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Is Polygamy and Child Marriage ever acceptable?

 
 
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2021 10:14 am
There are lots of cultures in the world that were based on polygamy and child marriage. This includes Aboriginal cultures in what is now the US and Canada.

In the US and Canada, we forced the cultural practices to end using Indian Schools, Government control and military actions. In Australia I believe the government is still putting pressure on aboriginal communities to end these traditional practices.

I was reading about this recently in attempt to understand the current desire to Westernize the aboriginal population in Afghanistan. There seems to be an attempt to explain away polygamy and child marriage among North American communities as somehow benign. Although this was a marriage of young girls to wealthy older men... there was an idea that these girls were somehow empowered. It is difficult for me to understand how that work; I am an older wealthier man, I don't know what I would do to empower my child brides (if I had them).

Does any really think there is a difference between polygamy in tribal Afghanistan and tradition aboriginal cultures in North America? Why would that be?

 
View best answer, chosen by maxdancona
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2021 05:17 pm
Children are too young to legally consent to any form of marriage. Period.

If families (that want to arrange marriages for their children) wait until the children are adults and can consent before the actual marriage takes place, I would not object to that.

Polygamy among consenting adults is fine. I would argue that it is a human right just like gay marriage.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2021 05:59 pm
@oralloy,
I don't think you understood the issue here.

Native American Tribes (i.e. aboriginal cultures in what is now Canada and the US) practiced polygamy and child marriage. These were parts of traditional cultures that conflicted with Western Culture. And Canada and the US wiped them out.

Canada recently apologized for their "Indian Schools" where indigenous people were sent. The goal of these schools was to erase native culture, and protecting women was one of the stated goals of this policy. Incidentally, Canada's policy was effective. There are now no cultures (of which I am aware) that practice polygamy or child marriage. This practice that was once fairly common was eliminated.

If you are OK with Western culture (i.e. White people) forcing indigenous people to change traditional practices that they find troubling, then this thread isn't very interesting.

What is interesting to me is that people who condemn the way we stamped out traditional practices from indigenous tribes in the US and Canada are now demanding that we stamp out traditional practices from indigenous tribes in Afghanistan.

There seems to be a contradiction here.
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 19 Aug, 2021 11:31 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
If you are OK with Western culture (i.e. White people) forcing indigenous people to change traditional practices that they find troubling, then this thread isn't very interesting.

I am not only OK with it, I am an enthusiastic supporter.

But some nuance is necessary here. The things that I think we should forcibly prohibit are things like "human sacrifice", "killing people who are accused of witchcraft", "splashing acid in the faces of girls to punish them for learning to read", etc.

If a culture is different from us but isn't doing anything that "shocks my conscience" then I think we should respect that culture and even protect it from others who would harm it.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 07:49 am
Child marriage is still a feature in America.

Google child marriage in the United States.

It’s not undeveloped cultures it’s white men marrying little girls, like Jerry Lee Lewis.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 08:06 am
@izzythepush,
Child marriage is without question contrary to US culture (and the vast majority of Americans are opposed to it).

This thread is about indigenous cultures in the US, Canada, Australia and Afghanistan.

In many of these indigenous cultures polygamy and child marriage were normal and widely acceptable. The question is when Western "Civilization" has the right to eliminate traditional practices of indigenous cultures.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 08:24 am
@maxdancona,
No it is not.

There is no lower age for marriage in the states of California, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Between 2000 and 2015 over 200,000 minors were legally married in America.

Child marriage is as American as Apple Pie.

And Jerry Lee Lewis was never part of the indigenous American population.

This thread is about child marriage, now you might want to pretend it’s just something that happens in non Western cultures.

It’s not, the vast majority of the 200,000 children forced into marriage had to marry white middle aged men.

You have an aversion to the truth which is why you’re pretending the white American tradition of child marriage is something only the indigenous population do.

It’s a lie, this whole thread is an attempt at disinformation.

maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 08:28 am
@izzythepush,
This thread is about polygamy and child marriage in indigenous cultures. Your points are irrelevant (unless you are making the point that the US is equivalent to Native American culture.)

In many indigenous cultures, polygamy and child marriage was a normal part of life. There were rituals, and betrothals that were the expected part of the life of members of these cultures.

My question is whether in indigenous cultures these traditional practices were ever "acceptable"?

In the US and Canada, we have effectively eliminated these traditional practices in our Native American communities. Is this a good thing?
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 08:35 am
@maxdancona,
Control freaks can’t control.

This thread is about whatever the posters make of it.

You can stamp your feet as much as you like but you have zilch authority here.

You might want to ask yourself why you would start such a dishonest thread.

What stake do you have in white American men marrying kids?
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 08:38 am
I am in agreement that child marriage is not acceptable as they cannot consent. I think the greater question is when a child is old enough to determine consent - that might be a bit more questionable.

As far as respecting other cultures - I do agree you should accept other cultures, however, once that culture impedes on someone else's freedom or right to live as they wish then it is more than respecting a culture. Basically to me child marriage is pretty much the same thing as rape - a child is not mature enough to consent to an adult relationship they do not have any power.

There have been and still are many cultural things that are not right - cannibalism for one. Can you tell me if it is a cultural practice then this is ok? Just because something is part of a culture does not make it acceptable.

maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 08:46 am
@Linkat,
Hmm... interesting response Linkat.

Cannibalism is certainly a cultural taboo in our culture. You were inculcated to believe that eating human flesh is disgusting and barbaric... and I would have trouble eating human flesh even in an emergency situation to keep myself alive (although I might be able to get over it).

I don't see a moral problem with cannibalism. It is bad if someone kills me (in a battle or for any reason). The crime is that I am dead. I have a big moral objection to someone killing me. Once I am dead, I don't see why it is wrong for someone to eat me. To not use this perfectly good meat would be a waste (health issues aside).

I only bring this up because this is a cultural taboo. I have an strong emotional objection to cannibalism, but I don't have an intellectual moral reason for this objection. I feel this way because I was brought up in a Western cultural context. That kind of feeds into my main point.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 08:49 am
@Linkat,
The problem with your argument is that White people make the rules for all of the rest of the world.

White people (i.e. Western European cultures) think that polygamy and child marriage are wrong in our traditional culture.

Indigenous people think that this is the normal way of doing things as part of their perfectly well functioning traditional culture.

White people always win the argument when it comes to cultural practices. But that seems to be that we have the better weapons. We have the ability to force our values onto traditional indigenous cultures.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 08:54 am
people of Papua New Guinea, until relatively recently, practiced transumption — eating deceased relatives. It is this isolated group that demonstrated the very serious ramifications of eating another human’s brain.

Kuru is a unanimously fatal, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy; it is a prion-based disease similar to BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), which is also known as mad cow disease.

Prion diseases are associated with the accumulation of an abnormal glycoprotein known as prion protein (PrP) in the brain. PrP occurs naturally, particularly in the nervous system. Its functions in health are not yet fully understood. However, PrP is known to play a role in a number of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

The Fore people are the only population who have experienced a documented epidemic of kuru and, at its peak in the 1950s, it was the leading cause of death in women among the Fore and their nearest neighbors.

The word “kuru” comes from the Fore language and means “to shake.” Kuru is also known as “laughing sickness” because of the pathologic bursts of laughter that patients would display.

The first report of kuru to reach Western ears came from Australian administrators who were exploring the area:

“The first sign of impending death is a general debility which is followed by general weakness and inability to stand. The victim retires to her house. She is able to take a little nourishment but suffers from violent shivering. The next stage is that the victim lies down in the house and cannot take nourishment, and death eventually ensues.”

W. T. Brown
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311277#The-health-implications-of-eating-colleagues
At its peak, 2 percent of all deaths in the Fore villages were due to kuru. The disease predominantly struck down females and children; in fact, some villages became almost entirely devoid of women.

This gender difference in the disease appears to have occurred for a couple of reasons. Fore men believed that, during times of conflict, consuming human flesh weakened them, so women and children more commonly ate the deceased.

Also, it was predominantly the women and children who were responsible for cleaning the bodies, leaving them at an increased risk of infection via any open wounds
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 09:13 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:
I am in agreement that child marriage is not acceptable as they cannot consent. I think the greater question is when a child is old enough to determine consent - that might be a bit more questionable.
That's certainly what we think today.

In (Western/Central) Europe, life expectancy at birth was a brief 25 years during the Roman Empire, it reached 33 years by the Middle Ages and only in the early 1900's raised up to 55 years.

So many of those persons, we would think of as 'children' actually were young adults in some historic periods.
Gisela of Hungary(of Bavaria, for instance, beatified by the Roman Catholic Church and co-saint of Hungary, was just ten years old when she married Saint Stephen I of Hungary (national saint of Hungary, sainthood in most Christian churches).
hightor
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 09:30 am
Acceptable to whom? It's obviously acceptable in the societies where it is a cultural practice.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 11:19 am
@maxdancona,
How about head hunting or any other type of killing of another human being that is not a threat?

I think that was what I was getting at as much as eating another human being.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 11:21 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

The problem with your argument is that White people make the rules for all of the rest of the world.

White people (i.e. Western European cultures) think that polygamy and child marriage are wrong in our traditional culture.

Indigenous people think that this is the normal way of doing things as part of their perfectly well functioning traditional culture.

White people always win the argument when it comes to cultural practices. But that seems to be that we have the better weapons. We have the ability to force our values onto traditional indigenous cultures.



Not necessarily - if a cultural suppresses women for instance and does not allow them equal rights - do you think that the woman are happy with this? Do you think a young child is happy about having sex with a 40 year old man as is a tradition of a child bride? The child has no choice and no power. That is where it crosses the line.

I am not imposing my beliefs on their cultural but I do when another person is being abused or harmed or treated unfairly. That is where it becomes wrong.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 11:28 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Exactly why I stated it that way. Even today there can be a big difference between some 15 year olds in maturity.

If that 10 year old you are refencing is capable of making a mature consent decision or not - I cannot speak to.

But I doubt that many people today would see a child of 10 (and I say child) and see that such a child is not capable of an adult relationship.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 11:29 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

Acceptable to whom? It's obviously acceptable in the societies where it is a cultural practice.


True - I was venture to guess that most serial killers believe their killings are acceptable. But most reasonable people would not find it acceptable.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 20 Aug, 2021 11:48 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

Not necessarily - if a cultural suppresses women for instance and does not allow them equal rights - do you think that the woman are happy with this? Do you think a young child is happy about having sex with a 40 year old man as is a tradition of a child bride? The child has no choice and no power. That is where it crosses the line.

I am not imposing my beliefs on their cultural but I do when another person is being abused or harmed or treated unfairly. That is where it becomes wrong.


Actually, I do believe that indigenous women were happy living within their own perfectly well functioning cultures. Of course, I am a White man who has lived in a modern Western culture all of my life I have no way to judge this.

And that is the problem. White people are the judges... and White people even judge how indigenous women feel about indigenous cultures.

We are forcing indigenous cultures to give up traditional culture values in order to make White people feel comfortable. Neither you or I have any understanding of the culture; we have never lived among indigenous people, we don't know the religious beliefs we don't even speak the language. And yet we are perfectly willing to tell them whether they should be happy.


 

 
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