I’ve written posts focussing on Afghanistan’s marital rape law, as have others here. (See elp’s below.) It’s an appropriate object of outrage. HOWEVER it’s important to note that this actually seems to be the same law that forbids women from leaving the house without male permission. (JJ mentioned this bit here.) Both of these are grotesque infringements on women’s freedom, yet the rape law is getting far more coverage. Non-western feminists have often criticised Western feminists for so strongly prioritising sexual matters, and I wonder if this is an instance of that. Though it may also be that the marital rape law has more resonance for Westerners– we’re not so far historically from allowing marital rape (1992, in the UK), but we’re very far from forbidding women to leave the house. (It’s worth noting that it’s not at all surprising for bloggers to focus on the rape law, since it’s getting all the press. What’s more interesting is the fact that this is getting all the press– and that even news articles which mention the other bits of the law still have “rape law” as their headline.)
In case anyone (other than me) hadn’t seen this:
I’m not sure I feel completely satisfied with what he’s said. Am I being too picky?
Defiance of gender stereotypes? Nope, don’t think so. (Thanks, Sally!)