Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Are Marriages made in heaven ?

Marriages are made in heaven?? Who says so?!? Whoever said that must have been drinking and he ought to be shot in the head for doing so!

Well, I wish I knew. I think I'd gladly serve the sentence of life imprisonment for it too. Why? Personally, I think marriages are made in hell. Does Satan have anything to do with it? Not that we are aware of it yet. We have always known that a man and woman join in holy sanctimony. Things might change and so will perspectives. Until Galileo the church used to think that the earth is flat and that sun orbited around the earth.

What's the big deal about marriage anyway? I personally support live-in relationships. At least when you walk out of this kind of a relationship you won't be called a divorcee. It'll just change your status from engaged to available and in both cases you are still single. What's more, you can have many relationships simultaneously. On one weekend you could spend your time with one while you can keep the next weekend open for somebody else.

Marriages... well marriages on the other hand can be quite the contrary. Either you live with the person the rest of your life even though you cannot tolerate the sight of each other or you just go ahead and get yourself divorced after long legal procedures (trust me, they don't come easy). Well whatever you have to say about it, this is my point of view and I think I am entitled to it.

What's with this whole arranged marriage thing anyway? You get married to a complete stranger and you are to live the rest of your life trying to discover your partner- I wonder if they even get beyond a certain point with it.

Geeta Shah got married five years ago and has three children out of her wedlock. But, she still dreads at the thought of spending the night with her husband! Geeta is the victim of marital rape. She is not the only woman to face such abuse from her husband. Diana Russell, a prominent rape researcher in America interviewed over 900 randomly selected women and found that while 3% had been raped by a stranger, 8% had experienced rape by a husband.

Illicit sex, sex on demand, forced sex and sometimes brutal, humiliating sex is experienced by innumerable woman in a marriage. When a stranger rapes a woman, she has to live with a frightening memory. But, when her husband rapes her, she has to live with the rapist. Marital rape is extremely destructive because it betrays the fundamental basis of marital relationship. It questions every understanding the woman has of her partner, her marriage and also of herself. It is worse than a murder. The victim dies a thousand deaths, even when she is alive out of a feeling of betrayal and humiliation. In almost every case of rape, the woman is held responsible and made to feel as if it is she who is the criminal.

Marital rape is generally sub-divided into three categories - those rapes that involve a degree of violence, those that use enough force to control the victim, known as 'force-only' rapes, and sadistic rapes.

Violent rape occurs when the abuser through physical violence cause injury to the victim. This is excluding the injuries caused due to the rape itself, i.e. injuries to the genital area. Many abusers will also force their wives to submit to sexual acts after a physical assault, either to prove her forgiveness or to further intimidate and humiliate her.

'Force-only' rape means using force by the abuser to control or hold his wife in position, eg holding down the victim by her arms or wrists to prevent her defending herself or escaping. In most cases of 'force-only' rape, coercion plays a large part.

Sadistic rape is when in addition to the rape itself, the victim is either forced to comply with or undergo deeds designed to further humiliate her. The rapist might hit or cut the wrist of the victim or urinate on her.

Despite the unwillingness to recognise marital rape as a crime, the fact remains that it is prevalent throughout society regardless of the woman's education or status. Did you know that many women, especially in India are not even aware what marital rape is all about! That of course happens because in our culture, women are discouraged from openly discussing sexual matters.

Are there any laws against this most brutal act? Will women ever come out in the open and fight for justice? Will the guilty be punished?

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