3
   

A response I wrote to an article on Child Marriage;

 
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2019 03:11 pm
@chai2,
I do not accept the right of White people to pass moral judgment on indigenous cultures. I find the attitude toward indigenous peoples to be very troubling.

The implication is cultural supremacy; that just because it is wrong in our culture it has to be wrong in indigenous cultures. This is a Western-centric argument... take for example the idea of "romantic love" (mentioned on this thread). This is a Western ideal that simply doesn't exist in many cultures, and yet it is being used to justify forcing a Western idea of marriage onto indigenous communities.

White people believe that their experiences and their beliefs are all that matter. That is why we have a horrible history of destroying other cultures. We now say we are sorry, but are still seeking to force our cultural beliefs on other cultures that we judge to be barbaric. I don't think we have really changed that much.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2019 03:35 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I do not accept the right of White people to pass moral judgment on indigenous cultures.


This has nothing to do with color - this has to do with plain old common sense that a child is not in a position to get married - especially to an adult.

Many cultures that previously had this as acceptable has now outlawed it.

For example in India - although it is still practiced - it has been banned. This was done strictly by their own - not so called "white" people.

I am sure many people of other colors would support not having child brides - hey any non-white people want to speak up?
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2019 03:46 pm
@Linkat,
Can you name a culture that has outlawed child marriage that wasn't dominated by a European colonial power first?

The history is always White people coming to "civilize" indigenous cultures. There are some interesting historical documents involving the Spanish colonizers in what is now California. The Spanish used the practice of child marriage to justify their domination of the Native Americans.

Whether the Native Americans were helped by this interference is not an open question. This is still an issue among Australian aboriginal communities. They had the Australian version of "Indian schools" to stop traditional cultural practices that they didn't approve of. They have apologized, but they are still passing laws specifically aimed at stamping out traditional cultural practices of the peoples they colonized.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2019 04:03 pm
@Linkat,
It is possible that had any specific indigenous culture been left alone that they would have ended up banning child marriage. The idea that our culture is some ideal to which every other culture should aspire seems awfully arrogant. Expecting that all cultures will eventual evolve to where we are is an expression of cultural supremacy.

Even if this is the case, given our history of colonization and repression it is a big problem for White people to judge indigenous cultures. You are continuing the history of supremacy.

The truth is we are mostly ignorant of these indigenous cultures. Many of them have been lost because we destroyed them... we have no idea what life was really like; we don't understand the beliefs, or the values or how family worked (although we love to idealize them by inserting our own values).

Few cultures have been protected and have survived intact. Anthropologists have studied them and have found functional, close families based around child marriage. You can can read about them.

I feel strongly that these cultures should remain protected as much as possible. For us to blast in and dominate these last remaining aboriginal cultures would be a another in a long list of crimes.

White people have often seen themselves as the saviors of the world. I don't think this has worked out for any of the indigenous peoples being "saved".
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2019 04:42 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Can you name a culture that has outlawed child marriage that wasn't dominated by a European colonial power first?



China
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2019 05:01 pm
@Linkat,
Aw shucks, you are kind of correct about China as there is a 1980 law in effect that says that marriages can not be forced and sets the age at 18. However China was "semi-colonized" and has gone through an unmistakable process of Westernization.

In anthropology, it seems that child marriage is common in pre-industrial societies. It is makes sense for a culture that sees marriage as a duty and a way to stabilize social relationships rather than as an expression of "romantic love".

I did a little googling, I am not sure if the marriage law in China is a cultural change, or if it is something imposed by a government and ignored by cultural groups in the country. It seems like the latter is true.

The urban areas are more Westernized. It seems that the rural areas still have a large number of traditional marriages.


0 Replies
 
NSFW (view)
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2019 05:23 pm
@maxdancona,
They think this way because it has been drilled into their thinking. Their mindset. Perhaps if shown a different way, something which does not subjugate women to a lifetime of servitude, they'd leap forward at the opportunity to express themselves and be.
maxdancona
 
  -4  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2019 05:30 pm
@Sturgis,
Sturgis wrote:

They think this way because it has been drilled into their thinking. Their mindset. Perhaps if shown a different way, something which does not subjugate women to a lifetime of servitude, they'd leap forward at the opportunity to express themselves and be.


You think this way because it has been drilled into your thinking. Perhaps if you were "shown a different way" you would leap at the opportunity to change your practices and beliefs (and maybe even see wisdom in child marriages). The implicit message in this post is that Western culture is superior and that other cultures are misled.

When indigenous people talk, you should resist explaining it way as their ignorance every time they don't agree with. You aren't giving them their own voice.

You are a White person judging an indigenous culture. I think a little humility, that maybe you don't know everything, is warranted.
Sturgis
 
  3  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2019 05:45 pm
@maxdancona,
I have not said that they don't have a voice.

I've indicated that they have never been informed of any other way of living or doing things. Those who are in westernized societies have been afforded the privilege of learning about many different cultures. When presented with the choice of living in servitude and no freedom, compared to having freedom and being able to speak up for themselves regarding the idea of marrying an old geezer when they are not even fully matured, the majority would rather be able to select a partner that they truly want and who wants them as something other than being a cook, cleamer, clothing maker, baby maker.

If these girls were truly this thrilled by the prospect of a kept life then
how do you explain the many who flee each year, even knowing beating and death may await them if they are captured?

maxdancona
 
  -4  
Reply Fri 8 Nov, 2019 05:54 pm
@Sturgis,
Quote:
Those who are in westernized societies have been afforded the privilege of learning about many different cultures.


I don't think you have been afforded this privilege. We are inculcated with the idea that Western ideas are evolved and that indigenous practices are barbaric. It is very difficult for you to see beyond this.

You have a huge selection bias. You accept indigenous voices that agree with you and reject the voices of people who don't conform to your way of thinking.

- You point to the few indigenous women who "flee" their cultures as evidence that your belief is right (and sure there are a few).

- You ignore the voice of indigenous women who say they they prefer their cultures and are happy in these roles.

You are putting your point of view about indigenous cultures above the view of the people who are actually happy in these cultures. Your rant about how people are living in "servitude and no freedom"... that is your judgement about indigenous cultures. I doubt most people would feel this way.

The White Savior narrative is troubling. Indigenous women don't need White people to save them from their own cultures.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2019 04:19 am
@maxdancona,
Child marriage is quite the grey area, in fact. I'm aware that among the Mayas in Belize, girls get married at 14, when they become nubile. For them it's not really child marriage I guess, it's just that adulthood comes sooner.

I think in France the minimum age for marriage is 16. Not that different. Some US states allow girls aged 13 to get married. Some states have no minimum age for marriage. So there's a gradation of practices even among "whites".

(assuming the French are "white")

Some cultural practices are a little more extreme, like human sacrifices or canibalism. That's where I find it really difficult to maintain a posture of moral neutrality.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2019 09:23 am
Does anyone else see the grotesque hypocrisy here?

Two hundred years ago, people from Europe and America owned African slaves. Men and women from indigenous African cultures were captured, shackled and beaten into submission to live in a life of servitude.

These cultures had existed for thousands of years before White people showed up. They lived, loved, farmed, made art, told stories, developed music, raised children... all this with their own marriage customs that worked for them for centuries. These were perfectly good cultures that deserved respect.

Now just two hundred years later, people from the same White European cultures in Europe and America who enslaved them are coming to these African indigenous cultures to tell them that their traditional cultures amount to "servitude" (Sturgis' use of this word was ill-advised).

I do not accept the myth of the White Savior.
chai2
 
  3  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2019 09:44 am
@Olivier5,
Good morning Oliver.

Just did some reading over my morning coffee.

Now, I'm not just focusing on the present (and past) Maya here. Just my thoughts on the idea of cultural based early marriages. It seems the entire discussion has been on females being married to older men. I may have missed any discussion of mutually consentual marriages between people we (meaning 21st century norms) consider "too young"

It seems that in the current day, Mayans only have a life expectancy of 44 years.
https://lifetickler.com/the-mayan-people-of-today/
I'm not prepared to get into the why's of this fact, as there are several branches going off from this statistic.

However, if a people where generally only living into their 40's, well, one would have to grow up fast, reproduce young, and then be alive long enough to help with the rearing of your childs offspring for awhile.

I daresay a 14 or 15 year old...or a 13 year old preparing for marriage, already have the mindset of an adult.

As far as anient Mayan marriage customs (and ancient covers a lot of years, I'm sure a lot of variance during those times)...

https://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/aztec-and-maya-law/maya-family-law

"Maya family law appears to have been based on customary law. Maya men and women usually got married at around the age of 20, though women sometimes got married at the age of 16 or 17. Maya marriages were frequently arranged by matchmakers, and the father of the groom had to approve the match. The bride and groom were required to have different surnames to ensure that they were not from the same lineage. A dowry was required from the groom’s family, which consisted of clothing and household articles for the bride and groom. Marriage ceremonies were performed by a priest in the home of the bride’s father. After the ceremony, the newlyweds lived with the bride's parents for 6-7 years. The groom was required to work for the family during this time as a form of payment for receiving his wife. The married couple then built a permanent home next to the husband’s parents and lived there until death."

I looked this list of the "10 worst places for child marriage"

https://www.worldvision.org/child-protection-news-stories/10-worst-places-child-marriage

Niger* — 76 percent
Central African Republic* — 68 percent
Chad* — 67 percent
Bangladesh* — 59 percent
Mali* — 52 percent
South Sudan* — 52 percent
Burkina Faso — 52 percent
Guinea — 51 percent
Mozambique* — 48 percent
India* — 47 percent


A few of these countries, like Bangladesh, currently have a long (relative term) life expectancy.
However, I compared each country to what their life expectancy was in let's say 1950, and the figures came in anywhere from in a persons 30's or 40's.

I'm getting ready to leave for the day, so haven't yet searched what LE was in the far past, but I wager it's been on the low side.

Point is, was early marriage in a "cultural" sense out of necessity?

Answer: Yes.

I would also need to compare what the age difference was between male and females marrying each other. In the past were the ages close, or closer? As LE increased, did the marriage age increase for only males? This puts younger men at a disadvantage as there isn't a population of women available for marriage.
Observe polygamous Mormons in the US, in present day. In some communities young men get driven to other places and literally dumped there. They are taken out of the competition.

Is the continuance of what is being called a cultural standard merely a holdover, directed at women, from a time when it was necessary to breed early?
When access to birth control are made available to women, birth rates and abortion rates go down. Always.

That is the strongest testament to what women want. They want children, but fewer of them.
They want control over their bodies. They may not say it in the sophisticated way we are used to. But it is no less a desire.

I say with all confidence if women (girls) were given a say in their being married off, all these "cultural norms" to quickly fall by the wayside very quickly.

Who is asking these child brides what they want?




maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2019 10:35 am
@chai2,
Quote:
I say with all confidence if women (girls) were given a say in their being married off, all these "cultural norms" to quickly fall by the wayside very quickly.


This is a statement of Cultural Supremacy. The idea that indigenous women would choose to give up their own "cultural norms" to become Westernized if "given a say" is very insulting. You are a Western woman explaining how indigenous woman should think.

It is also demonstrably untrue. Women in Africa are at the forefront of resisting Westernization. Women choose to live in traditional aboriginal cultures in Australia. There have been several cases of women returning to indigenous cultures after living in the West. This includes Yarima, the Yanomami woman who lived in Florida for a few years before deciding she preferred her own indigenous culture (which includes child marriage).

There are anecdotal stories about women fleeing indigenous cultures to live Western lives. Westerners love these stories because they validate their belief that Western culture is superior. The stories about women leaving Western cultures to return to traditional cultures are conveniently ignored. And indigenous women who choose to defend their own cultures are dismissed and patronized as miguided (why would any woman not see that Western culture is superior).

The idea that all indigenous women would gladly forsake tradition indigenous culture for Western cultures is ridiculous... and insulting.

Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2019 11:40 am
@maxdancona,
You say that child marriage is wrong, and that you have no trouble saying that.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Nov, 2019 04:16 am
@chai2,
Thanks for a thoughtful post.

Quote:
was early marriage in a "cultural" sense out of necessity?

Answer: Yes.

I agree. Consider that teenagers are sexually mature and high on hormones. They have proclivities, desires and needs that younger children don’t have. Both males and females... In any culture without strong sexual taboos and/or birth control, teenaged girls will mess around and get pregnant as soon as they can. What then? The institution of marriage provides some stability and legitimacy to those early pregnancies. It’s either that or you keep them teenagers segregated by sex.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Nov, 2019 08:58 am
@Olivier5,
Yes, the French are White. France had a brutal colonial empire that dominated indigenous cultures in Africa and elsewhere.

I believe the term was "Mission civilisatrice"... which is French for "civilizing mission". This is another term for the White Savior narrative; Europeans coming to save indigenous people from their own cultural practices. Under the French colonial rule, polygamy and child marriage was outlawed. The question is this; did indigenous women need the French colonizers, or would they have been better off if the Europeans had never come?.

The idea that indigenous women need Europeans to come and save them from their own cultures is deeply troubling.

Does anyone else here oppose colonialism?
Olivier5
 
  4  
Reply Sun 10 Nov, 2019 09:12 am
@maxdancona,
I don't think the French were more brutal than any other colonialists, but indeed, that's how colonialism was sold to (and then by) the French left: as a mission civilisatrice. You're quite right.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/24/06/b7/2406b7c7d637d74f00a25ded9b85019f.jpg

Needless to say, I'm against colonialism and I do see your point that 'white' folks don't hold the high moral ground. The only caveat I would make is that, however hard I try to see the cultural value of human sacrifices, or putting adulterian people to death, I can't get my moral sense to agree to the idea. So there are cultural practices I cannot agree with, personally. Doesn't mean I would invade any country to make them stop though.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 10 Nov, 2019 10:50 am
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Thanks for a thoughtful post.

Quote:
was early marriage in a "cultural" sense out of necessity?

Answer: Yes.

I agree. Consider that teenagers are sexually mature and high on hormones. They have proclivities, desires and needs that younger children don’t have. Both males and females... In any culture without strong sexual taboos and/or birth control, teenaged girls will mess around and get pregnant as soon as they can. What then? The institution of marriage provides some stability and legitimacy to those early pregnancies. It’s either that or you keep them teenagers segregated by sex.


For purposes of this discussion, my thoughts are more that in older cultures people Generally did not live as long. There are exceptions, but even in a given culture, like the Greeks, where some lived to 80 or more, the common man/woman had a much shorter life.

Given that, you had to get babies out at a much younger age. Being horny made that imperative much easier.
Actually, it seems if you could make it past childbirth, or childhood in general you had a better chance of living a decent amount of time.

But the fact of high infant and child mortality, and deaths in childbirth meant you better breed sooner rather than later.

World wide, populations stayed quite stabe for thousands of years. It looks like early breeding was necessary to maintain that.

Now, not so much.

It might be that we evolved to have sexual feeling early because we had to.

 

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