That's one feisty kid. I hope she manages to get away from all the a-holes in that hellhole. She will grow up and change the world in some way.
Powerful. She speaks with amazing conviction and determination.
I remember myself at eleven. Too serious, humorless, wanting nothing more than to be left alone with my books.
Also, what the hell is up with any adult who decides to marry an eleven year old? That part of it blows my mind.
Tradition, I assume. What one society views as abhorrent might be the norm for another.
I suppose that's the real power (and danger, depending on which side you're defending) of the internet reaching all corners of the world, it gives people an opportunity to see there are options out there other than the one they are currently living in.
It wasn't that long ago that the response to a woman like that was a stoning. After all, you can't have your family property getting uppity, that's how you end up with western cultural decline.
Precocious, I thought...at first: but this youth is intelligent.
The fact that she should be forced into Marriage at such a young age is madness! Unconscionable!
But...those doe eyes, fine features and quick wit; caused her to be married in the first place...the canny mother-in-law gets in line a week early at the local cineplex to catch the hottest new release.
(So to speak.)
Who can deny the same qualities that have caused this child to be put into such an unenviable situation are the same ones that make this cry for help resonate? How many pretty but sullen, plain but brilliant girls are banished to the purdah of babies, housekeeping and solitary confinement far too soon every year? Thousands? Tens...Hundreds of Thousands? Do they get their Internets 15 minutes? They Do Not. Girls that could be free to grow into free thinking women that might become teachers, doctors, engineers...
It's a terrible waste. But...'that's their culture'. Analogous to the Afghani boy love that our Western culture despises; but grudgingly tolerates...in nations far from our own.
You must arrange the marriage? At least give her 7+ years of education first. Let her bones grow for crying out loud...AND her brain. The heirs will come: stop rushing it!
Do they even have quality female education in Yemen? Her Uncle and people that care about this young lady need to find it for her.
I would also suggest: Give Her Her Own Choice in choosing a man, raising a family, finding a career...but Yemen isn't Bremen. Still: Men be strong enough to let your women show strength!
The entire Nation would benefit greatly by cultivating and cherishing the intellectualism of Women.
So what's going on here is that this child's parents have attempted to sell her to a pedophile. I wish I believed there was a hell for them to burn in.
It's a society that allows for polygamy and arranges it by auction. So a man who wants to marry can't afford to miss an opportunity to find a first wife before she's sold to be a wealthier man's third wife. If he's (more) decent, he'll marry and then wait a decent number of years before consumating the arrangement.
(And yes, being a decent man and respecting women's autonomy in a society like this means a high risk of growing to old age a bachelor. )
It's weird when you see this video on different blogs. Often as not, you get into an argument over not the message, but the messenger (MEMRI): and it somehow devolves into smearing MEMRI because it "only" shows propagandist/Islamist/anti-semitic Middle East programs.
I still means stoning in many places, sadly.
I love this girl!
Despite her vile parents, somehow she's fucking indomitable.
See, America? That's how you react to terrorism - give it the finger and get on with your life.
Saw this on the news a few days ago... I can't believe that this girl has such clarity of expression and understanding at that age. I was seriously brought to tears. The tyrants of this world have no fucking chance when an 11 year old can so effectively cut through centuries of idiotic cultural tradition.
The only thing I'd add to the list of threats is that any child who is forced into marriage should murder their husband in their sleep. The ol' "fuck my life & I'll fuck your life" technique.
But...those doe eyes, fine features and quick wit; caused her to be
married in the first place
No, dude. It's grinding poverty and bullshit cultural traditions. I don't grudgingly tolerate it: their cultural traditions are ignorant and ill conceived.
Do they even have quality female education in Yemen?
Nope... Yemen has a few problems.
My culture is so superior to your's. In fact your culture is so vile, that I feel compelled to threaten both you and your whole culture with violence. See how superior my culture is? If this young girl lived in America there is a 50% chance that she would think she was overweight (http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm) and something like a 17% chance that she would be sexually assaulted during her lifetime (http://www.rainn.org/statistics). She would live in a country where we send drones to rain terror and death on innocent civilians, including over 100 children. Not to mention the thousands of non-combatants, including children, that we killed in Iraq for absolutely no reason. And it is good that she is not black, because then she would be 3 times more likely to be imprisoned versus a white woman, which is significantly down from 2000 when she would have been 6 times more likely to be imprisoned (Go U.S.A.). Lastly, given that she is middle eastern, if she lived in America, she might be a victim of an anti-muslim hate crime, of which there were thousands last year, and seem to be on the rise.
I am by no means defending pedophiles, or parents that would sell their children, but most of the above comments are so full of cultural superiority and half-baked ideas that I felt compelled to add a dose of reality regarding what it is like to live in the greatest country on earth.
*Please note that I had citations for every statistic that I used, but the comment system will only allow me to include two links in my post.
I found most of the comments above to be full of enlightenment. And just because someone is railing against some bullshit practice of another culture does NOT mean that he or she does not rail against his or her own culture for various things as well. It is not superiority you're seeing, but rather humanity.
I don't know about culture, but my grammar is so superior to yours. http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/difficulties/yours.html
I am by no means defending pedophiles, or parents that would sell
Human Rights Watch reports more than half of all Yemeni women are married as children, 14 percent before the age of 15, and 52 percent before the age of 18.
Yes, yes you are. You can't be on both sides of this unless you're a normative moral relativist, in which case I don't have a second to listen to you. Fence-sitters are the worst.
Then you bring out all of these points to illustrate how horrible "we" are, without considering for a minute that some of us may not be American, and with complete ignorance of the fact that you're setting up the world's most gigantic false equivalency.
Obesity? Sexual assault? Tacit responsibility for drone strikes? Iraqi civillian deaths (for which the Taliban/AQ hold the lion's share)? Racist correctional procedures? What do these things have to do with widespread social and legal acceptance of pedophilia /child slavery in Yemen? Again you're straying into your comfortable armchair of normative moral relativism to make you point.
I'm sure if you come up with enough unrelated examples we'll eventually believe you! You know, links to statistics are only relevant when those statistics back up your point. I notice you also left out any inclusion of a reference in regards to your claim that "anti-muslim hate crime[s] ... seem to be on the rise." which, for those keeping score is utter bullshit: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statistics_-_Crime_and_Prejudice#United_Kingdom "Hate crimes against Muslims in the United Kingdom appear to be dropping, not going up .. As with the situation in the United Kingdom, hate crimes against Muslims in the United states are dropping, not going up"
I'm not even going to begin listing how your examples of America's supposed comparative awfulness are pointless, but let's just say that pretty much every statistic you reference would be worse in Yemen. I thought you were trying to do them a favour... Way to make the Yemenis look like shit, guy. Here's a few choice quotes from this 2010 UN document: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/ianwge/taskforces/vaw/Country_Assessment_on_Violence_against_Women_August_2_2010.pdf
*"female primary school enrolment and completion rates and adult illiteracy rates, among the
worst in the world, as are infant and maternal mortality rates."*
*"Moreover, in a study of female prisoner, lawyer Nabela Almufti found that women are often imprisoned
without trial and denied access to lawyers once imprisoned."*
"It is not unusual for families to abandon women once they have been imprisoned in Yemeni society, and therefore many women remain in jail for periods that far exceed their accorded sentences."
"Article 42 of the Crimes and Punishment Law No. 12 (1994) amounts a woman’s blood money (diyeh)16 as half that of a man’s, effectively devaluing the female’s life to half as much as a man’s. Articles 232 of the Crimes and Punishment Law reduced the penalty for a man found guilty of killing his wife/a female relative/his wife’s partner in adultery to imprisonment of less than a year or to a monetary fine."
*"Furthermore, whereas the 1992 version of the Personal Status Law clearly identified the minimum age of marriage at 15 years, the 1998 amendment replaced this specification with general terms (which amount to the legalization of
marriage contracts for minors)."*
"Other forms of VAW within Yemeni society are related to a strong preference for male children, as well as tolerance of violent/aggressive behavior amongst boys, male adolescents, and men towards females. Female children are often punished if they attempt to defend themselves against such behavior. These attitudes and practices are prevalent not only in the home, but also in schools, social institutes and workplaces. National and local media tend to encourage and reinforce the tendency for such discriminating acts and behaviors."
Don't let my statistics get in the way of your "dose of reality", douchebag. Yes, Yemeni culture is fucking backwards and I look down on it. That's fine. If you're happy to accept a culture which proudly perpetuates these behaviours as acceptable then you'd probably better know something about the country you are defending. Right now you're just taking a scatter gun approach to attacking people who've commented (without being specific so as to avoid responses such as this one) so you can put forth your "hands across the world" beliefs which are based on nothing but your ignorance of the topic and give yourself a big pat on the back. We don't buy it. You'll also note that none of us compared our culture to Yemeni culture, but by almost any measure you care to pick pretty much any culture on earth would be superior to that of Yemen.
(OMG - 3 links in one post!!! I must be some sort of internet wizard!)
/applauds the teapot smackdown
Cultural/moral relativists have absolutely nothing to say, so I don't know why they bother opening their mouths.
You know what actually works, as opposed to making like a lettuce leaf in the sun?
Utilitarianism. Choosing assessment criteria most sane people can agree on is far from impossible. The biggest hurdle is bloody religion, functioning as an excuse for people to refuse to engage with reason.
My the internets are so easy to anger. It is so much simpler to categorize and label than to think? The BB bbs would not allow me to post more than 2 links because I only joined recently. So instead of being a genius for having multiple links, you just have more free time to post to on online forums, congratulations. My source for the hate-crime data is,http://www.splcenter.org/home/2012/spring/fbi-bias-crimes-against-muslims-remain-at-high-levels.
Of course I know that only 5% of the world's human population lives in the United States of America, but based on content and word choice, it seemed as if many of the earlier posters were from the U.S.A. Certainly one weakness of forum discussions is the lack of information about your fellow posters.
Apparently you are an either with us or against us kind of person. I cannot point out the imperfections and problems in the U.S.A. without supporting pedophiles. Why not? When we make absolute judgments about other people, and/or cultures, we put everyone in grave danger. Feeling superior and absolute in our inherent goodness leads to racism, violence, and in some cases genocide. Do I want to move to Yemen? Absolutely not. But I am not so full of hubris to assume that their society is bad or without redeeming qualities, nor do I imagine that Western culture has reached some level of moral superiority so that we have the right to judge people in the developing world. We should all work towards making the world a less exploitive place. I wholeheartedly applaud this young woman's courage and conviction. It is incredibly sad that she feels compelled to leave her family to be safe and secure. But this young woman is not helped by platitudes or when I condemn her culture. If I really want to help, then I must understand, not approve, of where these issues come from. If Yemen came and took away all of our Barbies, we would be outraged, and it would not do much to reduce negative body image in women. I appreciate your screed about the terribleness of Yemen, but I do not see how that helps this young woman and her fellow Yemenis, and my point was that sitting at one's computer writing about how awful it is in Yemen is actually counter productive.
My culture (Israel) mounted several covert operations to rescue Yemen's Jews, driven in no small part by the risk of Yemeni Jewish girls as young as 10 being abducted and "married."