Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Marital rape is an oxymoron

Some people want law against marital rape which is an oxymoron. Husband and wife belong to each other and they have rights and duties towards each other. A woman who does not want to have sex with her husband should separate from him and file for divorce. If a woman files for divorce the judge shall not ask the woman to reconsider her decision. If the judge asks the woman to reconsider her decision the woman shall stand firm in her resolve for divorce. In one case judge asked the woman to reconsider her decision, the woman went back to her husband, the husband murdered her.

What next after law against marital rape? Law against marital sexual harassment?

In India, Christians, Jews, Muslims and Parsis have personal laws. Other marriages come under Hindu Code or Special Marriages Act. In Roman Catholic Church a ratified and consummated marriage can not be dissolved except by death but annulment is possible on various grounds.

Marriage is for mutual love and procreation and education of children. A woman has no right to say No to sex with her husband unless it is for some particular reason and for specific period like sickness, menstrual cycle, advanced stage of pregnancy or for a certain period after childbirth or sadness due to something like a death in the family or if the husband has a communicable or venereal disease which will result in woman getting the disease. A woman can refuse perverse sexual conduct by husband. A woman can refuse oral or anal sex by husband.

Any man who commits rape must face full punishment as per law. However many times women falsely accuse men of rape. Sometimes married women commit adultery and when caught they say they were raped. Sometimes single women have voluntary sex with men and later they accuse them of rape. If there is law making marital rape an offence it will put husbands at risk.

As per Section 375 of IPC sex between husband and wife is rape if the wife is less than 15 years old. At one time legal age for marriage for woman was 15 years and for man 18 years. In 1978 it was raised to 18 for woman and 21 for men. Section 375 was not amended. In India many child marriages take place. I do not know any instance of a woman who has complained of rape by husband when she was less than 15 years old.

5 Comments

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  1. So basically what you’re saying is that marital rape is a myth and that a woman, when she gets married, loses her right to say no. Or yes. Whatever happens in the bedroom in fact is the prerogative of the man — where does the “rights and duties towards each other” part vanish? What happened to her right to refuse and his duty to respect her decision? I find it appalling that a seemingly educated person like you would pen something like this. But then again, I have to tell myself that there is a difference between being educated and being literate.

  2. And what happens when a woman wants to have sex and her husband refuses to give a standing ovation? I believe the law of martial rape is a necessity to empower woman and also for the entire mankind to rethink its superiority.
    I am a man and I want a mutual understanding between me and my wife, I just can’t go in, whenever I want and enjoy there, people who wish to have it, are welcome to go to a brothel. The woman are professional there.

    As far as committing adultery and consenting sex is concerned, it is a totally different issue altogether, and yes it is bad if there is a mutual separation between the couple. But if men decide to have sex with girls with false pretext, that is bad.

    All in all, instead of law, I think we need a moral law to think about woman differently, treating them as equal and just not your sex-slave or house-slave.

  3. What do you think a husband should do, if on occasions, the wife just does not “feel like” having sex, may be because of mood swing or clinical depression she might be suffering from? You feel the husband should take an empathetic view or file for divorce?

  4. Husbands have duties towards their wives and no right to refuse sex unless there is proper reason. However there is no demand for prosecution of women for marital rape.

    Prostitution is a crime for which women are punished, men are not. Most of the women are poor women who are lured by promise of jobs in cities by criminals and then forced into prostitution by rape and beating. When police raid prostitutes their money is taken.

    Many times boys and girls fall in love, elope and have sex by consent. Later girls’ families trace them, separate them and force girls to file cases of abduction and rape.

    There are women who have misused Dowry Prohibition Act and Domestic Violence Act to falsely accuse their husbands and in-laws and husbands and in-laws have been wrongly imprisoned, tortured and humiliated. There is Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Husbands.

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