Marriage Age for Girls

Mar 30th, 2010, in Asides, by

How young can girls be married, NU issues fatwa allowing for marriage below the age of consent.


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183 Comments on “Marriage Age for Girls”

  1. venna says:

    Oh man, this is getting more and more interesting. Nice. I’ll be back to you tomorrow morning, not much time right now to write. But just a quick note:

    You can’t expect unconditional kindness from strangers because that’s not the way the world works.
    ___________

    You can’t expect but you can make it work. Especially when you are in a higher position and have more alternatives. What do you think by islam teaching people about ‘ikhlas’ concept when you help others? It is an unconditional kindness, and the only thing that we can expect from this that it will help us to get nice lot in heaven. But for people who think more about trading-business-heaven-hell-stuffs, they won’t give a damn about this. They will keep helping people, no matter what.

  2. venna says:

    who think more about
    ________

    sorry, I meant more than, not more about

  3. deta says:

    What are the risks of underage marriage exactly?
    Exploitation – a) can’t exploit the willing. b) If ur gonna mention the wealth disparity, it happens regardless of age.
    Dying in child birth – surely rich folks can afford caesarian birth
    Abuse(physical/verbal) – it can happen to anyone regardless of age.
    female genitalia underdevelopment – formation fully matured at an average age of 10 and gradually expands during pregnancy, it’s elastic anyway.

    Ah, realest, you did a good job to intrigue someone joining the party…..

    While you mentioned mostly the physical aspects, how if I come up with the aspect of emotional and social damage to children/teenagers who undergo underage marriage as it interrupts the natural courses of their lives. The damage can be a result of the isolation from their friends while children are actually still on the stage of developing their socialization capability, and the limited opportunity to expand their knowledge and explore their world because they have to perform their duty as a housewife. They miss their opportunity to go to school, for god’s sake.

    This is a form of emotional abuse that is specific to an underage, not to anyone regardless of age. And if you said that physical/verbal abuse can happen to anyone, children are of course in a more vulnerable position compared to matured persons and bear a higher risk of getting that unpleasant treatment. And the effect is clear, as people who experienced this abuse in their young ages will less likely to achieve self-fulfillment later in their lives.

  4. deta says:

    you did a good job to intrigue someone joining the party…..

    Just after this thread was removed from the front page….
    (and I just realized that 😉 )

  5. venna says:

    @Deta: This one is for you too, Deta.

    _________________
    c) What’s the measure for an underage? A dozen countries has their legal age at 14, some at 11-12 and a few 3rd world country(fyi indonesia is one) has no age boundaries. Is it puberty? Puberty starts at 10 for girls. Is it menstruation? Menstruation starts at … perhaps 10.
    _________________

    Underage concept is mostly associated with readiness to marriage and taking full responsibility for their life; means that those who classified by law or by culture as underage are assumed as not ready to enter marriage, not taking full responsibility as adult and therefore they will get special treatment (e.g. when they commit/doing criminal acts, they won’t get the same sanction as adults), and have to have parents/adults approval for some cases.

    I will limit two basic concepts about underage to make it easier to compare and focus in our discussion.

    1) based on puberty:
    nothing new here. Puberty starts mainly at 12-13 yrs old, and it vary from races, continents, climates. Some believe that girls in warmer climate tend to have earlier puberty, but the difference is not too significant comparing to girls at cooler climate. The maximum age is 16; so if your daughter or son does not show puberty stage until 16, it means you need to bring them to doctor, just in case something wrong happened. Puberty is in the same line with the awakening of sexual desire. Can be concluded that they are physically ready for having this activity.

    2) But, physically-ready is not at the same progress chart with mentally/cognitively- ready.
    At age 10-12, a kid is still not fully developing his/her logic and cannot resolve reasoning problem. If you ask a 10 yrs old girl why she married an 50 yrs old guy, you may find her answer is not satisfying and illogical. Big chance too you will get answer that her parents suggested her, or that her parents forced her. They also still mingle more with the same-sex peer groups rather than developing sense to approach the opposite-sex-and specifically, older folks. So I doubt that a girl at this age period really “willing & by her own choice, completely aware” to be with that old man without having previous “input” from her parents/adults.

    At age 14, kids mostly become more impulsive, they want everything right now. They maybe impulsively want to get married and beg their parents, or starting to rebel, run from home, etc. 16 years old, they will have more regular and stable menstrual period, but they become more challenging, stubborn, or opinionated. Any parents with 16 yrs old teenagers will agree that this period is the most challenging one. I don’t know whether this can be calmed down if they are married, but my grandfather’s experience showed no differences. He had a young second wife, the same age as his daughters, and he showed impulsive behavior too around that age & my grandma had to treat her as the same as she treated her daughters. Buying her the same cloths, the same toys, etc. Because if not, then she would be jealous and start whining, complaining, just like any normal teenagers.

    18 yrs old, their dependency on peer group reduced significantly and they can make decision without too much affected by their peer’s opinion. That’s I assume they also more mature sexually and can bear more responsibility because they already pass a stormy period and they already know their sexual preference, and they know who they want more as their partner.

    Each country, either they choose puberty period as the basic to develop concept of underage, or they choose mental development period. USA generally using 18 yrs as the benchmark, where a person can decide to marry independently. Some states using 16-17. Anyone below that age, is categorized as underage and have to provide parent’s consent or birth certificate. Indonesia, if I’m not mistaken, taking 16 yrs as the benchmark. Arab countries typically around 15-19, but the numbers of people who married at that age decreased significantly and the numbers of people who married around 20-29 increased a lot. Probably it is triggered by the higher numbers of women there that pursuing higher education and want more independency before entering marriage.

  6. venna says:

    What are the risks of underage marriage exactly?
    Exploitation – a) can’t exploit the willing.
    (Already answered at my previous long post. I doubt it that it is really their will).
    _______

    Dying in child birth – surely rich folks can afford caesarian birth
    (you are still single, aren’t you? because I’ve been through caesarian birth and I know well how it felt. You better provide 3 months to stay alert if your future underage wife having this surgery because she may get a lot more problems than you can imagine right now)
    _______

    Abuse(physical/verbal) – it can happen to anyone regardless of age.
    (still it is not a good excuse to legalize underage marriage. Why add more victims, and worse, underage victims?)
    _______

    female genitalia underdevelopment – formation fully matured at an average age of 10 and gradually expands during pregnancy, it’s elastic anyway. Put it this way: if it’s physically unfeasible for underage women to carry a child, mother nature(God) wouldn’t allow pregnancy to happen at such a young age
    (a marriage is not only a matter of having sex and get pregnant. Except you treat your wife only as a machine to produce kid, then yes, I can understand if you put more attention to her physical readiness. Sexually mature is not at the same progress chart with mentally/cognitively mature).
    _______

    if the lucky folks (rich men, educated men, the decision makers)
    I find the notion rather offensive because personally i strive to be rich and ascend to the very top of the corporate ladder some day; it’s called ambition. But let’s move on shall we.
    (sorry… didn’t meant to be offensive. But I will classify married teenagers who still depends on their parents as money resources either as brats or “lucky”. Sorry for that, but I haven’t found another term for them. Because I will apply this concept to my kids; if they feel they are ready to marry at a young age, they should be ready too to take responsibility economically. Mom&dad won’t give you money).
    _______

    a) Why shouldn’t i enjoy the fruits of the hard work i put in my youth and enjoy them in later years?
    (you mean, once you’ve become a stable and rich old guy (say, at 45-50 years old range), you have a right to enjoy your hard work by marrying underage girls and doing polygamy? Well, surely you’ll scare some parents out there).
    ________

    b) My religion allows it and my country of residence has no qualms about it. I don’t feel anything wrong
    (yep, there’s nothing wrong with that, until you become a parent, and your 10 yrs old kid is approached by a rich oldie 50 years guy – you can add more characteristic to make it dramatic – redneck, greaseball, pedophilie wannabe, etc – and if something happened later (like economic crisis, for example) and suddenly you are poor and hungry, than doesn’t matter too. You will marry her off anyway, to keep food available on the dining table).
    ________

    If ur gonna say maturity aka life experience level, any 22 year old living in a box(overprotective parents perhaps) has as much street sense as a 10 year old used to living in the one of many rough streets in Indonesia
    (is it your own assumption or you actually counting the facts in the field?)

  7. ET says:

    @ Arie Brand

    if you have no real information on actual past practices in Bali (as different from what people said ought to be done), you could not so positively declare that that Encyclopaedia article was wrong on this point.

    No real information? If you don’t agree with the scholarly sources I mentioned, who clearly stated that capture of girls was prohibited, you should address yourself to them, not to me. I only tried to point out that the Encyclopaedia was inaccurate in stating that abduction of the women against their will was customary while it was elopement with the woman’s consent which was a current practice. The Encyclopaedia should have made this distinction so as not let readers come to the wrong conclusions about the mores of the Oost-Indische colonial ‘subordinates’.

    But then again, the Dutch made lots of mistakes while ruling the archipelago, didn’t they?

  8. Arie Brand says:

    Hi ET – that’s me continuing to be obstinate.

    One of the first things I learned in anthropology was that there can be quite a discrepancy between what people say ought to be done (especially when they talk about the past), and what was actually done. This is a matter of ‘ideal pattern’ versus ‘real pattern’.

    The encyclopedia was more or less a contemporary nineteenth century source. The old people who talked to Jane Belo three quarters of a century ago probably knew in their youth the ‘real pattern’ at first hand. As you recall they claimed that girls were OFTEN STOLEN by enemy villages. That doesn’t sound like a consensual arrangement to me.

    I haven’t seen Hobart et al’s book but there seems to me at least a possibility that they have taken the information provided by much later informants at face value. It has happened to much more famous anthropologists. Read up on Derek Freeman’s scathing analysis of Mead’s famous book “Growing up in Samoa”.

    I will ignore your cheap shot about the “mistakes” in Dutch rule.

  9. Arie Brand says:

    Correction: Mead’s title was “Coming of Age in Samoa”.

  10. Oigal says:

    I will ignore your cheap shot

    Bet a lot of Indonesians wish they could have ignored the cheap shot from their dutch rulers at the time..might have saved a lot of bloodloss.

  11. Arie Brand says:

    It is quite likely that since the last sixty years or so more Indonesians have been killed by fellow Indonesians than by the Dutch in 300 years of colonial rule. The bloodshed after the Gestapu-coup, Aceh, Papua etc.

  12. Oigal says:

    Oh well, thats ok then..

  13. realest says:

    Underage concept is mostly associated with readiness to marriage and taking full responsibility for their life; means that those who classified by law or by culture as underage are assumed as not ready to enter marriage, not taking full responsibility as adult and therefore they will get special treatment (e.g. when they commit/doing criminal acts, they won’t get the same sanction as adults), and have to have parents/adults approval for some cases.

    Their parents approve!! What right have u to intervene? And as i’ve mentioned before, underage marriage is the best choice they have to break the cycle of poverty. It’s like winning a lottery >_<

    1) based on puberty:
    nothing new here. Puberty starts mainly at 12-13 yrs old, and it vary from races, continents, climates. Some believe that girls in warmer climate tend to have earlier puberty, but the difference is not too significant comparing to girls at cooler climate. The maximum age is 16; so if your daughter or son does not show puberty stage until 16, it means you need to bring them to doctor, just in case something wrong happened. Puberty is in the same line with the awakening of sexual desire. Can be concluded that they are physically ready for having this activity.

    Puberty starts at 10 for girls. Poor people don’t go to the doctor, they’re lucky enough if they’ve access to a doctor. Besides they trust traditional medicines(which many don’t work) and shaman(dukun) more than doctors anyway.

    2) But, physically-ready is not at the same progress chart with mentally/cognitively- ready.
    At age 10-12, a kid is still not fully developing his/her logic and cannot resolve reasoning problem. If you ask a 10 yrs old girl why she married an 50 yrs old guy, you may find her answer is not satisfying and illogical. Big chance too you will get answer that her parents suggested her, or that her parents forced her. They also still mingle more with the same-sex peer groups rather than developing sense to approach the opposite-sex-and specifically, older folks. So I doubt that a girl at this age period really “willing & by her own choice, completely aware” to be with that old man without having previous “input” from her parents/adults.

    I knew it, gosh i hate repeating myself. A 10 year old learning harsh reality on the streets has as much street wisdom as a 22 year college graduate living in a box(overprotective parents who don’t allow their kids to socialise much for fear of bad influence). Parents “force” us on everything – from eating greenies, learning to deal with confrontations to imparting business knowledge. My parents taught me to walk away from any physical fights, while others empower their child with self-defence classes to fight back or even taught them to bring a baseball bat for retaliation. There are advantages and disadvantages(getting bullied in school) in both scenarios. It’s ridiculous for anyone to interfere on how anyone should teach their child – it’s like disrespecting the sovereignty of another country.

    At age 14, kids mostly become more impulsive, they want everything right now. They maybe impulsively want to get married and beg their parents, or starting to rebel, run from home, etc. 16 years old, they will have more regular and stable menstrual period, but they become more challenging, stubborn, or opinionated. Any parents with 16 yrs old teenagers will agree that this period is the most challenging one. I don’t know whether this can be calmed down if they are married, but my grandfather’s experience showed no differences. He had a young second wife, the same age as his daughters, and he showed impulsive behavior too around that age & my grandma had to treat her as the same as she treated her daughters. Buying her the same cloths, the same toys, etc. Because if not, then she would be jealous and start whining, complaining, just like any normal teenagers.

    18 yrs old, their dependency on peer group reduced significantly and they can make decision without too much affected by their peer’s opinion. That’s I assume they also more mature sexually and can bear more responsibility because they already pass a stormy period and they already know their sexual preference, and they know who they want more as their partner.

    Unjustified personal opinions. My picture of these girls would be – (normal)slave away at home and the farm for 10 years as soon as they learn to walk and getting married vs (underage)slave away at home for 5 years and getting married; the second one sounds pretty good to me. In both cases, the girls learn nothing but to keep everything to themselves and any sign of rebellion will be effectively put down with punishment of ten lashes(or very hard slaps). The maturity of individuals varies depending on culture, parental figures, environment, peer pressure … etc. Assuming similar stances for everybody is pure ignorance. I’ve already covered all of these in my previous posts.

    Each country, either they choose puberty period as the basic to develop concept of underage, or they choose mental development period. USA generally using 18 yrs as the benchmark, where a person can decide to marry independently. Some states using 16-17. Anyone below that age, is categorized as underage and have to provide parent’s consent or birth certificate. Indonesia, if I’m not mistaken, taking 16 yrs as the benchmark. Arab countries typically around 15-19, but the numbers of people who married at that age decreased significantly and the numbers of people who married around 20-29 increased a lot. Probably it is triggered by the higher numbers of women there that pursuing higher education and want more independency before entering marriage.

    Arab countries and many african nations allow underage marriage with parental consent, at least as far as i know. Again … how do you measure an underage’s maturity level to deem them incompetent(by your logic) in facing adulthood? 12 year old women has birth babies for millenniums which of those has turned out to be pioneers and studied figures in modern times.

  14. venna says:

    nd as i’ve mentioned before, underage marriage is the best choice they have to break the cycle of poverty. It’s like winning a lottery >_<
    ___________
    Yaikss…. this is the main difference between you and me. I've been in difficult situation many times along my childhood, adolescence and my adult times. You mentioned that at some period you only able to eat one time, well, my parents had to do Daud fasting and my mom almost collapsed because there was no food at all in our house, and she had to ask a bowl of rice from our neighbor. Shit happened even to the "lucky" folks. But during that time, my parents NEVER counting option by marrying me with rich dude to solve problem. They had a chance to do that, but they didn't take it.

    During 1998, shit happened to me. I almost thinking about being a second wife because I could not bear the pressure too long. And I met a local big shot. Easy for him to take advantage of me, a desperate bankrupt unemployed young girl. But he did not offer that option to me. What he did was giving me a job (reading and doing his homeworks – he took a graduate class at that time), and paid me with ridiculously higher amount of money. Later he asked one of his folks to offer me a formal job at his place, until I was able to manage my life again and fly away to get better career. He didn't ask something in return at all, maybe just asking me to shut up when he dealt with an undisciplined city mayor. See, this what I meant with "lucky folks" can offer another alternatives to help others rather than offering common solution like you mentioned.
    ________
    Unjustified personal opinions.
    ________
    Read about child growth and development topic. It is not my personal opinion. Also, not all girls starting their period time at 10 years. It vary between 10 up to 16. We take the median, it will be around 12-13.

  15. realest says:

    What are the risks of underage marriage exactly?
    Exploitation – a) can’t exploit the willing.
    (Already answered at my previous long post. I doubt it that it is really their will).

    People follow their parents’ will all the time whether you like it or not, especially in circumstances of poverty where u’ve very few choices in life. For some, timing is of the essence – with rich old man offering your daughter’s hand at 10 year old OR marrying the next village bum 6 years later and living in poverty for the next 10 generations.

    Dying in child birth – surely rich folks can afford caesarian birth
    (you are still single, aren’t you? because I’ve been through caesarian birth and I know well how it felt. You better provide 3 months to stay alert if your future underage wife having this surgery because she may get a lot more problems than you can imagine right now)

    Point is dying of child birth is no longer a factor against underage marriage. Agreed? Let’s move on.

    (a marriage is not only a matter of having sex and get pregnant. Except you treat your wife only as a machine to produce kid, then yes, I can understand if you put more attention to her physical readiness. Sexually mature is not at the same progress chart with mentally/cognitively mature)

    Im not proud to say this but harsh reality indicates that marrying a dumb village girl means her duties are solely for the purpose of making babies and taking care of the house. In stereotypical cases if u want to marry someone of equal worth or at least someone of matching intelligence, you’ll look for mature educated girls in the city.

    (you mean, once you’ve become a stable and rich old guy (say, at 45-50 years old range), you have a right to enjoy your hard work by marrying underage girls and doing polygamy? Well, surely you’ll scare some parents out there)

    Why not, if my country and my religion allows for it? Would you marry someone and live off love(and go hungry eating air) or would you marry someone you can depend on financially+emotional stability+wisdom? There are tangible advantages why women like older men, i merely increased the intensity of that matter =)

    (yep, there’s nothing wrong with that, until you become a parent, and your 10 yrs old kid is approached by a rich oldie 50 years guy – you can add more characteristic to make it dramatic – redneck, greaseball, pedophilie wannabe, etc – and if something happened later (like economic crisis, for example) and suddenly you are poor and hungry, than doesn’t matter too. You will marry her off anyway, to keep food available on the dining table)

    You just blurted out your lack of empathy for poor people. A hungry man(or woman) is an angry man. You threw the element of poverty out of the window and expect every people out there to have the same resourcefulness(due to sound education) as you do. As i’ve mentioned to Ross, i’m lucky enough to not have to make that kind of choices for my children someday. However, if put into the poor man’s shoes, i might(or would) make the very same decision that they do.

    (is it your own assumption or you actually counting the facts in the field?)

    So do you agree that maturity level cannot be measured? Because that’s actually the whole point of that paragraph.

  16. ET says:

    @ Arie Brand

    Two points:

    The encyclopedia was more or less a contemporary nineteenth century source.

    The “Encyclopaedie van Nederlandsch-Indie “ was published around the time when Dutch rule in what is now Indonesia came under much scrutiny, not in the least by Multatuli’s book Max Havelaar, which was the onset for the subsequent ‘ethische politiek’. As a result I can imagine that the ‘powers that were’ came under pressure to whitewash their actions and behaviour by patronizingly putting the natives in a bad or at least uncivilized light. As a tome like the ‘Encyclopaedie’ was probably financed for the larger part by those same powers, I have my doubts as to its impartiality.

    The old people who talked to Jane Belo three quarters of a century ago probably knew in their youth the ‘real pattern’ at first hand.

    I don’t know to what extent Jane Belo spoke or even understood Balinese (which of its three levels?) to have a direct conversation with the old codgers in Sayan. Even if she spoke Indonesian there was little chance they would have understood her as even now most of the village people over eighty still don’t master the language. So there were most probably interpreters involved which makes misunderstandings even more plausible, the more so due to the context-sensitivity of their language and the cultural habit to kowtow and certainly not to contradict people whom they regard as superior.

    This probably also happened to Margareth Mead, who bluntly called Balinese women “bad mothers”, because of different cultural perceptions when certain behaviour of Balinese women towards their children was explained to her. Like Derek Freeman, the psychiatrist prof. Luh Ketut Suryani, also gave a scathing analysis of Mead’s presumptions in her book The Balinese People: A Reinvestigation of Character.

  17. realest says:

    Yaikss…. this is the main difference between you and me. I’ve been in difficult situation many times along my childhood, adolescence and my adult times. You mentioned that at some period you only able to eat one time, well, my parents had to do Daud fasting and my mom almost collapsed because there was no food at all in our house, and she had to ask a bowl of rice from our neighbor. Shit happened even to the “lucky” folks. But during that time, my parents NEVER counting option by marrying me with rich dude to solve problem. They had a chance to do that, but they didn’t take it.

    During 1998, shit happened to me. I almost thinking about being a second wife because I could not bear the pressure too long. And I met a local big shot. Easy for him to take advantage of me, a desperate bankrupt unemployed young girl. But he did not offer that option to me. What he did was giving me a job (reading and doing his homeworks – he took a graduate class at that time), and paid me with ridiculously higher amount of money. Later he asked one of his folks to offer me a formal job at his place, until I was able to manage my life again and fly away to get better career. He didn’t ask something in return at all, maybe just asking me to shut up when he dealt with an undisciplined city mayor. See, this what I meant with “lucky folks” can offer another alternatives to help others rather than offering common solution like you mentioned.

    Wow ur lucky. So can i assume that you’re educated to begin with? wait a minute … village girls don’t usually make it beyond primary school. so i guess your case has no just for comparison.

    Unjustified personal opinions.
    ________
    Read about child growth and development topic. It is not my personal opinion. Also, not all girls starting their period time at 10 years. It vary between 10 up to 16. We take the median, it will be around 12-13.

    My picture of these girls would be – (normal)slave away at home and the farm for 10 years as soon as they learn to walk and getting married vs (underage)slave away at home for 5 years and getting married; the second one sounds pretty good to me. In both cases, the girls learn nothing but to keep everything to themselves and any sign of rebellion will be effectively put down with punishment of ten lashes(or very hard slaps). The maturity of individuals varies depending on culture, parental figures, environment, peer pressure … etc. Assuming similar stances for everybody is pure ignorance.

  18. ET says:

    realest

    Why not, if my country and my religion allows for it?

    Is this your yardstick? As long as it’s not explicitly forbidden, go ahead. Did you never learn to think for yourself?
    O, I forgot. Your religion doesn’t allow that.

  19. venna says:

    n both cases, the girls learn nothing but to keep everything to themselves and any sign of rebellion will be effectively put down with punishment of ten lashes(or very hard slaps).
    ____________
    A clear sign of repression and exploitation. And when they refuse to marry rich old men, I bet they got silenced by punishment too. And it cannot be classified as “willing” or “mature”. They just learn how to adapt with hard environment, but they still have ‘child characters’ inside them. It won’t change too dramatically, just being hidden or silenced.

  20. Arie Brand says:

    ET, the “Encyclopaedie van Nederlandsch Indie” was first published in 1896 by two reputable academic publishers who still operate today: Martinus Nijhoff and E.J.Brill. The editor of the first two volumes was the Leiden academic Professor P.A. van der Lith (later volumes were edited in cooperation with the orientalist Snelleman). He got quite a team together.

    Since there was at that time quite considerable interest in Holland for the Indies it must, commercially, not have been a very risky venture. So I doubt whether the financial support of the ‘powers that were” was really needed. And I doubt also whether these particular contriibutors would have been going out of their way to slander some Indonesian peoples on the basis of some political agenda.

    Of course this Encyclopedia was not flawless, as the editor freely admits in his introduction. But that doesn’t mean that it was necessarily wrong on this particular point.

    Jane Belo spent seven years in Bali. I don’t know whether she learned Balinese. But even if she relied on interpreters (from Balinese to bahasa Indonesia) there could hardly have been a mistake about the simple words involved.

    Did you ever read Max Havelaar? I have quite an archive on Douwes Dekker’s ‘perkara’ in Lebak. Perhaps I will write about it one day.

  21. venna says:

    Wow ur lucky. So can i assume that you’re educated to begin with? wait a minute … village girls don’t usually make it beyond primary school. so i guess your case has no just for comparison
    _____________

    Doesn’t need to be a poor village farmers or slaves to know that people can do anything-stupid things particularly- if they’re hungry. Everybody is possible to take shortcut whether they live in rural or urban. What make a difference is their option. Rather than marrying me with a rich dude, my dad chose to push me to focus learning english language and not being shy or afraid on anything. It works like magic. Once a kid show a particular skill like this, people start to see her/him differently. Believe it or not, lots of people offering helps to my dad every time he got financial problem so I can continue my education. And i enjoy the fruit too; i can always use my skill to escape and to prevent me from taking shortcut. Almost no one underestimate me even my family was not rich. And the local big shots (kyais, local leaders) never see me as the same as they see other girls.

    Girls and their parents at the village actually has the same option too. They can choose to continue their education. But what I often see in some villages in east java (i worked for community development project for pretty long time), even they have enough resources, they still keep stopping education for girls because they think there is no benefit on it. Better to spend money on boys and prepare girls to marry soon, sending them to pesantren and good if the kyais eyeing them. See, it is not only about poverty there, but more on habit and perspective.

  22. realest says:

    @venna

    A clear sign of repression and exploitation. And when they refuse to marry rich old men, I bet they got silenced by punishment too. And it cannot be classified as “willing” or “mature”. They just learn how to adapt with hard environment, but they still have ‘child characters’ inside them. It won’t change too dramatically, just being hidden or silenced.

    What choices do they have? Do you expect a poor farmer earning Rp 600k/month to put their 5 children through high school? What available jobs are there around for the girl? Once again, think and put yourself in her shoes. Everyone is tired of being poor, even the rich ones if u know what i mean.

    Rather than marrying me with a rich dude, my dad chose to push me to focus learning english language and not being shy or afraid on anything. It works like magic. Once a kid show a particular skill like this, people start to see her/him differently. Believe it or not, lots of people offering helps to my dad every time he got financial problem so I can continue my education. And i enjoy the fruit too; i can always use my skill to escape and to prevent me from taking shortcut. Almost no one underestimate me even my family was not rich. And the local big shots (kyais, local leaders) never see me as the same as they see other girls.

    Your dad has the money and resources to educate you in english language. “They” can barely feed themselves.

    Girls and their parents at the village actually has the same option too. They can choose to continue their education. But what I often see in some villages in east java (i worked for community development project for pretty long time), even they have enough resources, they still keep stopping education for girls because they think there is no benefit on it. Better to spend money on boys and prepare girls to marry soon, sending them to pesantren and good if the kyais eyeing them. See, it is not only about poverty there, but more on habit and perspective.

    Bottomline …. they’ve no access to education, whatever the reasons are. These are asian cultures, something that we may never see change at least in our lifetime.

    “They can choose to continue their education.”

    Ok, this is hilarious considering you’ve worked for comdev projects. In indonesia books, uniforms and other “voluntary” donations cost a small fortune. I know that first hand because my housekeeper always request for an advance at the start of each new semester.

  23. venna says:

    Everyone is tired of being poor, even the rich ones if u know what i mean.
    ________
    Yes, everyone is tired. I understand. That’s why at the beginning I said I didn’t blame those girls. What I disagree is, if the lucky folks keep continuing their usual respond without further improvisation. They have resources and option to give help without taking advantage on those poor girls. And they are relatively more educated too than the common people, why they not start to think more than just marrying them?

    Your dad has the money and resources to educate you in english language.
    __________
    nah, he just had little bit more money to send me to school and push me to learn english from anyone, anyone… and speak with it, even it embarassed me alot.
    __________
    Bottomline …. they’ve no access to education, whatever the reasons are. These are asian cultures, something that we may never see change at least in our lifetime.
    __________
    Yep, and now it is time to change. Start from those lucky folks, encourage them to spend more effort on providing better education access for girls, encourage them to inspire their parents to invest more on their girls rather than simply seeing them as an asset for economic transaction.
    __________
    Ok, this is hilarious considering you’ve worked for comdev projects. In indonesia books, uniforms and other “voluntary” donations cost a small fortune. I know that first hand because my housekeeper always request for an advance at the start of each new semester.
    __________
    Man, man, man…. didn’t I say that I refer it to those villagers that are more lucky than the others? Still they have the same habit as the poor! marrying their girls at young age and stop their education around 6 grade or early junior high school.

    Just in case you didn’t pay attention to my previous posting, here I copy it again:
    _______________

    I don’t blame those girls that choose to be married by older rich men, but it doesn’t mean I agree with this fatwa. NU as the biggest social organization has lots of capacity and human resource to create changes and introduce different perspective. They should be able to do more than this.
    _______________
    You see? I put more critics on those “lucky educated resourceful” folks!

    I miss this posting:

    People follow their parents’ will all the time whether you like it or not, especially in circumstances of poverty where u’ve very few choices in life.
    _______
    Yep, again, it’s not their wil, but parents’s will. Exploitation, clearly.
    _______
    with rich old man offering your daughter’s hand at 10 year old OR marrying the next village bum 6 years later and living in poverty for the next 10 generations.
    _______
    The exact point why I don’t like them (old rich bastard men): they have choice to give better solution by helping them to finish their school and help them to able to be independent and cut poverty cycle in a better way. But they do not do that, instead they keep saying the familiar sentence, just like syekh puji: “I like kids, and it’s okay because my prophet also do the same”. Blaaahhh….
    _______
    harsh reality indicates that marrying a dumb village girl means her duties are solely for the purpose of making babies and taking care of the house.
    _______
    Another good point you gave to me and increase my opposition to underage marriage ideas. Because it’s not really helping the girls, it only help them for not being hungry; but they are kept dumb so they can be slave in their own household; function as a machine to produce kids and sex servant, practically. Show me how many rich old men that want to give their young wife chance to finish their school? Almost none, I can guarantee. Because the more educated they are, the bigger chance they will fly to find better jobs and husband. And what’s the point? Keep those poor folks at their current place, don’t give them any chance, otherwise they cannot marry their young daughters!
    _______
    Would you marry someone and live off love(and go hungry eating air) or would you marry someone you can depend on financially+emotional stability+wisdom? There are tangible advantages why women like older men, i merely increased the intensity of that matter =)
    _______
    Deee deee deee…. my appetite is a young, the same or not far difference in age, with those traits: financially+emotional stability+wisdom. Oh, it feels good to be empowered woman like this, I get more choices 🙂
    And unfortunately, more women/girls miss this opportunity because of those old bastards that keeping them dumb and uneducated.

  24. realest says:

    @venna:
    i won’t comment on the first 2 posts, there’s nothing written that speaks against underage marriage.

    NU as the biggest social organization has lots of capacity and human resource to create changes and introduce different perspective. They should be able to do more than this.

    If the largest contributors(mainly financial ones) of NU detest the idea of underage marriage, they wouldn’t be issuing that fatwa.

  25. venna says:

    If the largest contributors(mainly financial ones) of NU detest the idea of underage marriage, they wouldn’t be issuing that fatwa.
    _______
    No, fortunately they are not that backward as I assumed before. They didn’t issue this fatwa. It just a misinformation. And fyi, they are actively involved a lot on grassroot movements that campaign about preventing underage marriage, children’s rights, women’s rights, education.

  26. realest says:

    Yep, again, it’s not their wil, but parents’s will. Exploitation, clearly.

    So my parents are exploiting me if they forced me to study english against my will? I don’t see you defining the scope of exploitation very well – parents do actually marry off their underage daughters for their daughters’ own good.

    The exact point why I don’t like them (old rich bastard men): they have choice to give better solution by helping them to finish their school and help them to able to be independent and cut poverty cycle in a better way. But they do not do that, instead they keep saying the familiar sentence, just like syekh puji: “I like kids, and it’s okay because my prophet also do the same”. Blaaahhh….

    Please don’t insult religion. I’m not a muslim but people who could piously attend prayers 3-5x/day, learn a difficult foreign language and endure a whole month of fasting deserves respect. Marrying an underage is just one of the many other earthly desires people are allowed to enjoy, less harmful than consuming alcohol or taking drugs.

    Show me how many rich old men that want to give their young wife chance to finish their school? Almost none, I can guarantee. Because the more educated they are, the bigger chance they will fly to find better jobs and husband. And what’s the point? Keep those poor folks at their current place, don’t give them any chance, otherwise they cannot marry their young daughters!

    So why would dirty old man help his poor underage wife have better opportunities in life only to have her run away(divorced) someday? As a comparison, I don’t see employers putting their 18 year old maids through school so they could stop working for them in the future -_-”

    And unfortunately, more women/girls miss this opportunity because of those old bastards that keeping them dumb and uneducated.

    Those girls would miss the opportunity to have a future but, at least by marrying old rich man, their offspring could escape the same fate as they do. Those old rich bastards didn’t put them in the cycle of poverty nor made them poor; the government and the society did.

  27. venna says:

    I don’t see you defining the scope of exploitation very well – parents do actually marry off their underage daughters for their daughters’ own good.
    _______
    We’re talking in context of underage marriage, right? Not in context parents do their job to make sure their kids study seriously.
    For their daughter’s own good? And the parents also enjoy the money and status, aren’t they?
    _______
    So why would dirty old man help his poor underage wife have better opportunities in life only to have her run away(divorced) someday? As a comparison, I don’t see employers putting their 18 year old maids through school so they could stop working for them in the future -_-”
    ______
    You’re wrong. good companies will give opportunity for their employers to get better skill and education and even pay them for this. The risk is that they may move to another company, but the advantage is clear: they got more qualified resources that can do better at their job, and they are not hesitant to offer better package to prevent them moving to another company. If the other company want to steal them, they have to pay more.
    So, dirty old men & exploitative companies like you mention, they doing what is called “hidden exploitation” by keeping them dumb so they have no choice other than depend totally to their masters and do whatever they want with little payment. Slavery, finally.
    ______
    the government and the society did.
    ______
    Those old bastards are part of the society that contribute to maintain poverty. If they don’t want to be labeled like that, better they start to think more than just marrying kids. And their offsprings will have the same fate as long as their habit doesn’t change: I refer to the habit of marrying underage girls and not put enough investment on girl’s education, that are still common among people in the villages (at least in east java), whether they are poor or rich.
    ______
    Please don’t insult religion.
    ______
    I don’t insult religion, I insult those opportunistic old bastards that only taking advantage without further vision.

  28. Odinius says:

    Arie said:

    ET, the “Encyclopaedie van Nederlandsch Indie” was first published in 1896 by two reputable academic publishers who still operate today: Martinus Nijhoff and E.J.Brill. The editor of the first two volumes was the Leiden academic Professor P.A. van der Lith (later volumes were edited in cooperation with the orientalist Snelleman). He got quite a team together.

    What is this supposed to demonstrate, exactly? Plenty of colonialists “got teams together” and wrote embarrassingly paternalist encyclopedias that were, at base, justifications for racial domination regimes.

    Doesn’t mean any given fact in the encyclopedia is wrong, per se, but it’s hardly an authoritative source. I’d rather see evidence from someone working under more current, and less “go go colonialism” anthropological conventions.

  29. Ross says:

    realest seems to think that children’s “rights” are paramount, so the girl-children should be able to agree to marry rich old brutes as an escape from doing chores on the farm or in the house.
    First, as a recent case showed, they may well not agree, and second, even if they say that such a life is just fine, should we permit it.
    I wouldn’t let my kids play on the jalan tol if they’d wanted to, nor would my Dad have agreed that I shoot the windows out of the hen-house though I then felt it was a grand thing to do.
    Children are parents’ responsiblity, until lthey reach adulthood.
    When does that begin? Some countries say 17, 18, 21, but does anyone truly think it starts at 10 or 12?
    The converse of all this, of course, remains what parents shoould be able to do to or with their children.
    Educate them as they see fit? Yes, and that should include home-schooling if the schools available are unacceptable.
    Chastise them when naughty? Yes. Sell them for sex with rich creepoids? No.

  30. realest says:

    We’re talking in context of underage marriage, right? Not in context parents do their job to make sure their kids study seriously.
    For their daughter’s own good? And the parents also enjoy the money and status, aren’t they?

    So?? Bottomline it’s for the daughter’s own good. What’s wrong with wishing for a better life??

    You’re wrong. good companies will give opportunity for their employers to get better skill and education and even pay them for this. The risk is that they may move to another company, but the advantage is clear: they got more qualified resources that can do better at their job, and they are not hesitant to offer better package to prevent them moving to another company. If the other company want to steal them, they have to pay more.
    So, dirty old men & exploitative companies like you mention, they doing what is called “hidden exploitation” by keeping them dumb so they have no choice other than depend totally to their masters and do whatever they want with little payment. Slavery, finally.

    I’m talking about maids, let’s leave corporate stuff to high-end folks.
    Do you’ve a maid venna or know someone who does? Is anybody exploiting their maid by paying her less than the minimum wage? average wage of hiring a maid is 400k/month and minimum wage is 1 mil. i bet my ass nobody pays their maid the required minimum. Reality check: they don’t have an education and probably will never get one.
    Stop living a pipe dream of a utopian society where everybody is an altruist.
    Marrying someone rich makes parents gold-diggers at best, it’s survival and anyone will do it should the circumstances demand. Old rich bastards never force anyone to give up their teenagers for marriage and they certainly cannot be blamed for creating a demand. Are you gonna blame the millions of horny kids creating a demand for porn magazines? No! Similar to this case, it’s poverty that permits an act of this kind. Why should anyone give away their hard-earned money to some dirt poor man just because he’s homeless? That’s retarded. It’s my hard-earned money and i will do whatever the hell i want with it.
    And one more thing, good companies turned a blind eye on those sweatshops they indirectly opened and hire cheap labor in countries like indonesia to maximize their profits. That’s exploitation.
    Trying to get out of poverty is survival, so stop all this “if they have an education” bullshit because they will never have one. Parents giving preference to boys over education is natural not only in asian countries but also most of the world(minus north america and probably half of europe). I don’t expect my girlfriend to foot the bill on our dates and as a man i strive(and brought up) to be the sole breadwinner of the house. Who you gonna blame now? the dirty old millionaire again? Your desperation has resulted in blaming the old dirty rich bloke for the plight of the poor, that’s in my opinion a retarded belief. How is it not noble for an underage girl to sacrifice her future so her offspring could’ve a better life with the old rich guy’s money? Life sometimes demand sacrifices, my grandparents migrated from China and they continue to work on the day they collapse(and died shortly). My parents got the better share of the living and if it wasn’t for my grandparents we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
    Most importantly, who are you to judge to say that she’s unhappy or deem her sacrifice ridiculous. It’s her way of love to her future generations and who are we to criticize their methods?

    Those old bastards are part of the society that contribute to maintain poverty. If they don’t want to be labeled like that, better they start to think more than just marrying kids. And their offsprings will have the same fate as long as their habit doesn’t change: I refer to the habit of marrying underage girls and not put enough investment on girl’s education, that are still common among people in the villages (at least in east java), whether they are poor or rich.

    You’re part of that society too venna and so am i. Where does the law says it’s compulsory for rich men to be philanthropic and do good for the rest of the world? Let me ask you a question: Do you tithe? I mean real tithe – a 10% of your income minus taxes – not a few voluntary notes you seal in an envelope.

    I don’t insult religion, I insult those opportunistic old bastards that only taking advantage without further vision.

    What further vision are u talking about? Why should i look out for anybody except me? Since when is anybody obliged to reserve a portion of their wealth for anybody else(except state taxes)? Live on Earth, not on the moon.

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