We are from a small town in Michigan, so when my teenage cousin brought her friend to a birthday party I was SHOCKED by some of the things I heard!
The friend is Iranian and was telling me that some of her cousins, as young as 11 and 12, are being "married off" because the family is poor (apparently they receive sizable money from the men when the daughters are married). She was telling me that she is getting engaged this year and will be married at 15. She said she felt special and more mature, because of all her friends, she would be the only one married.
I was shocked by this, but kind of hopeful that the girl might have been exaggerating. So, I called one of my Iraqi friends who knows about a lot of Middle Eastern cultures, and she said this is very common and she had no doubt that it was true. She added that "men are willing to pay a lot of money to marry girls who are already US citizens so they can move."
I don't even know how "marrying off" girls this young can even be legal! I am just so saddened by this! I would like to believe I am pretty open to the customs of other cultures, and that I try very hard not to think of "my" ways as the "right" way at all times. However, I am really rattled by this. I mean, at 11 or 12 years old getting married, how long will it be before the babies start coming? Have they even had a damn period yet?! How is that not parent approved rape?! With the responsibilities of a wife and mother, what is going to happen to the young girls' educations? And the fact that it seems much more like a "sale" than a "marriage", is just terribly upsetting to me.
Am I naive? Has anyone else heard more about this directly? It is just hitting way too close to home for me right now, and I feel like these poor girls need an advocate BADLY.
Answer by June_Mama09 at 3:39 PM on Mar. 7, 2011
Answer by Olivia4116 at 4:53 PM on Mar. 7, 2011
Answer by gemgem at 3:34 PM on Mar. 7, 2011
Answer by TARARENEE at 3:37 PM on Mar. 7, 2011
Answer by jodi205 at 3:39 PM on Mar. 7, 2011
Answer by AmI88 at 3:40 PM on Mar. 7, 2011
Answer by AmI88 at 3:41 PM on Mar. 7, 2011
Answer by stitchintime at 4:37 PM on Mar. 7, 2011