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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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fromafar2013
fromafar2013
7 years ago

@ Kate

If you agreed, you could have said something like, “I agree!”

Clear and concise!

Not used phrases like, ‘his woman’, ‘rape’ in scare quotes, and that entire last paragraph. I hope you are saying that not wanting to have sex is sometimes a symptom of a potentially larger problem, not the problem itself, correct? Which even then, fails to recognize health issues and stress, etc that could contribute to low sex drive regardless of affection (and affects both men and women).

KathleenB
KathleenB
7 years ago

Unplugging? WTF?!?

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

Huh. And she totally doesn’t get Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club — or Chuck. In real life he’s a quirky gay man who always referred to his novel as a “love story.”

And this Chicken Soup for the Soul bullshit:

“We must learn to both know and not know at the same time: not to bury our heads in the sand, but to walk on top of the sand without sinking into it.”

Worst fortune cookie ever!

Kate
7 years ago

@Marie:

“then you need to learn how to communicate better.”
I’ll work on it 😉 I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with the term scare quotes. Perhaps you can enlighten me. I always put contentious words liable to be misinterpreted in quotes.

“Care to respond to any of the comments on your creepiness here?”
Not really, but what the hey. I said there shouldn’t ever be a need for marital rape. If that’s creepy, I guess I’m a creep.

Ally S
7 years ago

I said there shouldn’t ever be a need for marital rape.

But the “need” or lack thereof for marital rape is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether marital rape is morally acceptable. There’s no reason to even consider the men who “worry” about whether they “need” to rape their spouses.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Kate: did you and Minty get married, or have you unplugged?

KathleenB
KathleenB
7 years ago

I’ve spent most of my life in and around water and beaches, and I can say with near-total certainty that it is impossible to walk on top of sand. Sand does not work like that. There are, however certain circumstances when one can walk across a small lake…

Shiraz
Shiraz
7 years ago

Why use the word “need” at all? Like there’s a possibility that a scenario will arise in which rape will be needed? Do you believe in corrective rape or rape as punishment? What gives?

Kate
7 years ago

@David: “I probably should give it a good skim and write something about it.”

Nah. It’d be bad for our egos. Not to mention the cost of enlarging all the door frames.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

I think Kate might actually be creepier than her husband.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Kate: David writing about you would not be the ego boost you’re envisioning, unless mockery is your kink.

Fade
Fade
7 years ago

@Fade: “i am really confused by kate”

lol Let me clear things up. I was agreeing with you. Shocking, huh! 😉

but i didn’t say anything. if i didn’t say anything it’s pretty hard to agree with me.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: Kate

Wow, try and be more passive-aggressive. You didn’t use enough smilies and “subtle” barbs there.

fromafar2013
fromafar2013
7 years ago

@ Kate

Yeah, if that’s the story you’re sticking with, your word choice needs some work.

And scare quotes are “quotations” around a word that imply that you don’t believe or agree with the common meaning or implications of the word or phrase. Scare quotes around the word rape imply (in that context) that you don’t think marital rape is even really a type of rape and just used that word because everyone else is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes

@Chaos-Engineer

Thanks for the context! Interesting…

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@kate

“then you need to learn how to communicate better.”
I’ll work on it 😉 I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with the term scare quotes. Perhaps you can enlighten me. I always put contentious words liable to be misinterpreted in quotes.

Yeah. Cuz marital rape is sooooooooooo ‘contentious’.

You described scare quotes perfectly. You think it’s controversial, you don’t necessarily believe it (correct me if I’m wrong) so you put it in quotes to act like it’s not real :/

“Care to respond to any of the comments on your creepiness here?”
Not really, but what the hey. I said there shouldn’t ever be a need for marital rape. If that’s creepy, I guess I’m a creep.

There is not a need for marital rape. And you’re acting like there is. Even with the “shouldn’t be” you’re acting like there is. That’s why you are creepy.

@shiraz

Why use the word “need” at all? Like there’s a possibility that a scenario will arise in which rape will be needed? Do you believe in corrective rape or rape as punishment? What gives?

Yup. :/ and kate wonders why she’s raising alarms…

Fade
Fade
7 years ago

. I said there shouldn’t ever be a need for marital rape. If that’s creepy, I guess I’m a creep.

there is never. ever. a need for rape.

dustedeste
dustedeste
7 years ago

I always put contentious words liable to be misinterpreted in quotes.

I am… not seeing… how there was any possibility for misinterpretation or contention about the word “rape” there.

-headdesk-

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: shiraz

Why use the word “need” at all? Like there’s a possibility that a scenario will arise in which rape will be needed?

Well, you know, some people have needs… (WARNING: that link goes to letters where a rapist discusses his “need” for sex, consensual or non.)

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

I wouldn’t call it raising alarms so much as confirming that, yep, this is the kind of woman who’d knowingly marry an MRA.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

There’s definitely some Special Snowflaking going on with Kate.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

I guess when you can just pretend rape will never happen to you because your husband will never NEED to, that WOULD confer a feeling of superiority, yes.

Enjoy that sand, Kate.

Kate
7 years ago

@Fade: I was referring to “you” as representative of the general sentiment of the commentariat. And now I will bid “you” (meaning all of you) adieu. Have a pleasant evening.

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@kate

Don’t forget to stick to the flounce!

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

*shakes head sadly* Marie, Marie, they never stick the flounce.

I love how people can just say terrible things all politely with smiley faces and expect that to make the things they saw perfectly okay. *eyeroll*

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