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The World According to M.I.S.S.: Afghan Rape Law

The World According to M.I.S.S.: Afghan Rape Law

The World According to M.I.S.S.: Afghan Rape Law

Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to have been born in a country where my rights as a woman have been fought for and upheld through my entire lifetime. Sometimes I take for granted the fact that I’m able to do whatever I want with my body, work where ever I want, have children when and if I please, and the fact that in the eyes of my government my worth is equal to that of a man. But then I read articles about women all over the world that do not have the same rights as I have and I am reminded once again how lucky I am.

Afghani President Hamid Karzai is being accused of trying to win votes in Afghanistan’s presidential election by supporting and pushing a law that the UN says legalizes rape within marriage and apparently bans women from even stepping outside their homes without the permission of their husbands. This said law was signed earlier in March despite it being heavily protested against by human rights activists and Afghan women alike.

Critics of this law are forecasting that the treatment of women in Afghanistan will be “worse that during the Taliban.” In addition to legalizing marital rape, the law is said to also require Afghan women to obtain permission from their husbands to do simple things like go to see a doctor, go to school or work, and is even said to eliminate to child custody rights of women if the marriage dissolves or she is left as a widow.

The legislation is said to apply to the Shia people and contains this provision:

“As long as the husband is not traveling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night,” Article 132 of the law says. “Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband.”

President Obama describes the law as abhorrent (just a fancy word for disgusting), and I completely agree. I think it’s sickening that women are being forced to comply with laws and legislation that do not mean well for them in any way. Wherever you are, I think we should take a moment to relish in the fact that some of us have it better than most. My heart goes out to these women…

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7 Responses to “The World According to M.I.S.S.: Afghan Rape Law”

  1. Rachel T. rachie says:

    omg i did not know about this, thanks for highlighting the issue D and i totally feel you on the issue

  2. Isis Nicole Isis Nicole says:

    my heart goes out to these women too.

  3. Jana says:

    the idea that this is happening is outrageous and offensive. I thought my grandmother had it rough being a woman in the 1950’s in America. I wonder about the women behind all the layers and all that cloth… I wonder what they are thinking. This is a social injustice beyond reproach. I’m outraged!

  4. SJS says:

    This law is horrifying, no doubt. But why does the issue have to be framed in terms of the ‘civilized’ and ‘enlightened’ West vs. the ‘backward,’ Muslim East? Though this is not stated outright it is the unstated subtext of this post. I am wary of these kinds of assumptions about American feminist progress considering the United States has one of the highest domestic abuse rates and one of the most relentlessly patriarchal cultures in the world. Why does feminism everywhere have to look the same? Instead of taking the time to “relish in the fact that some of us have it better than most” maybe we should think critically about the ways in which we can empathize with women around the world without reconstructing Orientalist stereotypes about them or their cultures ( which have, significantly, also been used as justifications for continued military occupations of these areas).

  5. Gabriella GDK says:

    Hi SJS,
    I think you bring up valid points. But, I read the article and I don’t think Dee did any of the things you’re pointing out. I don’t think she was stereotyping – rather she was presenting the facts and stating that she felt lucky. We do have it pretty good here. Do we have more to fix? Hell, yes. Most women don’t know that in the U.S. some states don’t have marital rape laws on the books – husbands can be prosecuted for assault or battery but not rape. It’s not talked about here but we have a long way to go everywhere.

  6. Isis Nicole Isis Nicole says:

    oh and by the way Dee, the picture chosen for this post is wonderful.

  7. SJS says:

    Hi GDK,
    Thanks for your response. I did point out in my criticism that I think the problem in the post has more to do with the implicit assumptions it makes rather than what is explicitly stated. However, this is certainly an important issue to be aware of and I appreciate the post, if only for that reason. I also appreciate that this blog consciously makes space for these kinds of discussions.


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