Child Brides and Genital Mutilation

In the bid to control female sexual behaviour a nexus of instruments have been devised child brides, female genital mutilation, honour killings, other forms of violence, arrested development of females and various discourses which state the women is the property of the  father who  then passes her as property to the husband. The operational discourse is that of shame or loss of face and the need to recoup lost honour by the controlling/owning male. To insist on child brides in T&T because of the failure to control the female seen in a pregnancy out of wedlock is therefore invoking the nexus of control and the need to regain control and the gamut of instruments of control are then invoked. Where is the structure and the laws in T&T to police a decision to mutilate the genitals of young girls to preempt the future possible shame of an unwed pregnancy? What happens when the practitioners claim that it is a part of their religious beliefs? What is then permissible in the quest to retrieve lost honour to quell the pangs of shame? Are we then to allow structures that ensure arrested development of women because they are necessary to solve a problem of shame not the reality underpinning the pregnancy? Are we going to marry teenage girls to the predators that impregnated them? Are we going to allow parents and guardians to dispose of teenage girls as property via marriages where the bridegroom has a weakness for young girls and is willing to dish out rewards for this teenage girl to parents and guardians whilst we speak of human trafficking? Which state structure will seek the interests of the child brides and protect them from a condition that is sexual slavery? The willingness to unleash the instruments of control exists and the instruments are applied in T&T it is only those in denial do not know of this reality. Child brides are then the thin edge of the wedge that has opened the Pandora’s box.

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