A few days back #MarriageStrike took away the attention of all the netizens. This hashtag was trending all over social media as no other did. It is really intriguing to know more about the hashtag and the reason it blew up the internet.
A two-judge bench at Delhi High Court was hearing petitions related to challenging the marital status and the immunity enjoyed by men in a conjugal relationship (with reference to non-consensual sex with their wives) and this sparked varied opinions amidst people in the society.
Source – arre.com
The most important thing that should be noted is that presently, a man having non-consensual sex with his wife, who is above 18 years of age, cannot be charged for a rape case. This sounds horrific because there are so many married women in the country whose consent is not valued when it comes to having sex with their husbands.
Weddiing is understood as a license to have sex in marriage. It is a deep-rooted patriarchal understanding of marriage and can also be considered a highly reductionist approach towards marriage. Going by this, men tend to provide very less or no importance to a women’s consent in sexually expressing herself. Marriage should not make you uncomfortable, rather it must be empowering enough to provide you with support and love.
Feminists have been trying to deconstruct the notion of patriarchy. Women have never been provided with a free environment to exercise autonomy over their lives, finances, and desires. Such notions of marriage tend to again take us back to the Dark Ages. Women have been constantly trying their best to develop a comfortable space for themselves in the world, but such hashtags over social media really compel us to question the impact of liberating ideas.
Delving deeper into the reason why that hashtag went viral over the Internet was when men came to know about the hearing conducted by the Delhi High Court. Some men in the country could not accept a women’s equal position in society. They believed that women must not enjoy equal status in marriage. The only reason that they provided was that this power that will be provided to women will be misused by women and they will accuse men of false charges.
Source – Kavita Krishnan via Twitter
Various women of the country also reacted to the hashtag and expressed the fact that those men who do not seem comfortable with women getting equal status make it clear that society is still suffering from the deep-rooted patriarchal mentality. This makes women feel unsafe and threatened because what they have been demanding for centuries is essentially a fundamental value that all of us deserve. All of us deserve to be respected.
Society seems to have a problem with whatever women seek. Women have been trying to change their lives by constantly struggling, innovating, and building a new thought process in society. There are still some men who do not acknowledge the historical exploitation of women and their capabilities. They expect the state and women to deal with the situations according to the “present” circumstances. There is always a historical tradition to any phenomenon that occurs.
Additionally, Susan Moller Okin popularly supported the notion “Personal is Political”, which had a really significant impact on the lives of women. Earlier, the feminist movement was focused on achieving political and civil rights in society and establishing equality in society. Personal is Political helps in bringing in the issues that are faced by women in their private spaces, to the public realm. On these lines, we can clearly justify the claim provided by the women of the country that marital rape needs to be recognized and made illegal to establish freedom and equality.
Source – thelogicalindian.com
The movement is not against men, it is against their deep-rooted patriarchal understanding. On one hand, we educate our men to become flexible and give up on the rigid ideas of gendered roles and expectations and then on the other hand we see men on the internet undermining the essential freedoms of women. As a society, it seems to be a sorry state and it is the need of the hour to look within ourselves and realize to make our society a safer and just place to be in.
Written by- Gargi Singh
Edited by- Ginia Chatterjee
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