Delhi High Court is currently hearing multiple petitions on making Marital Rape an offence, while the Government of India has sought more time to present its stand on the ground that the matter needed wider consultation and a “larger hearing of all stakeholders”.
The petitioners have sought striking down exception to Section 375 of the IPC, which says forceful sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being 18 years, is not rape.
The Delhi High Court on Thursday deliberated upon the challenge raised to the exception under the rape law that protects a husband from prosecution for a non-consensual sexual act with his wife and asked whether the same could be unconstitutional if the law was gender-neutral.
Justice C Hari Shankar, who was part of a division bench headed by Justice Rajiv Shakdher, asked the amicus curiae Rebecca John,
Suppose section 375 (definition of rape) of the IPC was gender-neutral and this exception said that when the two parties are married, according to you will the exception be unconstitutional even then?
To this, John, later on Friday said,
I would also suggest that gender neutral section would create a false equivalence that, in reality, husband and wife are equal. This would disregard the reality. Several section as well as legislation recognise the gender inequality within a marriage.
There is gendered aspect to these provision based on the lived experience of women.
Pointing out to Justice Verma committee report 2013, John said that the victim can include man, but the perpetrator will remain a man.
Men’s Day Out now brings to you horrific accounts, as shared by some Husbands. However, according to us even if Marital Rape Law becomes Gender Neutral, we are not sure how much weightage will be given to the word of a husband, while he will be merely reduced to a laughing stock if he chooses to file a complaint of sexual harassment, intimidation, sexual violence or rape against his wife.
Currently, Section 375 is NOT Gender Neutral even in offences of Rape between non-related individuals. A man can only file rape under Section 377, if he has been raped by another man. However, he has no recourse whatsoever, if he has been raped, sexually exploited, bullied for sex or forced for sexual pleasure by women.
Husband No. 1
When I came to know that my wife had aborted our first child without my knowledge, I was mentally disturbed. Forget about having any physical relationship with her, I was not even willing to see her face.
I did not feel like returning home and would stay back at office upto 10pm, so that I would only go home, have food and sleep.
During these troubled days and the internal dilemma I was going through, my wife would force me to have sex with her when I returned. I would just act like a dead man and did not make any gesture from my end.
I had even told her, you can do whatever you want, but I shall not participate in the act. I will not shy away to say this, but she forcefully got on top of me and fulfilled her desires regularly. I was forced to consent against my will. Would you call this rape?
My wife even went to the extent of informing my boss and a colleague’s wife how I was not maintaining physical relationship with her in a normal way. I was advised by them to forget what had happened, take a break and go on a holiday with her. Why is consent only critical for wife and not husband?
Husband No. 2
After getting married, I soon realized my wife’s priorities were more towards amassing wealth & assets. This coupled with an aggressive/violent nature that made it really tough. She would insist on her name being put on bills/agreements for everything from electronics to jewelry to property, etc.
Unfortunately, was very naïve and like everyone else, in the interest of family (as we have kids too) kept playing into her hands. She gradually started brainwashing the kids with twisted accounts of events portraying herself as a victim. All physical intimacy between us had gone by then.
The last straw was when I started getting arm-twisted into contributing to a property her parents were buying & she started siphoning money off from our household to them. I said enough, she said I want to divorce. I agreed, then the demands started.
I said, ‘No’. She went violent – first on me, then, picked up knife, threatened suicide and to frame me with police. Eventually, I filed for divorce. Her claim: I want to leave her because I am polygamous/adulterous and a bad father. I had to keep living in same house (separate floors) since I wanted a connect with my kids & didn’t have any other place to stay.
Her sole aim was to instigate me so that I do something in irritation, and then she could record it and use it against me. She enjoyed playing her dirty tricks & watched me absorb it in silence. If I react, it is fodder for further instigation & evidence.
One day, in my bedroom, she got aggressive, climbed on top of me and started dry-humping me & started laughing, her exact words,
“… and you call yourself a man”.
It was hugely humiliating. I know I have way more strength, but if I use it – it is an immediate case against me, and whatever hard work I’ve done in building & putting up my case, would have got washed away.
Through whatever I’ve been through – I just have one learning: to solve our problems as a society we all have to start with a larger unit than “me”. Conversations/policies/laws need to start with “What is happening to our families?”, “What is the right thing to do in the best interest of a family/society?” NOT, “What is the right thing for me?” We all need to put responsibility before rights.
Husband No. 3
We got married in June 2018 and had a lot of problems right from the beginning. I wanted to wait for kids until things settle down in marriage, but came to know that she was already speaking to a lawyer. Her lawyer and her mother were pushing her to get pregnant so she could ask for maintenance in case things go bad.
She kept pressurising me to have sex and would not let me sleep until we did the act. I was forced, whenever she wanted it against my wishes. We had a lot of fights because I insisted on having my condom on during sex.
One evening she poured me beer and watched a movie with me. She kept pouring me more beer even during the act. And when she assumed I was sufficiently drunk, removed my condom without asking me and was going for penetration. Thankfully, I was in enough senses that I could push her off from me, went into the bathroom and washed my face so I could become sober again.
I feel completely violated in my marriage. There is physical violence, verbal abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse. I don’t ever want to have kids with this woman.
But I know that if I ask for divorce, she will file all kinds of cases against me. What options do I have under Indian law?
I want to remain anonymous for the reason that she can file cases on me anytime and I still live with her.
Husband No. 4
Me & my family have been framed in false 498-A, Domestic Violence Case & Section 125 CrPC, within 08-months of Marriage.
I work in shift duty including night shifts. My wife used to force me for sex after I returned from my night shift which was too much exhausting. At times when orgasm reach first for me, she insisted for immediate sex, but at times when she reached orgasm first, she just used to retract her consent which I obviously accept.
After each and every mistake done by her, instead of apologising, she used to seduce me for sex which I obviously didn’t want at that time. She was used to abuse my sisters and mother a lot and when she realized her mistake, she would lure me into having sex. When I objected, she used to abuse them more… It was a vicious cycle…
She was used to send her nude pics to me when I was in my office which I never asked for, but also not objected too!! But she used that in the FIR of 498-A that I am blackmailing her to make those pics viral.
In the last 01-month of my marriage, when I knew a case was imminent, she used to force me to have child. She used to hide condoms, forcibly tried to have sex without allowing me to put on protection, used to lie that she had pills and so on!! I knew that she wanted to conceive so as to put extra pressure on me, bit I resisted… Fortunately I succeeded!!
This was all from my side…
LEAVE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TWEET BELOW:
Is the debate around #MaritalRape for Justice to Victims of rape in a marriage OR merely creating one more one sided law, that will arm wives to blackmail husbands? Or is this just a political opportunism, since UPA-II too had rejected the recommendation of making marital rape offence a crime, because they were warned of tsunami of misuse by disgruntled wives.
#SpeakUpMen #MaritalRape #MarriageStrike
ALSO READ –
2012 | UPA II Cabinet’s Proposal Of Making Rape Gender Neutral Offence Was Opposed By Women’s Groups
Marital Rape | State & Centre’s Response | Gender Neutral Law In Other Countries Vs PIL In India Which Will Only Favour Wives
Woman Files Rape Against Husband & Friends After 8-Mnths | How Marital Rape Law Will Fail All Husbands?
ALSO WATCH –
Marital Rape Debate | Prejudiced NDTV Anchor Barkha Dutt Shuts Down Other Side
Government Is Oppressor, Man Is Rapist | Feminism 2022
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