Child brides

31 May

Originally posted to the Community forum at MyMedia

When I tell people that I’m a feminist, I am often told that I should stop worrying about catcalling and other harassment, because it’s “not so bad,” that I should worry more about things like FGM or child brides in other, frequently Muslim, countries. Because here, in the glorious USoA, women have it sooooo good already, we should stop with the whingeing and complaining.

However, being a whole person, I can care about multiple things, and, turns out, I am concerned about child brides.

Particularly child brides of the Christian variety in the USoA.

Right here, right now.

Girls as young as 10, some already having given birth from rape¹, are forced by their own families to marry their rapist. Usually, this man is much older–an adult himself, so it can be anywhere from 10 to 15 years older than his ‘bride.’

And, lest anyone say, “well, those crazy Amish, those crazy Mormons”…no. This happens in at least 38 states of the Union. Think about it. THIRTY EIGHT. And these are legal marriages, conducted by duly authorized officials, because most states don’t even have a minimum legal age. So long as the parents are on board, girls can be married off. They cannot sign contracts, be employed, drive, open bank accounts, or even leave abusive marriages until they turn 18 (often, when they do, they are treated as minor runaways and returned to their abusive husbands).

In the United States of America, in 2017, this continues to happen.

Sit on that for a minute.

Best of all? The legislature is not comfortable changing the laws in most places. These laws are working so well, after all!

Yes, suppressing women’s freedom to choose, not only whether to have children or not, but even whether to marry, has worked out really well–for men.

Because the immediate beneficiaries of these child marriages are the men who are raping these children. They avoid jail, and have legal power over another human being.

Tell me again how good women have it already in the US, tell me how we live in a post-sexism society.

~ * ~

¹(violent or not, sexual abuse of a child is rape, period, because a child cannot consent; sex without explicit consent is rape, end of discussion)


Update: another piece, not behind a paywall.

5 Responses to “Child brides”

  1. Lori 31/05/2017 at 3:00 PM #

    Yeah, we’re such a civilized country.

  2. Art Kaufmann 01/06/2017 at 7:22 PM #

    “You should be worrying about…” refer to Richard Dawkins “Dear Muslima.”

    • azteclady 01/06/2017 at 8:06 PM #


      And hey, congrats on your Governor standing up! (see: climate)


  1. Little girls grow up. | Her Hands, My Hands - 14/11/2018

    […] year in May, I wrote about child brides in the USA, and how a men-dominated legislature across the country resists the very idea of raising the legal […]

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