No, it’s not the 17th century

Sometimes I think this magical box I type on is from the future, because the world outside remains afraid of falling off the edge, gods throwing lightning, witches’ flying limits, and alien lizard monsters. For example, this isn’t from the 17th century:

A Norwegian woman who was given a prison sentence for extramarital sex after she had reported being raped while on a visit to Dubai has been pardoned and told she is free to leave the country.

No, that’s from earlier today.

[Deborah] Dalelv alleged that she was raped in March by a colleague, but was charged with having sex outside marriage after going to the police.

As is a trend with women and conservative Islamic world-views, as seen in Dubai, women having sex with anyone that’s not her Allah-annointed, usually significantly older, Manhusbander is seen as “sex outside of marriage”.

Well, yessss. But that’s an ill-considered definition of this rape. Sure a woman was harmed, assaulted, and suffered but come on: She had sex with someone who hasn’t her husband!

No question of whether it was consensual; no question of whether she was harmed. The focus is on the fact that it wasn’t her husband. Of course, if her husband raped her, we know that marital rape is sometimes not equated with rape.

Women are not persons, here: they’re breeding factories run by a single owner. They’re walking wombs.

This should not be happening and thankfully we are more aware of when it does, so we can warn, avoid and fight against it.

And yet it will continue. Just look at the obsession – yes, including my own on Twitter for mockery purposes – with Kate Middleton’s breeding.

Jason Schreier captured my perspective

Let’s be clear: We’re targeting not really the Royal Family – who might be perfectly nice people – but the weird fact that people care. That the Daily Beast still has a section on its site dedicated to the Monarchy – and not in an historic sense – adds to this.

Sometimes I think we invented fast-traveling, instantaneous information technology for the wrong species. But when I’m made aware of horror stories like Dalelv’s, I can only hope that being more aware might add to us being more pro-active in combating this very stupid views.

UPDATE: Ophelia just posted a more extensive post on Dalelv’s case.



  1. Scr... Archivist says

    Speaking of technologies for fast travel, isn’t Dubai a major hub for international air transport? Is there any leverage to be had by boycotting flights that pass through there?

    I mean, if they can imprison someone for being the victim of a crime, what else can they imprison you for?

  2. says

    Am I right in thinking that the Islamic world-view is that no sex is consensual?
    Wouldn’t consensual sex imply that the woman had something to do with it other than just lie there and think of the Empire Allah?

  3. Corvus illustris says

    Now that Ms Dalelv is out of Dubai’s clutches, it would be nice to see the Norwegians do some kind of a number on Dubai. Viking vengeance! (that’s a bit earlier than the 17th c., of course). Per Wikipedia, Norway is the largest per capita oil-and-gas producer outside the Middle East, rendering it immune from the usual blackmail–and there are other places to get your financial services, too.

    Of course it won’t happen, but it’s a nice thought.

  4. 742 says

    yes! a world government with an opportunity to stand up for womens rights! and justice! and…. yeah i cant say it with a straight face either. thank joss whedons ghost for rum.