I've been seething about this incident ever since it happened, so I'd like to vent about it here:
One morning at work, my boss was reading off a bit of news to my two co-workers and I about the 8 year old Yemeni girl known as "Rawan" who was sold into marriage by her parents to a 40 year old man. The girl died after suffering severe internal bleeding on her wedding night.
Guy At Work (hereafter known as GAW) just chuckled and said, "Oops." My boss just gave him a dirty look and said, "I'm gonna come over there and smack you." He looked around at the three of us, got only more dirty looks, and then tried to save himself: "You have to understand that their culture is extremely different from ours. That's normal over there." I was too angry to say anything.
First of all, he could have shown some sympathy. This girl was brutally raped and died from the resulting injuries. Even an "Aw, that's sad" would have been better than a laugh and an "Oops," like it was a comical mistake that could have happened to anyone.
Second of all, just because child marriage might be socially acceptable in other countries, does not mean that it is any less of a human rights violation. This poor girl's parents sold her to a 40 year old man to be used as a sex slave, AKA a wife. That is not acceptable, no matter what backwards ass culture you live in. Condoning that kind of social norm in any part of the world only allows it to continue. Women will always been seen as lesser beings, or as property or objects, until we are allowed to decide what happens to our own bodies.
How many more girls have to die this way until people wake up?