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Pot calling kettle

(49 Posts)
vampirequeen Fri 16-Oct-20 17:51:22

I hate all those holier than thou charity adverts about child marriage. It’s not that I believe in child marriage. I just think we need to put our own house in order before we start telling other people what to do. Children in this country do not reach maturity until they are 18 years old but a 16 year old can get married. Therefore, we too allow child marriages.

The most up to date figures I can find are for 2016. In that year 200 girls and 40 boys were married. www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/marriagecohabitationandcivilpartnerships/adhocs/007634numberof16and17yearoldsenteringintomarriagein2014orcivilpartnershipin2016englandandwales

Why do we allow this? If we condemn child marriage then we should condemn ourselves as well as others.
The USA is even worse. Between 2000 and 2015, 200000 (yes two hundred thousand) children took part in marriages yet the adverts don't condemn them.

www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/200-000-children-married-us-15-years-child-marriage-child-brides-new-jersey-chris-christie-a7830266.html

Didn’t JC say something about sorting out ourselves before we sort out others?

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matthew 7:5

varian Fri 16-Oct-20 18:05:20

I would have happily married my husband when I was 16 but, although that was allowed without parents' consent in Scotland at that time, we waited until we had both passed exams, got a proper job and saved up to get married.

Looking back over almost sixty years, I wish it had been possible for us to marry at sixteen and twenty, rather than at twenty and twenty-four. I do believe if it had not been for the issues of money and social pressure, these four years might have been easier for us.

FannyCornforth Fri 16-Oct-20 18:11:42

The entire charity advert scam is outrageous.
My family has had lots of experience with RSPCA, none of it favourable.
And I'm not entirely sure what the NSPPC actually do.

vegansrock Fri 16-Oct-20 18:13:11

A 16 year old isn’t the same as an 8 year old though.

HAZBEEN Fri 16-Oct-20 18:19:01

I was 18 and 5 days when I married my ex husband as my Father would not give consent. He was so right!! My current OH was married at 17 the first time as his girlfriend was pregnant and both families insisted. He has now been married 3 times and lived long term with another woman before me! We have been together 17 1/2 years.
The idea of a girl marrying so young is horrific especially to much older men but I agree we should sort ourselves out before preaching to others. However it does need to be brought to peoples attention that this is happening.

varian Fri 16-Oct-20 18:30:08

It is not horrific. Not all sixteen year olds are the same.

We were unable to even contemplate marriage when I was sixteeen and my husband-to-be was twenty because of the social pressures and assumptions of the Glaswegian middle classes in the early sixties.

I went to university when I was sixteen. I don't think I was a silly girl. We had been going out "courting" as it might still have been called then, for two years and we were both sure about our relationship.

The next four years would, I think, have been much easier for us if it had been possible for jus to marry.

At that time the rule was "no living together until you mkat

Doodledog Fri 16-Oct-20 18:31:00

We couldn't raise the marriageable age without also raising the age of consent, as doing so would be tantamount to approving sex before marriage, which would be against the CofE rules on which our laws are based.

I can't see the point of even trying to do that, as it would criminalise a lot of young people who are doing what comes naturally, in most cases responsibly.

varian Fri 16-Oct-20 18:32:38

"No living together until you are married" and "no getting married until you have passed all your exams, got a proper job and saved up to get married"

vampirequeen Fri 16-Oct-20 19:21:51

My point is that we can hardly condemn other cultures for doing something that we allow. A child is a child in law no matter how young or how close to 18 he or she is.

Doodledog Fri 16-Oct-20 19:27:54

So are you arguing for the UK to increase the age of marriage, or for us to stop supporting calls for other countries to allow marriage at the age of 8?

Here, you need parental consent to marry at 16, which is not going to help in the case of a forced marriage, but these are illegal anyway. It is also possible for someone who marries too young and regrets it to get a divorce, which is unlikely to be the case in the areas where the charities operate - for women, anyway.

varian Fri 16-Oct-20 19:42:47

England should follow Scotland and allow marriage at sixteen witbout parental consent

MissAdventure Fri 16-Oct-20 19:44:03

I'm lost.
Our age of consent is 16.
The link was to the U.S statistics, where the states have different conditions to being legally able to wed.

SueDonim Sat 17-Oct-20 00:05:07

I haven’t seen any adverts about this topic but I agree with Doodledog that the age of consent and of marriage should be the same.

If you use the same measure of young people being children until they are 18, then they shouldn’t be able to vote until they are 18, either.

welbeck Sat 17-Oct-20 00:29:57

but they can't vote until they are 18, can they ?
what would be the advantage of allowing 16 year olds to marry without parental consent. ?
there is no comparison with the situation in some countries where esp girls are abused, coerced etc and the law and practice here.

MissAdventure Sat 17-Oct-20 00:37:00

I agree.

SueDonim Sat 17-Oct-20 02:58:46

16 & 17yos can vote in Scotland-only elections.

vegansrock Sat 17-Oct-20 07:54:11

I don’t think the charity adverts are “telling people what to do”. Marrying selling young pre pubescent girls to older men is not comparable to consenting 16 year olds in this country. This practice is usually linked to desperate poverty and if charities wish to raise awareness on this issue and tackle the situations that force families to acquiesce to such practices, I fail to see why people shouldn’t feel free to support such charities. Forced/ child marriage is illegal in the U.K., so I cannot see why charities should not be free to campaign to end child exploitation elsewhere.

Doodledog Sat 17-Oct-20 07:58:57

I think your argument for allowing marriage at 16 would be a lot stronger if you actually made an argument for it, rather than saying that we should do it because otherwise supporting calls to outlaw child marriage elsewhere is hypocritical.

PECS Sat 17-Oct-20 08:21:50

Surely the issue is more to do with a marriage being a contract made excluding the proper consent of one, or both, of the people being married.
If a 16 year old is pro- active in the choice to marry and enters the marriage willingly & happily then not really an issue.
There is, I understand still an issue in some " Christian" religious groups in the USA where young girls are ' promised' to older men.
These 'cultural' differences were universal at one time, especially amongst wealthy families..our own RF included and indeed even the Charles & Di fiasco does not hold up well to close scrutiny.
Forcing or manipulating anyone into a marriage is wrong at any age..but even worse when children are involved and seeing girls as a commodity to be sold is always wrong, wherever it happens.

TerriBull Sat 17-Oct-20 08:30:59

Didn't Jerry Lee Lewis marry a 13 year old girl in America years ago? remember reading about it and thinking "heavens can't believe that's allowed" although I believe it is in some states.

Galaxy Sat 17-Oct-20 08:41:41

I dont think they compare but I think it's useful to have discussions about consent in this country. Some other countries as far as I understand have different consent laws depending on the age gap so a 16 year old wouldn't be able to consent with a 30 year old for example. That seems to me a way of protecting children.

PECS Sat 17-Oct-20 08:48:59

I want to clarify my remark about a 16 yr old being happy to marry... not of course if " grooming" was involved. I was thinking about a couple of kids ' in love' ..
.

vampirequeen Sat 17-Oct-20 10:41:07

I'm not suggesting that we change the laws regarding 16/17 year olds marrying. My point is that it is hypocritical of us to condemn child marriage in other countries/cultures when it is legal and practised in this country. I think (don't know for a fact) that parental consent is required in most/all countries for a child marriage to take place but parental consent doesn't make that right. Anyone under the age of 18 in this country is a child. Therefore we allow child marriage just as other countries do.

vampirequeen Sat 17-Oct-20 10:44:40

Any forced marriage is wrong whatever the ages of the bride and groom but my OP isn't about forced marriage, it's about child marriages and the fact that they are allowed in the UK.

Gwenisgreat1 Sat 17-Oct-20 10:54:32

I was far too immature to be married at 16, or even possibly 18! Just the way things were in those day!