Which political party came to mind when you saw the title for this post?
If you’re in the United States, and you’re honest, it’s the Republican Party. They’ve got a long history of opposing efforts to make various forms of child marriage illegal, because evangelical Christians tend to view children as the property of their parents, and they tend to have an archaic view of marriage. Personally, I can’t think of a circumstance in which it would be OK for children to get married, and I’m deeply suspicious of any parents who are on board with such a thing. It reminds me strongly of “purity culture“, in which girls are pushed to pledge their virginity to their fathers, to be handed over, with the daughter, on her day of marriage. It’s just another part of the disturbing obsession that conservative Christians have with sex and children. The grim reality is that child marriage is legal in the vast majority of U.S. states, and it’s Republicans who’re working to keep it that way, as demonstrated by state senator Mike Moon of Missouri, the “destination wedding spot for 15 year old child brides“:
Moon later clarified that the person he knew who got married at 12 was actually a couple of twelve-year-olds, one of whom got the other one pregnant. Apparently the correct response to that, according to him and whatever weird subculture created him, is to force the children to marry, and presumably to force the girl – a literal child – to go through pregnancy and childbirth.
These are the same people who’re attempting to eradicate trans people “to protect the children”. This is who they are. This guy, Roy Moore and his defenders, Matt Walsh talking about teenage fertility – the list is far longer than I have the stomach to research. People in general are to be controlled, but children in particular seem to be both property of their parents (if those parents are conservative Christians), and disposable pawns in the culture war. The actual wellbeing of children never enters into the equation, beyond what they believe their tradition and religion say is for the best.
Far too many people are being governed by these gross weirdos, and while I’m aware of all the ways in which the U.S. is not a democracy, it still disturbs me that there’s a real voter base for this. Hopefully, it’s on its way out, but the GOP seems to be making an effort to use the government to impose their bizarre ideology on the country by force.
The Duck Dynasty group of grifters knew their audience a decade ago. They were wealthy country-club dwellers from San Diego when they decided to successfully fleece the rubes by neglecting personal hygiene and growing unkempt beards as they spewed ridiculous and harmful ideas that their base gobbled up. One of the more offensive was braying before a cheering audience the idea that men should marry 15-year-old girls. Paraphrasing what they actually said because the words were misogynist and ignorant, their message was that girls that young were docile and obedient and wouldn’t offer any kind of resistance to any abuse the much-older men wanted to inflict on them.
Duck Dynasty were echoing the fundamentalist Christian messaging that was being pushed out of the shadows and into the mainstream. The Abrahamic religions have always leaned heavily on treating women and children like possessions to be used and abused at will by the men, and required total obedience and submission from them.
The Missouri senator is just raising (lowering?) the bar. Notice he doesn’t produce the names of the supposed 12-year-olds because it’s most likely a lie. 12-year-olds can’t legally work, can’t sign contracts (such as apartment or lease or mortgage contracts), can’t drive. How could they “successfully” marry and raise a family?
As a side note, look at the Duggar family. Josh Duggar freely molested his sisters and the live-in babysitters (what, you don’t think Mama Duggar actually had anything to do with her own children, do you? Men in that culture don’t care for children either, so they needed live-in babysitters). When caught, it was all hand-waved away, and he escalated such that the experienced child abuse investigators were shocked and appalled by the depravity on his work computer at the used-car dealership his father bought him.
However, his wife has a 3rd-grade homeschool education and 7 kids, so she has no hope of leaving him. Her own family frowns on the captives leaving, and she has no means to support herself, much less the 7 victims her husband bred on her.
Her predicament is by design.
Abe Drayton says
Yeah, it’s honestly horrifying how much of the US is on board with that shit. It’s absolutely a minority, but they have incredibly outsized power.
As the saying goes, every conservative accusation is a confession.
Giving the matter a bit more thought, a large part of conservative effort is bent toward making half the population (the women) uneducated, powerless, and helpless…and keeping them that way. They absolutely positively fear women with smarts and talent–as we’ve seen with the blind hatred toward Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, etc. etc. That’s not just in the USA; there’s a resident troll here who tips his misogynist, terrified hand whenever the issue arises.