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LETTER OF THE DAY - Marriage no passport to forced vaginal entry

Published:Saturday | November 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM


I write in response to Xavier Newton-Bryant's letter, 'Marital rape: call it something else', published November 6, calling for the renaming of the term 'marital rape'.

I am in agreement with the writer's call. We should, in fact, call it what it is - rape. Full stop. Rape is rape.

It is my understanding that the absence of consent to sexual intercourse is the primary (if not only) determinant of rape. It is unfortunate that our legal framework gives a husband's penis autonomy over his wife's vagina. It is interesting to note that the same legal framework does not give a husband's other body parts or a husband's manipulation of any object, autonomy over the said vagina.

Are we saying a man cannot or should not be charged for having sexual intercourse with his wife (without her consent), but can or should be charged for performing other sexual acts with said wife (without her consent)? That line of reasoning is appalling. It is a woman's right, as much as it is a man's, to say no, or to say yes, to sex.

Marriage is not some passport for forcing wedded penises into wedded vaginas, without consideration for the inherent right of bodily integrity. Many things may be considered normal parts of marriage, I do hope that does not include rape.

Marriage does not equate to consent to sex. Marriage equals commitment to, and love, consideration and respect for, each other. Why should we have a right to leave a marriage not consummated, but not the right to say no to sex?


Water Lane, Clarendon

kareem.dunkley @gmail.com