They told me that if I voted for John McCain, Christians would railroad their teenage daughters into marriage…

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They told me that if I voted for John McCain, Christians would railroad their teenage daughters into marriage...

..and they were right!

Stacy McCain has assid­u­ously cov­ered “the other side” of the Court­ney Stodden-​Doug Hutchin­son nup­tials, in which Courtney’s mother, Krista, gave per­mis­sion for her 16-​year-​old daugh­ter to marry 51-​year-​old Hutchinson.

Now, Da TechGuy blog is a Catholic blog, so I’ll start with the rea­sons why Catholics might oppose such a union: mar­riages wherein the woman is under 18 when she weds are the most likely to end up in divorce. Although Hutchin­son and Stod­dard were wed in a church, or with the con­sent of their pas­tor, they only dated for a very short time (per­haps four months?) before get­ting mar­ried. Catholics usu­ally require at least six months, which is designed to pre­vent rash deci­sions (or, hypo­thet­i­cally, a 16-​year-​old with a crush on an older man from mak­ing a deci­sion that affects her for the rest of her life). Fur­ther­more, pre-​Cana classes cover every­thing from finances, inti­macy, Nat­ural Fam­ily Plan­ning, dis­cus­sions with a priest, the sacra­ment of mar­riage, and the men­tor­ship of a mar­ried couple.

For those who take mar­riage seri­ously, and believe that mar­riage is a life-​long com­mit­ment and a union that no man may put asun­der; for those whose reli­gion pro­hibits re-​marriage after divorce (unless the mar­riage was invalid to begin with); for those who believe that strong fam­i­lies are the bedrock of a free soci­ety, such a union is prob­lem­atic. The age dif­fer­ence is but a small part of this: it’s the like­li­hood of divorce, the (appar­ent) lack of pre-​marital prepa­ra­tion (so nec­es­sary for help­ing cou­ples to think through the real­ity of day-​to-​day wed­ded life that they may oth­er­wise not con­sider), and the idea that love would sur­vive wait­ing for Court­ney to grow up a bit.

More­over, as a con­ser­v­a­tive fem­i­nist, I abhor the exploita­tion of women. Like almost all of my ilk, I view pros­ti­tu­tion and pornog­ra­phy as exploita­tive, not good. The vol­un­tari­ness of the action does not negate the fact that it can be abu­sive. I know that most young girls who have sex are not doing it as an “empow­ered” act, but are los­ing their vir­gin­ity to older men who push them into this. Like many girls, I’ve been pur­sued by older men, and, as I dis­cussed with Stacy yes­ter­day, saw over and over how gen­uinely good men who were attracted to my then-​young self held back (or, upon find­ing my age, stopped pur­suit imme­di­ately), while the scary ones acted as if they were enti­tled to me. Men who want what is best for the very young women to whom they are attracted wait for them, roman­ti­cally and sexually.

That is my oppo­si­tion to this union, and, while we can’t do any­thing to rewind time and stop it from hap­pen­ing, we can ensure that any other six­teen year olds who crush on older men do not make such a rash deci­sion. By “we,” I mean sane-​minded peo­ple, and often con­ser­v­a­tives who care about the integrity of mar­riage and the family.

But what I can’t under­stand is why any lib­eral would care about this union. These are the peo­ple who think that a 16-​year-​old should be able to access the Pill, con­doms, Plan B, and abor­tions for free, with­out her par­ents’ knowl­edge nor per­mis­sion. They think that elementary-​school chil­dren should have sex ed. They think that “mar­riage is just a piece of paper.” These are the same peo­ple who refer to pros­ti­tu­tion as “sex work,” believ­ing that there is noth­ing exploita­tive about sex­ual activ­ity so long as it is con­sen­sual. Any age, any sit­u­a­tion, any length of time the peo­ple have known each other — it’s all good, so long as she says “Yes.” They don’t think that “fem­i­nist porn” is an oxymoron.

So why do lib­er­als care if Court­ney Stod­den gets mar­ried? It’s not that she’ll be hav­ing sex, not that they think it’s a sacra­ment, nor a life-​long com­mit­ment, nor any­thing but a social insti­tu­tion with gov­ern­ment largesse attached. So what is your prob­lem, lib­er­als? Bris­tol Palin got the same treat­ment — appar­ently, the only bad sex­ual decision-​making that teenagers can engage in is to do it within the con­fines of mat­ri­mony, or ensure that your chil­dren grow up with a mommy and a daddy. Explain that insan­ity, please.

Note: like the con­ser­v­a­tive com­men­tary? Thank­ful that Da TechGuy blogs as well as he does? Happy he’s taken this blog­ger on? Hit his tip jar!

..and they were right!

Stacy McCain has assiduously covered “the other side” of the Courtney Stodden-Doug Hutchinson nuptials, in which Courtney’s mother, Krista, gave permission for her 16-year-old daughter to marry 51-year-old Hutchinson.

Now, Da TechGuy blog is a Catholic blog, so I’ll start with the reasons why Catholics might oppose such a union: marriages wherein the woman is under 18 when she weds are the most likely to end up in divorce. Although Hutchinson and Stoddard were wed in a church, or with the consent of their pastor, they only dated for a very short time (perhaps four months?) before getting married.  Catholics usually require at least six months, which is designed to prevent rash decisions (or, hypothetically, a 16-year-old with a crush on an older man from making a decision that affects her for the rest of her life).  Furthermore, pre-Cana classes cover everything from finances, intimacy, Natural Family Planning, discussions with a priest, the sacrament of marriage, and the mentorship of a married couple.

For those who take marriage seriously, and believe that marriage is a life-long commitment and a union that no man may put asunder; for those whose religion prohibits re-marriage after divorce (unless the marriage was invalid to begin with); for those who believe that strong families are the bedrock of a free society, such a union is problematic.  The age difference is but a small part of this: it’s the likelihood of divorce, the (apparent) lack of pre-marital preparation (so necessary for helping couples to think through the reality of day-to-day wedded life that they may otherwise not consider), and the idea that love would survive waiting for Courtney to grow up a bit.

Moreover, as a conservative feminist, I abhor the exploitation of women.  Like almost all of my ilk, I view prostitution and pornography as exploitative, not good.  The voluntariness of the action does not negate the fact that it can be abusive.  I know that most young girls who have sex are not doing it as an “empowered” act, but are losing their virginity to older men who push them into this.  Like many girls, I’ve been pursued by older men, and, as I discussed with Stacy yesterday, saw over and over how genuinely good men who were attracted to my then-young self held back (or, upon finding my age, stopped pursuit immediately), while the scary ones acted as if they were entitled to me.  Men who want what is best for the very young women to whom they are attracted wait for them, romantically and sexually.

That is my opposition to this union, and, while we can’t do anything to rewind time and stop it from happening, we can ensure that any other sixteen year olds who crush on older men do not make such a rash decision.  By “we,” I mean sane-minded people, and often conservatives who care about the integrity of marriage and the family.

But what I can’t understand is why any liberal would care about this union.  These are the people who think that a 16-year-old should be able to access the Pill, condoms, Plan B, and abortions for free, without her parents’ knowledge nor permission. They think that elementary-school children should have sex ed. They think that “marriage is just a piece of paper.”  These are the same people who refer to prostitution as “sex work,” believing that there is nothing exploitative about sexual activity so long as it is consensual.   Any age, any situation, any length of time the people have known each other – it’s all good, so long as she says “Yes.”  They don’t think that “feminist porn” is an oxymoron.

So why do liberals care if Courtney Stodden gets married?  It’s not that she’ll be having sex, not that they think it’s a sacrament, nor a life-long commitment, nor anything but a social institution with government largesse attached.  So what is your problem, liberals?   Bristol Palin got the same treatment – apparently, the only bad sexual decision-making that teenagers can engage in is to do it within the confines of matrimony, or ensure that your children grow up with a mommy and a daddy.  Explain that insanity, please.

Note: like the conservative commentary? Thankful that Da TechGuy blogs as well as he does?  Happy he’s taken this blogger on? Hit his tip jar!