Friday, May 13, 2016

Dear future child bride


Dear future child bride,
Being a child I don’t expect you to fully understand this letter. Everyone knows learning to read and write is wasted on girl children. But this week, the Inter Religious Organization (IRO) reiterated their opposition to any changes to the Marriage Act that prevents 12 and 14 year old girls from being married. This means I can continue to dream of the day we meet and get married.
I’m not sure when exactly that will be. But I imagine it will involve a romantic courtship where I coerce you into having sex and get you pregnant. Or when your parents palm you off on me. Or maybe after I win you in a game of all fours in a rum shop. Only destiny knows.
Dear future child bride, I can’t wait for us to both live supporting each other’s dreams. You, supporting my dream of winning the lotto. And me, supporting your dream of cooking, cleaning and making roti for me. It won’t always be easy. Some people will question our love and say strange things. Like, “What kind of country tickets people for driving over 80kph but allows an adult man to legally marry a child?”
Just ignore them. 
As IRO President, Brother Harrypersad Maharaj said this week, child marriage is an “ancient tradition”, and deserves to be respected. Just like the ancient traditions of stoning adulterers to death, widows jumping on their husband’s funeral pyre and sacrificing a virgin anytime there is an eclipse.
Dear future child bride, remember that religions that say it’s ok to marry children also say a wife must obey her husband. And so I might have to beat you occasionally and keep you locked up in the house when you step out of line. Please know that I only beat you because I love you so much. Wife beating is an ancient tradition that needs to be respected.
Dear future child bride, I promise to help you study for your SEA exam. And I will take you to Chucky Cheese’s for a romantic dinner afterwards. But I would really prefer if you forsake school and stay home and make chile. After all that’s what child brides do best.  According to the Hindu Women’s Organization (HWO) of Trinidad and Tobago, 2,500 live births each year are attributed to teenage mothers. The HWO is also calling for child marriages to be outlawed, which means they may just be a bunch of jealous, bitter, unmarried women.
Dear future child bride, nothing would make me happier than when you give birth to our own child, though there are serious health risks associated with teenage pregnancy. Risks such as premature birth, low weight baby birth and mental retardation. Don’t worry if this happens. You can just keep making chile until you get it right. Remember future child bride, abortion is a sin as well as being illegal in T&T. But if I  choose for you to have one, don’t worry I know a guy in Felicity.
Dear future child bride, the world today has many modern trends that attempt to undermine our identity, religion and our culture. Like atheism, homosexuality, and the international organization Unicef- which describes child marriage as a violation of human rights. Most child brides, Unicef says, end up in a life of deprivation and degradation. But we will not sell out our beliefs just to conform to new societal trends. Or just because the majority of the civilized world condemns it.
Dear future child bride, I hope to show this to you one day, maybe the night we get engaged, maybe the night before we get married or maybe just some time I don’t have anything else better to do. I can picture you reading it with gusto. And after all, it is written to a standard 5 level. 
And just in case you are reading it now, can you put it down and bring me my dinner? I can’t wait to meet you my beautiful future child bride. Thanks to the IRO, I’m sure all the other prospective child bride husbands feel the same.






3 comments:

Kish said...

"As IRO President, Brother Harrypersad Maharaj said this week, child marriage is an “ancient tradition”, and deserves to be respected. Just like the ancient traditions of stoning adulterers to death, widows jumping on their husband’s funeral pyre and sacrificing a virgin anytime there is an eclipse." This piece struck me the most, I would never thought child bride was done in the Caribbean.

Naps_90 said...

Somebody take ah poi stick and beat this muddas ass!

Naps_90 said...

Somebody take ah poi stick and beat this muddas ass!