Here in our "post-feminism society", where genders are finally equal in every sense of the word (yes, that is sarcasm), we can comfortably laugh at female bondage and the antiquated notion that your wife is your property at MarryOurDaughter.com. Maybe I am just being a kill-joy, but I thought for something to be satire it required that the targeted audience, men who objectify women, could not view or say it without a shred of irony. I just think it is probably in bad taste to mock something that is not at all historical. Considering that Washington University just handed out an honorary degree to Phyllis Schlafly, the woman who supports marital rape, the view that marriage renders a woman the sexual property of her husband is alive and well even in the ever-praised bastion of gender equality, the Western world.
Eerily, the website reads more like a pedophile's shopping list than the lame attempt at satire it really is. From the profiles:
Bride Price: $24,995
Our own Little Mermaid Katie Lynn swims like a fish and isn’t happy unless she’s getting wet! She got her SCUBA ticket at 12 and she can pull more than her weight as crew on any kind of boat or ship. She tells us she’s tired of dry land and that’s she’s looking for a husband who works on, by or in the water.
I suppose I have no sense of humor, being that I do not think that selling young girls into slavery to men is at all funny.
The testimonials, of course, sound familiar:
"Thank God for your site! Our daughter was really nervous walking down the aisle, but she seems okay now and the money we got let us keep our farm and even add on a few acres."
Because selling your daughters to keep afloat is nothing new to real people, in real places, right now:
"We were not so desperate before. Now I have to marry them younger. And all five of them will have to get married if the drought becomes worse. The bride price is 200,000 afghanis. His father came to our house to arrange it. The boy pays in installments. First he paid us 5,000 afghanis, which I used to buy food."
Accusations of shrill feminist aside, my definition of satire lies more along educational lines. Meaning, of course, that the purpose of satire is to educate people how utterly ridiculous the universal phenomenon of objectifying women really is. Piss poor attempts at being clever like the Marry Our Daughter website are, at best, getting a sick laugh out of female objectification without providing any relevant context. At worst, the site operates on the same wavelength as the ubiquitous rape joke, the headlining punch-line of every half-wit comic's cliche repertoire.
New rule: poking fun at stereotypes, especially anything resembling female objectification, is only funny if and only if sexist pigs cannot chuckle along without a shred of irony and self-reflection.