Marital rape is something that is not widely talked about because it is not considered rape. Why would it be? It is simply sexual intercourse between a married couple. This is where one can see the failures of our Indian culture.
In India, where there is no sex education, no teaching about consent, and such, people don’t have a grasp on the concept of sex. Al we hear is that sex is bad and it should be done after marriage.
A married woman is expected not to disappoint her husband and in-laws. She is to accept whatever her husband desires. If the husband wants sex, she has to have it even if she doesn’t want to because she isn’t allowed to express her consent. Consent is not a concept that is taught, despite it being an important factor in our lives. In a marriage, the husband’s sexual desires take more priority. It is not considered rape as we are taught that sex between married couples is normal.
Since pre-marital sex is frowned upon, some would marry for the sole purpose of having someone submissive to them, someone who will serve as an object to unleash their sexual desires on. It is marital rape if one part doesn’t consent to it, but it goes unreported because of family and social values.
Men are brought up in a society that favours men. Their problematic actions are waved off as ‘boys being boys’. This gives them a leeway to do whatever they want. How many women have had to face sexual harassment by just walking in the streets?
Previously, marital rape would go unreported because victims feared for their reputation. They would put up with the abuse solely to avoid disappointing their families in the event of a failed marriage. Things are changing now, and people are coming forward with cases of marital rape, raising awareness about the dangers of this.
Just because sex after marriage is accepted or normal, it does not imply that all subsequent sex is normal. Marital rape, sexual abuse by either party and other factors all contribute to toxic marriages. Consent is required in a marriage, especially when it comes to sexual intercourse. The lack of sex education is obvious, and it is past time that the next generation is properly educated about it to avoid such issues as much as possible.