“In my own company in a cosmopolitan city, I know women who were horrified on the First Night.”

Do take a look at this email with a link – shared by Sharmila.

Tradition, custom and culture can make parents of Indian daughters not just tolerate but enforce all this, and worse, on their daughters. Can you imagine this sort of crimes being tolerated if it wasn’t for tradition? 

Hi IHM

We all know how arranged marriages happen in our country and how marital rapes are condoned. The below is the link to a letter i found in quora.com, written by an anonymous girl who was forcefully married off to her uncle(mom’s younger bro).

http://www.quora.com/Arranged-Marriages/How-does-it-feel-to-have-sex-with-a-stranger-on-your-wedding-night/answers/2400693

I was forced to break off all contact with my boyfriend (mobile, internet snatched away, I don’t think I could even have sent a letter, it was so bad) and forced to dive head-first into the wedding arrangements.

The day of the wedding came, and after a really embarrassing lecture from my mother, about my ‘marital duties’ since I was the eldest daughter and no friends had been allowed to my wedding (my parents believed they would whisk me away from the wedding if they came to know), I got ready for the ‘wedding night’. I was already feeling completely shitty about the whole thing, having been cut off from every person that I wanted to be with, being married to my ‘mama‘ in secrecy, and not even knowing whether to think of him as a husband or my mama, and  just wanted to sleep hoping a new day would bring a new start. I waited for my husband to come and when he entered, we exchanged a few awkward sentences about the whole day being tiresome. I then told him “I’m feeling very tired, I will change and go to sleep now” but I was not prepared for what happened next. He suddenly kissed me, and I was a little taken aback, but I just pulled away slowly, and told him that I was not in the mood, and reiterated that I was very tired. He ignored me completely, and kissed me again, this time with more force, and when I tried to push him away, he slapped me.
This was followed by the most horrible experience of my life, the details of which shake me to this day, and I somehow escaped by locking myself in the bathroom. [link]

Please take out time to read this. Do let me know if the link is not working.
You should share it on your blog so that more young women and men read it. Considering that our law makers are not for now going to make marital rape a crime, the least we can do is make the young men aware that in arranged marriages, how women feel regarding sex(rather forced sex). Somehow arranged marriages are glorified in our country. No one seems to understand that women too have desires which include sexual ones. Why is it that people assume that sex is something women need to give and men only the pleasure? I felt so sad reading this. Atleast she had the courage to run away.

In the same link i sent, if you scroll down, you will notice many more comments about arranged marriage. The thing is, many Indian women don’t know what is sex. Men argue, when women get married they are prepared to have sex with them. But no, they dont. In my own company (which is a big corporate) in a cosmopolitan city, I know women who were horrified on the “First Night”. One female colleague told me seeing movies, she thought it was only kissing, hugging, fondling. She was horrified that someone will touch her down there. Seems she cried so much during the wedding night and her husband was nice enough to be patient. Three months into marriage, she realized that her husband won’t wait any longer and let herself be raped. She came and sobbed to us the next day. I did not know what to even say to her.

When will this situation improve?

Regards
Sharmi

Related Posts:

Why did they surrender themselves repeatedly and offer sex to their husbands when…

Denying sex to spouse on first night ground for marriage annulment: Delhi high court

Who will benefit from criminalising sexual assaults within marriages?

“why not marry them first and then have sex ? What prevents you from doing it ? Deep within YOU WANT JUST SEX and nothing more”

Where Consensual Sex is Rape, and Forced Sex a legal right.

Live in Relationships: The man gets a temporary disposable wife?

70 thoughts on ““In my own company in a cosmopolitan city, I know women who were horrified on the First Night.”

  1. I’m so glad the woman in the scenario was able to leave and support herself.

    It is definitely important for people to read these firsthand accounts because it gives people hope and courage.

    I also wonder how much does the husband know about sex in the second situation? It sort of seems like two people who have no idea what they’re doing.

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  2. I think even men are not prepared or know about sex as such. But they are pressurized into it by macho culture. And very stupid notions of sexuality and gender appropriate behaviour are perpetrated.

    Sex education, is the key maybe??

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  3. Bravo! Well done women. Shared this on my FB with this mesg
    “When will parents realize that emotionally blackmailing kids into an unwanted marriage is wrong and that the “society’s happiness” will never be “your own happiness”.

    Hope more women who are in such situations get to read about this. It’s a pity that even mothers don’t support their children – and then they talk about mother’s love being sooooo unconditional”

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  4. Pingback: “In my own company in a cosmopolitan city, I know women who were horrified on the First Night.” | Let it be Me

  5. Before marriage a girl is not allowed to interact with the opposite sex and is kept ignorant about sexuality. A sudden transformation is expected of the girl on the first night in the name of duty towards her husband. For an Indian woman sex is okay as a duty, after marriage. Person is not important, tradition is.

    For a man
    Sex is received
    Sex is for pleasure
    Sex is his birthright
    Marriage gives him the licence to have sex whether the woman wants it or not.

    For a woman
    sex is offered
    Sex is a duty
    towards her husband
    for being kind enough to marry her

    What the hell!

    I have not read the whole story. Hope the girl managed to escape!

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    • i too wonder about tis… i m 22.. i m a kid n shud not watch ‘the dirty picturr’ n similar movies bt old enough to get married !!! emotional blackmail ,ders no limit for it.. im sick of tis ‘betiyan ghar ki izzat’ philosophy..

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  6. Bravo woman and great that you escaped.

    This highlights the need for being able to stand on your own two feet, should the need arise. Because ultimately any woman in a trapped situation has that reality to face – will I be able to support myself?

    Secondly, also is an example of how hollow our great Indian ‘values’ really are.

    And last of all, God (or whoever) helps those who help themselves. Unless *you* want to rescue yourself, no one else can do much.

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  7. This is REVOLTING . I’m sickened with all the horrifying things Indian women are put through !! Make Marital Rape a CRIME !! Educate young girls in schools that ANY forceful sex is illegal regardless on WHO performs it on them ! How many children in India are born to marital rape ? How does it feel to know you were not conceived in love ? How does it feel to know your father raped your mother ?? And the ”cultural” Nonsense ! : How many Indians are indignated that couples conceive babies outside of marriage in the West but ignore this happens in healthy relationships where both parents are equal in rights, love each other, expect the baby and are both able to care for the baby? When meanwhile in India a hell of A LOT of babies are born to a married couple to a submissive rape victim and a violent filthy domestic abuser ? Talking about hypocrisy ! It is TRIBAL These ANIMALS have to change their Damn damn ”traditions” A tradition apparently justifies itself by ”it’s always been done this way” Does this make it OK ? To repeat a crime again and again because ”it’s always been done this way”? Violence on women in India and misogyny is the root of all evil and the cause of poverty, overpopulation and God know what other things. Let a woman decide with who she wants to have sex and when ESPECIALLY in the institution of marriage this will massively reduce population: I’m deeply convinced marital rape is for a large part to blame for India’s overpopulation.
    Abolish arranged marriages they are a hospitable ground for forced marriages and abuse.
    A woman in India is treated worse than a goat, she is not even a thinking human being: : e.g. a Non virgin bride or daughter, or daughter in law is considered a ”soiled good” yes you read it correctly a ”good” so that what she is? No more valuable than a goat or a carpet on a market ? Is this a civilized society that treats females like animals or objects ? And don’t even get me started on marrying a girl to her uncle…blood relatives marriage is INCEST : It is SICK. The article is appalling. Unfortunately I’ve heard too many similar stories originated from South Asia: India, Pakistan , Bangladesh. I’m praying one day all these abominations will stop in the World.

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    • “It is TRIBAL These ANIMALS have to change their Damn damn ”traditions” A tradition apparently justifies itself by ”it’s always been done this way” Does this make it OK ?”
      I suppose this is a desi way of saying the tribal people are animals, right? Which is ironic, considering it is the tribal societies in India where women (and people) are treated as equals, while 10000 years of feudal ‘civilisation’ leads to the stories above.

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  8. Shared on FB with the following message: Marital Rape is a CRIME. Regardless of culture, nationality, tradition, NOTHING gives one gender the right to force the other into sexual submission. Married or not, forced sex is RAPE. And denying sex is NOT cruelty. The reality of Indian traditions and the laws that are built to support it, are revolting and make me sick.

    Because in truth it does make me sick. Men are liable to file for divorce in our country because if the newly wedded wife denies sex on the very first night of the marriage, it’s supposed to be an act of cruelty towards the man. So sayeth, our learned judges.

    I feel like throwing up.

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    • Denying sex is not punishable offence.It is just a valid ground for divorce out other hundred of causes.I fail to understand why one partner should be trapped in marriage if the other one is not interested in sex

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      • My response clearly says, in an arranged marriage scenario, claiming it is cruelty to not have sex on the wedding night because either partner was uncomfortable then and citing that as grounds for divorce is simply idiotic.

        Is the purpose of having a wife limited to forcing her to sleep with a man on the wedding night regardless of her own feelings, or expect to treat her with disdain, indifference and abuse and still expect to use her body to fulfill a man’s physical desires or desire procreate even a sane expectation to have? This notwithstanding all of the other ways in which a marital relationship in a significant majority of the families in this country exploits the female gender and in most cases, treats women as lesser or human beings and sometimes, not at all.

        Is sex the only thing that men look forward to from their wedding which is why they feel a woman’s discomfort in sleeping with them the night of, is an act of cruelty?

        Sex is not the only thing that makes a marriage, I’m not debating that someone should stay in a sexless marriage.

        My contention is and will remain with assuming that it is mandatory to have sex on the wedding night or else it is cruelty or treating the other person with cruelty because they were unable to give in to their barely hours ago made life partner’s earth shattering notions about sex.

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        • I don’t think it’s grounds for divorce if a woman denies her husband sex on the first few days after their wedding. It’s only if the husband can establish that after several weeks or months of marriage, the wife’s not into it – at this point, it’s valid grounds for divorce. Although some courts may insist that they try counselling or a sexologist first. It works the other way too, a husband denying sex can also be valid grounds for a wife to seek a divorce. Fair enough in my opinion.

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        • I don’t think court anywhere said that it is mandatory to have sex on wedding night.The verdict was given for case in which on wedding night and subsequent five months no sex was done

          Anyway it is not like men that just only look for sex in marriage. In my family the opposite happened.When I was living in joint and my uncle got married , he did not have sex with his wife for few days after marriage .His wife went to her parents and started telling everybody that my uncle is impotent(namard) .Only with help of his brothers and some sex education he did that.I don’t know whether he willingly did that or just bowed under pressure.

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      • I feel that you needn’t shouldn’t have to give “grounds for divorce” in the first place. If both parties want it, it’s neither the business of the government or the courts to question why two people no longer want to live together.

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        • Agree with you bhagwad. No fault is so much easier for either party involved. If something doesn’t work, the real tragedy is being forced to live together in the name of society and tradition.

          People should be allowed to separate if that’s what they want without being held hostage by a variety of social or legal norms.

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      • @Kdps,

        So the problem with your uncle was lack of communication. Don’t you think there is something amiss in this society that tacitly puts two strangers into marital relationship without addressing compatibility issues and sex education. Men are expected to perform on the wedding night and women are expected to take it lying down what kind of harmony is it leading to?
        Peace,
        Desi Girl

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    • I think calling it cruelty is an overkill, but I think there should be an exit available in cases where a couple of sexually incompatible. Some of the cases in this regards are appalling, not only because of how the litigation dragged on, but also because how low brow the courtroom drama unfolds – just so that one of the partners can find a ‘ground’ for divorce. This is one of the reasons I’m glad that my tribe never developed the concept of institutional marriage.
       
      I don’t agree with the culture of shaming that is prevalent in India, where people are supposed to forgo their sexuality for the ‘greater interest’ of saving the marriage. Anyway, this story reminds me of a rather sad beginning in a novel I read, “The Dowry Bride” by Shobaan Bantwal.

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  9. The only difference between her parents and talibans is that her parents gave her an education. Cruel is an understatement for such parents. I wish the woman lot of peace and happiness in her life.

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  10. I fail to understand why word raped is used for second incidence.If after three month wife was not interested in sex then husband could had told this to her parents and start separation process which is within right of every husband. So in order to save her marriage , she just had sex with her husband .There is no way this could be termed as rape.
    For all those which are cursing Indian culture for this. are they 100% sure that no woman in west have sex with her B/F or husband to save her relationship?

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    • It’s not the same thing: women in the West are never forced to marry anyone. They meet someone, date ,fall in love and get married. No Western women is ”sold” to a husband or arranged by into a wedding by her parents. At best in certain Western families, parents will encourage their daughter to meet guys, they have no involvement in arranging any marriage. If a Western woman uses sex to spice up her relationship or her marriage she’s doing it of own free will, it’s her initiative. In India it’s a very common scenario to see a girl ”trapped” and circled by parents, relatives and before she knows it she’ll be trapped in her own wedding with a stranger and later left alone in the hands of the stranger who happens to be her new husband. She has absolutely no defense or power: physical, financial, free will, the law does NOT protect her from unwanted sexual relations with the man she’s married to. It’s all different in the West because it’s a society of free will: people don’t get married under any pressure, marriage is a choice. That’s why Westerners wish ”Congratulations” for a reason.

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    • Separate by all means, yes. But forcing yourself on the other person whether or not that’s the first, second or hundredth time, is still rape. Even if that means that the woman is coerced into sex by using threats of divorce, that’s also rape.

      If instead of being a good partner, all a man is going to focus on, is whether or not he is sexually satisfied or else he will divorce or, force himself upon his wife and get his way one way or another, then it is definitely better for such a person to file for a separation instead of assaulting a woman in the name of a husband’s right.

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      • Please read section 375.though it is not applicable on husband ,it says threat of death or hurt to woman or to person whom she is interested.consent obtained through threat of separation or divorce can never be considered as rape.I don’t think any country has this type of law

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        • If someone holds a woman at gunpoint (or uses any other form of threat to coerce her consent) and sexually assaults her, even if this person is married to her, and has previously had sexual relations with her, in your eyes, that’s not rape?

          How else would you really define this act? Consensual sex between a married couple? A husband’s marital right? How would you justify it?

          Any act of coercion resulting in sex amounts to the same thing.

          Wherever consent is not obtained because one party is genuinely willing, it cannot be termed as being okay under any circumstances, it is assault, it is rape whether or not the law chooses to recognize it as such.

          Marital rape in this country is a despicable reality.

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        • ‘consent obtained through threat of separation or divorce can never be considered as rape’

          huh? you serious? i read that 10 times to make sure i got that right. may be its a typo.
          right?

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        • @Kdps Several other countries recognize that marital rape is an offence and is punishable by law.

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    • Well you’re right in saying that the second case is not technically rape, as she ‘let herself’ have relations with her husband as she felt he was ‘running out of patience’. There’s very little information about this second instance, but I agree with you that it’s not wise to club it with the first, which was clearly about violence and rape.

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      • And just to clarify, I do find the second situation problematic, but I’m not going to judge the husband in this case as there is no information in the letter about how she came to the conclusion that he wouldn’t wait any longer. Prima facie, it doesn’t appear as though threats or force was used, so it’s hard to tell if the husband even knew that she she was so unwilling.

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  11. As someone in the comments above mentioned about the ignorance regarding sex, there was a news recently about a girl who died during her first intercourse and her boyfriend has been arrested on charges of rape and murder. Obviously, the ignorance factor extends to the law enforcing agencies as well.

    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-05-12/ranchi/39202863_1_minor-girl-bokaro-lalpur

    “The boy sneaked into the girl’s room around 2am on Sunday and indulged in sex. Soon the girl started bleeding. The boy had inserted some cloth inside the vagina of the girl to stop the bleeding but in vain,” a staff of the hotel told TOI.

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    • That was a tragedy really, and not rape. He was 16 and she was 17 and they were in a relationship. She probably had some sort of medical condition neither of them knew of that caused this extreme bleeding. The boy must already be shattered at her death, to arrest him for rape/murder is a horrible reaction in my opinion.

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      • I sometimes wonder, Can this country get any more stupid and people more insensitive???? Its my deepest with to get settled in a country where there are no Indians.. I’m sick of it here

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  12. Women in India almost get no information about sex, unless they seek it.I’m not sure where the men get their knowledge from. Porn is the obvious answer, but porn usually depicts some enthusiasm on the part of the female partner. How do they reconcile that with the (sometimes) unwilling and frightened woman who marries them ? When do they learn that it’s okay to force themselves upon women, because they’re entitled to sex from marriage? And how can sex with someone who is squirming even be fulfilling? What of the message they get, that good women will always refuse sex, even if they want it, so it’s pointless to ask?
    So many questions.

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    • The whole hypocrisy of Indian society and so called cultural values absolutely disgust me. Why should “good” women refuse and appear disinterested in s*xual pleasures? Why cannot women enjoy s*x in a loving mutual consensual relationship (married or not)? What is wrong with that? Women are only supposed to slave around all day keeping everyone happy, produce male heirs, go through torturous labor and dreadful pregnancies over and over and not even enjoy a damn fucking good orgasm? Any culture that spoon feeds such customs can go to hell and self-destruct itself, good riddance. Most Indian men just get an easy pass without having to understand or care about what women want in bed and how to give it. Well this is just yet another benefit of patriarchy to keep women in the dark about carnal pleasures, women won’t have a clue if men are doing a poor job in bed, definitely keeps the male ego happy.

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      • Heh. The thing is , my questions were not exactly rhetorical. I’d really like to know. Really, without judgement, I’d like to know what shapes men’s sexuality. Most Indian men I know( = friends from college) would never treat sex like the husbands in the examples. They’re decent men who give importance to pleasing their partners and valuing whole hearted consent. Despite the fact that they have grown up in our deeply misogynist culture, they turned out all right.

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    • There was an article on buzzfeed where youporn.com listed the most visited types of porn by country and india was rape porn and gang bangs. This was really disturbing considering the rape epidemic in India.

      On another note porn is a fantasy and exaggerated depiction of sex. My ex-boyfriend was Indian and was a virgin before we met and he watched tons of porn and thought thats how sex was and that because I was not from Indian I would be done to do anything he saw in porn and that was not the case.

      I think its problematic if young people are getting all their knowledge of sex from porn, there is a lot in porn that is very degrading of women.

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  13. There is a saying that goes by, “When we were kids you were asked not to talk to strangers, but when you get married you are asked to sleep with one.”

    Beautifully hypocritical society we live in.

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  14. Education perhaps ? and i’m not talking just sex education at school. half our learning process is observing. Kids see their parents , they see their interaction and young minds are molded.
    Parents or moms or dad should talk to kids about sex, teach them about love.
    If kids see parents happy together, being considerate and respectful of each other, some of that is bound to sink in.

    don’t expect the school to do all your work for you, whats wrong in talking to kids about sexuality, feelings and changes in the body and sex? we indians are beyond repressed.

    I talked to both my sons about puberty, changes, sex, hormones, love, feeling etc., etc., me and my husband touch, hold hands and give hugs infront of them, have always done. I encourage my sons socializing with girls ( so they know how to behave) and if they act like idiots and pigs i point out how the girl could possibly be feeling ( i’m a woman after all and i claim great insight🙂 )
    My husband shows them how to respect another human being, male or female . and to appreciate life and love.

    if after all this they turn out to be pigs , no one can help them but as parents we must do our best, and be their teachers. not culture keepers.
    wouldnt we rather have, a happy adjusted loving child with his/ her soul mate enjoying love, live, passion and joy ? if not whats the point in having children?

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  15. Sad, so sad that we don’t even know what animals and birds know. what happened to the parents preparing them as teens?
    and after 3 months of marriage if one don’t feel the need to jump your husband, that marriage is sadly lacking in something 🙂 women need to read up and men need to take major lessons in sex . both of them need help and lessons in making the partner sexually happy. big time business for those sexologists – now if only they were called by some other name, our mahan culture would permit these couples to go and learn🙂
    makes me want to write a sexual manual for the sexually clueless.on the fun in the whole thing !!!!

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  16. I really feel sorry for these young ladies and I cannot really imagine their horror. How can one be absolutely clueless about this – ‘She was horrified that someone will touch her down there.’

    I am aware that sex education is still a taboo and awkward subject but while growing up it very natural to be very curious about such things, especially since the information is withhold. One doesnt always grow up watching porn, or seeing their parents fondle and kiss, internet was not easily accessible while growing up but STILL as the saying goes – when the student is ready, the teacher appears🙂 we got our answers from readers Q&A on relationships popularly printed in every woman’s magazine, looking up words in the modern dictionary and watching wildlife on the discovery channel, secretly overhearing aunts or cousins speak especially when they went hush hush and then through well-meaning friends. Eyeing that holy grail of information on that subject in the bookstore and sneaking a glipse or two when no ones looking, I always thought teenagers have an invisible antina on top of their heads that instantly catches any information they are extremely interested in🙂 I only wonder how can one not be curious about this? One of the first questions a child asks is where they came from…how can one not be curious about how exactly did they get in there in the first place!😉 and the initial shock after discovering the truth and wondering ‘OMG! My parents did this times?’ Eew!🙂

    When my wedding date was fixed my mom took me to our lady family doc (who had given me my vaccine shots as a baby) and left me with the doc alone to discuss my doubts, my questions and prescribe me contraceptive pills. I could freely discuss everything because of the comfort level I shared with the doc knowing her over the years and not being related to her (so less awkwardness about my stupid questions being laughed at behind my back or being shared amongst my entire family). For parents like mine who just cant make themselves speak about it with their children please find a reliable source. Talk to the source first and request them to conduct a pre-wedding Q&A session with the to-be bride or/and groom. Please give this the importance it deserves, make it a priority before shopping for the clothes and jewellery. Few days before the wedding I and hubby had a talk about our plans. The earlier talk with my doc and this talk with by to-be hubby really prepared me for my D-day, there were no shocks – only surprises and that too pleasant ones. I highly recommend it to all.🙂

    We plan a wedding elaborately to the last detail and leave this for the bride and groom to figure out. I cannot understand how a man prefers to start his married life on this sour note of forcefulness. It will scar their sex life forever.

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  17. Brave, gutsy girl. Good for her. So many women who haven’t been given an education/survival skills will not be able to get away, like she did.
    I find the concept of arranged marriage and agreeing to have sex with a complete stranger you have no feelings/attraction for, not only repulsive, but highly hypocritical. The very people who advocate sex with a stranger husband will frown upon a consensual relationship where both people have either love, friendship, feelings, or mutual desire for each other.

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  18. @shereen Either you are not reading my posts or you don’t understand what I am tryiing to say. Section 375 clearly define that if a man hold woman on gun point then that is rape.but consent can be given by woman even when there was no genuine willingness on part of her.let me give you some example

    1) A girl is in dire need of money and she is not getting that from anywhere .A guy agree’s to give it to her if she had sex with him .She feels disgusted but later on agree’s with it

    2) A girl loves her B/F very much .One day B/F says that either you do sex or I will leave you . She did not want to do but still do it save her relationship

    3)An emerging actresses goes to photographer who says that if she is willing to sleep with him then he can recommend his name to few producers.After thinking for few days she agrees for it.

    In all the above cases there was no genuine will on the part of women , yet sex happened.Call these men low life oppurtunist bad etc , but none of them could be described as rapists.

    Similarly if marital rape law is passed even then if wife do sex with husband either to save her marriage or to please him cannot be described as rape

    @namrata please tell what you don’t understand in my comment

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    • @Kdps I’ve read your posts. Please understand very clearly that I’m strictly speaking in terms of the confines of a marital relationship while you’re offering me generalized examples of relationships at large.

      I disagree with the premise that a man forcing himself on a woman should not be punished because he is married to her.

      Whether that force is applied by virtue of threats, manipulation, physical, verbal or emotional abuse and violence, is immaterial.

      When one person purposely creates a situation in which the other is FORCED to do as they want – an act to which the partner would not consent willingly, what would you call that?

      I’m surprised that you’re willing to write tremendously long posts but not address the simple question I’ve put to you over and over again.

      Is that because you think, there’s nothing wrong if a husband has forced sex with his wife?

      No amount of arguing or quoting law can change that rape is rape.

      Being married to a person does not give him absolute right to use a woman’s body for the fulfillment of his needs and pleasure at his whim. That is just plain wrong.

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      • And honestly, if a man needs to manipulate his wife into having sex with him to save the marriage, then I seriously doubt that such a relationship is healthy in other aspects.

        There’s a huge difference between convincing someone with love and affection, having sex because you both want to, or respecting that either partner may not want such for any reason at different times.

        Seduction, pleasing your partner differ greatly from exerting force to get what you want because the other is unwilling or unable to do as you’d like.

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      • He says-
        “Similarly if marital rape law is passed even then if wife do sex with husband either to save her marriage or to please him cannot be described as rape”

        In other words, he himself says that marital rape can exist. He just wants to point out instances where the woman is emotionally manipulated into having sex, and says that this, while wrong-“Call these men low life opportunist bad etc ” – cannot be called rape.
        I actually agree with him.
        Rape needs to occur in presence of a reasonable threat of physical harm to the woman or people close to her.
        Emotional manipulation, sulking, and other forms of non-physical inducement is WRONG but not punishable by law.
        The law assumes adults can protect themselves against the former.
        The line you are taking- that non-physical coercion should be considered rape, and punishable by law- will set a dangerous precedent, because it assumes that women are not ‘adult’ enough to withstand emotional pressure. We must be careful what we wish for.

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        • Rape needs to occur in the presence of threat of physical harm to a woman or people close to her!!!

          If there’s no threat and the woman turns down her husband’s advances and he proceeds anyway, what do you call that?

          Non physical coercion is still coercion.

          Marital rape is still rape.

          Appalled.

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        • I don’t see where I’ve not accepted the fact that sex as pleasure is wrong or indulging in it to please a partner is wrong per se.

          The question is not whether marital rape exists or not. It exists, it’s a reality for many.

          The questions are, why should it be allowed at all and why should it not be a punishable offence?

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        • “f there’s no threat and the woman turns down her husband’s advances and he proceeds anyway, what do you call that? ”
          Well, if she’s turning him down anyway, consent is ABSENT and hence, if he proceeds, it WILL be rape.

          “Non physical coercion is still coercion”. Yes, I never said it wasn’t.
          Establishing rape in the PRESENCE of consent to intercourse requires certain conditions to be fulfilled- namely, consent given in fear of physical harm/intoxication/being a minor and so on- the debate here is whether ’emotional’ pressure is a valid addition to the list.You may hold the view that it should. I don’t.

          If I have sex to prevent my partner from sulking (non-physical coercion) will you see him as a rapist (= needs to spend 7 years in jail) or would you seem him as a jerk that I should separate from?
          One (physical coercion) is a criminal act. The other (non-physical coercion), is reprehensible, but in my opinion- not criminal.
          I don’t see how stating this view is ‘appalling’.

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    • 1) What you mentioned here is called prostitution

      2) What you mentioned here is emotional Blackmail

      3) This is sexual exploitation: again this happens when people on powerful positions want to take advantage of attractive applicants by tempting them with an offer. Women can do that as well to men. It’s not exclusive to men.

      To sum up all of the three situations you described are sick and it tells a lot about how healthy is your mindset. That’s not even the point: we’re not talking about women who want to ”save their marriage” Women in the West do have sexual desire for their husband if they didn’t they wouldn’t have married him, Do you think it’s the case in India ? Secondly there is a high profitability a woman in the West have already slept with their husband before marriage and that is for pleasure, it’s simply the expression of the love and attraction these two people feel for each other leading to the decision of marriage to declare to the World they want to spend their lives together and to commit to each other. Again: do you think this happens frequently in India ? In most marriages even if they are not forced, the two people are not attracted to each other and if they are many times they are wrong because they have not spent enough time with each other or been intimate with each other. That’s why people in the West nowadays will not marry someone they have never slept with because it’s unfeasible: When you fall in love with someone you get to know that person on all levels: emotionally, mentally, physically. But that;s not a problem because people who are sexually active are considered healthy people in the West not depraved people, there is education on sex, sexuality is NOT repressed. India is still where the West was in the 1950’s : You said it yourself in your #1: The woman needs money from the man , it doesn’t happen like that anymore. In India young people especially girls are incredibly repressed in their sexuality until one day they are expected to be alone in a room with a stranger and be sexually active. You are seriously disturbed if you don’t see the problem here.

      Plus: In India virginity before marriage is considered mandatory because of old religious principles. Have you not thought religion dictated that because of problems of overpopulation and diseases, to not break the family cell where a baby has to know who his father is. Yet in the West it’s the 21st century, there is birth control, sex education people are highly aware of STDs and how to avoid them as well as to avoid unwanted pregnancy but in India there is no sex education, people strive to stay virgins before marriage and yet it’s the second most populated country on Earth and there is more AIDS in India than in the whole Western World.

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    • @kdps-I see your point. There does exist a grey area where consent to the act is given but the attitude is one of half-heartedness. In an intimate situation with a romantic partner, this attitude itself may put off the man, thus terminating the act- or not. Either way, he is not a rapist- but an insensitive jerk.

      The reason it is not rape is that there is a consequence-free option of refusing consent available to the woman. Sulking or asking for a divorce does not constitute a reasonable threat- as there is no violence involved. Invert the genders and it will become apparent why this cannot be rape.

      That being said, if a woman feels sexually exploited within a marriage, and also feels like it may be rape, she can still file charges against the ‘sexual abuse’ clause of the Domestic Violence Act. So, even in the absence of a marital rape law, there is still some form of legal remedy.

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      • Having a specific act that deals with marital rape is a whole lot more appropriate than burying the issue within the weight of different acts.

        Why be afraid of having a specific legal remedy to deal with a specific issue and as with each case, let it be decided on it’s own merit.

        I get the grey areas, and the concerns but I’m not in favor of letting all of the men who do behave in horrible sexual ways towards their wives get away with it because we do not recognize and call their acts towards their partners heinous and punishable.

        There is no greater good in ensuring that a grey area is safeguarded by sacrificing those who suffer.

        It’s great that the LW got away from her husband.

        It’s great that people are educating their sons to grow up to be sensitized to the fact that when a woman says “no” to their advances, it doesn’t mean she’s too shy to say “yes”, it’s not a free pass.

        But that said, there has to be something that is clear and absolute in it’s terms when it comes to those grown men who are fully capable of making the distinction between consent and none and still actively choose to pound ahead with what they want.

        And if rape in a marriage alone is the reason that a woman no longer wants to be married, then that’s all it should take rather than the reams of reasons.

        Most importantly, letting there be something akin to no-fault divorce is something that should allow for the grey areas to get taken care of, without hassling either side.

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        • I agree with you completely. The ‘grey areas’ should be covered by a no fault divorce law that allows legally marrieds to separate without making a fuss.
          And yes, it’s annoying that we don’t have a law against marital rape. Recent efforts to pass one failed. Still, I just wanted to highlight the ‘for the time being’ option- the DV Act.

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  19. I think its funny that in our country India, then say that there certain movies and certain thing that people can not do or watch at like 20 or 23 or older years old, but they can marry at that ages, I think if you can get marry then you can do any thing you want and watch anything you want.

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  20. If a woman consents to having sex with her husband without actually willing to, only to save her marriage, doesn’t that mean she wants to remain married to the jerk? Emotional coercion cannot be compared to ‘force’. Even though being coerced emotionally, it is her own choice that the woman is after all agreeing to having sex. How can someone agree to be raped? Any rape – marital or otherwise – happens when physical force or threat of violence is used against a woman.

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    • This seems to be a misconception going around. Rape need not occur only because of physical force or threat of violence…for e.g. Sex with an under-aged person is rape…even if it was consensual; sex with a drunk or drugged person is rape even if there was no physical force or threat of violence; sex with a mentally handicapped person is rape, even if the person did not resist…In the instance that you have mentioned, look at the situation from the viewpoint of the husband…he knows that his wife does not want to have sex with him…he knows that the so-called “consent” was provided unwillingly only because she has been threatened with divorce (which, for her, is the worst evil)…still he goes ahead and has sex with her in spite of knowing her disinclination. What does that make him? Why doesn’t the husband choose divorce instead of rape?

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      • Sexual relations between a man and woman exist in a continuum. On one end you have two partners who have sex with equal enthusiasm always, on the other is marital rape(the one with physical force). In between these two ends exist various situations ranging from having sex to make one’s partner happy, to doing it because you know from past experience that sulking will occur, or even after a confrontation.
        Morally speaking, I think we are all agreed that emotional coercion is wrong and akin to emotional abuse.
        Legally speaking, where do you draw the line in this continuum? When do you begin to see it as ‘rape’ (irrespective of the current definition)? It’s obviously tricky, and hence ’emotional’ force is left out in most countries definitions of rape.

        It’s easy to stall the debate by saying men should know better. Of course that’s a valid argument.They SHOULD know better. But in our society, how will they know better? They’ve been taught that women never want sex, so they will not exactly be looking for signs of enthusiasm from their partner.
        And to be very honest, many Indian women have been taught displaying any enthusiasm for sex is ‘bad’. When you’ve been conditioned to think it’s dirty your whole life, its ‘normal’ to end up doing it only to make your husband happy. The woman in the second scenario is ‘terrified’ that her husband will touch her down there- is that a normal attitude for a grown woman? In such a complicated society, even women are ashamed of giving true, enthusiastic consent.Therein lies the problem.

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