Conversations about the issue of r*pe have begun afresh and also as usual a lot of ignorance, prejudice and religious intolerance is showing up in the debates. Why we should even be debating the existence of rape and the gravity of the crime in 2017 is beyond me. It is clear we still have many backward and wilfully ignorant people in the world today. That said, I want to shine the light on another aspect of rape that is most often dismissed. It is marital rape.
Marital rape is basically a situation whereby the victim is raped by someone they are married to. Some of you who may have never heard of this would find it funny to hear because in your minds, rape is only something that occurs when the people are not married.
In fact, some people think rape is not possible if you are engaged to someone or about be married to the person the next day. For them, the man is only being a man and just a bit impatient or is tired of the girl playing hard to get and/or teasing him. All of this is stupid to think and stupider to say.
Rape is basically when a person forcefully or through manipulation (or both) sleeps with someone. This means the person is an unwilling participant, does not give their consent and completely abhors the act but unable to stop it from happening.
By this definition, it means even when married, a woman can refuse to give her consent to sex. People who argue against the existence of marital rape often cite flimsy excuses like a wife being proud and stubborn and wanting to punish her husband for any little issue they have or to make him agree to do something before she gives in.
This does not make it any more right than a lady saying no to sex to someone whom she is not married to for whatever reason and he decides to take it by force. Both actions are wrong.
Being married means that each party has a duty to fulfil the other’s sexual desires. This is a fact but it is also true that many things can make men and women not be in the mood for s*x.
A man who beats his wife and abuses her should not expect that sex will be the foremost thing on her mind. In fact, some of such women give in for fear than anything else because they know he will abuse them some more. Some men cheat on their wives and despite being discovered, still expect their wives to give in to their s*xual pleasures.
This is foolish for many reasons. For starters, vows of trust and love have been broken. For a man who has broken the marital vows to love, protect and be faithful to his wife to expect her to still sleep with him is ridiculous. Let us not even consider the issue of STDs which many of these men then bring into their homes. I have had to handle a number of cases like these. They don’t even care if they give their wives AIDS! All they know is; “I paid her bride price, so she must give me what I want, whenever I want it.”
This kind of attitude of ownership and command is what makes even common boys who have no ties with a girl think they have a right to sleep with her.
You should be able to discuss with your wife and convince her. Sometimes, women are just being coy and want the man to show some romance and tease a little before sex. Yet, the man, being impatient and thinking she is just being silly, decides to barrel into her literally and even if she gets wounded in the process, he doesn’t care. Some men can drag their wives kicking and screaming into bed (if they even have that much patience to get there) to satisfy their sexual urges. It is funny that while Nigerian men and women think marital rape is fake and stupid, many in the international community recognise it for what it is. I pray we do so one day.
Dear husband, talk with your wife if she says no and figure out what is wrong. If there is something really wrong, work to fix it.