In We Want for Our Sisters What We Want for Ourselves, Dr. Patricia Dixon (aka Ra Heter) debunks myths about monogamy and polygyny and challenges us to rethink our approach to marriage and family. This book reveals that before European domination, polygyny was an accepted marriage and family practice in over eighty percent of the world's cultures. Even in Western societies, polygyny has always been practiced. However, because it is done under a myth of monogamy, this creates a "peculiar" form of the practice. This peculiar form of polygyny was practiced in early European history in Greece and Rome. It was also practiced during slavery in the U.S. to the detriment of African American women and their families. Even in contemporary America, because closed polygyny is practiced in various forms, under the guise of monogamy, it continues to disempower African American women and undermine their marriages and families.
Dr. Dixon offers many reasons to support polygyny, most importantly, the shortage of available African American men. Through extensive interviews, she offers an insider's look at polygynous marriages, showing readers its benefits and disadvantages, interpersonal dynamics, how financial, sexual, and parental responsibilities are determined, and the legal, moral and cultural challenges that must be overcome in order to make polygynous marriages possible within American society. Finally, she calls for African American women to move toward building marriages based on love, truth, community, and ultimately a womanist ethic of care for sisters.