Volokh Discusses Islamic Law and Marital Rape

by W.F. Price on October 29, 2010

Eugene Volokh is a fairly well-known legal blogger, and an intelligent guy I enjoy reading from time to time. When it comes to sexual politics he’s pretty moderate as far as today’s attitudes are concerned. However, the contemporary understanding of the terms “rape” and “marriage” are radical departures from anything the world has ever known up to the last forty-odd years, so the term moderate must be kept in its proper context.

In his latest piece he condemns Muslims for refusing to accept that there is such a thing as marital rape.

The problem with this is that the contemporary, Western understanding of rape is not the historical standard. Some of Volokh’s commenters bring up Jewish and Christian views on marriage, including some who blame the fact that marital rape did not exist as a concept in the West until very recently on Christianity, as though before the emergence of those bad old patriarchal religions good people all agreed that a woman’s consent prior to each sexual act was required to prevent the commission of a heinous crime.

This is ridiculous. Prior to the advent of these religions, and Christianity in particular, women were the property of men in their family, and the crime of rape was generally held to be a violation of a man’s property. In Roman law, a man could be executed for rape even if the woman had consented, because he had violated the honor of her family. In the Torah, the punishment for despoiling a maiden required payment to the father and subsequent marriage. Raping another man’s wife has been almost universally held to be a grave crime, usually punishable by death.

However, the idea that the legal definition of rape ever had anything to do with whether a woman wanted sex or not at the time is a very recent innovation, which arose largely out of Christian societies, and was based on the idea of redemption, i.e. a fallen woman such as a prostitute could be redeemed through confession and dedication to Christ, and her spiritual maidenhood thereby restored. In fact, as we see with Roman law rape and fornication were interchangeable, and punishment of the male transgessor was to avenge the woman’s closest male relative.

Although it may seem humane and right on the face of it to call sex by force within marriage rape and punish it accordingly, the logical conclusion of this is to invalidate the religious concept of marriage, and indeed almost all traditional concepts of marriage. So while it may be “progressive” to put the crime of marital rape on the books, a better and more honest solution would be to eliminate marriage altogether from our law, and classify all sex crimes as sexual assault rather than rape, since the very concept of rape itself is outdated and inextricably tied up with religious attitudes concerning marriage and ecclesiastical law.

The imam who said there can be no such thing as marital rape is only speaking honestly about his beliefs. If he said and felt otherwise he would be committing heresy, or even apostasy.

It is time we truly separated church and state: it is time to eliminate marriage from all state and federal law and leave such arrangements up to the various faiths and cultures to define it as they always have.

And lest anyone suggest that this will encourage Muslim and Christian men to force sex on their wives, all we would have to do to prevent that is enforce criminal codes concerning sexual assault, but at the same time allow the various faiths to make adjustments, such as giving husbands recourse to easy divorce and compensation for neglect under their own religious arrangements. For example, religious marriage contracts could stipulate trust funds of some sort (e.g. dowries), payable to a husband forced to divorce a wife for frigidity, so that he could more easily find another with more dedication to the faith. Rather than force sex on the woman, he would have a financial incentive to turn her loose, which would surely prevent a great deal of marital friction and make many women happy and free to live a godless life.

As it is, the state is playing the surrogate of the church in defining marriage, and in America that is not only unacceptable, but unconstitutional as well.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Herbal Essence October 29, 2010 at 14:50

Very early on in the process of cleansing feminist indoctrination from my mind, I came across a blog somewhere discussing “wifely duties.” I was, at first, somewhat shocked at the concept that a wife consents to sex with her husband by getting married. But then after I thought about it, I was like “Yeah! That’s part of the deal!” (or should be)

It is an extremely misandrist notion that a wife, who is usually enjoying an exceptional amount of benefits from being married, should have the right to deny her husband’s healthy male needs. W.F. Price’s suggestion of a trust fund, payable upon failure to perform, is a good idea. And probably would mitigate instances of “assault” due to frigidity.

Of course these concepts are utter heresy in a Feminized court system. So the best option is still “don’t get married.” Example: A friend of a friend has only been married to his wife for three years, and she essentially declared celibacy the minute she became pregnant with his child. The dude is now in his late twenties stuck in a sexless marriage with a wife who won’t even let him kiss her on the cheek. And she’s promised to fight any divorce proceedings he may initiate using her wealthy parents’ resources.

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Ragnar October 29, 2010 at 15:02

Society is an agreement among men to a certain set of rules. A part of the agreement is respect for private property and that basicly extends to all private matter.
Men are part of this agreement as all societies are buildt around/circumnavigating females influence.
Anytime the government interferes in private matters, i.e. disputes or contracts between a man and his woman it’s a breech of contract.

This unlawfulness must be stopped!

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Richard October 29, 2010 at 15:14

I think this is one poisonous concept that it going to be extremely difficult to get rid of.

The last 40-50 years have been devoted to relieving women from all responsibilities and obligations. They will not take those responsibilities and obligations back without a fight.

Also, the government profits greatly from the marriage contract being as it is. Women are the big spenders, and they get the lion’s chare of the man’s assets in a divorce.

Encouraging promiscuity before marriage and frigidity during marriage guarantees that the divorce industry will be booming.

In addition to that – stressful relationships lead to stressful lives – and stress leads to more medical conditions. More medical conditions ensure that people have to spend money on medicines, hospital visits and what not.

Also, I have noticed that some people “over-compensate” for the shortcomings in their lives. They replace human intimacy with food, electronics and the like.

All in all, polluting gender relations – starting on the female side is very lucrative – in many different ways. A very ingenious and thoroughly disgusting bit of social engineering.

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piercedhead October 29, 2010 at 15:19

So while it may be “progressive” to put the crime of marital rape on the books, a better and more honest solution would be to eliminate marriage altogether from our law, and classify all sex crimes as sexual assault rather than rape, since the very concept of rape itself is outdated and inextricably tied up with religious attitudes concerning marriage and ecclesiastical law.

The obvious truth in this is rather striking, having given it a few minutes thought. It’s difficult to see any compassionate difference between a woman being subjected to forced vaginal penetration, or a man suffering a similar attack anally. Certainly, one would think having a penis severed would likely be even harsher in terms of suffering and trauma – though I don’t know of any women serving 20+ years for this particular crime.

We are at a time now where historical distinctions between the legal treatment of men and women are undergoing a paradigm shift, and the elimination of rape as a crime, to be replaced with a generic ‘sexual assault’ independent of gender, is something we should acknowledge and encourage.

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SingleDad October 29, 2010 at 15:43

As a matter of fact you are fully a slave now in marriage as even disageeing with your wife is a crime. Even the highest elected official in our country feels this way.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/249923/i-was-right-wing-obama-town-hall-crasher-nathan-martin

Quote from Obama:

“Do you want the best piece of advice for a good marriage?”

“Yes sir.”

“Do whatever she tells you to do.”

I think that covers everything.

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misterb October 29, 2010 at 15:49

Today’s women has it easy.
In the old days, men own women.
In medieval times, dowry offered basic protection for a woman. if her family is well to do.

Only a forced penetration of vaginal and anal. Would be classified as rape. From someone who is not her husband, and a man who doesn’t know the freak. Of what I gathered after doing light research. There had been grown men and women raping children. mainly boys. Most of the children were tortured and killed.

So rape is no laughing matter

And any women who uses the word rape, or marital is spitting on those who had been raped.

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misterb October 29, 2010 at 15:52

“And any women who uses the word rape, or marital rape is spitting on those who had been raped.”

friggin browser

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SingleDad October 29, 2010 at 15:53

Misterb I wish I could give you five up ticks.

And we’re still raping and killing boys in the US. It’s called prison.

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Troll King October 29, 2010 at 16:03

Fuck marriage. Marriage is retirement for women. Women claim men want to go back to some mythical time called the 50s but fucking women do nothing but daydream and lust after don draper and his mad men crew. We won’t go back. Hell, we could succede in getting marriage decoupled from government but it still will be controlled by women and it will still die.

Marriage is dead. Might as well learn some game, don’t get emotionally attached to women and say fuck societies rules and just have fun doing whatever you want.

I will be a slave to no woman. No woman get’s ownership over my cock, they only get to rent it for up to 3 hours at a time…then GTFO.

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Rebel October 29, 2010 at 16:11

“Born in the 12th century, the institution of marriage has lasted until the beginning of the 21st century.”

(To appear in future history books)

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zed October 29, 2010 at 16:16

Quote from Obama:

“Do you want the best piece of advice for a good marriage?”

“Yes sir.”

“Do whatever she tells you to do.”

So, that means that Michelle is actually the unelected POTUS?

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Gunn October 29, 2010 at 16:32

One thing that is often missed in abstract discussions of law is the concept of justice.

Why do men choose to abide by the law? Sure there is the implied threat of state violence if one doesn’t, but fundamentally rule of of law requires a respect for what the law upholds.

The continual feminist assault on the meaning of rape is critically weakening the idea that the law was originally designed to prevent.

Two generations ago, rape was a heinous crime, as it evoked ideas of an unknown attacker forcefully violating a woman who was most likely someone’s wife, or daughter, or mother. The horror of this was felt by all men, as they could relate to a raped woman through their own female relatives.

Today, rape is a crime that is apparently committed by a friend who a woman has a few drinks with and does something stupid with; or her husband; or a lover who she later regrets having allowed to touch her. This continual cheapening will have the unintended consequence of making more and more men simply not care about ‘rape’, when rape has been devalued as a meaningful term.

‘Marital rape’ is a particularly egregious form that this devaluation takes. I have no idea how it ever got passed into law. The concept is ridiculous; if a man can rape his wife in marriage, then by the same token he should have the right to charge her with theft if she spends his money on anything he disapproves of. Good luck getting that law passed…

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NWOslave October 29, 2010 at 16:34

Intimacy between a husband and wife was once something they both looked forward to on a daily basis. Feminist indoctrination in our school’s, Guv and media has turned a woman’s heart cold.

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SingleDad October 29, 2010 at 16:39

As a matter of fact Gunn it is expressly stated and codefied into law that questioning any spending practice of your wife in marriage is called financial abuse and punishable by forceable removal or you from your home. Loss of your home. Loss of property. And, loss of your children.

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Beltain October 29, 2010 at 16:51

I am unaware of any Christian cultural group where the men owned the women. It pains me to see several posters repeat this feminist claim that men owned women in the “Old days”.

Sexual assault or rape was in fact possible inside of marriage if the husband demanded sex at inappropriate times which varied depending on sect but usually included during the wife’s cycle and if she was very ill.

Women always had rights in marriage and depending on the social status of their family some had more rights than others. Wives had duties under Christianity same as Husbands did but at no time did Christianity confirm slavery of a woman to a man.

Except for those few points most all posts about sexual assault being impossible in marriage and today’s laws being completely outrageous are true.

Please lets NOT perpetuate a feminist myth of men owning women in the bad old days.

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Troll King October 29, 2010 at 17:04

Gunn, so true man. I have been telling feminists for a long time this very simple truth. Why do people make rape jokes today, cause it doesn’t have the same meaning. It’s definition has been turned into a joke.

Beltain:

So true and one thing to remember is that even when women were being traded between faimilies as ‘slaves’ their mothers and grandmothers and aunts and sisters were the ‘slave’ trader or broker. Every civilization I have read about over the last 1000 years, women either moved around and paired up with who they wanted or if they came from higher classes their mothers paired them as a way to climb the social ladder. Either way it wasn’t men doing it, not unless you look at the top 1% like the kings who forged national alliances based on blood relations but even then every woman benefitted by having more resources in their respective kingdoms. In most cases if it wasn’t the church setting certain rules, that mainly applied to the higher classes, it was women themselves that created the social constructs. Men build civilization women spread society.

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Mr. X October 29, 2010 at 19:31

@Troll King,
“Men build civilization women spread society”.
Interesting truism.
Men secure peace and prosperity, and the women under their protection get to decide the rules.
As soon as women think they don’t need anything more from men, they decide to deal men out.
Civilization collapses and men wind up holding all the cards again.

Is there any chance that women will see that it’s in their own best interest to support men, who propagate peace and prosperity, in order to prevent the collapse of civilization and return them to the standing of chattel?

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Peter October 29, 2010 at 19:51

The very idea of marriage is bound with sex. In a Catholic marriage, which is the template for Western marriage, marriage is a sacrament. Firstly, it has nothing to do with the State, and does not require the State’s permission or blessing.

Marriage is contracted by the man and woman stating their vows to each other, and to God. The priest is the witness for the Church that this was done in proper form to create not only a natural marriage, but a sacramental marriage. However, the marriage must be consummated to be valid. Indeed, if a man or woman cannot consummate the marriage then no valid marriage exists, and the Church will refuse to allow such a marriage under its auspices as it can never be a sacramental marriage.

So for marriage to come into force requires sex between the now husband and wife. Further, in Catholic theology there are “signs” which signify the sacrament. For example, the pouring of water is the sign of baptism. The marital union – sex – is the sign of the sacrament of marriage. Hence, the woman by her giving her troth to her husband consents to sex for life without limit, excepting only when there is a valid reason for withholding sex, such as a grave illness.

We see this in 1 Corinthians Chapter 7 (from the original Douay Rheims bible):
3. Let the husband render his debt to the wife: and the wife also in like manner to her husband.
4. The woman hath not power of her own body: but her husband. And in like manner the man also hath not power of his own body: but the woman.
5. Defraud not one another, except perhaps by consent for a time, that you may give yourself to prayer: and return again together, lest Satan tempt you for your incontinency.

Annotation: 3. Let the husband render. ] These words open the Apostles intention and talk to be only of such as are already married, and to instruct them of the bond and obligation that is between the married couple for rendering of the debt of carnal copulation one to another: declaring that the married persons have yielded their bodies so one to another, that they cannot without mutual consent, neither perpetually, or for a time, defraud one the other.

These verses show clearly that there is an obligation to have sex, never a right to not have sex. This is where the old term, the “marriage debt” comes from. It is a debt owed by both parties to the other. And withholding of sex is defrauding the partner. This is not regarded by the Church traditionally as a small matter, or unimportant. Rather if a wife defrauds her husband by not submitting and giving him sex when he desires it, she has committed a mortal sin.

For those not familiar with the term, a mortal sin is a grave offense not only against the marriage partner, but against God Himself. And, without confessing the sin, doing penance, and agreeing that it will not happen again, the woman will lose her soul and be consigned to hell.

So, we see how serious the sex obligation is for both husband and wife. These are debts and obligations agreed to and taken upon each other by the vows of marriage. The idea of marital rape is asinine and ridiculous. It only shows how far we have gotten from a real conception of marriage.

The woman has not power over her body, but her husband. Where is the wiggle room for marital rape here? There is none whatsoever. The very development of this anti-Christian concept shows that we must remove the State from marriage and restore true marriage with its vows and obligations – otherwise there is no marriage at all, only a farce masquerading under the false name of “marriage” to deceive men into its clutches.

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David F. October 29, 2010 at 21:45

Thank you, Peter.

Whether you agree with them or not, the Catholic teachings on sexual morality and marriage are among the few I know of that are actually coherent.

I love that quote from St. Paul.

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Bob Smith October 30, 2010 at 03:38

The imam who said there can be no such thing as marital rape is only speaking honestly about his beliefs.

Note that Sharia also permits raping female slaves (“those whom your right hand possess”).

Islamic law in general denies rape is a crime, at least if the alleged perp is Muslim, because the evidentiary requirement is too strict. It isn’t a crime under any circumstance for a Muslim man to rape an infidel woman, and such is frequently employed to keep infidel populations in their place (see Malmö), or to force Christian girls into marrying Muslim men (see abuse of Copts in Egypt).

Islamic law also permits beating your wife, murdering your children and grandchildren, and murdering infidels, none of which is a crime (“acts subject to retaliation”) under Sharia.

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Malestrom October 30, 2010 at 04:33

Yes, the marital rape thing is a farce. I tell all my male friends this; don’t ever think that getting married means you’ll have a steady supply of sex for the rest of your life, quite the opposite in fact, you will be in a worse situation than you were before. Since it has essentially been declared that a husband shall be identical in all respects to a non-husband (ie, he has no more right to sex with his wife than any other man), all you are doing by marrying a woman is giving her a de-facto monopoly on the rights to provide you with sex. What effect do monopolies invariably have on prices? Once your wife has this monopoly in providing you with sex, enforced by her ability to strip you of your children, home, assets, and income if you protest, the effective ”price” of sex (hoops you have to jump through to get it) will be incrementally but consistently increased.

Also, it sets up the outrageously unfair situation whereby what the man brings to the table (his status and resources) become the property of the woman upon marriage and are not his to withhold, while what the woman brings to the table (her sexuality and childbearing ability) remain her property and are hers to withhold as she sees fit. This is FRAUD, and needs to be recognized as such. Marital rape; a woman’s way of re-selling you what you thought you were buying when you married the bitch

All that said, I cannot get behind the idea that a man can force sex on his wife whenever he wants. The best compromise I can think of is to go back to a faul divorce system and to have frigidity of this kind be considered grounds for a fault divorce where fault lies with the wife (or in a few rare cases the husband). So the husband may unilaterally divorce a frigid wife and keep the children, the home and 100% of the marital assets.

Needless to say there is 0 chance of this happening anytime soon.

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POIUYT October 30, 2010 at 06:33

This disgustingly genderist and bigoted society has come to see only the female human as the only party having anything possibly worthy of giving consent to or withdrawing consent for.

Accordingly, every other member of society, in or out of the home and family, or in other institutions are held by this damned genderist society, as standing beneath females and thus having no recognisable things worthy of the giving or withdrawing of recognisable consent for. And for these lesser citizens, only the force of the state using legitimate violence and gun point are a suitable means of coercion.

Hence it is no wonder that these damned and damnable genderist-societies would see other non-genderist cultures respecting the rights of others than the female as invalid and threatenning.

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Epoche* October 30, 2010 at 07:42

I really get disgusted at the looseness with which people use the term rape. As someone commented awhile back on this site, the amount of coercion needed to force penetration is great. So someone has to use that level of force or at least be threatening that level of force, and I have to conclude that the vast majority of times this is not happening. Therefore we have to ask ourselves why people use such an elastic definition of rape: obviously it is to cope existentially with the fallout of the sexual revolution, and like most things in our social word to shove equality down our throats and remove the distinction between good and bad; slut and chaste in this particular instance.

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Renee October 30, 2010 at 09:34

Honestly I’m on the fence about this.

Thanks to a post by Vox Popoli, I have a better understanding as to why people are against the idea of maritial rape. With that being said, I can still understand the concept behind maritial rape. Mainly in cases of abusive relationships or marriages involving child brides. And then there’s the literal concept itself – of being physically forced against your will to have sex by your husband.

As to marriage being consent to sex itself, what I end up thinking of is the idea of a spouse being obligated to have sex ANY time their significant other is in the mood, no matter what.

On the other hand, marriage and blanket consent does make sense in cases of healthy marriages. Marriage involves two people becoming one, love, other poetic, Biblical characteristics and adjectives that I can’t think of that fits in this discussion (I’m one to have a way with words). Sex shouldn’t be withheld ALL the time and shouldn’t be always dependent on one spouse only. And I personally don’t consider sex with a sleeping spouse as rape (many people do – just look at the controversy surrounding that one episode of NBC’s 30 Rock – don’t know the name of the episode though).

Like I said….on the fence……

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Renee October 30, 2010 at 09:45

Peter,

Here’s the version I have of 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 New Living Translation:
3. The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.
4. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.

…and King James Version:
3. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

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Lavazza October 30, 2010 at 11:34

Bob Smith; Interesting points. Where have you learned sharia law? In Arabic or another language? A lot of your information seem to missing in the wikipedia article.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia

Maybe you should update it.

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pb October 30, 2010 at 11:37

Renee, offering different English translations is rather irrelevant to the broader point that he was making concerning a traditional understanding of marriage and its obligations.

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Bob Smith October 30, 2010 at 13:06

Bob Smith; Interesting points. Where have you learned sharia law?

I learned it by reading Reliance of the Traveler, whose English translation was certified by Al-Azhar University. Muslims are credentialists, and will challenge anything they don’t want you to say by claiming that if you aren’t a certified Islamic scholar you’re lying. Do not be taken in by this fallacy. I do not have to have a PhD in Physics to relay the facts in a physics textbook. Mastery of Arabic and an Islamic education isn’t necessary to understand Islam and the Quran, and any Muslim who says otherwise is a liar.

As for Wikipedia, getting anything negative about Islam past the leftist dolts who censor it is essentially impossible, so I don’t bother.

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W.F. Price October 30, 2010 at 13:52

@Bob Smith

The Catholic Church’s position on “spousal rape” is almost identical to that of Islam. Sure, some priests and bishops will dissimulate, but the fact remains: it is not rape according to the RC Church.

Renee October 30, 2010 at 14:06

Pb,
I just did it for the heck of it. Just thought it was neat reading different variations of it. I’ve never heard of the “Douay Rheims bible”, so I wanted to share the two versions that I’ve found, and see the difference and similarities between the three.

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Bob Smith October 30, 2010 at 14:47

The Catholic Church’s position on “spousal rape” is almost identical to that of Islam.

Catechism 2356 (http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm) says this about rape: “Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.”

Nothing on that page lists marriage as an exception to the moral precept that rape “is always intrinsically evil”. It is true that rape is not listed as an “offense against the dignity of marriage”, but then murder isn’t either. The omission doesn’t therefore mean murdering your spouse is ok.

Tu quoque is a fallacy that excuses nothing, as you well know.

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woggy October 30, 2010 at 14:59

When the marital rape laws began appearing in the 70′s, it was, no doubt, the beginning of the end for marriage.

Controlling access to sex is THE fulcrum point by which feminism gained it’s first successes.
Somehow, the eeeevil patriarchs-who supposedly took whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it- found room in their hearts to be controlled this way.
I realize it is an aside to this conversation, but I really do get tired of hearing our great grandfathers maligned when the truth of the matter, especially when examining the marital relationship, is considered.

@Renee:
Climb down off the fence, unless you want to declare yourself in control of another person’s happiness- that person being the one you claim, before God, to love eternally.
Sex when you don’t want to?
There are lots of obligations we don’t always want to meet.
I don’t enjoy rolling out of bed at 4:15 AM every weekday- in fact I NEVER WANT TO- but my wife depends on me to do it. I do it because I love her, and for no other reason; I could, if my attitude toward her was any less benevolent, demand that she earn her own money so I could sleep in.
Luckily, for me, my wife is modern anomoly- a believer in and practitioner of “Marriage 1.0″- which causes her, in faith, to heed her obligations to me, outlined in 1 Corinthians 7.
I, in turn, heed my defined obligations to her, both sexual and material, with the same gravity.
It’s called living with HONOR before God.
It’s no accident that both “honor” and “God” are routinely attacked by feminism. Giving a woman the legal standing to withold sex from her husband, and then profit materially by doing so, is the most egregious example of this attack on “honor” and “God”, with cuckolding and paternity fraud (part and parcel with witholding sex from one’s husband) coming in at a close second.

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Lavazza October 30, 2010 at 15:00

Bob Smith: Well, I haven’t even read the whole wikipedia article, but I guess that for most Westerners it does not give a very good image to sharia laws. Is it a homogenous system that is the same in all Muslim countries or are there many local variations?

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Bob Smith October 30, 2010 at 15:51

Is it a homogenous system that is the same in all Muslim countries or are there many local variations?

It is true that Sharia is not everywhere enforced in the fullness of its horror. Everything important (the proper status of women and kuffar, the obligation of the believers to spread Islam by force if necessary, the obligation to kill apostates), however, has the full agreement of the 5 (4 Sunni, 1 Shia) orthodox schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

Do not be fooled that because a country doesn’t fully enforce Sharia it’s “moderate”. Sharia says what it says, no matter what its apologists say. Indonesia is frequently touted as moderate, yet Muslims there are happily demanding Christians obey Ramadan, burning churches, raping Christian girls, and murdering any kuffar stupid enough to speak out. They aren’t yet enforcing Sharia in full like Saudi Arabia and Iran, but give them time. Saudi law technically forbids slavery, but because that contradicts Sharia, Saudi courts never prosecute it.

There are always forces within Islam that militate towards greater devoutness (more Sharia) as the means to more prosperity and a better society, Sharia’s demonstrated production of the opposite notwithstanding.

The problem is that “reformers”, if they exist at all, do not have Sharia on their side. No devout Muslim can demand, for example, that marrying 6 year old girls (and consummating that marriage at 9) or keeping slaves be made illegal, because Muhammad did those things, and anything Muhammad does (except for the few things reserved to Muhammad by Allah, like having more than 4 wives and receiving a cut of all propery and slaves stolen by piracy and raiding) is by definition halal (permitted) to a believing Muslim by Sharia. The Quran commands this result:
“It is not for any believer, man or woman, when God and His Messenger have decreed a matter, to have the choice in the affair. Whosoever disobeys God and His Messenger has gone astray into manifest error.” Quran 33:36
“And obey Allah and the messenger, that ye may find mercy.” Quran 3:132 Pickthall
“Whoso obeyeth the messenger hath obeyed Allah, …” Quran 4:80
“And verily, you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character.” Quran 68:4

You will find Muslims who claim that “obey” doesn’t mean “imitate”. They are lying. It is well established fiqh (jurisprudence) that imitation is obedience. Muhammad’s deeds are no less commands than his words.

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W.F. Price October 30, 2010 at 16:22

@Bob Smith

You are proceeding from the assumption that spousal rape actually exists in canon law, but it doesn’t. There can be no forcible violation of intimacy between married couples according to the RC Church, because the husband and wife are “one flesh.” Therefore, assaulting one’s spouse would more correctly be characterized as self-harm, which is a pretty grave sin in Catholic doctrine if I am not mistaken. But if we are to be entirely honest, claiming that spousal rape exists is heresy in Both Christianity and Islam. Make of it what you will.

This concept was most likely borrowed by Islam, as Islam borrowed a great deal from Christianity — I’m not suggesting that Christianity is “just as bad” as Islam, but rather that the very idea of spousal rape is alien to both traditions.

This is fundamentally different from savage/barbaric concepts of what constitutes legitimate sexual relations, which were based on the predicate that women were chattel. One can see the evolution of the idea from Deuteronomy onward.

Personally, I see the end result of contemporary law as portending a return to the savage standard, and eventually sex will simply be deemed legitimate by fiduciary contract.

Shawn P October 30, 2010 at 17:04

hmm, Price Blocked my message,.. ITS A SHAME !!
I guess any other view than his is either comming from a WOMAN or a Mangina to him… sad to learn he doesnt want Men in here sharing their views either now !!!

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Peter October 30, 2010 at 19:19

@Bob Smith
“Catechism 2356 (http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm) says this about rape: “Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person.
…Nothing on that page lists marriage as an exception to the moral precept that rape “is always intrinsically evil”. It is true that rape is not listed as an “offense against the dignity of marriage”, but then murder isn’t either. The omission doesn’t therefore mean murdering your spouse is ok.”

You are adding your own interpretation to what the text says, as well as adding material to it. No where in the text does the Church admit or state that there is such a thing as marital or spousal rape. So the marriage act, by its omission is not a part of this section of the catechism.

I have already given the Church’s teaching, which has been consistent for the past 2,000 years. Don’t read things into a statement that aren’t there.

The catechism section that you quote is dealing specifically with real rape. Not politically correct rape 2.0, which is anything a female, especially a lesbian, doesn’t like, such as heterosexual sex, or having to have sex with a husband.

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Davout October 31, 2010 at 14:06

Volokh said: “Marriage is not tantamount to selling oneself into sexual slavery, which is what the “understanding when they got married” line seems to suggest.”

Isn’t the idea of ‘selling oneself into sexual slavery’ an oxymoron? If one sells oneself, can the result of that transaction be slavery?

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Shawn P October 31, 2010 at 18:11

Sorry i was wrong Price, My bad.

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Renee November 1, 2010 at 20:15

Woggy,

I agree completely with what you’re saying. I guess I’m thinking of cases of unhealthy, abusive marriages, where force and power are misused.

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john thames July 14, 2011 at 15:41

What “rape your wife” really means is: “Pay me for my pussy, just don’t expect me to fuck with it”. The best way to analyze this horseshit is to compare the wife to a prostitute. here is how the concept works:

A man goes to a whore who agrees to do it for “X” bucks. She tells him: “I need the money so give me the cash. But I’m not in the mood. Come back in ten days time and I’ll do it for you. In the meantime, fork over the dough.” The prostitute goes broke. No one will pay her on such a basis.

Now we go to whore number two. Whore number two tells the customer: “I want one half of everything as the price of my overvalued pussy. I demand that you use my services exclusively. However, if I’m not in the mood, come back later and take a rain check.”

The difference here is elemental.If a man goes to a prostitute he gets what he pays for; if he marries the whore called a wife, he pays for what he doesn’t get.

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john thames July 14, 2011 at 15:44

Here is how to handle wifey who isn’t in the mood. If she says no because she has a headache, give the husband the right to retain the most expensive whore in town and charge the bill to her as her exclusive obligation. Then she will decide that fucking her husband – as she contracted to do when she got married – is cheaper than having a headache.

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john thames July 14, 2011 at 15:55

Epoche makes an extremely valid point. It is not easy to force a truly unwilling female into it. The best way of illustrating this is to analogize rape to holding a cat. The cat goes: “Meow,meow, please put me down.” But the cat let’s you hold her. Then, the next time, the cat starts ripping at your arms with extremely sharp claws. You drop the cat immediately. That is the difference between a no that is serious and a no that isn’t. Pussy logic for pussy brains.

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Ella November 22, 2011 at 05:26

My goodness! This couldn’t make me more glad that Im not married!

I can understand completely why you guys are having such a need to justify raping wives, clearly the majority of you are so foul and pig headed I can imagine no one would consent to sex with any of you.

Bible quotes?? WTF? How completely trivial and useless! How anyone could derive authority from such ancient crap is beyond me.

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That Rat December 10, 2011 at 13:05

It’s interesting that you’d compare having a wife to prostitution. This assumes that you only married her for her pussy, and that you see no other purpose for her. You see no value in any work she does that doesn’t earn money in the public sphere, yet I’m sure you’d disapprove of her working for wages. And you do not see her as an equal person with equal investment in your home, life, and relationship.

In a solid, loving marriage, the house is not mine or yours, it is ours. The money one earns is not mine or yours, it is ours. Just as you share the fruits of the typical stay-at-home housewife’s labour, be it cooking, cleaning, raising children, taking care of the budget, running errands, or otherwise maintaining the home you both live in, she is entitled to share the fruits of your labours as a wage-earner.

And in a solid, loving relationship, even if both of you have a degree of ownership over the other’s body, a debt against a debt nullifies both debts, so there really is no ‘owing’ of sex. And a loving spouse would simply not demand sex from a partner who didn’t want to do it. By doing so, you are breaking other terms of the marriage: Love and Respect. Which just as much voids any obligation you think she might have.

I think the problem here is the lack of having had a proper, equal relationship with a strong, capable partner who takes a fair share of your mutual responsibilities. There are plenty of men and women who don’t know how to be in a relationship, and plenty who do. Maybe it’s time to analyze the sorts of people you tend to get involved with.

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Just a guy who has the decency to not rape people December 11, 2011 at 11:46

“And I personally don’t consider sex with a sleeping spouse as rape”

What? It is ABSOLUTELY rape. It’s sex without consent. By definition it is rape. Whether married or not, rape is rape. You people are fucking disgusting beyond comprehension.

When you get married, it’s a partnership. It’s an agreement to become part of one another’s families and to share your lives together. It’s NOT a relinquishment of your fundamental rights as an individual person.

Withholding sex is any person’s right. No one should have to have sex if they don’t want to. What if your wife isn’t ready for a pregnancy? What if you get her pregnant against her will when she wasn’t ready? You’ll let her get an abortion right? Oh wait no you won’t cuz you’re all fundie idiots. But you people always use the “don’t want a baby, don’t have sex” rhetoric when talking about abortion, but now you’re saying husbands have a right to force sex on their wives? What is wrong with you people?

If it bothers you, either masturbate or get a divorce. I’m sorry but women shouldn’t have to put up with you shoving your tiny dick into them at 3 AM when they’re trying to sleep, just because you’re too prideful to jack off once in awhile.

Don’t rape. Rape is a violent attack using sex as the weapon. Attacking your spouse goes against your very marriage vows. No loving husband would rape his wife, period. Rape = abuse, always. If you rape you are an abusive asshole, end of story. And yes, that includes raping her in her sleep, that makes you a rapist and an abusive asshole as well.

I hope you people who rape your wives realize you’re all rapists and turn yourselves in to the police, or your wives get you sent to jail for a nice long time.

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Just a guy who has the decency to not rape people December 11, 2011 at 11:48

BTW in a legal marriage, there’s nothing in the contract that says you HAVE to have sex. The vows you make say that you must love and protect each other though, which means NO RAPE.

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