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While being ‘happily married’ is a concept we are familiar with, no one really talks about marital rape. Isn’t that an important aspect of marriage too?
Marriage is a very big deal in India. It has occupied such a large space in our psyche that we spend more than half of our waking life either thinking or talking about it.
But one thing that either escapes everyone’s psyche or the one thing that not many people want to talk about is ‘marital rape’.
There are people from the judiciary, politics and the rest of our society who actually believe that criminalising marital rape will ‘destabilise the institution of marriage’. It would be fair to ask if we really need an institution like this that does nothing to prevent the exploitation of women.
These are the same people who tell us that criminalising marital rape may lead to a number of fraudulent cases against men. A statement like this simply indicates two things: mistrust of married women in general, and a failure of our legal and medical system to separate fake rape claims from the genuine ones.
Marriage is a contract between two people to live together. But what is the point of such a contract when one party uses it as a tool to take away the rights of the very person he marries, leaving them helpless?
It is sad to see families plan their daughter’s weddings even before they are born. They have the audacity to call them ‘paraya dhan’ (Someone else’s money.)
(Fuck the correctness of my translation, how can you equate your kids to money?!)
They treat her like a burden to be literally disposed off (in most cases) to the mercy of some other family. They put themselves under immense financial, psychological and physiological burden to execute the whole wedding.
But they are the same people who will hesitate before asking the government for a single piece of legislation that will protect their daughters. These people look for a ‘happy’ married life as opposed to a safe one.
It really tells you a lot about who we are if we keep celebrating someone getting married. But fall silent as soon as the safety of that very person comes into question.
If there is someone who wants to know what people in our society really think about this subject go watch this video:
A version of this was published here.
Picture credits: Screenshot from the movie Saat Khoon Maaf that deals with marital rape in one of its segments.
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Marital Rape In India: We Value ‘Institutions’ Over Women
To Tackle Marital Rape, We Should Be Able To Talk About Sex in The First Place
Are Marriages Really Sacred If Women Are Being Forced To Have Sex With Their Husbands?
Why Are Most Indians And Indian Laws Still So Confused About Marital Rapes?
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