I feel sick to my stomach and the Casa Brava we had tonight has nothing to do with it. I just read this, an article on CNN.com about a Saudi cleric who ruled that it is acceptable for older men to marry girls as young as 10 years old.
I do not possess the words to express the extent of my revulsion. I tried to keep an open mind. This is a different culture. The Western way is not the only way. As Tammy Pierce points out on her blog, the Torah has some pretty specific things to say about men protecting women. Even in Western history, arranged marriages were known to be performed to join teenagers much younger than most Americans would find acceptable today.
I tried to imagine what it must be like to be the mother of a young child bride. If I object, I have no say in the matter because the court only recognizes the child’s father as legal guardian. If women have so few rights in the eyes of the courts, then a female child is completely powerless. I can’t imagine how that must feel: being taken away from my mother and father, my little sister, my friends, and moved into a strange house where I must share a bed with a man two or three times my age. Ten years old and sold off to make good on daddy’s debts. Perhaps the girl’s perspective is too obvious? What of the bridegroom? I can’t… I really cannot imagine what a child could offer a sexually mature male, even if the sick f*ck is into little girls. So what if the bridegroom promises to wait until the girl reaches puberty- 12, 13, 15? What girl (or boy) knows precisely who s/he is or what s/he wants at that age?
I can no longer put together words.