It’s thoroughly depressing that some Indian girls are still being married off by age 12… suspiciously coincidental with the age of menarche. The obsession with female virginity obscenely reduces half the world to a box of disposable tissues with a faulty seal:
[A]s Thomas Aquinas once noted, the generative power of the Holy Ghost pierced the Virgin’s hymen ‘like a ray of sunshine through a window–leaving it unbroken.’… Today the NYT reminds us Neanderthal marriage customs are not a uniquely desi shame, they’re tribal:
More than half of Kyrgyzstan’s married women were snatched from the street by their husbands in a custom known as “ala kachuu,” which translates roughly as “grab and run.” … at least a third of Kyrgyzstan’s brides are now taken against their will. Kyrgyz men say they snatch women because it is easier than courtship and cheaper than paying the standard “bride price,” which can be as much as $800 plus a cow.This in particular is reminiscent of desi village culture:
Once a girl has been kept in the home overnight, her fate is all but sealed: with her virginity suspect and her name disgraced, she will find it difficult to attract any other husband… “Every good marriage begins in tears,” a Kyrgyz saying goes.It’s always bothered me the way the doli / vidai in a Hindu wedding ends in tears… At its heart it’s a submission ritual: the baraatis have stormed the gates, the bride has been caught, the doli is her broken surrender, carried off in a palanquin to the conqueror’s harem. ’Dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge’: it’s Alexander entering Babylon, Hulagu entering Baghdad.
The tribal model of marriage: