Wife sharing is something that is done by certain native people living in the region up close to and above the Artic Circle. Wife sharing takes place when one man tells a guest that he can enjoy a night with that man’s normal “bed” partner. In regions where resources are scarce, a wife might well be the only thing that a man has to give his guest.
In most societies, a host strives to insure the comfort of his guest. A host might prepare a special meal. A host might offer a bed with clean linen. A host might help a guest locate needed information. Each of those items would require resources that might not be available to someone living in a region that has ice and snow much of the year.
Yet the people living in such a region have not lost their desire to offer some type of comfort to guests. A man in such a region knows that he enjoys the warmth he feels while lying with his wife. He understands that his guest might enjoy feeling the same warmth. For that reason, the men and women in the northernmost regions of the world have adopted the custom known as wife sharing.
While many women would rightly frown on that custom, they would also have to admit to the fact that the people in such northern societies received few female guests. Just about all of the explorers going to such cold and barren regions have been men. The predominance of male guests must certainly have helped to strengthen the comfort that those natives felt, in regard to the custom known as wife sharing.
In fact, the men in such societies feel very dejected, if a guest refuses the offer of a night with the other man’s wife. A refusal to accept such an offer would undoubtedly be seen as a condemnation of the man’s taste in women. For people in such a cold region, it would seem strange for a guest to turn aside from an offer of added warmth.
As the world becomes smaller, and as people in all parts of the world learn more about each other, everyone on our planet will better appreciate the idiosyncrasies in each culture. Human rights groups now struggle to instruct all people in the need for an understanding of basic human rights. They have not focused on wife sharing, because other customs in other societies appear more of a threat to certain members of the local population.
Those human rights groups have fought against the practice of using child labor. They have fought against the practice of having brides go up in flames with their dead husbands. They have condemned the manner in which some men are allowed to mutilate the private parts of their wives.
In all probability, any concerns about wife sharing need to take a “back seat,” when compared to some of the accepted practices in other cultures. Why should we focus on wife sharing, when many widows in the Middle East have almost no way to earn a decent living for their family?