2005 November 28 Monday
On Pre-Puberty Marriages in Africa

A correspondent brings my attention to a New York Times article entitled: "Forced to Marry Before Puberty, African Girls Pay Lasting Price".

CHIKUTU, Malawi - Mapendo Simbeye's problems began early last year when the barren hills along Malawi's northern border with Tanzania rejected his attempts to grow even cassava, the hardiest crop of all. So to feed his wife and five children, he said, he went to his neighbor, Anderson Kalabo, and asked for a loan. Mr. Kalabo gave him 2,000 kwacha, about $16. The family was fed.

But that created another problem: how could Mr. Simbeye, a penniless farmer, repay Mr. Kalabo?

The answer would shock most outsiders, but in sub-Saharan Africa's rural patriarchies, it is deeply ingrained custom. Mr. Simbeye sent his 11-year-old daughter, Mwaka, a shy first grader, down one mangy hillside and up the next to Mr. Kalabo's hut. There she became a servant to his first wife, and, she said, Mr. Kalabo's new bed partner.

Now 12, Mwaka said her parents never told her she was meant to be the second wife of a man roughly three decades her senior. "They said I had to chase birds from the rice garden," she said, studying the ground outside her mud-brick house. "I didn't know anything about marriage."

Obviously the Gray Lady does not approve of this sort of oppression of females. My correspondent says:

Western opinion leaders *say* that they support multiculturalism and that all cultures are equally valid. But as soon as they encounter a culture that truly does life differently from theirs, they demand that it be changed to be like theirs. From a sociobiological point of view, the "oppressed" girls below are better off than college-educated American women, because they end up with more surviving children. In terms of reproductive success, a college education is worse than poverty and AIDS combined!

All true. Natural selection is a brutal thing to watch. No wonder humans do not want to believe it applies to them.

Multi-culturalism is a moral pose assumed by Western intellectuals to try to make themselves appear morally superior to the white proletariat. They do not reallly mean it. They want the Sudanese or Ethiopians to stop cutting clitorises off of females. They want African men to do more of the work in African families. But even more they want to feel superior to others of their own kind. White on white status competitions are more important to them.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 November 28 07:24 AM  Culture Compared


Comments
Hugh Angell said at November 28, 2005 12:47 PM:

It is interesting to see what gets our 'elite's' goat. Paedophilia for sure except where
it is committed by homosexual men on teen age boys. Then it becomes a question of what is
more important; tolerance of homosexuals or protecting teenage boys. Tough call for our
'elite's'. Former Representative Gary Studds could pour a quart of vodka down the gullet
of a 16 year old House 'page boy', sodomize him and then stand before the Congress of the
US and say he did nothing wrong. His liberal Massachusetts constituents even reelected him!
OTOH had Rep. Studd's given the page boy a pack of cigarettes his ass would have been
grass with the 'elites' unless, of course the cigarettes were 'joints'.

Islamic and other third world religious customs are tolerated yet let some American
evangelical preacher suggest "God" is punishing homosexuals, prostitutes and promiscuous
people with AIDS and he is greeted with execration in the media. Nevermind he is not
suggesting his congregants 'punish' homosexuals,prostitutes and libertines merely pointing
out that such lifestyles are 'risky' as they surely are. Yet Muslims not only call such
actions a sin they often demand death for those engaging in such 'lifestyles'. Do our
'elites' demand sanctions, military intervention or any other punitive actions against
these societies? Not so as I can tell. Even Arab racism, notorious in its application
against blacks even of the Muslim faith is excused or, more often, just ignored by our
elites but let some American football coach point out black athletes are more fleet
of foot than whites and one might assume he was a Klansmen by the media reaction.

daveg said at November 28, 2005 1:07 PM:

In terms of reproductive success, a college education is worse than poverty and AIDS combined!

So true. One might conclude that if you can't beat em you should join em. Not that I would conclude that, but some might.

FriendlyFire said at November 28, 2005 1:54 PM:

Strange take on child brides. Linking it with liberal elitest policy and islam.

It seems even more ironic that news of pedophilia priest hood scandle in brazil has shocked the nation with criminal charges being brought against men of the cloth. Liberal "elitest" seems hardly the cause of pediaphila, we both know that such things as permissive culture (considering the church culture it seems the height of irony) is a part of the cause.

One who also think if public satistic or knowledge that a "certain" group was more likely to be AID positive, well educated and intelligent public could draw there own conclusion and start execusing self control or at the very least elect an likeminded president into office.

John S Bolton said at November 29, 2005 12:39 AM:

Regarding the status competition of liberals striking attitudes, as if to say they're so much richer, so much more exposed to esoteric doctrines; there are a lot of ways to do that. Most are probably none too liberal. If the gist of them is to differentiate oneself in terms of being able to afford to ignore reality, all sorts of conservative spiritual beliefs, taken to an extreme, would do that. Extravagant snobbism of an old fashioned, politically incorrect kind, is unrealistic, and would take some money to pull off. One has to differentiate between those who follow what they believe to be the smart fashion of the times, and those who know what they are doing. There are those who know that there is power to be won from multiculturalism and the destruction of civilization, and those who know that opposing such power seeking is unfashionable with the movers and shakers of politics and ideas.

Marvin said at November 29, 2005 7:04 AM:

The law has always been a bit fuzzy about when a child becomes an adult, marriage wise. Cultures vary. Present day neo-puritanistic values toward teen sex and teen marriage are certain to change, as fashions tend to do.

Being a good multiculturalist means knowing when to bend the rules. There are no absolutes, except to say that multiculturalist post modernism is the only civilized way to view the world. "You see, we know what we like, and we know what we don't like. That's all that matters. The great thing is we can change from day to day and not be inconsistent. We are reality based, you see. As reality changes, so do we."

Marvin said at November 29, 2005 7:05 AM:

The law has always been a bit fuzzy about when a child becomes an adult, marriage wise. Cultures vary. Present day neo-puritanistic values toward teen sex and teen marriage are certain to change, as fashions tend to do.

Being a good multiculturalist means knowing when to bend the rules. There are no absolutes, except to say that multiculturalist post modernism is the only civilized way to view the world. "You see, we know what we like, and we know what we don't like. That's all that matters. The great thing is we can change from day to day and not be inconsistent. We are reality based, you see. As reality changes, so do we."

John S Bolton said at November 29, 2005 8:44 AM:

I can't let this go without pointing out the contradiction in terms involved, in the multiculturalist attitude striking spoken of by Parker, Sailer and others. Superior civilization consists of maintaining that there can be no superior civilization, the higher moral code is that there can be no higher moral codes, higher moral worth consists in denying that there can be any higher moral worth; all of these are contradctions in terms. When reduced thus to explicit contradictions in terms, one can see all the more plainly that multiculturalism is irrational.

John S Bolton said at November 29, 2005 9:08 AM:

Here is another multiculturalist contradiction in terms: 'the one custom of superior moral worth, is to insist that there can never be any customs of superior moral worth'. Is this the essence of the unreason inolved in the multiculturalist posturing being spoken of here?

John S Bolton said at November 29, 2005 11:00 AM:

'The better society is the one that establishes it that there can be no better society'
'The best are those who say there can be no best'
'Superior culture is successfully claimed by saying that there can be no superior cultures'
'I am better than you because I say that no one can be better than anyone else'
'I am of superior class because I say that no one is really of superior class'
'My theory is better because it holds that no theory is better'


'My morals are better because they hold that no one's morals are any better, than anyone else's'
Aren't these all multiculturalist contradictions in terms?

Rob said at December 2, 2005 7:40 AM:

I have to wonder how much African poverty is caused solely by r selection, excluding the side effects of that strategy like low IQ. Since colonialism ended, how much has Africa's population grown? 3-4 times? Per cap income declined like 10% from peak. So if they had stable populations, per capita income might have increased 3-4 times.

It seems in Africa that economic growth has translated into more babies rather than higher standards of living.


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