Against Marital Rape

Rape is the crime of sexual intercourse without consent. There are subtle differences in each western and first world jurisdiction – in many instances, for example, the legal definition makes it nearly impossible for a woman to be guilty of the crime solely by virtue of her physiology – but all of them share that core principal.
Marriage is a legal, civil and social concept that binds two people together, much in the same way a contract does and, like a contract, obligates on to the other in various ways until the contract is legally dissolved. For some people, marriage entails additional meaning, but I am explicitly excluding any meaning born out on personal conviction.
Marital Rape is when the victim is from inside the marriage.
Many people, as well as the Indian Constitution, state that it is not rape inside a marriage. If the woman doesn’t want to endorse into any sexual activity, but the man forces her, it is not rape. I ask how?
If the body of the woman is being used to satisfy the sexual pleasures of the man, and are giving her pain how is it not rape? Or, likewise, if the body of the man is being used to satisfy the sexual pleasures of the woman, and are giving him pain how is it not rape?
Ever since, we are forced to do things against our will.
Remember, the first day of school. That first trip to the dentist. That first time you were sent to boarding school. That time, you were married. And so on and so forth. On every turn in our lives, other people make the important decisions, that actually we should be making. Though, those people will never think wrong of us, but our opinion is not taken. And alongside this popular unspoken rule lies the idea of engaging in sexual intercourse in a marriage.
But, all the decisions that our parents took for us, and this decision that the partner takes, they are not the same. Our parents have always wanted the best thing for us. Our partners don’t. When there is love involved in a marriage, they make love. When there is no love, love is enforced upon one of the partners. Being a true feminist I will not take anyones’ side. I will not say that the man is wrong or the woman is, generally. If we see particularly, then, the one who enforces the activity is wrong, man or no man. It is important that we keep aside the general notion that it is the man who rapes. Women too do rape, and rape affects men as much as it affects women.
While rape by a stranger is traumatic, it is a one time event and is clearly understood as rape. In case of rape by spouse, the history of the relationship affects the victim’s reactions.
Young women from various settings in South Asia explained in surveys that even if they felt discomfort and didn’t want to have sex, they accepted their husbands’ wishes and submitted, fearing that otherwise they would be beaten. In many developing countries it is believed—by both men and women—that a husband is entitled to sex any time he demands it, and that if his wife refuses him, he has the right to use force. These women, most of them either illiterate or very poorly educated, are married at very young and depend on their husbands for their entire life. This situation leaves women with very little sexual autonomy. Often, when asked by their husbands to have sex, they are not in a position to refuse: they have to choose between unwanted sex and being subjected to violence; or between unwanted sex and being abandoned by their husbands and ending up living in abject poverty.
Though the main problem is Marital Rape, but a much larger issue is ‘No Awareness’. In countries where marital rape is illegal, people, men or women, are not aware of their rights and that they can fight against it. And for countries like India, who are lead by customs and traditions, I would just say: Dude, grow up! It is very important, on the government’s part to make marital rape illegal. It is very important that the government saves the lives of millions of people and free them from the clutches of the brute they still plan on living with. Or else, it will just be stereotypical. When on one hand, you support a rally against a rapist and for justice for the victim and on the other hand you tell the man/woman: It is your fault that you are married to her/him. Whatever he/she does with your body is his choice, because he/she ****ing owns it now as you are married to him/her (and he/she has BOUGHT you)!
Experts’ views on Marital Rape:
According to Sheila Jeffreys, in Western countries, “sexual liberation” ideologies have aggravated the problem of male sexual entitlement, leading to women submitting to unwanted sex not only due to physical force or illegal threat, but due to societal pressure: “The force which has operated on them [women] all their lives and continues to operate on them within marriages and relationships remains largely invisible. […] Such forces include the massive industry of sexology, sex therapy, sex advice literature, all of which make women feel guilty and inadequate for any unwillingness to fulfill a man’s sexual desires.”
Catharine MacKinnon argues that rape laws in male dominated societies exist to regulate access to women from a male perspective, not to protect women’s right to freely decide whether to engage in sexual intercourse or not. “The law of rape divides women into spheres of consent according to indices of relationship to men. Which category of presumed consent a woman is in depends upon who she is relative to a man who wants her, not what she says or does. […] If rape laws existed to enforce women’s control over access to their sexuality, as the consent defense implies, no would mean no, marital rape would not be a widespread exception, and it would not be effectively legal to rape a prostitute.” Where rape is not understood as an attack on the sexual freedom of the woman (or where her sexual freedom is not recognized as a concept) the prohibition of rape serves other purposes, such as protection of the rights of male relatives or husband, enforcing of religious laws against sex outside of marriage, or preservation of a woman’s respect and reputation in society. Under such ideologies it is difficult to accept the concept of marital rape.
Note: Marital Rape can involve a man as the rapist and the woman as the victim and vice versa. If it is rape, then its not always the mans’ fault. STOP BLAMING THE MEN!


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