What’s Current: Child marriage no longer legal in Virginia

child marriage
In a social experiment, New Yorkers reacted with horror to a staged child marriage (Picture: Youtube/Coby Persin)

On Friday, legislation updating rules that had made it legal for girls as young as 12 to get married in Virginia (if they had parental consent and were pregnant) took effect. The law set the minimum marriage age at 18, or 16 if a child is emancipated by court order, taking parents and pregnancy out of the equation.

The “#PantyChallenge”? Really?!?

Taina Bien-Aime: “In Sara [Baartman’s] memory, South Africa must urgently provide its forgotten daughters with viable alternatives to the sex trade and teach its sons about harmful masculinities.”

Justin Trudeau needs to address systemic discrimination against Indigenous women and girls if he wants the national inquiry to be effective.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    To participate in a “challenge”, wouldn’t there have to be some aspect you can control? It makes about as much sense as having an eye colour “challenge” or breast size “challenge”. Completely nonsensical.

  • Sara Marie

    I hate the word “panties” because it is a word men LOVE to use to refer to women’s underwear.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I hate it too. Makes me cringe. I feel like it’s infantilizing somehow, too. Like it turns women’s underwear into some pedophilic fantasy, somehow.

      • Spark658

        Speaking of infantilizing – Am I the only one who is irritated by the fact that almost every pair of women’s underwear has a stupid little bow in the front? They are just so childish.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Yes. Puke. I do not want bows on my underwear, thanks. I am an adult.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Can we banish the word “panties” yet? Do we need to simultaneously infantilize and sexualize underwear that is worn by women?

    Also, besides vaginal discharge, Period blood. Happens. Big fucking deal.

    I notice there’s no “challenge” for skid marks. That would potentially shame dudes, and we mustn’t have that!

    • Just Passing Through

      I have been wondering that same thing for a very long time. Every time I would hear that word, it would make me cringe…now it makes sense, never thought of it like that (the sexualization & infantilization) men wear “underpants” women wear “panties” UGH!!!

    • Misanthropia

      There should be an ejaculation challenge

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Ha, wrote my comment before I read yours. THANK YOU for this!

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Virginia’s not “deep south.” Not even close. It’s as far north as you can go and still be considered “south.”

    Plus, northern Virginia is actually progressive! There are batshit rural
    areas, though.

  • Misanthropia

    So Western people love to condemn child marriages in countries with mostly Muslim/African/Brown people yet ignore the same laws in their own backyard. Disgusting on both sides.

  • dwpandme

    The problem with “equality model” is that “equality” is such a loaded word that it has almost entirely lost any useful descriptive function. While to some extent the same can be said of “(de)criminalisation”, it at least describes the action of the law as it applies to the different parties and activities under discussion.

    The “nordic model” has the disadvantage that it sounds provincial and becomes dated if adopted widely, but it at least refers to an actual system as it is implemented and there can be no doubt as to what is being described or proposed.

    The “equality model” simply describes an ideal that may or may be achievable to a greater or lesser extent under different models and is likely to be recognised as representing equality to a greater or lesser extent depending on the perspective taken.

    “Equality model” would be about as useful as “Good model”. We could go one step further and propose that all laws that we are personally in favour of be adopted and collectively referred to as “Just law” but the problem is that replacing the making of and descriptions of laws with vague concepts that describe our philosophical ideals would just result in paralysis and a breakdown of useful dialogue. There is no reason why “nordic” model shouldn’t continue to be just as useful for describing the legal approach to sex work as it was first implemented in Scandinavia as “hoover” is for describing the electrical floor-cleaning household appliance as was first made popular and marketed by “Hoover”.