Amidst the current ongoing National Debate on "Marital Rape," it is crucial that the broad definition and perceptions of rape are put on for discussion and analyzed again.
The first two descriptions of the seven descriptions mentioned in Section 375 (for defining rape) are:
First. Against her will.
Secondly. Without her consent.
*Her = Woman
Exception 2 in Section 375 (for defining rape) mentions:
Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.
Thus, Exception 2 nullifies the importance of the first and second descriptions of rape, as mentioned in Section 375.
One fact that needs no logic or explanation is that "for any sexual activity, the will and (conscious) consent of the other partner is of utmost importance." and "No means a No."
It should apply to the sexual activity with the spouse as well.
Hence exception 2 in Section 375 needs to be reevaluated and redefined.
The darker side is the misuse of the law against her husband for other vested interests and to settle other scores such as revenge or a personal vendetta. We have witnessed such abuse with different sections and laws such as Dowry and Domestic violence acts.
In this era, where men and women are considered equal in position, power, and decision-making, there is a need to modify the definition of rape and not be limited to only "man to woman." It can be another "woman to man" way in certain circumstances. Let's analyze the definition of rape as defined under Section 375. We will find that a woman can also perform several activities mentioned in the section as the defined activity of rape to man.
For example, unnatural penetration of an object in an orifice or another body part, application of mouth to an orifice in a sexual manner, and consent for the sexual activity taken under pressure (of position). Such incidences do happen in society and are not uncommon.
Overall, the act of rape needs to be redefined, securing the rights of every individual irrespective of gender.
Dr. Deepak Chaturvedi; M.D.(Medicine)
The content of this article is the author's personal opinion. It is not to harm or hurt any feelings of any individual, community, or group.