Spousal Rape: The Blurred Lines



My attention today was caught by this headline in today’s Post Newspaper, ‘Woman, 24 Denies Raping Husband.’

“The 28 year old husband reported to the police that he was asleep when his wife undressed him and started performing sexual acts with him….” The report read.

You see, with me, every time I read a report of this kind, I am forced to take a side or to assess the facts by putting myself in either the man’s position, the wife’s position, or the judge’s position. I will be the first to admit that I do not have enough knowledge and  experience in Criminal law or Civil law, but maybe it’s that little aspect of law that’s still in my head from my studies in Labour Law…because I am ever assessing things!

Or perhaps I am just human.

At first, I was just curious.

But then as I continued reading and found the above caption, my mind went all wild on me! “Seriously,” I said to myself, “if this is what they call spousal or marital rape then believe me all women in this world have been thoroughly raped before and are still gonna get raped in future!” However, the moment I finished telling myself that, another thought occurred to me; “Why am I being so biased, it can happen to men too judging by the standards above. ” unfortunately, because the report did not give much detail about the event, I could not come up with a convincing conclusion just for my own personal satisfaction. But the article still managed to raise a lot of questions in my head.

I have always been of the belief that marital or spousal rape occurs when one spouse demands or takes sexual pleasure from their spouse who has not given consent, who has been forced, or is not in a position to give consent.” I don’t know how valid or legal my assumptions are but based on that understanding….and this is where the lines become blurry…on the standards of, “not in a position to give consent,” then I guess the wife in the paper is absolutely guilty of rape! But tell me, would the charge still hold if it was the other way round; if the woman was the accuser and the man the offender? And where exactly does the law, customs and religion fit into the picture?

Like I said, I don’t know much about Law so I will stick to things I am most familiar with; Religion. I bet you know the verse I’m driving at…I’m thinking Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:22, 1Peter 3:1… All these verses have one thing in common, “Wives, be submissive to your husbands!” Oh dear, someone must have really had it in for the poor woman neh. But then again we have this Bible Verse that seems to reverse all the above verses; “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church…” Ephesians 5:25.

From the time we were able to loudly say the words ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’, we knew how sexual mechanisms worked. And from that time forward, Biology has kept insisting that men think about sex way more than women do. Some psychologists have even gone further to argue that this is a likely reason why more women get raped than men! Unbloodylievable I tell you…

Now let’s talk tradition and culture. How many African women (I don’t know about women from the rest of the world) have been told before getting married that if your husband demands sex from you, whether you are tired, not in the mood, on your menses, and all those other disturbing possibilities you can think of, they’ll tell you, “Never should you say NO to him. He can have you whenever he wants and wherever he wants.” Dame they’ll even tell you not to sleep with your back to him because he needs to have access to you at any time in the night! Oh hell, didn’t anyone ever tell these people that a woman can provide access even from the back??? But that’s just me thinking out loud.

So, given this scenario, if an African man, without waking his wife from her sleep gets sexual pleasure from her…can we still say its rape? And what if it was the other way round? And to take this a little further, does the law make exceptions for cultural and traditional beliefs? I understand in Zambia we have customary, statutory as well as common law, and we even have specific courts trying specific cases. But is it possible that all these types of laws take into account the local customs and religious beliefs? And if so, I would love to understand how. Could it also be possible that they might be conflicting at some level? If so, what happens then?

And what’s up with all those reports of spouses suing each other when one withdraws sex from them? “My wife sleeps in leggings to keep me from touching her at night,” “My husband hasn’t made love to me in four years…” so on and so forth. In every weekend newspaper I read all these crazy reports and it’s starting to get confusing. Where do you draw the line? And today we have “My wife performed sexual acts on me without my consent….” Could it be possible she assumed he would be aroused and then respond to her? Could it be something that would have been resolved through communication? Just what exactly did she do to him to force him to report her to the police?  Oh hell, I don’t know. Anyway, what’s going to happen to being a little spontaneous, innovative, imaginative, and all those not-so-decent words we use to describe our sex lives?

I dare not say that this is a gender issue because belief me, I also want to be given the opportunity to make moves on my husband in the middle of the night without having to worry about being sued! Sex should never be a one way street for anyone. If anything, the world (and especially Africans) should be wary of sexually starved women. They can be quite lethal too!


12 thoughts on “Spousal Rape: The Blurred Lines

  1. the husband or the wife can only report that if s/he wants to end the marriage,so that dude just used his fault finding tactics…………………………ati “Unbloodylievable” “Oh hell, didn’t anyone ever tell these people that a woman can provide access even from the back??? But that’s just anisha thinking” but she right


  2. Don francis says:

    am really really not getting it here, HUSBAND raped without his concern?
    being a man I say HELL NO
    the how did she manage inserting,
    c’mon HELL NO
    people say nothing is impossible but believe me when I say that’s definitely IMPOSSIBLE
    she will need it hard and for it to be hard the Guy as to be aware
    I end here before you send my mind elsewhere


    • 😂😂😂😂 from what I know, men respond to female stimulus even in their sleep…they might be aware that something is going on or not (am not sure) but i think that theres a reason why they say men have two heads…just coz one head responds, it doesnt mean the other head wants. Likewise, a woman might become wet during rate but it doesnt mean she likes it. I think??? Its tricky!!


  3. André says:

    Looking at the design of a man compared to that of a woman, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a man to have sex without consent: I mean, a man requires and erection, and this can only happen if he is aware of the situation at hand. As for a woman, even if she is unconscious, she can still be raped.

    So I doubt if that guy was raped as long as he had an erection. Because in the absence of an erection, not penetration, hence no sexual act and therefore no rape case. The case is closed. Court rise!


  4. Jchikuba says:

    To be honest with you, It is difficult for me to believe that my fellow man can be raped by a woman and a wife for that matter. Physiologically, the make up of man gives him an advantage this area. I would like to believe that the gentleman must have had other hidden agenda behin the act of reporting his wife.


    • I am so tempted to conquer with you. I had my own reservations as to the validity of his claims…yes it could be possible a man can be raped by a woman given extenuating circumstances…however, this case seemed more like an embittered husband punishing his spouse for a whole other reason. Very very suspicious this one.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Anishagold for this article once more.

    I am just wondering where this world is going. Just like I did write in one of my articles, we are living in a generation that uses us and dumps us. In most cases its about self-gratification. In my previous writing themed “ARE WE WELL-INTENTIONED? I I wrote:” …. Watch! Watch what an African is capable of doing today. Behind me are many youth ready to shed blood to defend an African Identity. The African youth of today should be not be seeing useful so as to be used. Never again to slavery unless those who choose otherwise. Better die poor than slave. We shall not get tired until those who think they are superior hear our clamor, and we shall not allow anyone to enter an African territory and think they will take advantage of our goodness.” So, we others have used the biblical texts to abuse others. We need to go beyond biblical slavery and see the affected face. The bible has been used to enslave others.


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