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Free Northerner: "The concept of marital rape creates the trauma of marital rape." And spouses who say "no" to sex are sinners.

Just because she says  "I do," it doesn't preclude herfrom saying "no" ever again.
Just because she says “I do,” it doesn’t preclude her from saying “no” ever again.

Free Northerner is a “Dark Enlightenment” blogger who describes himself as “a Christian and a reactionary monarchist from British North America” who,

after a period of red pill exploration … decided to embrace Christian masculinity. I am working to improve myself for God’s glory. My plan is to find a wife and raise a large family with traditional values.

If any woman ever decides to marry him – and I sincerely hope no one ever does — she should be aware that her Darkly Enlightened husband does not believe there is such a thing as marital rape.

In a recent post, Free Northerner set forth the essentially the same argument as his fellow reactionary Vox Day: that the marriage contract provides “sexual consent … for life,” and that those who argue for the existence of marital rape are thereby undermining the legitimacy of marriage itself. And then he adds some tweaks that make his terrible  argument even more terrible than that of Mr. Day. But we’ll get to those in a moment.

First, his basic claim:

Marital non-consent is an impossibility: if there is non-consent, there is no marriage; if there is marriage, there can not be non-consent.

So if a wife doesn’t want sex and her husband forces it on her – whether she is screaming no and fighting her husband, or if she is so cowed she can’t say a word – her “no” simply doesn’t count, because of the one time she said “I do.”

Free Northerner, a man of many short paragraphs, attempts to give a Christian justification for his stance:

The basis of Christian marriage is laid out in Genesis and reiterated in the Gospels. The man and wife become one flesh.

Can a person commit a non-consensual act upon their own flesh?

The very idea is absurd.

Indeed, he argues that anyone who believes that there is such a thing as marital rape isn’t a real Christian:

Any statement that there can be non-consent in marriage is an attack on the fundamental basis of Christian marriage and the Christian family.

And, furthermore, that anyone who says “no” to their spouse is a sinner:

The Bible is very clear that you should not deny your spouse sex. Someone who does is sinning.

But, hey, he’s no monster. If your spouse says no, even if this is Very Wrong because the Bible Told Him So, Free Northerner does acknowledge that it might not be so terribly polite or practical to go ahead and rape have perfectly justifiable marital sex with them.

All that being said, this should not be taken as encouragement to take your spouse if the spouse is saying no. Your spouse may be sinning and consenting, but it would not be the loving thing to do and might be sinful in itself. As well, from a practical standpoint, the law does frown upon it.

Free Northerner then pulls a very Warren Farrell-esque move. You may recall that in discussing his incest research in the 1970s, Farrell, the intellectual grandfather of the Men’s Rights movement, suggested that much of the trauma of incest might come not from the incest itself but from society’s negative attitudes towards it.

Free Northerner makes the same argument, a bit more forcefully, with regard to marital rape, claiming that the real trauma of marital rape comes not from one spouse forcing sex on another but on the notion that this violation is a violation.

That is, the real trauma of marital rape is caused by the idea of marital rape.

Here’s how he puts it:

The trauma of rape does not primarily come from its physical aspects, but rather its psychological aspects. The trauma comes from the violation.

If this is so, it stands to reason if there is no sense of psychological violation, there is no trauma.

The creation of the concept of marital rape, creates the idea that a spouse can be violated in marriage where the idea didn’t exist previously. Undesired sex that would have been an unpleasant duty is made traumatic by removing the psychological aspect of duty from it and imputing a psychological aspect of violation to it.

I think it likely, the psychological trauma of marital rape only becomes a reality because of the belief that there can be such a concept as marital rape. Pushing the concept of marital rape increases the likelihood of trauma from marital rape; the very concept of marital rape creates the trauma of marital rape.

Anyone with any degree of real human empathy can see that this is pernicious bullshit.

And in fact, Free Northerner has it completely backwards: it’s the fact that people don’t take marital rape seriously that makes it worse.

Even though marital rape is now illegal in the United States, numerous surveys reveal that both men and women take it less seriously than stranger rape, and there are still many who, like Free Northerner, don’t believe that it is rape at all. As late as the mid-1990s, fully half of the male college students answering one survey on the topic said that it wasn’t possible for husbands to rape their wives.

Yet numerous studies suggest that marital rape can actually be more traumatizing than stranger rape, both emotionally and physically. Rape by an intimate partner represents a profound betrayal of trust; it may be part of a broader pattern of mental and physical abuse, and it is likely to be repeated. Most wives who are raped are raped more than once, with a third of them raped twenty or more times. And contrary to what many believe, survivors of marital rape are often subject to more extreme physical violence than survivors of stranger rape.

Despite all this, many wives remain trapped in violent marriages without any outside support. Many raped wives are financially dependent on their husband-rapists and find it difficult if not impossible to leave; meanwhile, they’re often pressured to stay by friends and relatives who don’t even consider what happened to them to have been rape. Thus their trauma is made worse by the cultural denial that marital rape is rape.

It’s not the idea of marital rape that causes trauma; it is the fact of it. It is marital rape apologists like Vox Day and Free Northerner who enable it in the first place – and make the trauma worse once it happens.

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Marie
Marie
8 years ago

@kate

@Marie: People can already do numbers 1-4. So how do you account for its continued existence? Long story short: your way isn’t working.

It’s decreasing. Plus, you don’t do 1-4. That’s why I set them out there. Because if you think people do do 1-4, why the fuck aren’t you doing them.

@erica

If someone’s continually refusing you sex, something is already wrong. Forcing them is not the way to fix it!

Um, or they just don’t want to have sex (or don’t want to have sex with you.) Dumping them is an option, but the lack of sex doesn’t mean something is wrong.

Ledasmom
Ledasmom
8 years ago

What, Kate’s logic is that anything that doesn’t work 100% is ineffective and useless?
Well, there goes pretty much all of medicine, then. Also seatbelts, bike helmets, fire alarms, the fire department, and all human progress ever, because obviously if one person anywhere dies of starvation, agriculture is Just No Good.
Even without the vile implications of a possible “need” for rape, Kate’s logic is laughable.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

I love how she keeps saying “have a pleasant day,” as though that’ll somehow persuade us she came here to wish us well.

dustedeste
dustedeste
8 years ago

Huh, I’d like to hear how Kate’s policy of just not calling sex under duress rape is working at reducing the rate of rape for anyone who actually knows what rape is. I mean, really.

Also, in answer to this:

Let me guess who’s responsible for keeping up the relationship skills in Kate’s scenario. Fuck off, Kate.

I feel like we did just recently hear from Kate about how the tone in her relationship is managed, and that it is managed by Kate always smiling and not being allowed to have negative emotions, and that she was advocating that this is the woman’s role in a relationship. Do correct me if I’m wrong and that was some other pretend-feminist MRA-girlfriend.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

dustedeste: That was kate and her secret of a happy relationship. ABS: Always Be Smiling.

kittehserf
8 years ago

Am I the only person who thinks Kate’s behavior merits a banhammer? I’m pretty upset about this shooting, so maybe my temperature gauge is off-kilter.

May be posting after the fact, but yes, I think Kate’s rape apologia (or, seriously, rape advocacy, since she expects women to submit to men whether we want sex or not) warrant the banhammer. She’s even grosser than Minty, and that’s saying something.

Hey troll: you’re saying I should let some man inside my body when I don’t want him there, just because we’re in a relationship and he has a boner.

Fuck you forever.

kittehserf
8 years ago

ABS: Always Be Smiling.

I’m never gonna see the Australian Bureau of Statistics the same way again.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

RE: hellkell

That was kate and her secret of a happy relationship. ABS: Always Be Smiling.

As someone who managed the Raping Year by dissociating and constantly faking happiness (because abuse would escalate if we expressed any sort of resistance or unhappiness), this really deeply horrifies me. I mean, I figured I could be a victim or a volunteer, so might as well make it feel somewhat under my control and be a “volunteer.” *shudder*

Also, my mental illness is the type that our brain DOES yank out certain sprockets to keep us from feeling too unhappy. It’s actually incredibly horrifying and creepy, to both us and other people.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

LBT: I’m sorry. Apologies if I triggered you.

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

Oh no, it’s totally okay! It’s just, people act like being able to magically make themselves happy is a panacea, when actually, it’s more like those YA dystopias that send you screaming into the night!

emilygoddess
8 years ago

If that doesn’t work out, he’s going to try the local UCC, which is a denomination he’s been with before and also has a local trans meeting.

I was gonna suggest the UCC, actually, since you said he was Christian. They’re like the Christian version of UU and the UUA has partnered with them on social justice stuff before. The North Carolina UCC is suing the state, arguing that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage infringes on their religious freedom to marry gay couples. So, yeah, the kind of Christians I can get behind.

Which is all moot if he likes the church he’s found, but other Mammotheers might find it useful…

LBT
LBT
8 years ago

Yeah, the UCC he went to in Texas made a positive impression on him. He kinda likes traditional trappings, not traditional ethics.

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

@emilygoddess*

*I had a serious brain bloop and almost misread your name as ‘free hugs’. I don’t know why.

I was gonna suggest the UCC, actually, since you said he was Christian. They’re like the Christian version of UU and the UUA has partnered with them on social justice stuff before. The North Carolina UCC is suing the state, arguing that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage infringes on their religious freedom to marry gay couples. So, yeah, the kind of Christians I can get behind.

:3 It’s nice to hear there are actually some churches that aren’t supporting homophobia, especially since I left my last one because of it. (along with the notes from the older priests pantsfeelings)

Zolnier
8 years ago

Okay what the Hell is “British North America”? Are we talking the States, or Canada? Canada would make slightly more sense.

dustedeste
dustedeste
8 years ago

@Zolnier:

My assumption was probably one of the British-er parts of Canada, when considering the addition of the “northern” in the name. Which would make him not-unlikely to be in the province I’m in. Of course, I could just be reading too much into things, and too influenced by my own surroundings in my assumptions.

Zolnier
8 years ago

I know of a Texan monarchist, apparently the idea is that the King of America should be Washington’s descendent…. even though I’m pretty sure Washington didn’t have any biological kids that we know of.

Americans seem to have a odd longing for old-fashioned monarchism for a nation state that’s been a republic since its inception.

Take in point a television program my younger sister used to watch quite a bit, A Pair of Kings, that show seemed to think the kid trying to overthrow his cousins who use their crown as nothing but an excuse for indolence and a way of extracting intimacy from one of their servants was the baddie.

….I’m sorry I just heard that awful theme song for the first time in two years and I needed to complain.

oogenhand
8 years ago

Reblogged this on oogenhand.

Samantha
7 years ago

http://truethoughtsofcourage.blogspot.co.nz/
Blog about marital rape….

Kay Cee
7 years ago

Sorry im late to the party but got to reply to ceebarks:
Might you be talking about this blog by Dr. Peter Gray, Freedom to Learn, specifically this post? http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201304/the-most-basic-freedom-is-freedom-quit

samantha
samantha
7 years ago
Reply to  Kay Cee

Sorry im late to the party but got to reply to ceebarks:
Might you be talking about this blog by Dr. Peter Gray, Freedom to Learn, specifically this post? http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201304/the-most-basic-freedom-is-freedom-quit

Thank you so much for that! I read it and am sending the url to everyone I know. I could not agree more with Dr. Gray.

Woo!

kellyrtillson
7 years ago

Auuuuggghhh. Guys, pkease believe me when I say: this man is not really a Christian. This is not an idea Jesus word support. And the majority of normal Christian churches would be horrified by this. This kind of shit is so embarrassing. This is like “stone the nonbeliever” Christianity, which forgets that Jesus literally stopped a crowd from stoning someone.

Spindrift
Spindrift
7 years ago

Someone can identify as a christian and still be a terrible person. Christians come in many forms.

You can say “he sucks at being a good christian for X and Y reasons”, but I don’t think you get to decide who is and isn’t a christian. That’s just a “no true scotsman” fallacy.

KL
KL
7 years ago

I wonder if their “logic” holds in same sex marriages? If it is a man forcing another man, would they suddenly see a problem?

KL
KL
7 years ago

Kelly – Jesus believed divorce was very wrong, and the old testament is very pro-rape.

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