I recently purchased the book Kind Little Rivka after a quick review of the book's title and description. It seemed harmless. It turns out this book was glorifying an underage marriage -- and I was shocked by its content and images.
My parents had an arranged marriage. I can tell you the story about how they saw each other for the first time, in my sleep. I have heard it at every dinner party before the age of ten, and every road trip we have ever taken as a family. The details are always argued about.
Was theirs an arranged marriage? It certainly was. Were they different in every imaginable way? You bet. Yet they managed to build a relationship based on love and trust. I wonder whether that was possible only because divorce was not an option at the time.
One of the attacks often mounted against Hasidic life is a notion that Hasidic parents take a 17-year-old girl and 18-year-old boy, place them in a room against their will and an engagement is declared 30 minutes later.
Though many people claimed to love Aasiya, none of them did enough. Laws are useless in the face of inadequate support systems in a person's family and friend network that can help extract one from her abusive situation.
Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, impeccably researched tome, is mandatory reading for girls who've not yet grasped the "unavailable parent" part of their inability to let someone love them.