The Bahamas consider a legal oxymoron:
“I think the bill is a very good thing because I believe that a husband can rape his wife. No is no. I don’t care if you’re married or if you’re not married. No is no, and once you force yourself on someone, whoever it is, it is rape. I agree with the bill 100 percent,” she said.
First, there is no such thing as marital rape. Once consent is formally given in public ceremony, it cannot be revoked; the form in which marital consent is revoked is well-established. It is called divorce. This isn’t a religious issue, although many on both sides will attempt to view it that way, it’s a simple matter of when consent is revocable and the specific form that revocation must take. I invite those who believe that consent may always be granted and revoked at will to consent to join the U.S. Army, then attempt to withdraw their consent. That should serve to clarify the matter for them; one hopes they will enjoy their extended holiday in Afghanistan. The attempt to create a legal concept of “marital rape” is no less than an attempt to destroy the basic concept of marriage. If the husband or the wife has no more claim to the spouse’s body than anyone else, then the marital vows are meaningless and the marriage is a charade. Once consent is withdrawn, the marriage has ended.
If a woman wishes to preserve her right to sexually reject a man at will, she has a perfectly viable means of doing so. Don’t get married. It’s really not that hard. But, once married, neither husband nor wife has the right to reject the other’s marital claims. This does not mean that it is wise for anyone to abuse one’s marital rights, as doing so on a regular basis will tend to lead to the legally correct abrogation of those rights. One is always free to respect the other’s wishes and refrain from exercising one’s rights in the same way that most Americans fail to exercise their right to bear arms most of the time. But failing to exercise one’s rights is not the same as failing to possess them.
Men contemplating marriage would be wise to sound out their prospective brides on this issue. If a woman believes in the concept of marital rape, absolutely do not marry her! It would make no sense whatsoever to marry a woman who believes that being married to her grants her husband no more sexual privilege than the next unemployed musician who happens to catch her eye. And if a woman who believes in the existence of marital rape pushes you for marriage, just assure her that while you respect the institution, you believe it is much more important to defend her unqualified right to say no.
That the “marital rape” concept is not only legally oxymoronic, but deeply undesirable for both sexes, is exemplified by its implications for sex that by definition precludes consent. Let’s face it, any man or woman who believes in the criminalization of wake-me-up sex is not an individual with whom any decently hedonistic being would want to be saddled for a lifetime.