Among some other countries, women in India are still deprived of many fundamental rights, including being able to prosecute husbands for forced sex. Recently, there was an attempt to change it. The Indian lawmakers are working hard to criminalise marital rape.
This change is a much-needed and long-overdue step. But sadly, rather than applauding this legalization as it would save so many women from being abused by their own husbands, this step was met with criticism.
“criminalization of marital rape will break the institution of marriage” no, if marriage is based on disallowing women autonomy over their own body then it is an institution rooted in misogyny and oppression of women and it’s high time for it to go through a major reform.
A certain section of society thinks that this criminalization will allow women to wrongly accuse men of sexual violation.
But, sadly, this fear of being “unfairly charged” for rape is often accompanied by a complete lack of understanding of consent – and that could be the reason why so many people (most of them, men) were against the reform.
To voice their fear and criticism against the reform, many people, mostly men started a trend on social media, that is – #marriagestrike.
It seems they do not want to get married if marital rape is criminalised because of the reason mentioned above.
Sadly, some of these men believe that women’s rights, especially married women’s rights, as secondary to their husbands’. And because of that they have chosen to not tie the knot at all (or at least falsely announce the same on social media).
In response to this trend, many came forward and shared a very clear and powerful message for such men. It was:
“If criminalisation of marital rape makes you want to boycott marriage, go ahead. Because it means you don’t deserve the marriage. Do women a favour and stay away from them. If you can’t understand the severity of why marital rape needs to be criminalized, then you don’t have any right to call anyone your wife!”
Men deciding to opt out of marriage if marital rape is criminalised is a huge win-win for the feminist movement. #MarriageStrike
I genuinely don’t understand what the men are fighting for — the right to rape their wives? Because the debate on hand is simple — criminalise marital rape. If men are against that, it means they want to be able to rape their wives. And that should be genuine cause for alarm.
Men tweeting in favour of #marriagestrike are potential rapists. Possible rapists. Previous rapists. Why would any man who is self-respecting not want for marital rape to be criminalised? How can there be legal protection for rape only becauseit happens in a marriage?
At IFORHER, we hope this law is changed as soon as possible so that we can see a day where a woman can tell her spouse that he’d be in jail if he even thinks of laying a finger on her without her consent. Moreover, stupid social media trends like #strikemarriage only act as further proof that we, women, need the law to back us.