Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Persistant Prejudice Against Cousins

Someone posting at asked for help with "incest" in her family. Now, that can provoke thoughts of some adult forcing themselves onto a child, right? But she's talking about cousins in a consensual relationship.
I come from a big family. I have three sister and one brother. So this basically what happened between sister 2 and my brother family. 
 My sister 2 has three sons and a daughter. My brother has three daughters. My sister first son (who I call call Sam) is in a relationship with my brother second daughter (who I'll call Barb).
This shouldn't be a problem. Assuming she and her siblings are all full-blood siblings, then Sam and Barb are first cousins, who can legally marry in many places, including about half of US states.

Sam is about 25 years old and Barb is about 19. They been together for about 5 years.
Here's where I see a little bit of a problem. If it has been five years and Sam is 25 and Barb is 19 (although she doesn't seem certain about any of that), then that would mean Barb was 14 and Sam was 20 when this all started. That can be a bit of a problem, though in some cultures it isn't or wasn't considered a problem. Notice that this concerned aunt doesn't cite the ages as a problem, just their consanguinity.
I personally keep away from them, and my brother and sister. 
Why? Is she afraid their intense passion will create sparks and fry her?

My dilemma is I have a 4 year old. Now that she is a little older she begins to ask questions. My little one is beginning to put the pieces together. She know barb is her cousin because Uncle is her daddy. She know Sam is her cousin because she know auntie is Sam mom.
So she asks questions. So what? Question: "Why are Barb and Sam boyfriend and girlfriend?" Answer: "Because they want to be." What's the problem with that?
My husband and I were not gonna talk about it with her. But the last time we got together as family, she made a joke about her and her cousin were gonna be like Sam and Barb.
She's four. She really doesn't know all it entails. Four-year-olds will say they're going to marry some other four-year-old they know. It's harmless.

Once we got home, we talked to her about how that's not possible.
Why lie? It IS possible. Millions and millions of first cousins get married.
But she keeps asking questions.
Mostly because she's four. But also because she doesn't have prejudice instilled in her yet, but it looks like they will make sure to do that.
I have never heard anyone being in this position themselves.
Do I have news for her! Odds are, she knows someone who has secretly been carrying on with a closer relative than a cousin.
How do I answer her questions. What do I say to her?
She should be told that when people get older and they are adults, they might choose to be with someone else who is an adult. It all depends on how they feel about each other and if they get along with each other. It's not complicated to tell the truth about adults loving each other.

A comment in response...

Explain *nicely* why you feel that's not the best situation.
Someone else...
I'm sorry to hear about this. How uncomfortable for all of you, especially all the other children in your family. May I ask why the parents are allowing this?
Allowing? The lovers are adults. The time to object was when she was 14.

The rest of the comments were rank with bigotry. So sad. It's all about the consanguinity, nothing about their ages when it started. They are adults now. If they are happy, why would anyone have a problem with it to the point of being hostile or avoiding them? I mean really... who is being harmed? Someone could stand to read this.
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  1. Man, that's harsh. They're just cousins. This isn't pedophilia.

  2. Well i hope the cousins have a happy life, i know one set of cousins in my family got split up because of family drama. And they were adults when it started


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