Guess Culture and not Ask Culture.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:12 PM on February 2, 2007


November 15-30, 1937SD.
posted by cenoxo at 3:13 PM on February 2, 2007


Hm....and she cooks dinner for him....and he can't say no?

what was that recipe, again?
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 3:33 PM on February 2, 2007


OT: tkchrist, have you written about that previously on Metafilter? I checked your comments but there are too many for me to scroll through right now. I just got the strongest feeling of deja vu while reading it.
posted by peep at 3:34 PM on February 2, 2007


OT: tkchrist, have you written about that previously on Metafilter?

I think so. I have been recycling my stories to shamelessly pad my favorites. The last two weeks I have had WAY too much free time waiting for projects to come through.

BTW. Sometimes I come in late to a thread - usually a less than lively one - and post a story at the bottom to pep things up. But then I think " Man. I just wasted a good story. I hope that topic comes up again." And only the lucky few get a chance to "enjoy" them.
posted by tkchrist at 3:40 PM on February 2, 2007


Psh. Forward thinking and unusual? Whatever; they still have to cook for the men.
posted by Saellys at 9:37 PM on February 2, 2007


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