December 9, 2012

Of Marriageable Age

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Estrogen,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 3:38 pm

Child marriage. It’s a gross human rights violation. Little girls being betrothed to men two or three times their ages because their fathers signed a form.

And then you get the stats about it. Where they list the percentages of people in a certain location who are married below a certain age.

Except that age is 18.


I don’t think so.

Don’t expect me to believe a 17-year-old choosing to enter into an equitable marriage is the same thing as an 11-year-old being sold to her 35-year-old cousin to be raped on her wedding night and forbidden from learning or having a career or doing anything other than serving her husband and pumping out tons of babies. Just… no. The latter is the one that is, you know, actually a serious human rights violation. The former is just someone well past puberty entering into an “adult” lifestyle sooner than people feel comfortable with.

And that’s not something that just gets solved with a “make sure no one under 18 can marry!” law. Age restrictions don’t cure anything. In fact, the aforementioned 11-year-old girl’s situation is pretty obviously bad in ways that go lightyears beyond her age. She’s in a society where it’s seen as acceptable to treat women that way at all. Making that all begin seven years later would mean her body is more ready for the baby-making, but that’s about the only difference. The fact that marriage in that society means being a husband’s property, and thus regularly raped and forbidden from outside activities, is a serious fucking problem which needs to be addressed head-on, and in doing that, the marriages of early-pubescent girls will likely stop, or at least there’d be no profit for anyone in it.

But if that’s too complicated, at least stop using 18 at the age under which marriage is a Serious Problem. At least lower it to 15 or something, and quit acting like marriages of girls who are only “children” because society says so are something to shriek about. And if marriage is so daunting that someone who entered into it has ruined their life or chances or something, the problem there is with the marriage itself, not the age.

1 Comment

  1. […] is. So the organizations and other entities working on it can get more support and funding. Like I mentioned before about how groups talking about child marriage in certain parts of the world are using a rather […]

    Pingback by Sure, Why Not? » Collateral Damage — December 20, 2014 @ 1:00 am

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