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I hope you will read enjoy my musings about:
· End of Life
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· Dating, Sex & Relationships for Seniors
And sometimes random stuff, like this post:
As a Woman who Grew up in a Violent Home, I am all for Men's 'Marriage Strike' in India!
Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images*
I realized when I was 21 years old that I was a survivor of childhood domestic violence.
I hadn’t had a name for it before I made my first full-length documentary film about battered women as a film student.
That was when I realized my mom had been a battered wife and I had been battered, physically and emotionally, as a child.
I also began volunteering in the town’s brand new battered women’s shelter and learned a lot about how hard it is to leave the batterer.
Fast forward 40 years. I was shocked/not shocked to learn recently that
Marital Rape is still Not Illegal in India.
It seems there are a lot of Indian men who are mad at American feminists for instilling ideas in the women of India that this law needs to be changed.
It absolutely must be changed!
I hope American feminists' work to dismantle legalized misogyny has inspired women in India to fight!
But, here is some perspective for the men in India who are outraged: Things are better for victims of domestic violence in the U.S. then when I was growing up my high ACE score (Adverse Childhood Experiences), but not that much better.
For instance, in the United States there are still a reported 1 million to 3 million incidents of domestic violence each year. Many more than this go unreported. An estimated 10 million people experience domestic violence in the U.S. each year.
In 2019, a study found the number of women residing in the U.S. who were murdered by an intimate partner was on the increase, averaging almost 4 a day.
It reflected a gradual rise in the figures since 2014 after a steady reduction over the previous 40 years. Sociologists are dissecting the possible reason for this rise but in the meantime:
Fellows, dudes. hombres, men, please remember, not so long ago in the U.S.:
Women were legally considered chattel, property of their husbands.
Women who were battered by their partners had no protections and were forced to live in fear and isolation.
Women who killed their abusive spouses would be incarcerated even if they were clearly acting in self-defense.
My mother had to have sex with my father in order to get money to buy the groceries. I consider that a form of marital rape.
A lot of women suffered or died trying to free themselves and their children. A lot of children grew up without a mom or an incarcerated mom because of violent male adults. Their ACE's are skyrocket.
We were also traumatized and often victimized by violence in the home environment. We may be strong and resilient, we may have found our way to healing, but battery in the home absolutely must stop.
We must acknowledge that legislation is just the start of another level of the struggle and progress is not always linear.
Back in India, men are doing something great for women!
Section 375 of the current Indian Penal Code prohibits rape, but it also includes an exception, which reads: "Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape."
It makes sense that feminists in India have rallied to change this law that allows men to legally ripe their wives.
In response, men are organizing to stop the women from changing the law. They are afraid that women will falsely claim rape to get out of unhappy marriages, and they and their families will be stuck with the stigma of divorce on top of paying hefty financial settlements.
I guess they don't want to get caught with their pants down. I guess they are worried about the expense of compensating rape victims, especially because so many married women are just that.
"About 30% of Indian women aged 18-49 reported having experienced spousal violence. In terms of sexual violence, the average Indian woman is 17 times more likely to face sexual violence from her husband than from anyone else, according to a survey of 724,115 women. Women don’t speak up because they don’t know they can."**
It was reported that some Indian men launched what they call a "marriage strike." They're refusing to get married, at least as seen on Twitter. This brilliantly solves the problem for women! Right on!
I think this is a super strategy for protecting women. And so do leading Indian feminists as seen in this tweet below! You go, men! Based on how things are going in the U.S., I hope the strike lasts for at least a century!
*A photograph of a woman who says she was a victim of marital rape. She is posing outside near her home in New Delhi. The Delhi High Court is now considering petitions calling for the criminalization of marital rape.
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