Wednesday, February 3, 2010

When it comes to rape issues, India is hopeless

I don't bother with India anymore. Any male in India reading this -- sorry, you're on your own when it comes to false rape claims. I give up.  First it was that inanity that women don't lie about rape.  Now, a court in India has held that "getting a girl into bed on the promise of marriage and later refusing to tie the knot amounted to rape."  See here.

I don't even know where to begin to explain why this is wrong by every single measure of assessing it: legally, ethically, morally -- you name it.  The word that keeps coming to mind is "stupid."  The holding is flat-out stupid.

What's the effect of this decision? In India, when a woman cries rape the judge need not only determine whether she manifested consent to have sex, it must determine the reason she consented -- was that reason induced by a promise that was later broken? 

Men have just been stripped of their right to change their minds, at least when it comes to marriage, because if he backs out, it will be "rape."  Women, of course, have not been stripped of their time-honored right to change their minds.

And where will this end?  Suppose a man promises to drive his wife's mother to the store, then the man and the wife have sex, but then he doesn't drive the mother to the store?  Must be rape.

What about a man who divorces after a year or two or five of marriage?  That's easy: she was raped multiple times because he promised to stay with her until death do they part.  He should get a sentence of 800 years.

Note it doesn't work in reverse, of course. If the woman lied to the man about being on birth control, she did not rape him.  Somehow that is different. Get it?  Neither do I.

Newsflash to jurists in India: people lie about everything under the sun for all sorts of reasons.  Women have been known to lie about rape, and about being on birth control, and men have been known to lie about their willingness to get married.  And people lightly make promises about everything all the time.  And, yes, people -- men, too -- change their minds about everything.  To transform any of that into a serious felony (directed only at men and boys) that will involve a prison sentence so severe as to destroy a man's life is beyond barbaric; beyond primitive; beyond uncivilized.

Please don't tell me about cultural norms. It's not an excuse for mistreating women in the Middle East, and it's not an excuse for treating men and boys like dung in India. I am sure the feminist bloggers have condemned this idiotic decision. Right?  Right??

India, you are hopeless.