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Men on ‘marriage strike’ against marital rape laws. Some people laugh, say good riddance

As the Delhi High Court hears the plea on marital rape, #MarriageStrike has seen more than 68 thousand tweets in the last 2-3 days.

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A curious hashtag called ‘marriage strikes’ has appeared in recent days as a response to the Delhi High Court case on marital rape. No, women are not exiting the institution of marriage in this online debate. It is men who are striking marriage for a year as a counter to the court proceedings.

A two-judge bench at the Delhi High Court led by Justice Rajiv Shakdher and C Hari Shankar is hearing petitions challenging the marital status giving immunity to men having non-consensual sex with their wives.

At present, a man having non-consensual sex with his wife who is above 18 years of age, cannot be charged with the laws pertaining to rape. Hence, if a woman says no to sex to her husband and if he sexually abuses her, the man will not be charged with rape (but can be charged with domestic violence and other non-sexual offences). This downplays the woman’s say in sexual intercourse after marriage, which is unconstitutional, the petitioners (women’s rights activists) have argued.

But on Twitter, the debate has become a ‘feminist’ versus ‘save men’ issue.

Some are taking this strike seriously (on social media) – while others are having fun – calling it a ‘win-win’ for the feminist movement.

 


Also read: Divorce isn’t the problem. Staying in bad marriage for the sake of kids is


Who is trending #MarriageStrike?

Men who are trending #MarriageStrike are saying they will not marry at all if more power is given to women in marital relationships. The prime fear is that Indian women will ‘misuse’ the power to falsely implicate men.

According to social media insights provided by online tool TalkWalker app, between 18 and 20 January (till 12pm), more than 66.8 thousand tweets contained the hashtag #MarriageStrike.

The responsibility of the trend has been taken by Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), a men’s rights advocacy group founded in 2005.

By doing so, they are requesting the lawyers at the Delhi High Court to “stop treating men as 2nd class citizens and meet (their) basic demands, then they can call for any number of laws for women”.

The trend set by SIFF talks about the false cases women have drawn against men by using the provisions of cruelty and domestic violence. However, the top tweets gaining attention on Twitter misspell the word ‘consensual sex’ trivialising the whole debate.

A tweet by Ashraf Ansari — no bio on Twitter — posted a picture which said ‘having sex with your own wife is a crime, but your wife having sex with someone else is not’ has gained more than 1,800 likes by the time this story was filed.

 

A Twitter user named @suprakashkh even changed the cautionary line added at the end of advertisements for mutual funds and stock markets.

 

A user named Manish Sindwani equated the two, saying — ‘Marital Rape = Marriage Strike’.

 

Amit Lakhani, a men’s rights activist said that due to the fear of being accused of marital rape, many men would not like to get married at all.

 


Also read: Sober swiping? Sanskaari Indians are ditching matrimonial sites for dating apps


Feminists rejoice

But people in favour of laws governing ‘consensual’ sex in marriage are not opposing the trend #MarriageStrike as they believe that those against consensual sex are the ones boycotting the marriage.

Psychologist Lakshmi Sreenivasan hopes that this strike is never pulled back.

 

A Twitter user @up16stanaccount said that this is the greatest move Indian men have ever pulled as it exposes the ‘awful institution of marriage’.

 

Comedian Aditi Mittal even asked (we don’t know if sarcastically) — if this trend was a promise or a threat?

 

Meena Kandasamy, feminist and author, said that men who are trending #MarriageStrike are potential rapists. She questioned why would a self-respecting person not want marital rape to be criminalised?

 

Duncan, a gay man living in the United Kingdom, also wrote about his happiness on how marital rape is criminal in the United Kingdom.

Views are personal.

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