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Marital rape and the Indian law scenario

  • Guest Writer
  • October 13, 2017
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The Supreme court of India says sex with a woman /wife under 18 years of age is rape. A remark that has been widely welcomed by all and sundry as a sign of ‘progression’. But how many can seriously examine the gender bias and vague medievalism that is inherent in laws relating to rape and other sexually oriented crimes in India? Indian legal system is primarily a cousin of the British legal system and so various laws made here show an inherent slant towards moral respect to Christianity and other sematic faiths.

The concept of sex in semetic faiths has a heavy gender bias. In any act of sexual nature, it’s the man who is the perpetrator and the woman who is the victim. Further, it’s the man who derives pleasure out of this act and the woman just performs her duty. No wonder even in the concept of Jannat or heaven, a man gets beautiful women to have sex with, whereas the women get only cute children to play with. Nowhere is it even imagined that a woman may also be requiring a hunk of man in heaven and that she too can have physical desires. Sex whether consensual or forced is the prerogative of the man.

No naturally even in laws relating to rape and molestation, it is assumed that it is always the man who is the perpetrator and the woman who is the victim. The rape laws also start with the line while defining rape.. ‘when a man…………’. It is still unbelievable for Indian judiciary to imagine that in the twenty-first century modern India, a woman can too have sexual desires or have violent tendencies. Considering that the definition of rape has even been extended to oral sex, or sex under the influence of alcohol, or sex under gunpoint, or exploitative sex (for jobs, say casting couch).. stuff that are totally gender neutral and where the victim can be both man or woman depending on the circumstance, this seems too archaic.

Think of this underage ruling now. Sex with a minor woman is a crime. But what if the boy too is a minor? Hormones at this age are flying both ways. What if the seventeen-year-old bride seduces her seventeen-year-old husband? Is it still the prerogative of the man to apply discretion, even if he too is a minor? Why is the man always accused in the acts of sex without even examining the circumstances? Rape and other sex-related crimes should also be made gender neutral like murder or terrorism. Sex is a two-way act and so the court should decide who the victim is keeping specific cases in mind. Any form of sexual activity is an act involving both genders with equal libido. Let’s keep archaic religious and moral thought out while framing laws.

Author: Vikrant Chaturvedi

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