For most Indians, marital rape is just another word for sex. Except that it takes place after a woman submits her body to satiate her husband’s lust. Indian women often experience rape in their marriage, an institution that legalises the sexual contract between a man and a woman. So how can women be raped by their lawfully wedded husbands, you ask?

 

They do, and it happens when lawfully wedded husbands don’t ask or bother to find out if their wife wants to share a physically intimate space with them. In the context of Indian marriages, consent is taken for granted and this assumption has to change. This forms the crux of Simar Singh’s spoken word poem, which addresses marital rape.

 

Singh uses the metaphor of a workplace to describe marital rape for what it is: sexual abuse. He says that anyone who is a housewife has a job and her workplace is the home she has to manage.

 

For those who are unconscious of marital rape, he jolts them out of this state by terming it workplace harassment. And Singh, in tones that evoke fear and anguish, expresses the muted voice of women who’ve been abused and forced into submission and yet can’t speak about this ‘harassment.’

 

He reminds us that women will be subject to marital rape and women will lose their voice if we don’t speak up against it and if the law doesn’t recognises that a woman’s body is her own and that sexual consent is always conditional.     

 

Watch the powerful video here: