How should we deal with forced marriages?How should we deal with arranged marriages? Most people is Asian countries are forced to marry and they are brainwashed growing up that they cant divorce or...

How should we deal with forced marriages?

How should we deal with arranged marriages? Most people is Asian countries are forced to marry and they are brainwashed growing up that they cant divorce or choose someone of their own liking? I think it should be illegal!

Expert Answers
tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

History and Literature all have examples of forced marriages that have turned out great and those that have turned out not so great. "The Taming of the Shrew" comes to mind, first. An argument for the marriage turning out both good and bad can be applied. Eventually, Petruchio and Kate find a status quo that they can both live with, but the domestic violence and manipulation to acquire it might not have been the healthiest way to go about it. Romeo and Juliet tried to avoid the arrangement with Paris and look where that got them? Sometimes, I wish that parents had more input these days into who their children married simply because young minds aren't fully developed and may make impulsive decisions just like Romeo and Juliet. Finding a balance in all things in any society is tricky for sure.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would suggest that we should avoid terms like "brainwashing" when characterizing other people's beliefs.  A person from a country with arranged marriages might say that we are "brainwashed" to make us think that we should have marriages that come from the perfect romance.  They could point to our divorce rates and say that we are idiots to believe that young people can choose their own spouses based on some idea of romance and love.

I would never choose an arranged marriage for myself.  Nor would I arrange marriages for my children.  But I do not think that we can unequivocally say that arranged marriages are in some way morally wrong.  Instead, I would argue that they are simply the product of a different culture than our own.  To this degree, I believe in cultural relativism.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aside from the obvious problems with characterizing other people's practices as "brainwashing," I'm also not sure it's accurate to say that "most people in Asian countries" are forced into marriages not of their choosing. In the United States, obviously these marriage agreements, which are often entered into by families before children reach the age of marriage, would not have legal standing. However, we cannot legislate against the cultural expectations that might pressure couples into acting according to their family's wishes. Ultimately, the practice seems foreign to (modern) Westerners, but I also balk at passing judgement on other cultural practices.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If "we" live in a culture that does not have forced or arranged marriages as a general practice, we should grant other cultures the respect of allowing them to function according to beliefs and customs with which we are unfamiliar and/or have no understanding. We have no right to try to force laws and changes in the ways other people live their lives.

If "we" live in a culture that practices forced or arranged marriage, then we may choose to join discussions or movements advocating change in the customs if we feel this is needed.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Luckily, in the United States, adults have the choice of both choosing their life mate as well as divorcing him/her if things don't work out. Family pressure can be a powerful thing, but part of being an adult is making decisions for oneself. Young adults sometimes have to cut the puppet strings that some parents try to maintain: It may not always work out in the most positive manner, but it is a freedom that all adults enjoy.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you are talking about how a person in a forced marriage should deal with it, I would say to make sure it is what you want.  If it isn't, you have other options.  However, they would likely involve leaving the country and possibly cutting ties with family, even permanently.  In other words, be prepared to deal with the consequences.  However, there are also consequences to staying in the marriage, including emotional ones.

lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It would be interesting to do research on arranged marriages. How many of these marriages last? How many of these couples are truly happy. With the divorce rate so high in the United States, we can't say that our practices are working out for the better. Other cultural practices should be respected as unique, not necessarily strange. Research would reveal the benefits if any in arranged marriages. 

dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a difficult topic. In some countries, of course, arraigned marriages are the norm. If one chose to go against what was expected of them they could face a backlash from family and friends. Norms relating to culture are very strong in certain families. How does your family view this? Is there any room for compromise? Try to speak with your parents about this.

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When people are forced to do anything against their will, it is a matter of great concern. Yet, not all arranged marriages are "forced" marriages. In many cultures with arranged marriages, the woman must freely give her consent and accept the marriage, though an arranged one, of her own free will.  

najm1947 | Student
You are right Ravendaily when you say in post 12: "arranged marraiges have the lowest divorce rates (probably due to family pressure)," because family in the eastern culture consistes of the near and dear ones and as I said in my post 11: "It is a great culture in this respect - live for your near and dear ones and suffer the hardships yourself." Living only for yourself is no living in my religion and probably in any civilized society.
wanderista | Student

I don't like the idea of forced marraige, regardless of cultural traditions or ethnic beliefs. One should have the choice to choose a life mate, and have the option to divorce this person if both have lost interest in each other's qualities. This is what makes humanity unique - our ability to express our individuality in our community. Regardless if arranged marraiges have the lowest divorce rates (probably due to family pressure), it is morally injust to force one to love another against their will.


najm1947 | Student

In uneducated segment of Pakistan and India, the forced marriages known to me fall in the following categories:

1. The Boy has married a Girl and wants for some reason Girl's brother to marry his sister because she is getting older and he can not find a financially better man for her. This is not considered a great practice but is in vogue though the ratio is going down. This at times results in great marriages but there are failures too resulting in very unhappy marriages. Divorce rate is low.

2. Some families are forced to have their girls married to a rival group's man becuase of some henious crime against the rival group. The girl is at times not even adult. This has been taken care of in Pakistan through legislation though some people still get away with it. Even in such marriages there are known to be some rare incidents of great marriages.

The divorce rate in Pakistan is low because of the integrated family system as mentioned in post 6. It does not necessarily mean that if there is no divorce, the family is happy. It is a matter of compromise because both care for their children. Here only few celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day in Muslims. They consider it to be their moral and religious obligation to take care of their parents at all times. This is also true in case of children who have to be taken care of as long as the parents live. It is a great culture in this respect - live for your near and dear ones and suffer the hardships yourself.

najm1947 | Student

Being a person from Asia, I would like to explain the position of a forced marriage from the arranged marriage.

In forced marriage, consent of the man and wife is not taken and the two are married using coercion by the family or the tribe. This is highly looked down by the society and is being discouraged. Legislation is also in way against peculiar forms of forced marriages.

On the other hand, arranged marriages are a norm even today even in the educated class a much higher success rate than the love marriages. Such marriages are given respect by the society.

The cultural values in Asia are much different than the west. Here the children are supported by the parents as long as they do not get self supporting financially - age s not taken in to consideration at all. My own son has discontinued his job due to health problems and has taken admission in MBA to change his career on the parents advice. He is to be financially supported by the family to meet all his expenses at an age of 32. This is not the case in west where students have to take care of themselves after 18 generally. So while discussing such subjects cultural values have to be considered.