She's 17? That'll Be One Cow Please, Your Majesty
November 12, 2001 8:58 AM   Subscribe

She's 17? That'll Be One Cow Please, Your Majesty The king of Swaziland imposed a ban on having sex with any female under the age of 18, in hopes of curbing the nation's growing rate of HIV infections. But he just married a 17 year old girl. (His 9th wife.) His penalty? One cow, as per the rules of the sex ban. The cow was roasted and eaten by a group of 300 young women who marched to the palace to protest the marriage. My question is - how does a cow make up for possibly infecting a young woman with HIV? (I'm not suggesting that the king is infected, but if he were, what good would the cow do?)
posted by Dreama (24 comments total)
 
It's a preventative measure i guess. I think though, that if he wanted preventative measures, condoms might have been a better choice than cows.
posted by iain at 9:13 AM on November 12, 2001


deja vu!
posted by kv at 9:22 AM on November 12, 2001


i think your questioning the use of the cow in this situation highlights a typically blinkered outlook on the outside world and the varying cultures and communities that we share this planet with.


i don't know either.
posted by Frasermoo at 9:25 AM on November 12, 2001


If I run a red light, hit a car and get fined, what good does the fine do? How does a fine make up for the damage to the other car?
posted by rodii at 9:25 AM on November 12, 2001


Mmmmmmm, nubile virgins and barbecued beef. There's something to this Swazi culture. Throw in a football and you've got Plano, Texas.
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:31 AM on November 12, 2001


I know that in some African cultures a cow is pretty valuable, not by being imbued with qualities it doesn't have but just because it can provide a lot of resources that grow and walk. In a place where subsistence is the name of the game, a cow is damn expensive.
posted by holycola at 9:37 AM on November 12, 2001


Them thar Afrikens is all bass-ackwards, ain't they?
posted by jpoulos at 9:39 AM on November 12, 2001


here is the previous thread
posted by asok at 9:42 AM on November 12, 2001


In a place where subsistence is the name of the game, a cow is damn expensive.

which would mean the practical implication of this tax is, if you're rich and sleep with a <18 year-old, you just pay a fine and go on your way; if you're not rich, you probably go to jail.
posted by mattpfeff at 9:43 AM on November 12, 2001


there was a follow up, which the search isn't finding at the moment, regarding the 17 year old.
posted by asok at 9:44 AM on November 12, 2001


The cow was roasted and eaten by a group of 300 young women who marched to the palace to protest the marriage.

Hmmm.....what do I get if I scoot on over to the palace to protest eating meat?
posted by crunchburger at 9:45 AM on November 12, 2001


mattpfeff - yeah, that's pretty much how it works in a lot of African countries.

*blink*

Wait, that's how it works here, too.
posted by starvingartist at 9:46 AM on November 12, 2001


It's "30 days or 300 dollars" sentencing, Zambian style: "The king declared that any man who dares to touch a young woman wearing these tassels will have the tassels thrown at him and will be forced by the traditional courts to pay a fine of 1300 emalangeni (R1300) or one cow."
posted by Carol Anne at 9:48 AM on November 12, 2001


What happened the previous 8 wives?
posted by Darke at 10:12 AM on November 12, 2001


What happened the previous 8 wives?

They all graduated and moved to college.
posted by jpoulos at 10:17 AM on November 12, 2001


Please, King Mswati, don't throw those tassels at me! Anything but the tassels!
posted by kindall at 11:08 AM on November 12, 2001


*throws tassels at everyone*
posted by iceberg273 at 11:13 AM on November 12, 2001


mmmmmmm...unprocessed hamburger....
posted by davidmsc at 11:47 AM on November 12, 2001


which would mean the practical implication of this tax is, if you're rich and sleep with a <1 8 year-old, you just pay a fine and go your way; if you're not rich, you probably go to jail./i>

Sounds pretty much like the U.S. system of justice. Or at least how it applies to professional athletes, Hollywood stars, congressmen, and other rich folks.

posted by terrapin at 12:21 PM on November 12, 2001


Not the comfy chair!!!!
posted by jpoulos at 1:12 PM on November 12, 2001


Leave these poor people alone for heavens sake.
posted by clavdivs at 1:47 PM on November 12, 2001


How does any punishment "fit the crime?"
posted by skallas at 2:06 PM on November 12, 2001


how does a cow make up for possibly infecting a young woman...
you've all missed the point. he doesn't pay the cow, he is punished with the cow. i saw those tarzan movies.
posted by quonsar at 4:46 PM on November 12, 2001


Wow. When I heard this guy on NPR way back he didn't sound as ass-backwards as this threads news story and this one make him seem.
posted by redleaf at 10:24 PM on November 12, 2001


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