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Is Marital Rape a myth?

Last week, during a conversation with a friend, the topic somehow shifted to marital rape. I can't recall exactly how or why it happened, but what I do remember is the shock and offence that rippled through the discussion.

My friend's initial reaction was jarring. He vehemently declared, "Madam, this is absurd! How can there be rape between husband and wife?" ("ye toh aapki jaatti hai madam! husband or wife ke beech rape kaisa?") His words carried a tone of disbelief, almost as if he couldn't fathom the concept.

When I brought up scenarios where a wife might not be willing or able to engage in intimate moments, his response was laced with subtle aggression. He dismissed these reasons, exclaiming, "Madam, what kind of excuses are these? Wives always have some ailment or excuse. What is a helpless husband supposed to do?" ("kya madam ye kya reason hua mana karne ka? ye bhi koi baat hui bhala? aap log ka yahi sab laga rehta hai , kabhi sar dard, kabhi man nahi , kabhi kuch or! husband bechara kya kare?")

The conversation took a darker turn when I questioned if, in his view, a husband could force himself on his wife in such situations. His immediate reaction was to deny the very idea of it being considered rape. To him, marriage seemed to negate the possibility of such an act. ("what rape madam? its her husband, so why you call it a rape?")

I tried to convey that repeated refusals from a spouse might signify deeper issues in the relationship that need addressing. However, my friend's dismissive attitude and insistence that these were merely "educated nonsense" ("ye sab padhe likhon ki bakwas hai") left me at a loss for words.

It's unsettling to discover such opinions in someone you consider a friend, especially when you've never discussed such sensitive topics before. It makes me wonder how many people hold similar beliefs without us ever knowing. How would you feel if confronted with such views from a friend after years of unawareness?

The painting image is by Lucas Pezeta

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