It Takes a Village

. . . to sell its daughters into marriage when they’re anywhere from 11 to 15 years old.  One of the girls in this picture series was married off to a man in his mid-20s.  She was eleven at the time of marriage and was delivered to her husband shortly after her 12th birthday, when she still had not had her first period.  She attempted not to consummate the marriage . . . until the village women (way to stick together, sisters!) got after her, whereupon she gave in.  I can understand, just barely, selling a daughter into marriage when the choice is she gets married off to someone who may be able to feed her or she starves at home with you.  Just barely. 

But according to this report “even in good times” a full third of all girls in Niger are married off by the time they’re 15.  According to the lead-in, world-wide among women now between 20 and 24 years old, a full one-third were married off while still children.

The next time one is tempted to condemn the patriarchal, phallo-centric power structure of entrenched dominance &c. &c. &c. &c., in the fashion of those tiresome all-sex-is-rape gas-bags, remind them that pretty much not any of that one-third of the forced marriages of children occurred in a Western country.  And the next time one hears someone gush about “it takes a village,” remember the child in this picture series (she’s no. 5), whose daddy back in the ol’ village has three wives and 23 children, which, you know, just may have something to do with his difficulties feeding them all.  Just sayin’.

But most of all, remember, ladies:  It’s Mitt Romney and all them awful Rethuglicans who are after your lady parts.

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