The BBC seven hours ago:

Turkish MPs to vote on controversial underage sex bill

The BBC one hour ago:

Turkey withdraws child rape bill after street protests

One wonders why it was “underage sex” seven hours ago and “child rape” six hours later.

From the second article:

This bill sparked a rare thing here: cross-party opposition. The AKP MPs who proposed it insisted it would not pardon rapists or sexual abusers and was simply intended to exonerate men who marry underage girls apparently with consent.

Miss the point much? Consent is not meaningful in underage girls. Men exploit underage girls; their underageness makes that easier to do. Saying “Jeez they only want to marry them” makes it worse, not better. Marriage terminates all other possibilities before the girl is old enough to evaluate the situation.

However, critics said that in patriarchal Turkey, a young girl would feel unable to give consent and so the bill would have legitimised rape and encouraged child brides. When conservative, usually pro-government, women spoke out against it – including the president’s wife – the bill was doomed to failure.

Child marriage is a problem here. Former President Abdullah Gul famously married when he was 30 and his wife 15.

Men like them tight and easy to dominate.

But women’s groups say the solution is not controversial legislation such as this but real opportunities for girls. And they say the Islamist AKP has encouraged female subservience, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling childless women “deficient”.

It’s led to a huge rise in physical abuse of women, with the murder rate said to have increased by 1,400% between 2003 and 2010 – although some believe that number is partly due to more cases being reported than ever before.

It’s not “underage sex,” BBC, it’s child rape made even worse by child marriage.

H/t Joanne

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