Quick Hit: Pork for Tits

January 19th, 2009 10:23 am by Kelly Garbato

This story has already made the rounds, but I think it merits another mention anyway: A California man stands accused of selling his 14-year-old daughter for $16,000, 100 cases of beer and several cases of “meat”.

CNN has a fairly detailed report on the case:

A California man sold his 14-year-old daughter to an 18-year-old man for cash, beer and meat — then called police when the prospective bridegroom didn’t live up to his end of the deal, authorities said Tuesday.

Marcelino de Jesus Martinez, 36, of Greenfield, California, was arrested Monday and booked into the Monterey County Jail, Greenfield police said in a statement. He faces felony charges of receiving money for causing a person to cohabitate, police said.

Martinez had arranged through a third party to have his daughter marry the older teenager, identified by authorities as Margarito de Jesus Galindo, of Gonzales, California. In exchange, Galindo was to pay Martinez $16,000 and provide him with 160 cases of beer, 100 cases of soda, 50 cases of Gatorade, two cases of wine, and six cases of meat, Greenfield Police Chief Joe Grebmeier told CNN.

All those involved in the case are from the western Mexican state of Oaxaca, the police chief said. In the Oaxacan community, such an agreement is “normal and honorable,” he said. “In California, it’s against the law.”

In Oaxacan culture, the food and beverages are provided by a prospective bridegroom for the wedding, Grebmeier said.

Authorities believe the young girl went with Galindo willingly, and no coercion was involved, he said. However, the girl is four years younger than California’s age of consent, although the law does allow 16-year-olds to marry with parental consent. […]

He said he wanted to send a message to immigrant communities that such behavior is unacceptable. He said his department has long heard rumors of children as young as 12 being sold or offered for sale. The Greenfield police statement said arranged marriages between young girls and older men “have become a local problem.”

Of course, treating women like chattel isn’t a problem confined to “immigrant communities” and “exotic” and “foreign” cultures; indeed, fundamentalist Christians and Mormons are extreme, American-borne examples. (Think purity balls and sister wives.) No matter who’s doing the pimping, though, treating women like property is wrong; it’s misogynistic, plain and simple.

The misogyny in this case is obvious; the speciesism, on the other hand, is of such a mundane form that it’s practically invisible.

Here’s a clue:

In exchange, Galindo was to pay Martinez $16,000 and provide him with 160 cases of beer, 100 cases of soda, 50 cases of Gatorade, two cases of wine, and six cases of meat dead animal corpses, Greenfield Police Chief Joe Grebmeier told CNN.

Both the young woman and the unidentified “meat” in this case were objectified, exploited and used as a means to another being’s ends. The young woman’s sexuality was treated as a commodity, as are the reproductive systems (and very bodies) of billions of farmed and domesticated animals. Here, the daughter is as much a slab of “meat” as the dead animals for which she was traded.

This is but one of many ways in which the fate and oppressions of women and non-human animals are intertwined.

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