Read this first.http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BForum/Online%2BStory/STIStory_166104.htmlWhy marital rape is not a crime
I REFER to the article, 'Rape is rape, so husbands should not have immunity" by Dr Andy Ho (ST, Oct 2).
To remove bias, 'rape' here means only 'non-consensual sex', with no overtone.
Dr Ho rebuts arguments for 'marital rape is not a crime'.
One: A woman's consent to marriage implies her lifelong consent to sex. Rebuttal: Lifelong consent becomes a 'legal fiction' when the husband turns into a violent stranger. Comment: The law makes no such exception, and no supporting argument is offered for this assertion.
Two: Marriage is a private intimacy, into which the law should thus not intrude. Rebuttal: Marriage as a private intimacy wrongly presumes the interests of husband and wife are aligned. Comment: Neither 'private' nor 'intimacy' presumes interests are aligned.
Three: Making marital rape a crime will poison reconciliation. Rebuttal: Marital rape already poisons reconciliation. Comment: Many marital rape victims do 'forgive and forget', and reconcile.
Four: Making marital rape a crime makes wives more likely to falsely accuse husbands. Rebuttal: England and Ireland have made marital rape a crime, without increasing false accusations. Comment: Dr Ho has a counter-example.
Dr Ho argues for 'marital rape should be a crime'.
One: Almost all aspects of women's legal subordination to men have been rejected. Comment: A traffic sign saying 'No entry - except ambulances' will insist on the exception.
Two: 'Rape is rape, so the marital rape exception should be completely erased.' Comment: The marital rape exception is built into the law. Insisting the exception be removed does not entail it should be.
Three: Marital rape harms the victim more than does stranger rape, which is a crime. Comment: First, harm may not be a sufficient reason here. Husbands also have duties to wives that strangers do not. Second, the alleged greater harms of betrayal, entrapment and isolation likely presume marital sex must be consensual, rendering the argument circular.
Four: 'Why does the system then deny her what she considers to be in her best interest?' That is, if a wife considers it in her best interest that marital rape is a crime, then marital rape should be a crime. Comment: First, the law must consider the general interest, not that of just one party. Second, wives do not dictate the law.
In summary, we have a case for 'marital rape is not a crime', and none for 'marital rape should be a crime'.
Lau Kwong Fook
... yes, that's right. Apparently we women sign up to keep our legs open and our vaginas wet 24-7 when we get married.