"Allow me to pick up to four, five, or even nine [husbands] if I so wish…I will choose them in different shapes and sizes. One of them will be blonde and another dark....I promise you there will be harmony."

That's from a December article in an independent Egyptian newspaper by Saudi journalist and women's rights activist Nadine al-Bedair (interviewed, last year, in the clip above). Her article, "My Four Husbands and I," in which she suggests that women should enjoy multiple marriages as men do, has drawn heated reactions, including from an Egyptian parliament member who has filed a legal complaint.

Unsurprisingly, she has also been attacked personally. According to Muslimah Media Watch's partial translation, Farag Esmail, who appears to work at Al Masry Al Youm the newspaper that published al-Bedair's piece, commented,

"What our colleague [referring to the editor in chief] allowed here is an unpaid aid for 'prostitution.' A young woman with no shame writing to ask for four, five or even nine men!... [al-Bedair is] the Saudi woman who always intends to wear a short skirt and calls herself modern."

But it could be that al-Bedair's readers are being rather literal. Was her piece actually a 'Modest Proposal'-like satire, sending up the extant institution of polygamy? In a follow-up, Bedair wrote,

You have emptied the article from all content and meaning, instead of getting my point, in the pursuit of justice which will make marriages happier, by my questions because I know, as you do, that most of our marriages are unhappy and boredom usually comes after the first year. [A] solution always exists for men (via polygamy) but what are women supposed to do?

It's not clear from this quote whether al-Bedair is more broadly interested in "the pursuit of justice which will make marriages happier," or whether she actually thinks that multiple husbands is a solution to "boredom." (Or more pertinently, that existing polygyny is simply a cure for marital malaise). Any Arabic speakers want to parse the full article?

Article On Polygamy Causes A Stir [Global Voices]
Husband And Wife [Muslimah Media Watch]
Female Polygamy Article Sparks Row In Egypt [BBC]

Related: Saudi TV Journalist Nadine Al Bedair On Women in Saudi Arabia