That we still have to ask this question is disturbing. This scenario belongs on the Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction. Beyond Belief is a TV show that presents a series of events and asks the viewer to guess which of these events actually occurred. The show ends with the truth, and — often — the truth is unexpected.
I bring up this show because I always imagined that if it ran a segment on the claim that marital rape is not really rape, my fellow Americans would call it “fiction.”
Unfortunately, they’d be wrong. Marital rape is real, it is a fact, it has happened and still happens today in the US. There are people who are not ashamed to admit that they feel ‘marital’ rape is a feminist invention. In fact, they often say so with pride.
This is dangerous. This has serious consequences for married women. Denying the existence of marital rape effectively turns us into property when we get married. Marriage is not a contract that permits a man to have sex with his wife on demand.
Think this isn’t a problem? Today, I read an article about an eighteen-year-old woman who’d reported her husband’s abuse. The evidence was plain and very graphic: her husband smacked and starved her; he pinched her hard enough to leave bruises. She was also repeatedly raped. Her vagina was sore and raw from her husband’s abuse.