a little rambling

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Posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on September 5, 2002 at 13:57:43:

In reply to: Re: Age limits posted by Karen Marie on September 5, 2002 at 13:29:19:

: Very useful information thank you so much.

Happy to be of help! I have a household legalbeagle who answers my
questions ....

Last weekend I read some fascinating comparitive material on how a
society determines when a female is a child and when she is a woman.
When a female is a child, her body and behaviour may be legally the
property and responsibility of her parents, who may dispose of such as
they choose within society's laws and norms. When a female is an
adult, her body and behaviour may be legally the property and
responsibilty of ..... whom???....... and at PRECISELY what point is
that transition, or is there a grey area? (Laws have to be precise to
be enforced, but human beings are imprecise.) Certainly part of that
has to do with henna ..... in many places and times, at the onset of
menses, a girl had to be taken to the hamam and purified, and the
marriage machinery went into gear, henna and all. At menarche, a
female's position in family and socity could change ..... as a child
she could walk in front of her father, as a physically matured female
she had to trail behind all men. The social construct of a child was
of purity (non-sexual,strong, undefiled) but female physical
maturation brought the potential for pollution, (vulnerability,
weakness, defilement). Running water, other things were used to
purify ... but henna was an observable marker that demonstrated a
mature female was diligent about managing the risks of defilement.

Now ... that construct of henna use shakes my wig right loose!


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