Friday, September 14, 2007

Disturbing on Many Levels

Another jewel from PZ Myers is the Marry Our Daughter website. You guessed it; it's apparently a site designed to help you arrange your daughter's marriage and make a tidy sum in the process.
Marry Our Daughter is an introduction service assisting those following the Biblical tradition of arranging marriages for their daughters.
Yes, it's apparently a fundamentalist wife market. They've already provided an answer to the "Is this legal?" question.
Within the United States girls can marry as young as 13 years old with parental permission, and the Bride Price is a custom of long standing, mentioned many times in the Bible, and as such is a protected religious practice.
So, how much can you expect to pay for your bride-to-be (assuming that her parents don't reject you for not being Biblical enough)? At a glance, "bride prices" vary from as little as $4,000 for a 17-year-old who "has been living with foster families since she was 5 and is a bit rough around the edges but is basically a good girl" to $100,000 for a 16-year-old "rising star on her way up. She’s already been in local billboard ads and has modeled for national catalogues." There are listings for girls as young as 13.

I'm not saying that arranged marriages are necessarily a bad thing. They're common in many cultures, and many of them seem to be successful. Peddling your 13-year-old in this culture, though, seems to be a bit on the creepy side. It also strikes me as treating young girls as commodities. The testimonials page is especially creepy; so creepy, in fact, that it makes me suspect the whole site might be a hoax.

UPDATE: *sigh of relief* Apparently the linked site really is a hoax.

No comments: