Thursday 15th June 2017




I find it barbaric that twenty-seven states in this country set no minimum age for girls to marry. In nine states the limit is below sixteen. In New Hampshire the minimum age is thirteen. Thirteen! (Time Magazine, June 12, 2017) A girl of thirteen may be physically ready to get pregnant and bare a child, but she is certainly not emotionally prepared to be a wife and mother. She is still a child: a seventh grader in middle school.
These marriages are only possible with parental consent. Parents may feel that a marriage is better than their daughter having an illegitimate child. Much to my dismay, in some statutory rapes cases, instead of the court prosecuting the case, they allow a marriage to take place instead. Therefore, some marriages are then signed off on for men who are adults and girls who are not. That might be acceptable for an eighteen year old male and a seventeen year old female. But what about a twenty-seven year old man and a fourteen year old girl? Is that acceptable?
A classmate of mine in junior high school was married, with parental permission, at sixteen to a man who was twenty-two. I was stunned at her ‘wedding’ to remember that just a month before we were listening to the latest Beatles songs and swooning over Paul, and debating on which lipstick was prettier; pink or coral? I thought that night that Marsha would never go on to high school, never go to the Prom, never choose what she would do after high school. Because now she was married. And her husband would decide everything for her. I never saw her again. I wondered then if that marriage was legal and right. Now I know.


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