Polyandry In The Human and Ina World

In the Ina culture the idea of multiple “partners” is acceptable. What I find strange is that a person in the Ina culture can have multiple humans as symbiont, where in most of human culture we find it unacceptable to have multiple partners.  If it is so unacceptable to have multiple partners in the “human world,” why are humans becoming a part of the “Ina World?” Even though in Fledgling we see how seductive an Ina bite can be and it may be hard to break free from it, there are still opportunities to leave. Throughout the novel there have been times where Shori told Wright that he could leave and just forget about her, but he never did because he became too attached. Is the idea of the “human world” being taken over and controlled by the “Ina world” throughout this novel?

For a lot of people in the “human world” having multiple partners “defaults” to the idea of polygamy, when a man has many woman partners. After doing some research on polygamy in the “human world,” I found an article entitled When Taking Multiple Husbands Makes Sense, on polyandry. Polyandry is the practice with one wife that has multiple husbands. Even though in Fledgling it is different in the sense there is one woman to multiple males and/or females, there are still other situations that can occur which are similar. In the article they refer to a recent paper in Human Nature co-authored by two anthropologists (Katherine Starkweather and Raymond Hames) that found 53 anthropological accounts of societies that recognize and allow polyandrous unions. Half of these groups are considered “hunter-gatherer societies.” These societies could be related to that of the Ina culture. For example, early on in Fledgling Shori survives by hunting for her food and gathering stuff such as clothes to help her survive. Continuing on through the novel Shori and her Ina group gather what is left behind from the humans when they attack.

Given the similarities, the “Ina world” and the human polyandry world could be said to be similar or even the same.  Polyandry allows women to be in control (in this case Shori), giving a new sense of feminism!



Article: When Taking Multiple Husbands Makes Sense

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