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Child marriage in the USA

(115 Posts)
PricklyBall Tue 24-Oct-17 20:18:00

BBC piece

I've posted about this before on Mumsnet (outside of FWR I get greeted with cries of "no, that isn't true" - though the Washington Post, New York Times, Independent over here have carried articles on it in recent years). Just thought I'd start another thread, by way of a bit of consciousness raising (and also possibly raise the idea that the UK ought to be pressing for an end to marriage before the age of 18 too).

Hulababy Tue 24-Oct-17 20:23:18

So many states where there is no minimum age too:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_marriage_in_the_United_States

LassWiTheDelicateAir Tue 24-Oct-17 21:43:24

There have been threads about this before. The Obama administration pontificated about how terrible this is when it happens somewhere which isn't the USA but did nothing about it.

TitaniasCloset Tue 24-Oct-17 22:27:28

A Muslim guy on my twitter, I'm muslim myself, had a big debate with me about how he intends to marry a 13 year old when he marries, and that's what happened to his grandmother and mother and they are just fine and happy and tickety boo. He lives in a state in the USA where child marriage is legal and was quite smug about that. I tried to reason with him, even when he was telling me that women commit as much domestic violence as men and are just as bad. Eventually I had to block.

What the fuck is wrong with these men that they can't even wait three fucking years?

sarasabrownie Tue 24-Oct-17 22:32:00

I was shocked when I saw this throw away item on the news. WTF!! I can't believe there's not more of a furore about it. The news helpfully pointed out that in most cases it was older men marrying female children.

Neverknowing Tue 24-Oct-17 22:51:03

@TitaniasCloset it’s so maddening that they can’t even see that it’s wrong?! Women are objects to them, they get three extra years of ‘good’ woman. It makes me sick.
Who’s allowing their 13 year old to be married at that age? I suspect abuse before that so the girl thinks it’s normal, I imagine she’s trained up to be his perfect servant.

Neverknowing Tue 24-Oct-17 22:52:57

Also, do these men have sex with these young girls? Why isn’t that considered pedophilia? I don’t understand how everything changes because they force them into a marriage.

TitaniasCloset Tue 24-Oct-17 23:00:39

I know. I think with some muslim families they get a girl from the village back home sent over. But it happens with these mad Christian fundamentalists too. I feel so sorry for these girls. I even tried to explain to him the risks of a young girl getting pregnant but he wouldn't have it.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Tue 24-Oct-17 23:47:57

So many states where there is no minimum age too

It is quite random how it differs from state to state. For example Alabama and Georgia are 16 yet California and Maine none. Apologies to Alabama and Georgia - if I'd been asked I'd have guessed the other way round.

SenecaFalls Wed 25-Oct-17 00:32:45

There have been threads about this before. The Obama administration pontificated about how terrible this is when it happens somewhere which isn't the USA but did nothing about it.

In fairness, there's not much that the federal government can do to change it. Marriage is primarily a matter of state law.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 25-Oct-17 01:12:56

Thanks. I hadn't appreciated that although I suppose I should have given Scotland and the rest of UK have different rules (16 with no need for parental consent in Scotland, 16 with consent in rUK).

The difference between the States is surprising (to me anyway) it doesn't seem to follow seaboard / north/ south lines which I would have expected.

Lakesandtrees Wed 25-Oct-17 01:47:23

Forced marriage is not legal. A lot of the problems are due to forced marriages. These laws need to be enforced, which would help these unfortunate girls being forced into marriage. The clerk should be calling the cops on some grown man attempting to marry a 13 year old child. You can bet that kid doesnt want to marry.

However distasteful I find early marriage, I dont agree with legislating it. The USA is a very different country to the UK. We do not appreciate the imposition of a nanny state, and there are certain states where personal freedom is held inviolable. Eroding the freedom of individual states makes me nervous.

OldWitch00 Wed 25-Oct-17 01:53:38

It’s so hard to believe in this day and age, you would think the woman’s movement would be right on this along with marrying cousins....

TitaniasCloset Wed 25-Oct-17 02:13:20

I don't agree Lakes. Those girls are not going to speak up. There is no one to speak up for them. That's why we have these laws. In Islam forced marriage is also illegal, but the silence of the virgin means her consent whereas the previous married women is expected to speak up. But this is in the rules of Islam and most young women and girl children will be ignorant of this and it's all done under culture. So we have 12 year olds with tears that make them incontinent after giving birth. They are packed off to their families in shame and a new bride is found. This is what feminism is for. Preventing this bullshit and speaking out against it and changing the laws.

TitaniasCloset Wed 25-Oct-17 02:14:47

This has nothing to do with a nanny state. It's just essential for child protection. Whatever country or culture.

claraschu Wed 25-Oct-17 02:21:29

A girl under the age of 16 (I would say 18) is incapable of giving consent because she is under the influence of family and culture, and not able to understand the implications of her "decisions". This has nothing to do with freedom.

NameChangeFamousFolk Wed 25-Oct-17 02:24:08

However distasteful I find early marriage, I dont agree with legislating it. The USA is a very different country to the UK. We do not appreciate the imposition of a nanny state, and there are certain states where personal freedom is held inviolable. Eroding the freedom of individual states makes me nervous

None of which should trump protecting vulnerable children.

Lakesandtrees Wed 25-Oct-17 02:28:08

Eroding long held and precious state independence because the muslim community is refusing to police themselves ain't gonna happen any time soon.

Yes, quiverful christians and other fundies are prone to young marriage, but BOTH of the participants tend to be young. Of course you will come back at me with some dysfunctional sect with abusive overtones, but it just isn't a problem amongst christians.

Go to the cops, tell them this man is talking about finding a 13 year old, get him on their radar. Do Your bit, before you go trying to change the last land of the free into some 1984 nightmare.

TitaniasCloset Wed 25-Oct-17 02:35:52

What planet are you on? This isn't even about muslims, I brought that up as an anecdote. This is about America, the land of the free and the brave, having shit laws to protect children.

That weird young man was nearly a couple of years ago, if I had phoned up internationally I don't have his name or address and the laws in that state mean it's legal anyway. Laws used by Christian men. Please don't do the usual American on social media thing and try to blame your countries problems on muslims.

I thought Mumsnet was more intelligent than that.

TitaniasCloset Wed 25-Oct-17 02:36:58

Changing the marriage laws to 16 is hardly Orwellian. It's just fucking common sense.

eeanne Wed 25-Oct-17 03:05:18

I just heard a podcast about a 14 year old girl whose religious family "encouraged" her to marry her 24 year old rapist when she got pregnant. The justifications the father made are just mind-boggling. He says he thought God would have wanted them married to raise the baby.

www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/idaho-father-takes-daughter-missouri-marry-rapist-article-1.2649752

Lakesandtrees Wed 25-Oct-17 03:08:02

Sorry Titania, it was YOU who identifying it as an issue in the muslim community,I was merely reaponding.

Shouting down people who disagree with you as unintelligent is pretty crass. I like my country free, thank you.

Trust me, the average californian is not marrying off their kids at 12. It's a problem amongst unintegrated comminities. If anyone in my church suggested marrying off their 12 year old, ild be contacting law enforcement. Statutory rape, soliticting children is a crime, and communities need to be dealing with it within existing laws.

Im happy to agree to disagree.

DoubleNegativePanda Wed 25-Oct-17 03:16:39

I'm American and I personally think that it's shocking that there are not federal statutes to safeguard minors being coerced into marriage, or young teens too naive and stupid to know better. I'm all in favor of legislating childhood safeguards.

I'm also completely in favor of legislating firearms like fucking intelligent humans. The second amendment was passed in relation to belonging to a militia and carrying a ball and musket rifle. Not a damned glock.

DoubleNegativePanda Wed 25-Oct-17 03:19:08

And "leaving it to the states" is bullshit as well. I live in Texas and after November 7th many if not most family-planning clinics will be forced to close when they are no longer allowed to accept federal aid dollars for preventive care. It's a travesty. These narrow minded "Christian" republicans legislating what I do with my own body. Makes my blood boil.

TitaniasCloset Wed 25-Oct-17 03:21:27

Yes I brought it up, but even in the uk if we lowered the age of consent what do you think would happen? Yes most people would carry on being normal good people but some men would think all their birthdays and Christmas's had come at once and be out there trying to get the youngest looking 13 year old they possibly could. Men across different cultures, though some cultures more than others.

That's why we have an age of consent. That's why we have these laws. The problem is the law. For the foreseeable future some men will always be a problem and we don't want dodgy cultural practices brought over here thanks very much.

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