Marital rape is to-date one of the most controversial issues in the fight for women’s rights.
Around the world, it is still shockingly true that women are very often left completely exposed by legislators when it comes to rape in wedlock. For some reason, many people deem rape to be acceptable if the perpetrator is married to the victim.
Thus, in some countries, there is no law against it – it is handled case by case. In other countries, the legislation if quite clear that if marriage somehow comes into play during or after a rape, then the rapists can come out completely unscathed.
The origin of the issue is that women were once upon a time second-class citizens. Abusing a woman was deemed a far lesser offence to abusing a man, and since women were seen as sex objects anyway, it was within a man’s rights to force himself upon a woman. Rape merely warranted a slap on the wrist; the same as stealing a chicken.
For centuries, this was the norm.
However, as we painstakingly-slowly evolved, we came to realize that rape was psychologically and physically damaging offense that merited punishment of a much higher order. Thus, laws were passed that made rapists spend years in jail – although the length of most sentences were still not enough to prevent or punish rape adequately, they were in place.
But the laws rarely covered rape within wedlock.
That’s because one thing has never changed in most men’s minds – women must fulfil their “marital duties”, which is simply a euphemism for saying that women need to have sex with their husband at their behest. Whether or not your wife is enjoying it or even willing to have it never has to come into play, and if she tries to protest, you’re the husband so you take it.
That’s a revolting, cave-man attitude.
It is almost impossible to imagine that a fully-grown male with a completely developed brain would still think like that, and yet this planet is full of the impossible. Some of these abusive characters have managed to take up seats in our courts of law, and they’re polluting them with insane rulings. Instead of curbing and punishing societal degradation, they merely contribute to it by either condoning or ignoring it.
Before the 20th century (i.e., before the Technology Age, when most people were still very crude drafts of us), there was a system in place in many courts of law – it was called coverture. What it meant – in a few words – was that by agreeing to marriage, a woman was willingly submitting her rights to her husband. In essence, she’d agreed to slavery, but it obviously wasn’t seen like that back then.
The point is, that kind of thinking is what has made our world so unreceptive to laws regarding marital rape. Its as if there is a status quo to be disrupted, when it is simply the belated realization that we’ve been Neanderthals for too long.
Many psychologists rate marital rape as more mentally damaging to victims than rape by a stranger, as the occurrence of the event and its meaning are all placed in the context of the relationship. For many women, confusion and feelings of self-loathing are even more prevalent. Some feel that they’ve made their husbands rapists, or that they can’t satisfy them. Marital rape is also very damaging to the psyche because it is normally coupled with domestic violence and forms a part of an abusive relationship, so its effects are compounded. It is also very often reported after multiple times, and can caused very deep-seated trauma that takes years of therapy to heal.
In places where divorce is very difficult to get, illegal or traditionally unacceptable, marital rape often leads to suicide. The unfortunate victims can see no way out and do not wish to spend their lives in subservience to a man who has raped them, and therefore end their own lives.
Is this want we want to achieve? Without proper, long-term punishments for rapists and clear laws that are taught to everyone – especially in the poorest areas – our society will continue to be a prime example of inequality. Marital rape is a breach of the highest magnitude to the sanctity of a wedding. If your wife has become a mere sex object to be used and abused, then you have dissolved your vows and have failed in your duty to protect your wife. That’s something that has no cultural, traditional or historical spin on it – it is an absolute.
The moment someone agrees to marry another, it is because we never want to hurt them – on paper. If the very concept of marriage is to ever be upheld, then people who transgress should be harshly punished in order to keep the union something to be lauded. How can young girls look forward to marriage if they know they can be raped? What young men will we create if boys think its okay to rape their wives?
As long as this issue isn’t dealt with immediately, and seriously, the future of our society will never be secure.