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The Delhi High Court Schools Men On Consent In Marriage

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Marriage in India means many things to many people. For some it’s finding love and commitment, for others, it’s finally getting society’s stamp of approval to live together. And for some others, it is the any time access to sex. Because, you see, the concept of consent is completely alien to Indian men. And to ask, or even bother with, any sort of respect of your wife’s choices would probably be unheard of for a large part of the populace.

Instead of raising sons who understand a woman’s choice, we have an entire generation of men who believe that they should yield power over women, more so if it’s their wife. And when it’s not done at home, the law must step in.

So this might be a bit of a shocker for men all over the country because the Delhi High Court has just said that “marriage does not mean that the woman is all time ready, willing and consenting. The man will have to prove that she was a consenting party.

Obviously, Indian men are taken aback by the introduction of this concept of both parties “wanting it”. Having grown up on a steady diet of patriarchy and misogyny, this might be difficult to digest, perhaps.

The bench consisting of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C Hari Shankar also thwarted the submission of the non-profit, Men Welfare Trust, which opposed the plea to make marital rape an offence. The import of the plea was that in spousal sexual violence, the use of force or threat of force are important elements to constitute rape.

“It is incorrect to say that force is necessary for rape. It is not necessary to look for injuries in a rape. Today, the definition of rape is completely different,” the court said.

Even as Indian men continue to grapple with these hitherto strange concepts, we are glad the court highlighted sex between spouses as a mutual interaction without coercion from either party.

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Mansi Shah is the resident humour writer and random conversation starter. Tends to laugh manically at puns. Deeply enjoys the blunt force of sarcasm. Preys on chauvinists and people with incorrect grammar. Hoards makeup and beauty products. Attacks Nutella with vigour.

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