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To think some people are SUCH hypocrites about historical age of consent

(87 Posts)
RestlessSoul Mon 09-Sep-13 18:49:33

Today I was reading about age of consent in the past out of curiosity after a remark from an American friend of a friend about Prophet Mohamed's relationship with his wife Aisha and how simply awful & barbaric it was that she was only 9, accusations of pedophilia etc.

After googling and reading about historical ages of consent around the world, I am confused with this person. What an idiot. They don't even know their own history.

In 1880 in the US just 133 years ago the age of consent in Delaware was 7 shock. In most other states it was 10 and in a few 12.

I don't understand what he is pontificating about when his home state Georgia allowed grown adult men to freely sleep with 10 year old girls in 1880. And he is condemning something that happened 1400+ years ago.


ivykaty44 Mon 09-Sep-13 19:37:44

there are stories in the bible of people reaching there 110's I wouldn't be to sure about any of the stories grin

RhondaJean Mon 09-Sep-13 19:38:44

Dare I point out Mary was also a virgin! grin

ivykaty44 Mon 09-Sep-13 19:39:55

what are you insinuating Rhonda...?

SPBisResisting Mon 09-Sep-13 19:41:01

The average age of death might have been 30 but woll that not have been skewed by all the infant deaths? I suspect if you lived past tbe age of about ten you probably made it to the grand old age of fiftyish

grumpyoldbat Mon 09-Sep-13 19:42:56

Did anyone see Who do you think you are last week? The grandparents of the celebrity had married aged 6 and 10. I was a little shocked.

RhondaJean Mon 09-Sep-13 19:44:12

Not a thing ivy, not a thing.

BasilBabyEater Mon 09-Sep-13 19:45:32

The age of consent in England and Wales has been 16 since the Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1885. Previously it had been 13, thanks to the work of Josephine Butler in getting the age raised from 12.

England had one of the lowest ages of consent in Europe in the 1870's.

BasilBabyEater Mon 09-Sep-13 19:46:35

I don't think the bloke's being particularly hypocritical though. He's probably not aware of the history of men awarding themselves the right to legally rape female children.

DeepPurple Mon 09-Sep-13 19:46:46

Very true SPB. I'm not sure how the averages were worked out.

I am certainly not approving of sex with young children but pointing out that things were very different when life expectancy was so much shorter.

In some cultures it is acceptable now to marry a 10 year old. We might find that unbelievable but in Britain it was acceptable not that long ago!

neunundneunzigluftballons Mon 09-Sep-13 19:55:15

This just proves that most modern inventions including childhood are not bad things. Reading through some of the Wikipedia info makes for somber reading. Paedophilia must be a relatively new phenomenon too based on that. The sick bastards have been about since the dawn of time they just got to positions of authority in society that facilitated their abuse of children a bit like the Catholic priests last generation in Ireland I guess.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 09-Sep-13 19:55:34

Very few places don't have questionable sex related legislation in there history.

In the uk it was not a offence to rape your wife before the early 90's

hackmum Mon 09-Sep-13 19:57:22

OP, I don't think you understand what a hypocrite is. If your American foaf had defended the practice of child marriage in the US, while condemning it in the case of the Prophet, that would be hypocritical. However, if he simply didn't know about historical practices in the US, then he could hardly be accused of being hypocritical. Perhaps given the opportunity, he'd have condemned the historical practice in the US just as forcefully as he condemned the Prophet.

WMittens Mon 09-Sep-13 19:57:47


there are stories in the bible of people reaching there 110's

There are stories about Biblical characters passing 900 years.

VaultFullOfTwizzlers Mon 09-Sep-13 19:59:39

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou I saw that story earlier. Horrible. That poor child.

No excuse for ignorant racism though.

BasilBabyEater Mon 09-Sep-13 20:01:19

It might have been acceptable to marry a 10 year old in the West, but it has never really been out and out acceptable to use her for sex at that age.

As others have said, people were a bit disgusted by Margaret Beaufort's husband. Usually there were legal clauses in the marriage contract, which stipulated that the marriage could not be consummated before a certain age, or before a year after the first menstruation.

Having said that, if the husband decided to ignore the clause, there was nothing his in-laws could legally do about it.

clarabellabunting Mon 09-Sep-13 20:23:57

Juliet was 13 when she married Romeo. She had "not seen the change of fourteen years". I think she's about to turn 14 though as her upcoming birthday is mentioned.

In the play her dad tries to delay her marriage to Paris by a couple more years as he thinks she's too young. And her mother says to her that at her age, she was already married and a mother, so she must have married younger than 13.

I remember being quite shocked about her age when I studied the play at school.

ivykaty44 Mon 09-Sep-13 20:29:51

BasilBabyEater girls were allowed to marry at 14 until 1929 in England and Wales

waltzingmathilda Mon 09-Sep-13 20:30:11

Up until 1929 the age of consent for a female in the UK was 14 years old

thats not true - the age of consent was raised from 12 to 16 in 1885

waltzingmathilda Mon 09-Sep-13 20:32:09

I would point out the age of consent in Spain was only recently raised to 13 - so do remember that when holidaying and the waiter fancies a quick bit.

Tinlegs Mon 09-Sep-13 20:34:33

Juliet is 13, nearly 14 and her marriage is consummated. She is not considered too young as her mother says she is older than her mother was when she was produced. However, Shakespeare does not condone this, he is merely emphasising her youth as having her aged 16 would not do. We are not told Romeo's age but he is usually assumed to be 16-19.

Lots of things happened in the past that we now condemn, rightly. I like to think we have learned!

unlucky83 Mon 09-Sep-13 20:35:39

My DPs mother (Algerian) was married at 14ish and had 4 boys by the time she was 20. (Last 2 born in France - DP was the youngest and
being in France and having boys is probably why she could stop at 4)
Her mother (so DPs grandmother) was married at 10 - had 16 children with 10 surviving. Mostly girls hence DPs mother being 'older' when she was married - it was a struggle to get rid of all the girls and she was no 8.sad

ivykaty44 Mon 09-Sep-13 20:36:57

The age of marriage was not changed until 1929

waltzingmathilda Mon 09-Sep-13 20:39:57

I'd also point out that 'marriage' in modern language would have meant betrothal - there would have been a religious ceremony but no intercourse would have taken place until well after puberty.

If you go back pre medieval, nobility would not marry until the female was pregnant - no one wanted a barren wife. Thus of course blowing the chastity on the wedding bed theory right out of the water.

With regard to MargaRet Beaufort, she had many husbands - the first when she was one year old - we would call that a betrothal - but it was annulled. If you include that marriage she had 4 husbands.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 09-Sep-13 20:47:17

i would say she is ignorant she was actually married to Muhammed at 6 or 7 (he was in his 50's)marriage was not consummated until she was 9

it is spoken about how Muhammed would watch her play with dolls (suggesting she was still a child that liked to play) i am not sure if this is before or after a sexual relationship started) but she was very influential and respected. i see nothing wrong with questioning all this while accepting times were different

i would also question why in some muslim countries young girls are still married off and the reason why is often given because their profit married a young girl

times have moved on some societies need to move on all religion should be questioned it can be done so with respect and not used to attack others

complexnumber Mon 09-Sep-13 20:48:04

Please remember that a heck of a lot of the world's population have no idea of when their birthday is... and consequently may not be too sure as to how old they are at all. So 'age of consent' may not have that much meaning.

(This was certainly true in the rural part of Northern Nigeria where I worked a long time ago)

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