Shipta Barua (Translated by Tinni Rahman):
You have a daughter, and she is very pretty. She is only studying in 9th or 10th grade. Your daughter is your responsibility as long as she doesn’t learn to understand herself and becomes an adult. You have spent a lot of money on her bringing up so you can give her a beautiful life ahead.
Do you remember? How worried you used to be if your daughter got a little sick or if anybody teased her when she was a child! Now the question is, are you pushing your daughter towards rape? You didn’t get what I am saying?
Suddenly 10 carton sweets, 2 kg apple, 3 kg oranges and 2-5 guests have come to visit you. Elderly women, elderly men and a few young adults, but you don’t know them, along with one of your known relatives from the neighborhood. You will definitely not ask them to leave, as your neighbor is also with them. So you invite them inside, accept their food and put it inside. Now you must understand what is the purpose of their coming!
Still don’t get it?
Ok. As a few guests arrived, you also company them in your expensive sofa and get introduced with a smiling face. Suddenly you realize they also overcame a few obstacles and behaving like relatives. After half an hour of discussion in various topics, an elderly woman in the guests suddenly strikes the topic of discussion from sky to ground.
“My son lives in France, he is earning quite a lot and in a few months he is getting citizenship of France. We will not live forever, so we want to see our daughter-in-law, other than that his father is also sick”. That moment, the relative of your village starts saying, “My brother’s daughter is very well mannered, she is studious and very pretty Mashallah!”
Your relative from the village is talking about your daughter, and after learning about the money of the prospective bridegroom you also start saying, yes, my daughter is very well behaved, very pretty, other than that blablabla…. You call your daughter from inside: “Shukho, Shukho dear, please come outside!” Your daughter is still young, but growing up fast, and doesn’t understand much. She comes and sits by you in the sofa ignorantly. Then the elderly unknown lady asks her about her name and what she does. After that she is sent inside the room. “Mashallah, this girl will be perfect for my son’s wife.” Now you must understand why they came to visit with all those gifts even if they are strangers?
They want your 9th/10th grader daughter to be married to their 35-year-old son who cuts onions for living in France. You don’t get it! So when your husband comes home, you tell him that today some people came to see Shukho while chewing beetle leaf in bed. The guy lives in France, earns a lot, he will take our daughter to France after marriage. Fine!!
France also impresses you foolish husband. He agrees, calls and invites the parents of the guy to come to your house and finalize the date of your daughter’s marriage.
You don’t say anything to your daughter yet that she will be married in a few days! She will have to leave her father’s house! Without her knowledge you will hand her over to an unknown, double her age man, can be said to a rapist. The guy’s mother-father come with a lot of presents, and the date of the wedding is fixed. After they leave, you tell your daughter, “Dear, you will be very happy, he will take you to France” and give a lot of good certificates about the guy. Your daughter is still a 9th/10th grader, what would she say! Hardly she knows about the meaning of life!
She says, “Do whatever you think is best”.
You arrange a spectacular ceremony for your daughter’s wedding, feed hundreds of people, and be very happy about it. But little do you understand about how young your daughter is, and how old the bridegroom is, your daughter’s genitalia is not yet constructed as a grown woman, and so the man’s penis will tear down your daughter’s vagina! That you never thought of.
Your daughter is born, her marriage is your responsibility, and so you get her married as soon as she is a 9th/10th grader for her happiness. But your Shukho doesn’t become happy; she suffers intolerable pain in silence. Shukho can’t say anything. Shukho is not yet 18, but may be in a few months she will be a mother, and everybody will call her daughter-in-law. Shukho will be sleeping with her husband everyday and every night though she is not willing.
We know that getting a girl married who is less than 18 is a curse for her for the rest of her life. If she becomes a mother before 18 she has to live a life that’s close to death threat. It’s also known, if one is willing but the other is not willing to go to bed, its rape.
Every night may be your daughter will be unwilling to have physical relation but will be forced by her husband, but your daughter won’t have a say, as you as parents gave this very license to rape yourselves. So be careful about pushing your daughter towards marital rape in the greed of her happiness. Otherwise, the daughter you brought up with so much care would be raped her whole life by the rapist man.
The writer is a law student in Cox’s Bazar International University.
Tinni Rahman is a design professional. A multi-talented individual, her passions include traveling and learning new languages. She speaks 5 languages and traveled extensively across Asia and Europe. She is contributing to Women Chapter’s mission by translating some of the best articles from the Bengali site in her spare time.
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