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Germaine is Not Much of a Sister
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Joined: 30 May 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: per Reply with quote

Roger and I have been peregrinating between his house in Cardiff and Abergavenny. That's why it's been hard to settle to the computer. Also, on Saturday in an ad hoc way, we were off to Llanelli for the martyrs' remembrance. We weren't sure we were going until the last minute or we'd have invited you and Dafydd.

If you don't exchange children between tribes, you're going to get a really inbred community. Anthropologists will say that some societies are patrilocal and others are matrilocal. They suspect that when a man turns up in a far country and contributes his genes to it, he is an intrepid explorer, but when it is a woman, she is a captive bride.

There are still problems with marriage by capture in some African countries today. One of the reasons for it is that women and girls are often seen as objects.

You may argue that someone has to do the donkey work, even if it is a drag, and if you learn as a child, it'll be easier. I think it was either the Aztecs or Incas who had the first laws making school attendance compulsory for everyone. That sounds enlightened, but as they also sacrificed children and adults to blood thirsty sun gods, perhaps it wasn't.

There was no formal education for kids in Native America north of Mexico. Children learnt the skills they would need from their parents.

It was comparatively enlightened. Parents might shout at or shame their children but it didn't occur to them to hit them as a disciplinary tool. Then Puritans came from Europe and set up schools for their own children.

Even the alphabet books look grim. For the letter 'A', the primer gave the rhyme, 'In Adam's fall /We sinned all', with the A of Adam italicised. Then for F, it has 'The idle Fool/Is whipt in school.'

Native Americans might have treated domestic animals with some brutality, but the way European Americans treated their children did surprise them. In the New England area, the term for a European was 'the man who beats his children.'

Which kind of upbringing would a sensible person prefer? Education is great but some schools are just factories of evil.

Last edited by marianneh on Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:51 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:17 pm    Post subject: the bridal morn Reply with quote

Here is a jolly little lyric by our old friend, Anon. It comes from the 15th to the 16th century. Rebecca West noted in 'Black Lamb and Grey Falcon' how it lifts the heart. I always thought the same.

But there is one line which the Guardian review describes as 'resonant',apparently a sudden personal outburst against child marriage:

The Bridal Morn

The maidens came
When I was in my mother's bower;
I had all that I would.
The bailey beareth the bell away;
The lily, the rose, the rose I lay.
The silver is white, red is the gold:
The robes they lay in fold.
The bailey beareth the bell away;
The lily, the rose, the rose I lay.
And through the glass window shines the sun.
How should I love and I so young?
The bailey beareth the bell away;
The lily, the rose, the rose I lay.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:50 pm    Post subject: colour Reply with quote

Notice the words, 'the silver is white; red is the gold.' Think of 'roses are red violets are blue.'

Now we would say, 'Silver is silver, gold is gold and violets are violet.' Our ancestors had a much more restricted vocabulary for colours than we do.

'Pink' became a colour name only in the eighteenth century, from the flowers called pinks, just as we say peach for the colour of a peach and orange from the colour of an orange.

We are traditionalists where it comes to hair colour. We say fair hair not yellow hair and red hair not orange hair. We also say red fox not orange fox.

How about cerise and beige? Did they come in only in the twentieth century?

The paucity of colour names in the past, has led to serious speculation that the ability to perceive colours has evloved significantly in human beings over quite recent historical time.

This seems unlikely. I have an idea that Chaucer said 'fine coral red' for pink but I may be wrong. It's a bit suprising that Homer or someone described the sky as bronze. Or maybe it does look bronze on a cloudy day at sunset.

Last edited by marianneh on Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:33 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That reminds me that the meanings of words depends upon associations and Daf's criticism of me being Platonistic has validity in that the words that I use do not have a divine origin which is why I subvert then and he prefers numbers as being more trustworthy. Take " Orange " which is the place in the south of France which gave the name to the Princes of Orange who then moved to The Netherlands whose heraldic colours then became known as " orange " and it became patriotic after they moved to Britain to call " buff " by the new word " orange."

" Glas " in Welsh was used of green originally which is now " gwyrdd " and the colour associated with boys used to be pink and with girls blue etc ( = Virgin Mary was depicted with blue clothing in Christian imagery.)

The whole school issue as a social institution troubles me : when schools were created in the 19c they were an educational movement for religious dissenters to instill values which led to political dissent whereas The United Kingdom created schools in response for social control but professing the same liberal values whilst actually just stopping mobs of children of the poor roaming the streets when the factory system was introduced which excluded their children from the workplace. The " education " then consisted of terrorising the children into obeying authority which reflects the anti-political nature of the political system which created this " education " which evolved into just producing an obedient working class. Mass literacy however caused concern in the 19c because of cheap novels corrupting attitudes to authority.

Many people think that home schooling is the remedy but it often seems to be opted for by parents who are equally authoritarian and controlling and who want to prevent their children from being exposed to different opinions. When I was in a distinctly Royalist grammar school my copy of Solzenitzen's " Lenin in Zurich " was confiscated by a teacher ( who was from Port Talbot ) who was alarmed that I " dare " read a book about Lenin. Philosophical training should be part of children's education to be both inquistive but critical too.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:04 pm    Post subject: indigo Reply with quote

A female imam from Indonesia has issued a rare fatwa against child marriage. But Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has refused to outlaw child marriage in his state as this would offend the sensibilities and religious convictions of so many of the people that he represents.

A girl scout in New Hampshire discovered that you can marry at 13 in her home state. She began a campaign to outlaw this, and was surprised at the stubborn resistance. So far, all attempts to change the law have been voted down.

25 of the 50 US states have no minimum age of marriage at all. Since the turn of the millenium, marriage licences have been issued to applicants who were not even in their teens, including an eleven year old boy and three ten year old girls in Tenessee in 2001.

But most of these marriages follow a pattern of young girls in relationships with much older men, who have to give up their education and endure years of abuse. One girl of 14 married a man of 74.

In the early 70s, Sherry Johnson was raped by the deacon and four member of the congregation at the conservative Pentecostal church which her parents insisted she attend.

One of these assaults by a man of 20, left her pregnant as a scrawny ten year old. The family found out when she was eleven.

Her mother was sick of police officers coming round. This was creating a scandal which did not accord with her sensibilities and religious convicitons.

She put it to Sherry that she might like to marry the rapist. That would legitimise the pregnancy and make everything hunky dory. Sherry said, ''Instead of putting the handcuffs on him, they put them on me.''

Although it was legal to marry an eleven year old in Florida in 1971 as long as she was pregnant, and I believe it still is at the time of typing, the registrar refused to conduct the ceremony as his sensibilities were outraged.

The family was not deterred. They just booked a venue in another town.Sherry smiled dutifully for the pictures, but she says she was crying inside.

She lost out on education. The following years went past in a blur of quarrelling with her husband at intervals between changing and feeding the babies she had no choice but to bear.

She had six children at the age of 16. It wan't even about her anymore. She had to keep going for the kids. She had no money. She was dependent on her husband.

She says you wouldn't be allowed to drive or drink or start work or sign most contracts at eleven. Why should you be able to marry at that age? Children cannot initiate legal action independently. So they can marry but they can't divorce!

The idea that 'respectability' and 'legitimacy' trump concerns about age still persists. In 2016, an Idaho man drove his 15 year old daughter to Missouri so she could marry the 25 year old man who had impregnated her.

The BBC news channel spoke to a woman who had become a child bride in Idaho because that was what her mother wanted. Angel McGafee was just over 13, and excited about having her first boyfriend.

But to her mother, this was an opportunity to exert power over her and give herself grandchildren in a respectable way. It was a grotesque way of playing happy families.

She pressurised Angel and her boyfriend to marry. She ordered a 'horrible' wedding dress on the internet.

Angel did look very nice in her wedding dress in the pictures, but as if she was a child dressing up.

But unlike a playful child, she was not happy. You could see how resentful and close to tears she was.

Her husband began pushing and shoving her when she was pregnant. She had her first child when she was 15. He became increasingly abusive as more children appeared. She was crushed, oppressed by both her mother and her husband.

She couldn't be what she wanted to be, had no chance to get an education or an interesting life or career. She has divorced and remarried, but at 26 is still carrying the emotional baggage.

Sherry Johnson was an African American; Angel McGafee is an Anglo American. All ethnic groups are at risk.

Young women from 'Unchained at Last', stand symbolically chained in the foyers of legislative buildings. They are survivors of child marriage. They have placards demanidng, 'End Child Marriage in the US!'

The non profit organisation was founded by Fraidy Reiss. She came from a New Hampshire family who belonged to an insular sect of Orthodox Judaism. She was 19 when her family arranged her marriage to a man who turned out to be violent.He also repeatedly threatened to kill her.

She was an adult -just about- but she had no money or marketable skills so she was trapped or thought she was. She didn't even know it was an abusive relationship until she consulted a therapist from outside her community.

At 27, she walked out with her two daughters. Her family declared her dead - they sat shiva for her. They were particulary upset because she had enrolled at university.

It was the best decision she ever made. She has never looked back.
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