Hello Secular Woman »« Since 2007

Marry the nice rapist, dear

Oh, human beings, sometimes I despair of you. The arrangements you come up with! Do you just get shit-faced drunk one night and decide all the rules, or what?

There’s this idea that letting a rapist avoid jail by “marrying” the young girl he repeatedly raped, for instance – that’s a real dud. I’ll tell you why. You forgot the girl!! It’s about the man who did the raping, and the men who own the girl. This means a shit life for the girl! Did you just not notice that, or what? Pay attention, ffs.

In April, the unidentified girl was shopping in the northern city of Zarqa when a 19-year-old man kidnapped her, took her to the desert where he had a pitched a tent and raped her for three consecutive days, judicial sources said.

She’s 14.

Police found the girl during a routine patrol, drove her back to her family home and arrested the man.

Within days news emerged that the boy had agreed to marry the girl, while all charges against him have been dropped.

The boy had agreed to marry the girl. Well that’s nice, but he had also agreed to rape her – he agreed with himself – so why is his agreement so crucial while hers is left entirely out of the picture? What, in short, is the difference between her life in that tent and her life “married” to the man who grabbed her, abducted her, and raped her for three days? “Oh noez, he raped you! Well we’ll fix that: now he gets to rape you legally forever. You’re welcome.”

Israa Tawalbeh, the country’s first woman coroner, sees “nothing wrong in Article 308 as such”.

“The problem is how some local and international human rights groups interpret the law,” she said.

“Accepting marriage under Article 308 is better than leaving girls to be killed by their parents or relatives,” she said. “I think the law fits our society and reality. It protects the girls by forcing attackers to marry them.”

Ah but there’s a third possibility: the girls’ parents or relatives don’t kill them anyway. Didn’t think of that, didja!

 

Comments

  1. Ruth says

    Related to this, I gave up on the Kama Sutra when I got to the part where it recommends kidnap and rape as a way for a man to ‘have’ a woman he wants. It’s fairly low down the list of methods, apparently you’re first supposed to try and get her father’s agreement, and, failing that, hers, but if you can’t get either, then obviously you have to rape her.

    I still get annoyed when people recommend the Kama Sutra as a sex-positive resource.

  2. Blondin says

    I get it. The girl is nothing but a burden to her parents so the rapist is doing them a favour by taking her off their hands. It’s win-win. He avoids jail by taking on their burden, they avoid the inconvenience of having to arrange her death. Have we overlooked anything?

  3. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    “Accepting marriage under Article 308 is better than leaving girls to be killed by their parents or relatives,” she said. “I think the law fits our society and reality. It protects the girls by forcing attackers to marry them.”

    The most horrifying part of about this statement is, she’s right. But, to be clear, she’s ‘right’ in the most fucked up way possible.

    Yeah, obstensibly it is better to be ‘allowed’ to go on living, rather than being killed by your family members for the crime of being a victim of a crime where ‘family honor’ in more important than living, breathing human beings.

    As long as you don’t think about what the girl’s life will like with her rapist husband, that is. Leaving aside the obvious fact that this just mean more rape for this girl – how much abuse will she get because of his resentment over having been ‘forced’ to marry her?

    And, where are all the “there are bigger things to worry about, you silly femnazi bitches” dudes now? Here it is! You’re MORE IMPORTANT issue to deal with, Msrs. “Dear Muslimas”!

    *crickets*

  4. says

    “Accepting marriage under Article 308 is better than leaving girls to be killed by their parents or relatives,” she said. “I think the law fits our society and reality. It protects the girls by forcing attackers to marry them.”

    I think what she’s trying to say is that many parents WILL murder their daughters for the crime of having been raped, no matter what laws are put in place to protect the girls from honor-killing. In such a culture, it’s more feasible for law enforcement to give the rapist a “get out of jail” card which takes away the family’s motivation to murder her and the community’s grounds to shun her than it is to prevent families from murdering and communities from shunning their girls and women who’ve been raped. This is probably a culture in which girls don’t have any say in whom they marry, and a very difficult time leaving an abusive marriage no matter how it begins.

    Of course, this is also the coroner who says:

    “Actual rape cases are rare in our society. Sometimes, girls under 18 lose their virginity to force their families to accept marriage to their boyfriends. The law categorises this as rape.”

    So, I guess it’s a lot easier to justify “marry the rapist” as a way to prevent honor killings if you figure most of the girls are actually getting what they want.

  5. says

    Alyson – I know. It’s the whole set-up I’m shouting at, including the part where being killed is the only alterantive to being “married” to your rapist.

  6. fastlane says

    So, in their view, marriage is worse punishment than prison? Or does that aspect not even come into consideration? I’m just trying to figure the ‘legal’ aspect of this, since delving into the moral/ethical side of it is just too fucking depressing.

  7. says

    fastlane, in such a worldview the rapist marrying his victim is not a punishment for him. It removes the crime aspect entirely, because then he didn’t violate – retroactively – another man’s property but his own.

  8. says

    Look at it this way.

    The rape (or in this case the multiple rapes) broke the seal. The girl is now broken, and contaminated. She can’t be used by anyone else, and this is a disgrace to her male relatives.

    The rapist replaces the seal by “marrying” her. She’s no longer broken and contaminated because the guy who is poking her is “married” to her. The damage is undone.

    It all works a treat provided you think of the girl as a kind of bottle as opposed to a human being with a mind.

  9. Synfandel says

    This is the sort of thing we might be setting women up for in the Arab world when we encourage or support the overthrowing of dictators. For some members of society—especially women—the Islamist regime that replaces the dictator may be little improvement.

  10. b. says

    But, but, but….it’s Biblical! Let’s all hear it for Deuteronomy:

    “If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.”

    I am having one hell of a time wrapping my head around the idea of “protecting” someone by marrying them off to their rapist. That’s wrong on so many levels.

  11. Ben O'Steen says

    This is deeply offensive and shocking to hear about.

    I can only add that this ‘punishment’ is in Deuteronomy too:

    28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered,

    29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

    Deuteronomy 22:28-29

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+22:28-29

  12. carpenterman says

    Marriage shouldn’t be an option. This man shouldn’t be alive anymore. What the fuck is wrong with the men of this girl’s family, that they would kill HER and not HIM? Okay,guys, so you’re stuck in a superstitious, violent, bronze age mentality, fine; you can’t react like civilized human beings because you aren’t, I get it; so why aren’t you at least KILLING THE FUCKING RAPIST, if you *have* to kill someone for your “honor’s” sake?! What is WRONG with these people?!
    Frank Zappa said, “I’m not black, but there are times I wish I could say I’m not white”. Sometimes I feel the same way about being a man.

  13. Dianne says

    why aren’t you at least KILLING THE FUCKING RAPIST, if you *have* to kill someone for your “honor’s” sake?!

    Well, if it were my daughter or sister or friend that this happened to, I’d make sure she didn’t want to be the person who had the honor of killing him before going out and doing the deed myself…she’s the victim and should have first refusal.

    I’m reminded of a domestic abuse (boyfriend abusing girlfriend) case in the US a few years ago where the judge ordered the man in the case to marry his victim. The best I can say for it is I’m pretty sure the ruling was overturned.

  14. says

    [carpenterman]: Okay,guys, so you’re stuck in a superstitious, violent, bronze age mentality, fine; you can’t react like civilized human beings because you aren’t, I get it; so why aren’t you at least KILLING THE FUCKING RAPIST, if you *have* to kill someone for your “honor’s” sake?!

    Well, yeah. If it were about honor, obviously you would have to kill the rapist, not the victim. However, it’s not actually about honor at all. It’s about making women into property.

    That said, I don’t endorse execution (whether by vigilantes or society) as a punishment for rape.

  15. says

    @kagerato:

    It’s about honour *and* property. The rapist damaged the father’s property (the daughter is no longer a virgin), thus showing that the father is not capable of properly taking care of his property, and diminishing the perception of his power (and presumably by extension his virility).

    As for the “execution” it seems to me that the reason that the young woman would be killed is not so much for punishment as because, as “damaged goods” she no longer has any purpose to her life.

    (Interesting to note that elsewhere in Deut 22, it says that if a man has sex with a betrothed virgin, both of them should be killed if the act occurs within screaming distance of the city, but if it’s beyond screaming distance, only the man gets killed. But this is only for a virgin who has already been designated as someone else’s property – otherwise the rapist can just pay her father (as pointed out upthread). I wonder why the rapist couldn’t just pay the fiance?)

    If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

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