The Great American Controversy Over Underage Marriage [Part B]

in news •  last year

[Please Read Part A Of This Article Before Reading The Segment Below]

Fanatical Femi-Nazi Propaganda Against Underage Marriage

As I was surfing around on YouTube to find out how many other YouTube channels had made videos regarding this crusade against underage marriage that Unchained At Last has set out on, so to speak, I came across a YouTube channel named “Watching the Hawks RT” that featured a video titled “The Startling Stats On Child Brides of America.” Not only was the title of this video sensationalistic in its wording, but the video exercised fear-mongering tactics throughout it in the form of unrealistic pictures of little boys dressed up as grooms and little girls dressed up as brides. Not even one of the kids in these pictures looked any older than 9 years old, even though the female news reporter named Tabetha Wallace in the video was describing adolescents 12 to 17 years of age getting legally married throughout our nation. This tactic of hers on its own was very misleading and highly inappropriate. She used every technique that a typical pseudo-intellectual societal fundamentalist normally employed to produce a scare throughout the entire nation on this topic. Keep in mind that when I use the word “fundamentalist” here in my article, I am going by its literal definition of someone committed to a specific political or societal doctrine. I am not referring to Christian fundamentalism, which is a completely different topic all in its own. Ms. Wallace unfairly continued to refer to underage marriage as forced child marriage throughout her entire presentation. Here is the YouTube video below that I am describing.

Misinformation Regarding Underage Marriage In America Is Everywhere

After watching the above-described video, I became bewildered on how these same societal fundamentalists who are attempting to eliminate underage marriage continue to turn a blind eye to the much realer and greater problem of deadbeat teenage fathers throughout our country. YouTube is loaded with videos regarding girls as young as 12 years old whose teenage boyfriends have bailed on them and have even subsequently belittled them in every way. I am yet to stumble across a YouTube video of an American girl in her early-to-mid teens who LEGALLY entered into a marriage on her own volition that she later regretted in that she fell victim to abuse and exploitation. At least I have not come across one in which she states it to the camera. Notice that I placed emphasis on the word “legally” inasmuch as I am not overlooking the fact that Latter Day Saints cults (LDS’rs) pull adolescent girls into unwanted marriages regularly that are not properly executed within the confines of the law in the first place in the western part of our country. They do so, because they know that there are safeguards in place that would not allow them to enter into such marriages through the proper legal channels that are available to them. Anyhow, I will proceed to comment on the contents of the YouTube video above.

Ms. Wallace began her presentation in calling her audience’s attention to some kind of “strategy” that the United States Department of State had devised concerning underage marriage. As she described the so-called strategy, it was easy for anyone to see that it was already flawed inasmuch as it made the mistake of mixing statistics on child marriage, teenage marriage, and forced marriage all together as though it were all one and the same entity. She stated that this strategy, so to speak, was to empower adolescent girls and free them from violence and discrimination. Okay. So what exactly was she saying here? Does she actually believe that preteen and teen mothers whose same-age boyfriends have abandoned them and have even belittled them are so much better off financially and emotionally than 13-, 14-, and 15-year-old girls who have gotten married and whose husbands are responsibly supporting them? I don’t think so.

I used to work at a social services agency; and whenever a pregnant, single teenage girl walked up to my window at the front desk, she always had the same story to tell. That is, she was 13 years old and she had fallen in love with the class hunk at her school. He was 14 or 15 years old and a dream-come-true to her. Then after a month or two of dating, he pressured her one evening into doing something that she felt that she wasn’t ready to do. After she notified him that she was pregnant with his child, he turned hostile and hateful towards her and wanted nothing to do with her. The parents of these young boys usually feel that it’s not their problem but rather the problem of the teenage girl and her parents. Therefore, the paternal grandparents seldom ever have a financial role in the upbringing of the baby. Fortunately, thirteen states here in our country have implemented laws to go after the paternal grandparents for child support when both parents of a baby are minors.  However, our nation has a long way to go before it has enough laws on the books to combat this epidemic of deadbeat teenage fathers. Otherwise, society does nothing about it. The law usually does nothing about it. To add insult to injury, these boys ruin these girls’ reputations among their peers in the form of “slut-shaming,” and they ruin their lives. These boys may end up committing these same transgressions against numerous underage girls from the time they are in middle school to the time they are in high school.  However, they continue to get away with it, and our country continues to be the deadbeat teenage dad capital of the world. After working at a social services agency for so long, one can develop a strong aversion towards deadbeat teenage fathers inasmuch as they are so common.

On the other hand, young girls and women who had walked up to my window at the front desk of the social services agency where I used to work and who had gotten married before they were 18 years old never seemed to have any complaints about their lives. In fact, each and every one of them was glad that they had gotten married as young as they did. I remember this one man in his thirties who had come up to my window at the front desk of the social services agency where I used to work; and as I was looking over some completed forms that he was submitting, I noticed that he was 22 years old and his wife was 13 years old when they had gotten married. There was nothing creepy or abnormal about this man. He was very polite to me. I could also see that he was a caring and loving husband to his wife and a protective father to his children. Later that same day, a woman walked up to my window to ask questions about social welfare benefits. She and I got into a friendly conversation about small talk. Anyhow, after I mentioned to her about that one gentleman who had married his wife when he was 22 years old and his wife was 13 years old, this woman smiled at me and asked me if they were still together. After I told her that they were still together, she then said to me that it was good that they were so. Then her face showed bitterness in it, and she told me that she absolutely hated the person who had gotten her 13-year-old daughter pregnant inasmuch as he had been doing everything to make her daughter’s life miserable. She never really told me how old the father of her daughter’s unborn baby was, but I got the distinct impression that he was likely your typical deadbeat teenage father.

In the previously cited YouTube video, Ms. Wallace stated that the United States Department of State called “early, child, and forced marriage a human rights abuse that contributes to economic hardship and leads to under-investment in girls’ education and health care needs.” Then she ranted on about how “child marriage” was such a threat in our country. I researched into this statement from the United States Department of State and found out that they were not referring to voluntary teenage marriages here in the United States of America but rather forced child marriages in oppressive nations that mainly lived under Sharia law. Their position regarding these countries is understandable, because the rights of women and children are usually ignored in these nations and their educational opportunities are extremely limited. However, here in the United States of America, I’ve known of situations in which 20-something-year-old men who have married teenage female minors have actually spent money to put their wives through college, which doesn’t appear to be a human rights violation to me. On the other hand, the transgressions of deadbeat teenage fathers cause all the problems upon adolescent girls that the United States Department of State complains about above. In an article titled “Should Deadbeat Teenage Fathers Be Drafted?”, its author, Jason B Truth, described how deadbeat teenage fathers and even these deadbeat teenage fathers’ parents are greatly to blame for pushing these pubescent and adolescent girls into the vicious vortex of poverty here in our nation.

Ms. Wallace showed her misandristic attitude upon referring to all underage marriage as “forced marriage,” even though I have personally known of no situation in which a teenage girl 17 years old or younger has stood at an altar with a shotgun pointed to her head. Ms. Wallace then claimed that most state jurisdictions here in our nation have no laws that specifically forbid forced marriage. If she was talking about actual forced marriage, her statement could be no further from the truth than it is. However, underage marriage here in our country is generally not forced marriage, and she was using such language in her presentation to elicit knee-jerk reactions from ill-informed Americans who may not have read up or researched the topic thoroughly. Every middle school and high school girl whom I have ever known or known of throughout my life has always picked and chosen her boyfriend, and no adolescent girl over 12 years old whom I have ever known has ever had a boyfriend or even fiancé selected for her by someone else. Ms. Wallace once again was found engaging in fear-mongering tactics that were typical of fanatical femi-nazis like her. 

Ms. Wallace claimed that nearly all states here in our country had exceptions to the minimum marriageable age of 18 years old, allowing parents or judges to authorize the marriage of a minor. However, once again she was inaccurate, because many state jurisdictions here in our country require both parental and judicial permission for a minor to get married. If Nancy Garrido were to croak today and Phillip Garrido were to be released from prison tomorrow as a result of a pardon from California Governor Gerry Brown, no judge in California or anywhere in the United States of America would grant a judicial dispensation for Phillip Garrido to marry a 12-year-old girl; and when Phillip Garrido would be standing before a judge with that 12-year-old girl, Jaycee Lee Dugard and her mother would likely be there also to stop the judge from granting legal permission for him to marry that young girl.

Ms. Wallace claimed that 27 of 50 states in our nation did not even specify an age below which a child could not get married under any circumstances. My response to that statement of hers is that the English Common Law still applies in state jurisdictions where there is no statutory minimum age in which a minor can get married upon going through the proper legal channels. The English Common Law dictates that nowhere in the United States of America can a boy get legally married before the age of 14 and nowhere in our nation can a girl get legally married before the age of 12 in jurisdictions that have no statutes governing the minimum marriageable age for minors. The English Common Law gets its origins from Roman Law as described in the previously cited YouTube video titled “What is CHILD MARRIAGE? What does CHILD MARRIAGE mean? CHILD MARRIAGE meaning and explanation.” I do remember seeing a television show named Hour Magazine so many years ago in which its talk show host, Gary Collins, interviewed a boy from Alaska who had gotten married at the age of 13 inasmuch as his girlfriend became pregnant with his baby. He was recorded as being the youngest father in the United States of America at the time. However, it was possible that this young boy and his girlfriend got married in a foreign country that allowed for boys to marry younger than 14 years of age. Otherwise, it could be possible that at the time, Alaska had a statutory minimum marriageable age younger than 14 years old for boys.

Much not to my surprise, Ms. Wallace brought up the subject of Unchained At Last. She stated that this organization had collected underage marriage data from 2000 to 2010 and found that 167,000 minors under the age of 18 years old and some as young as 12 years old were legally married in 38 states. However, what Ms. Wallace neglected to point out was that the marriage laws throughout our nation were much different during that decade than they are now in this decade. Before 2007, most state jurisdictions in our nation did not have the safeguards in place that they have now with respect to underage marriage.  For example, there were very few states back in the first half of that decade that required judicial approval for a minor to get married if that minor was younger than a certain age. There were still various states that allowed for minors to forego the parental consent requirement if there was a pregnancy in the picture. Therefore, the statistics that Unchained At Last used to promote their forced child marriage scare throughout the nation, so to speak, were quite misleading.

Ms. Wallace then employed misleading language in her presentation when she stated that there could be “as many as 250,000 children forced or coerced into marriage” here in the United States of America. I think that any adult woman or man who was married before the age of 18 would have been looking at this woman and asking if she was for real by that point in the video. However, Ms. Wallace really went above and beyond to misrepresent her facts after she cherry-picked information from other sources to misguide her audience into believing that our nation was confronted with a seriously detrimental child marriage crisis. She stated that “child marriage increases the risk of lifetime and current psychiatric disorders in the United States. According to a 2011 study in the Journal of Pediatrics, it’s been found that child marriage is associated with higher rates of sexually transmitted infection and HIV, cervical cancer, unwanted pregnancies, pregnancy termination, death resulting from childbirth and malnutrition in the offspring. And it was also found that 53 percent of women married as children had a lifelong history of mental disorders.” After hearing her making all these highly suspicious claims, I can frankly say that I have known many women who got married before 18 years old and none of them even come close to fitting this description. I am always one who questions the integrity of scientific professionals whenever something just doesn’t seem right to me; and I’m always on the lookout for charlatans who promote this sort of nonsense whenever I am suspicious that some special interest group is funding scientific research and influencing it to suit their agenda. Let’s also not forget that shady shrinks get dollar signs in their eyes every time some psyop or scare of this nature gets out there in the public eye. In an article titled “Protect Your Children From Shady Shrinks,” Jason B Truth pointed out the harms that psychiatrists can do to youngsters and the public in general and the reason that we should not have a blind faith in the mental-health profession.

So many alarms went off in my head after I heard Ms. Wallace give this lengthy statement about all these so-called ailments that teenage brides were going to suffer after their honeymoon night if they got married before they were old enough to vote. For example, why would a married girl under 18 years old want to terminate her pregnancy? If she is married and has a husband to support her, it would only stand to reason that she would want to keep her baby. It would be the 14-year-old girl with the jerk of a 15-year-old boyfriend who would seek to terminate her pregnancy upon knowing that her life is only going to get worse as time progresses and her pregnancy begins to show. Ms. Wallace claimed that girls that got married before 18 years old were more likely to terminate their pregnancies, which is utter nonsense for the reasons I just cited. Nonetheless, for the sake of being fair to Ms. Wallace, I decided to research this information on my own to see how accurate she was, if at all, with what she claimed to have been published in medical journals.

I pulled up on my computer screen what appeared to be the 2011 Journal of Pediatrics study that Ms. Wallace mentioned in her presentation.  The study mentioned that “child marriage” increased the risk of lifetime and current psychiatric disorders in the United States of America. However, nowhere therein did it specify that it caused this occurrence within 53 percent of all women who were married before the age of 18. I then pulled up on the Internet an article titled “Early Marriage Has Lasting Consequences on Women’s Mental Health” by Bridget M. Kuehn.   Ms. Kuehn revealed her sources of information right up to where she mirrored what Ms. Wallace stated in her presentation regarding HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, cervical cancer, unintended pregnancy, maternal death during childbirth, and abortion as well as malnutrition among offspring. However, Ms. Kuehn did not identify from where this so-called previous research originated. She also mirrored Ms. Wallace’s statement that 53 percent of women who married before age 18 reported having had a mental disorder. However, she provided no source from where this so-called data originated. Therefore, I have to treat this so-called information of hers and Ms. Wallace’s with suspicion and skepticism in that it appears to be molded to suit a subversive femi-nazi agenda. I also find it hypocritical that these so-called experts that Ms. Kuehn and Ms. Wallace have pulled out of the sky have done absolutely no research on the adverse effects of single teenage motherhood and abandonment as well as “slut-shaming” by abusive deadbeat teenage fathers upon adolescent girls.

I once even saw a YouTube video where an American woman had traveled to the Middle East to do research on child marriage there, and she ultimately agreed with the Muslim women there that unwanted teenage pregnancy and single teenage motherhood were just as much of a problem here in the United States of America as forced child marriage was in the Middle East. However, this American woman said nothing about there being any kind of problem with underage marriage here in the United States of America. It brings to mind the Puritanical nature of our American culture. It is like when I first started working in the public sector in the city back when I was 19 years old, I remember these middle-aged women sitting not too far away from me and discussing a situation in which a 14-year-old boy had gotten a 13-year-old girl pregnant in their community. One woman’s name was Gladys. She told her female colleagues that she wanted to have a son instead of a daughter. Then she told her female colleagues about how the 13-year-old girl’s mother had called up the 14-year-old boy’s mother and told her about the pregnancy, and the 14-year-old boy’s mother just blew her off. Gladys and these other middle-aged women broke into laughter. However, I did not find the situation humorous. Also, I found that these same women would have equally badmouthed a 19-year-old or 20-year-old man for offering to marry his pregnant 14-year-old girlfriend just on the sole basis of their age difference. Now these double standards are beginning to find their way into our laws.

In her presentation in her YouTube video, Ms. Wallace stated that she was asking three major questions regarding the topic of underage marriage, which she kept referring to as “forced child marriage.” Her first question was that if state jurisdictions throughout our nation had criminal laws making sex with someone younger than 18 years of age a felony that was punishable up to 25 years in prison, then why were those who were over 18 years of age allowed under any circumstances to marry a “child” under 18 years of age? This had to have been the stupidest question that she could ever have asked, and it shows that she did not do her research. If one researches into the history of the age-of-consent laws, they will find that the marriage exception has always been an essential ingredient to the age-of-consent laws ever since they were first brought into existence in Europe. The institution of marriage has always been a way of weeding the good apples out from the bad ones whenever a question of age differences arises in a relationship between an adult and an adolescent minor. That is, if a 22-year-old man has honorable intentions for a 15-year-old girl whom he is courting, then he will ask for her hand in marriage. If the girl says yes to him, then she will ask her parents for permission to get married. If the parents feel that she has the maturity to enter into a marriage and they both say yes, then she and her fiancé will go through the proper legal channels to get married and make their relationship legal in all aspects of the law. On the other hand, if a 36-year-old man hooks up with a 13-year-old girl on the Internet and he only has one thing on his mind, he will suffer the legal consequences upon attempting to solicit that young girl for sexual purposes. Anyone of average intelligence can see that both scenarios that I just described are diametrically different from each other, and, for that reason, the age-of-consent laws have marriage exceptions in them everywhere in our country in the event that an adolescent minor wishes to marry someone above the age of 18. Even Ms. Wallace had to have known this fact, unless she failed to do her research thoroughly.

California was the first state ever to raise its statutory age of consent to 18 years old. Its states legislature did so in 1913, which was the same year that Pancho Villa sneaked out of the Lecumberri prison in Mexico. Back then it was common for girls as young as 12 or 13 years old to marry men in their twenties and even older. Since then, California’s age-of-consent laws have always specified the marriage exception to them as an essential ingredient to establish innocence whenever someone is suspected of violating these laws. A law professor even emphasizes this fact in a lecture that she gave regarding the intimacy discount used in the prosecution of carnal knowledge cases involving minors in California.

California's Interesting Age-Of-Consent Laws

When I was living in California in the 1990s, there was this one very interesting story that hit the press and the media concerning a group of teenage boys known as the Spur Posse in Lakewood, California who had used and abused middle school and high school girls for a point system that kept track of how many girls whom they had bedded.  The news story was quite representative of how much leeway lawmakers and law-enforcement officials have given adolescent male minors to wreak havoc in the lives of middle school and high school girls through the decades. These losers even made appearances on television talk shows throughout the country like The Jenny Jones Show and Maury. Because no Romeo-and-Juliet clause in the California age-of-consent laws existed back then, the district attorney in Lakewood was able to indict these boys on statutory rape charges. However, prosecutors and law-enforcement officials eventually let nearly all of them off the hook, because they were of the mindset that they didn’t want to be throwing their own teenage sons in jail for doing the same thing. However, there was one of them that the district attorney and the police would not free from their efforts to seek justice. One of the Spur Posse members was a 17-year-old boy who had engaged in sexual relations with a 10-year-old girl whom he had mistaken for a 15-year-old girl. The prosecution and the police were dead set on putting this young man away. On the other hand, they ultimately decided that prosecuting the other teenage boys for philandering middle school and high schools just wasn’t the “cool” thing to do. The other teenage boys in the Spur Posse turned against the one 17-year-old boy that was still being prosecuted, and he was convicted of the crime despite his ignorance of his victim’s age at the time of the incident.

Oddly enough, in answering her previously described question, Ms. Wallace stated that the clerks who issued the marriage licenses had no authority to intervene, even if the “child” said that she did not want to get married. This wasn’t really an answer to her previously described question. Also, it was quite inaccurate on its own, because clerks who issue wedding licenses have been known to contact the police whenever they suspect that the adult seeking to marry the adolescent minor may have had sexual relations with that minor previously. If this was such a concern for her and she felt that it was an issue, I would just say that the state legislature in that jurisdiction implement a judicial approval requirement for underage marriage and the problem is solved. Ms. Wallace made this situation more difficult than it really was, in her presentation.

The second question or rather so-called point that Ms. Wallace brought up in her presentation was that most laws in our nation “that do try to curtail child marriage only apply to women.” Then she cited a Pew Research Center article on the Internet that reported that in 2014, there were 31,644 girls between 15 and 17 years old who got married and 26,156 boys between 15 and 17 years old who got married. She misused this point to stress that the issue with underage marriage concerned male minors just as much as female minors. However, what she did not tell her audience was that the article from whence this piece of information originated was titled “Child marriage is rare in the U.S., though this varies by state.” In other words, she cherry-picked a section of this article to suit her own agenda rather than providing the online article to her audience in its entirety.   It shows that she was not looking to inform her audience but rather to brainwash it.

Even if that one online article from the Pew Research Center had actually been authored specifically about the topic that Ms. Wallace was promoting, I would still have to challenge her arguments. Now, I get it. Macauley Culkin and Rachel Miner both got married at the age of 17 back in the 1990s, and they had a clown-car marriage that only lasted physically for two years and legally for four years. They both had much more money than most youngsters their age did, and their wealth alone didn’t even allow for their marriage to last. However, I worked with a gentleman in his late sixties back in 2005 who told me that he got married at the age of 17 years old, and he wasn’t a trainwreck. Ms. Wallace continued to refer to married adolescent minors as “victims” throughout her presentation. Therefore, she just invoked more fear-mongering words and tactics in her YouTube video.

The third question that Ms. Wallace asked was “why does the U.S. allow girls as young as 12 to legally marry with no protections and no systems to request help and a culture of shame weighing down upon them?” Where has her head been for the past 17 years? It has probably been buried in the sand since then. There are many safeguards in place concerning minors in the marriage laws throughout our nation. Banning underage marriage altogether is not necessary and will only bring more harm than good to our society. Furthermore, she didn’t really explain what she meant by saying that there was a culture of shame weighing down upon these adolescent girls who got married as young as 12 years old. She was just engaging in aimless hysteria to draw a reaction from her audience.

Ms. Wallace’s biggest mistake and misdeed in her presentation was her claim that the United States of America had the lowest minimum age to get married in the world and was only matched by Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Here she was found attempting to mislead her audience to believe that underage marriage here in our nation was no different than forced child marriages that occurred in the Middle East under Sharia law. Her methodology was tacky inasmuch as she erroneously used the examples of two nations where girls married as young as 8 years old. First of all, her statement was incorrect. A girl can get married as young as 12 years old in other parts of the world and not necessarily in places where women and young girls are oppressed and mistreated. For example, South Africa has more permissive laws regarding underage marriage than even the United States of America does. Girls can get married in various Central American nations as young as they can in the United States of America, and their public institutions are not as austere as the American ones are in granting permission for minors to get married. Even though these Central American nations may be poor countries, they are not Islamic countries; and I have met Hispanic women from Central America who got married in their early-to-mid teens and believed that underage marriage should be kept legal here in the United States of America.

Second of all, Ms. Wallace’s example of Yemen is very misleading in that we also have to remember that the average 13-year-old girl in that country is going to be smaller, less healthy, and less physically developed than a girl that age in our country. Fanatical fundamentalists proclaiming themselves to be child advocates will try to misguide the public at large into believing that if a girl gets married when she is barely a teenager, she is either going to die in childbirth or suffer from some other physical ailment as a result of her impregnation. You will find a whole myriad of stories on YouTube about 13-, 14-, 15-, and 16-year-old boys getting a 12- or 13-year-old girl pregnant and then bailing on her. However, you will not find any mention in any of those YouTube videos of these girls dying in childbirth or suffering from some other kind of internal damage as a result of getting pregnant. Do not let this anti-child marriage propaganda fool you into believing anything that isn’t true. Child advocates can be just as mentally unhinged and obsessive as Christian fundamentalists.

Whenever an American hears about a girl getting married at 12 years old, horrible images pass through their mind. Now, don’t get me wrong. I would never ever encourage a girl to get married at 12 years of age. However, I also realize that adolescent girls that young are not living as sheltered lives nowadays as they were in decades past. In any event, what comes to mind is a story I once heard from an elderly woman about a friend of hers who had gotten married at 12 years old. When I was 14 years old and my parents and I traveled to Staten Island, New York for vacation, my relatives there introduced me to an elderly couple in their neighborhood. The husband (Max) was German-American and his wife (Gloria) was Puerto Rican. At the time, I needed someone to practice my Spanish with, and I used to go over to Max and Gloria’s house to practice my Spanish with Gloria. So many years later I moved to New York City. By then, Max had passed away. I continued to go over to visit Gloria on Staten Island. She once told me about a female friend of hers whom she had known in school when she was 12 years old. She said to me that her friend had gotten married at the age of 12. She told me that this friend of hers married into wealth, and she had servants waiting on her hand and foot. Gloria never told me how old the husband was, but she told me that she found that her friend was courageous to marry that young inasmuch as Gloria was afraid of men when she was 12 years old. Immediately I gathered that Gloria’s friend had married an adult man.

I remember reiterating this story to my mother and this one woman named Starr we met so many years later in Hopewell, Virginia inasmuch as I thought that Starr would have been interested in hearing the story because she herself had gotten married at the age of 14. Starr said, “Whoa!” My mother then commented that marrying into wealth probably made it easy for this woman to have gotten married at such a tender age. In any event, this true story was one about a girl who got married shortly before she became a teenager and did not have a tragic ending to her marriage. I would have to say that there are likely other stories like hers out there; and, yes, I understand that Puerto Rico is a different culture than the United States of America. However, because, after all, it is an extended Federal jurisdiction of the United States of America in the form of a free associated state, I still felt that I had the right to mention this story.

Getting back to the presentation that Ms. Wallace gave in her YouTube video, she claimed that the same politicians who defended underage marriage did not wish to upset their evangelical Christian base by restricting marriage. However, once you view the YouTube video below by the Christian fundamentalist, Paul Elgar, you will find that Ms. Wallace’s line of reasoning is not cogent in that Christian fundamentalists tend to take a Puritanical viewpoint on any juvenile-related topic. I do agree that there may be conservatives who oppose the government meddling into people’s personal lives, but I don’t believe that the Christian Coalition is making any kind of collective effort to stop state legislatures from revamping their marriage laws to curtail underage marriage or eliminate it altogether.

Ms. Wallace than said in her presentation that others will tell you that underage marriage isn’t that big of a problem. Well, hey! She was the one who actually cherry-picked information from a Pew Research Center article on the Internet that reported that teenage marriage was rare in the United States of America. Therefore, she just opened the door on herself for others to call her out on her lack of candor. Moreover, I don’t know where she came up with her nonsense, because her sources are questionable. I can say that this issue goes way beyond religion, and underage marriage here in our country is not necessarily a problem per se.

We must realize that our nation has the most Draconian statutory-age-of-consent laws out of any country in the world. Even people in the United Kingdom end up getting modest prison sentences for serious violations of their statutory-age-of-consent laws in comparison with people here in the United States of America. That is, a 19-year-old man may end up doing much more prison time for becoming intimate with his 16-year-old girlfriend here in the United States of America than an 80-year-old man will get for grooming and seducing a 9-year-old girl in the United Kingdom. The hypocrisy of it is that the 19-year-old man here in our country may not deserve to do any prison time whereas the 80-year-old man in the United Kingdom should serve at least 20 years old, if not 30 years, in a maximum-security prison. 

Our nation has probably among the most outrageous sex offender registry laws of any country in the world. Underage marriage is one of the last and few defense mechanisms in our criminal justice system that our nation has to protect individuals from being absorbed into frivolous and malicious carnal knowledge cases in which the alleged “victim” is an adolescent, and I use the term “victim” loosely to make my point. It is the only way we really still have of weeding the good apples out from the bad ones whenever an age factor comes into play in a relationship that involves at least one teenage partner. Underage marriage itself is not that big of a problem here in our nation. Fanatical femi-nazis like Ms. Wallace and the women who run Unchained At Last seek to blow it all out of proportion to make it seem like a big problem.

Ms. Wallace further stated in her presentation that others will say that underage marriage “is an immigration problem or a religious problem.” However, she didn’t believe so. I beg to differ. I am aware that teenage brides as young as 12 years old are more common south of the Mexican-American border than they are north of it. Whenever you travel beyond the boundaries of the land of milk and honey, you will encounter significantly fewer Puritanical viewpoints of the topic of underage marriage and adolescent sexuality in general than you will here in our nation.

Now, I don’t approve of what goes on in the Middle East with respect to prepubescent little girls being forced into marriages with ancient men. However, what really angers me is that certain elected state officials here in our country have the audacity to encourage the entry of Islamic immigrants who have not been vetted into our nation; and then after these Islamic immigrants start performing child marriages under Sharia law here in the United States of America, these same elected state officials want to do away with underage marriage altogether to address a situation that they created in the first place; and, meanwhile, American citizens pay the consequences of these same measures. This is what Governor Terry McAuliffe did in the Commonwealth of Virginia. While other governors were refusing to allow unvetted Islamic immigrants into their states against the wishes of President Barack Obama, Governor McAuliffe opened the floodgates to these people into his state and these people eventually imposed their marital customs under Sharia law against regular American citizens. Meanwhile, moderate Muslims who immigrated to our country in search of the American dream feel furious, because they came here to our country to get away from Sharia law and to assimilate to our society and customs.

There is a nationwide organization named the Tahirih Justice Center whose members are just as much troublemakers as those of Unchained At Last. The Tahirih Justice Center, which has been in existence since 1997, presents itself as a national, non-profit legal advocacy organization that aims to end violence against women and girls through free, holistic direct services, policy advocacy, and training and education. Most of these women and girls they claim to help are immigrants from developing nations. However, much like Unchained At Last, they have also meddled into domestic politics to create laws that solely benefit immigrants here in our nation, while these same laws infringe upon the rights of regular American citizens. It was the Tahirih Justice Center that pushed state legislators in the Commonwealth of Virginia to make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to get married before the age of eighteen after July of 2016, and this action on their part was solely to protect the interests of female immigrants who may not even have legal status in our nation. Meanwhile, country folks up in the Appalachian Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains find it commonplace for girls to get married as young as 13 years old; and even when the men that these girls marry may be significantly older than them, these girls usually end up much better off with these men than they would have if some 14- or 15-year-old punk had knocked them up and had bailed on them. These new marriage laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia will not benefit the country folks living up in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains, and the country folks living up in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains couldn’t care less about these immigrant women and immigrant young girls who do not even vote in American elections. In other words, the Tahirih Justice Center is just another special interest organization that does not have the best interests of Americans at heart, and their actions prove to be more detrimental to American citizens than good.

I listened to a spokeswoman from the Tahirih Justice Center whose name is Jeanne Smoot in a YouTube video, and most everything that she said about underage marriage impressed upon me as anti-man propaganda. She spoke as though adult men rather than teenage boys caused most of teenage girls’ problems. I began to wonder how concerned she would be if she had a teenage son in high school who got an underage girl pregnant. I find it so hypocritical how so many of these fanatical femi-nazis like her always find the most creative words to deride adult men on issues regarding teenage girls; but whenever their 14- or 15-year-old son gets an underage girl pregnant, they feel that the young girl and her parents should handle the entire financial burden of raising the baby after it is born. The Tahirih Justice Center is supposed to be a non-profit organization, and yet they ran on the edge of the law and possibly even broke it to influence state legislators to pass a law to raise the minimum marriageable age in the Commonwealth of Virginia for minors to wed with parental consent.  They even went so far as crafting the bill to ban underage marriage in the Commonwealth of Virginia back in 2016, which would seem to be illegal on their part by the same token.

One other characteristic that I found most undesirable about the Tahirih Justice Center is that they do not support our newly elected president. President Donald J. Trump is attempting to protect our nation from the influx of immigrants who have not been vetted and are trying to emigrate from hostile nations to here, and this organization has been making President Trump out to look like the Big Bad Wolf. Yes, I am all in favor of endangered individuals being able to seek asylum in our country. However, I am also happy that President Trump is putting the interests of the American people first. I cannot quite say the same about the Tahirih Justice Center, Unchained At Last, or Governor McAuliffe. There was a reason that President Trump was elected as our nation’s president, and it had nothing to do with Vladimir Putin. President Trump got into the Oval Office on the will of the American people.

The fanatical femi-nazi state legislators that pushed for tougher laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia regarding underage marriage whined in Richmond about how wrong it was that it was so easy under the original laws for a pregnant 13-year-old girl to apply for a wedding license regardless of the age of her fiancé. However, I would not be the least bit surprised if none of these women have ever been up to the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Appalachian Mountains to see how the preceding marriage laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia benefited the young girls up there who needed to legalize their relationships with the fathers of their soon-to-be-born babies. Jeanne Smoot of the Tahirih Justice Center made a fuss about the fact that some of these men that these adolescent girls were marrying were not their high school sweethearts but rather years or even decades older than them. It brought to mind this movie that I saw so many years ago titled The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel and this one scene in it in which Lindsay Wagner, who played Doctor Laurel Meg, was explaining to a 13-year-old girl about menstruation inasmuch as this girl had just gotten married to a significantly older man. The movie never attempted to demonize the marriage. Instead, it just presented it as something quite regular in an Appalachian Mountains setting. I would be interested in knowing if Jeannie Smoot took the time to research this way of life among the country folks of the mountains or if she just based her obvious hostilities against adolescent girls marrying significantly older men upon all the sensationalistic rhetoric that gets passed around in the Northern Virginia press and the media whenever a 15-year-old girl goes running off with her gym teacher. Governor McAuliffe showed how clueless he was of how things were done in this same state when he signed the new Draconian marriage bill into law back in 2016. He is not even a native Virginian. I will delve into the occurrence in the Commonwealth of Virginia in this regard further on in this article.

Ms. Wallace lastly ran her mouth in her presentation on how our nation needed to be exemplary in its ways before we were to spread democracy throughout the world. Quite frankly, I would prefer that our nation applied the Monroe Doctrine in all of its governmental affairs and that we only concerned ourselves with our own domestic issues. I don’t oppose Ms. Wallace’s suggestions that social programs be created to assist underage brides in coping with their married life. However, I really don’t buy into most of what she stated in her presentation, and I don’t feel that underage marriage should be eliminated completely. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s current marriage laws that came into effect in July of last year are more flawed than ever and only promote further oppression from law-enforcement officials in that state whose activities have already been questioned frequently in the past.

A male news reporter in this same YouTube video in which Ms. Wallace gave her presentation babbled on with her about how six-figure “child marriage” gave our country no moral high ground to judge what went on around the world. Well, I am against our involvement in foreign matters that really don’t concern us in the first place. However, he needs to retract his statement and instead point out the fact that the epidemic of deadbeat teenage fathers ruining the lives of girls as young as 11 and 12 years old doesn’t give our society any real moral high ground to police underage marriages anywhere around the world, including our own country. Our nation has become the deadbeat teenage dad capital of the world. If anyone actually believes that adolescent girls become emotionally damaged from marriages to older spouses or from relationships with older partners in general, I have this one question. What about girls between 12 and 17 years of age who fall victim to sexually reckless middle-school and high-school-age boys who get them pregnant and then bail on them? These girls get needlessly laughed at and teased at school. Then the jerks who got them pregnant may go as far as spreading malicious rumors about then and falsely accusing them of promiscuity. The law usually does nothing about it, and society does nothing about it in our nation. Therefore, if marriages and relationships between adolescent girls and adult men are running into problems, I think society needs to take a great amount of blame for it in terms that these “forbidden” couples get needlessly subjected to social pressures that they would not otherwise be subjected to in more liberal cultures over in Europe. There is a whole other side to this issue that only open-minded individuals seem to be able to see, whereas all the righteous, narrow-minded know-it-alls refuse to acknowledge any of it.

The above-described male news reporter then asked, “If you’re not allowed to vote, to drink, to join the military, then why in God’s green Earth are they allowing you to get married?” I can give him numerous answers to that question very easily. At 13 years old, you pay full price at the movie theater. Most state jurisdictions set 13 years old as the age of discretion, which is the age when a youngster can decide which parent he or she gets to live with in the event that his or her parents are no longer together. No matter how young you are, you have the prerogative to make decisions regarding your reproductive rights. I found this fact out in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. A good example to this effect is that no underage girl can be forced into getting an abortion despite her parents’ wishes for her not to carry a baby to full term. There are state jurisdictions where youngsters as young as 12 years old can be tried as adults for certain crimes. Eliminating underage marriage altogether would be imposing another double standard in our law system.

[Article Continued In Part C]

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Ladies and gentlemen? Allow me to correct two typographical errors I made in the above segment of my article titled "The Great American Controversy Over Underage Marriage."

In one of the paragraphs above, I stated: [It brought to mind this movie that I saw so many years ago titled The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel and this one scene in it in which Lindsay Wagner, who played Doctor Laurel Meg, was explaining to a 13-year-old girl about menstruation inasmuch as this girl had just gotten married to a significantly older man.]

In that same paragraph, I meant to state: [It brought to mind this movie that I saw so many years ago titled The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel and this one scene in it in which Lindsay Wagner, who played Doctor Meg Laurel, was explaining to a 13-year-old girl about menstruation inasmuch as this girl was about to marry a significantly older man.]

When Steemit allows for us all to edit our articles whenever we wish to do so for an indefinite period of time, I think we are all going to celebrate by popping open a bottle of champagne. :-)