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mygif

God. Okay. I have to stop commenting on this thread.

“All I’m saying is let’s keep things in perspective. There’s a difference between him saying “women, let your husband have sex with you even if it makes you miserable because that’s your wifely duty” and saying “men, don’t take no for an answer, have sex with your wife even if she says no.” The former is sexist but won’t result in anything bad happening unless the women he’s saying it to actually take it as gospel (which they hopefully will not). The latter is telling people to assault their wives.”

About the nothing bad will happen unless the women take the statement as gospel and hopefully they will not bit: yeah. But a critique of an argument ought not be predicated upon “well, that would be TERRIBLE, but as long as people don’t listen to it we’re all okay.” Obviously I hope people don’t listen to it. It’s fairly unlikely that all of a sudden the majority of the western world will take up this douche’s views as doctrine. Thank god. But a critique of an argument should be on the argument’s own merits. So, I question his reasoning AS IF what he’s saying ought to be, actually came to be. What kind of a world is it that he is proposing? And then I say why that is bullshit.

Now, critiquing what he says OUGHT to be from the position of what the world will look like if his OUGHT becomes IS… the idea that “it’s not rape because she didn’t say “no”” becomes a bit of a hollow argument.

In a world where it is the wife’s duty to be on-demand sex provider, regardless of her own feelings in the matter, no isn’t an option. When you take the POSSIBILITY of “no” out of the equation, you also take away the possibility of “yes”. she cannot consent, she cannot decline. So, what is sex, for her, then?

Let’s not forget, that for a long time there WAS no such thing as “rape” within a marriage. Why? Because Prager’s opinion WAS the common one. Sex was a DUTY. A woman ought never say no to her husband, so, a man CAN’T rape his wife, because he is just recieving/having/taking/forcing what is rightfully his.

When “no” doesn’t matter, are you going to scream it at the top of your lungs? Some people might, some people might think that it’s futile.

NOW, to the people sho think I’m therefore saying that in a modern marriage the persuasion of a partner to have sex with you is rape… no, I am definitely not. Because it’s not rape. Obviously. And I would never argue that it is. And obviously, in real-life modern marriages, sex is an important part, and if EITHER partner is CONSTANTLY refusing sex… then your marriage has some major issues. That’s not what I’m talking about either.

But, if we look at the system that Prager is setting up… what is consent, if sex within marriage is, for a woman, a duty? An obligation? An unconditional requirement? What does “no” mean in a system where “no” isn’t an option?

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mygif

Bea, show me anywhere in Prager’s article, or in my comment, where it’s stated or even implied that “a marriage license means that my husband has on demand access to my body, and that refusal isn’t an option”. You can’t because it never happened except in your head. So by all means, continue to argue with yourself. You might even win.

Gloria, there’s been times I haven’t been in the mood myself. I’m usually open to being convinced otherwise, particularly if my lady’s need for intimacy is strong. But certainly I’d never consider sex if myself or my partner was “uneasy, then scared, and then downright terrified”. That calls for a cuddle, or just leaving someone the hell alone if that’s what he or she wishes. If you think I’m arguing against 100% mutual consent, you’re wrong. And I don’t think Prager is arguing against that either. I think he’s a colossal dickhead for a dozen other reasons, but I think he’s being attacked unfairly with the “marital rape” stuff. And I don’t think people should cheapen the word “rape” just to make rhetorical points.

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mygif

I honestly hadn’t looked at it that way, Bea, and you’ve given me a lot to think about.

The one thing I don’t have to think about is this: if our society changed into one where women were actually expected to behave the way Prager says they should…then yes, that would be terrible.

@Will: Unless I missed something, Prager doesn’t go so far as to say that refusal should never be an option, but he does say that it shouldn’t happen very often. Which seems to be sort of the same as saying “if you turn down your husband then you had better have a damned good reason, otherwise you are a bad wife.” Now if that was how the majority of people in society thought, then it is very possible that women would submit to certain things that were unpleasant for them out of societal pressure, and that raises the question of whether there can be real consent if there’s that kind of pressure on them.

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mygif

Will– you’re right, Prager never explicitly said that. I’m taking his argument to it’s logical conclusion, or it’s logical extreme, if you will.

If a woman really ought not refuse her husband sex, based on her “mood”, then it seems to me to suggest that part of her role as a wife is to provide her husband with sex, whether she particularly feels like it or not. I think this is a troubling sentiment, and expanding upon it (and I am expanding– you’re right to suggest I am, and I fully admit it), I think that we get into a whole world of trouble.

So, no, Prager does not explicitly state a lot of the things that I am taking out of his argument. But I think the seeds of these next steps are certainly there, and I don’t think it’s an inconcievable leap to go from the one to the other. In fact, I think it’s disturbingly easy, which is why I’ve reacted so strongly against it.

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