More Schlafly: Married women can’t get raped.

Believe it.
Last night at Bates College, Phyllis Schlafly gave a lecture titled, “Conservatism vs. Feminism: The Great Debate” where at one point she contended that a woman can’t get raped by her husband: “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape.”
The fact that this woman has any merit within the political sphere is beyond me.

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  • rilee morgan

    Whoa, look at this comment:
    “The fear of admiting that woamn are not phyically or mentally able to do what men do? We give birth. Is that enough control.. I think so.”
    Look at all the spelling and grammar errors plaguing that well-reasoned comment? I’m appalled that great potential was wasted by such carelessness.

  • rilee morgan

    Whoa… Look at it three times. Shit, sorry.

  • Hermione’s my Hero

    grrrrrr

  • Rach

    First of all, she’s still alive? Secondly, does she not know the definition of rape? It’s non-cosenual sex. It doesn’t matter if its your sleazebag husband that is doing it or a stranger.
    Marriage does not equal an all access pass to Vaginaland, thanks.
    Imagine this as a vow, “Do you, lovely bride, promise to allow your husband to bang you anytime he wishes?”
    Appropriate response, “I don’t.”

  • Rach

    First of all, she’s still alive? Secondly, does she not know the definition of rape? It’s non-cosenual sex. It doesn’t matter if its your sleazebag husband that is doing it or a stranger.
    Marriage does not equal an all access pass to Vaginaland, thanks.
    Imagine this as a vow, “Do you, lovely bride, promise to allow your husband to bang you anytime he wishes?”
    Appropriate response, “I don’t.”

  • DDay

    Happy – I haven’t even clicked on your link yet, but damn, that is a good title.
    So glad you are back!

  • DDay

    Happy – I haven’t even clicked on your link yet, but damn, that is a good title.
    So glad you are back!

  • JoanKelly

    Happy Feminist,
    It’s not actually true that Schlafly and Dworkin and MacKinnon share the same views on marriage. That fact aside even, I can’t tell whether you meant to say that Schlafly agrees with feminism and just doesn’t realize it, or that MacKinnon and Dworkin agree with anti-feminists and just don’t realize it. It’s hard for me to know how I feel about your post (on your site) as a result. You quote the writing of a decidedly anti-feminist yahoo, Ruth Malhotra, and *her* quote of Dworkin and MacKinnon, rather than any text by either writer herself. Side note – Malhotra can go fuck herself. Back to topic at hand – you do raise an interesting point at the end of the post on your site, about Schlafly’s argument having a potentially discouraging effect on people who might otherwise think marriage was a swell idea. However, I think it’s safe to say that most women who get married are not marrying men who they think will later say to themselves “Hey, Schlafly and even the laws in 30 states still grant me some exemptions from consequences for raping my wife, so here comes some rape babydoll!”

  • JoanKelly

    Happy Feminist,
    It’s not actually true that Schlafly and Dworkin and MacKinnon share the same views on marriage. That fact aside even, I can’t tell whether you meant to say that Schlafly agrees with feminism and just doesn’t realize it, or that MacKinnon and Dworkin agree with anti-feminists and just don’t realize it. It’s hard for me to know how I feel about your post (on your site) as a result. You quote the writing of a decidedly anti-feminist yahoo, Ruth Malhotra, and *her* quote of Dworkin and MacKinnon, rather than any text by either writer herself. Side note – Malhotra can go fuck herself. Back to topic at hand – you do raise an interesting point at the end of the post on your site, about Schlafly’s argument having a potentially discouraging effect on people who might otherwise think marriage was a swell idea. However, I think it’s safe to say that most women who get married are not marrying men who they think will later say to themselves “Hey, Schlafly and even the laws in 30 states still grant me some exemptions from consequences for raping my wife, so here comes some rape babydoll!”

  • JoanKelly

    Crap! I fell for the double posting thing. Sorry about that.

  • tonireads@gmail.com

    the world according to schafly:
    consenting to sex = consenting to rape
    wow.

  • http://happyfeminist.typepad.com/happyfeminist/ Happy Feminist

    Hi Joan,
    My post shouldn’t be taken too literally. I don’t know enough about Dworkin or MacKinnon to say whether the quotations that anti-feminist use against them accurately reflect their beliefs or instead are quoted out of context. My real point is that Schlafly seems to be in agreement with Dworkin and MacKinnon as they are presented in right-wing literature! I find that irony irresistible!
    Dworkin and MacKinnon are presented as believing that marriage is oppressive and dangerous for women. Schlafly in turn believes that a woman has or should have no recourse if her husband forces sex on her against her will. That seems to support the notion that marriage IS indeed oppressive and dangerous for women, just as Dworkin and MacKinnon said!
    And when you consider marriage as it was traditionally practiced before various modern reforms, it was undoubtedly oppressive and dangerous just as Dworkin and MacKinnon said. Women had few viable options for competing effectively as wage earners in their own right and so they essentially HAD to get married in order to gain male financial support. Also, if a woman wanted to have children, she HAD to get married because unwed mothers were shamed and ostracized. Yet, marriage (which was essentially a prerequisite to financial stability and motherhood) meant giving ownership of one’s vagina to a man who could legally force the woman to have sex against her will. Yep — it sounds like a pretty oppressive institution to me, being forced into a situation in which one’s must give up one’s right to bodily sovereignty.
    Fortunately, marriage has improved significantly over the years, now that women have more resources if they choose not to marry, no-fault divorce laws permit women to get out of unsavory situations, and women can call the cops if hubby forces sex.

  • http://happyfeminist.typepad.com/happyfeminist/ Happy Feminist

    Hi Joan,
    My post shouldn’t be taken too literally. I don’t know enough about Dworkin or MacKinnon to say whether the quotations that anti-feminist use against them accurately reflect their beliefs or instead are quoted out of context. My real point is that Schlafly seems to be in agreement with Dworkin and MacKinnon as they are presented in right-wing literature! I find that irony irresistible!
    Dworkin and MacKinnon are presented as believing that marriage is oppressive and dangerous for women. Schlafly in turn believes that a woman has or should have no recourse if her husband forces sex on her against her will. That seems to support the notion that marriage IS indeed oppressive and dangerous for women, just as Dworkin and MacKinnon said!
    And when you consider marriage as it was traditionally practiced before various modern reforms, it was undoubtedly oppressive and dangerous just as Dworkin and MacKinnon said. Women had few viable options for competing effectively as wage earners in their own right and so they essentially HAD to get married in order to gain male financial support. Also, if a woman wanted to have children, she HAD to get married because unwed mothers were shamed and ostracized. Yet, marriage (which was essentially a prerequisite to financial stability and motherhood) meant giving ownership of one’s vagina to a man who could legally force the woman to have sex against her will. Yep — it sounds like a pretty oppressive institution to me, being forced into a situation in which one’s must give up one’s right to bodily sovereignty.
    Fortunately, marriage has improved significantly over the years, now that women have more resources if they choose not to marry, no-fault divorce laws permit women to get out of unsavory situations, and women can call the cops if hubby forces sex.

  • http://happyfeminist.typepad.com/happyfeminist/ Happy Feminist

    Hi Joan,
    My post shouldn’t be taken too literally. I don’t know enough about Dworkin or MacKinnon to say whether the quotations that anti-feminist use against them accurately reflect their beliefs or instead are quoted out of context. My real point is that Schlafly seems to be in agreement with Dworkin and MacKinnon as they are presented in right-wing literature! I find that irony irresistible!
    Dworkin and MacKinnon are presented as believing that marriage is oppressive and dangerous for women. Schlafly in turn believes that a woman has or should have no recourse if her husband forces sex on her against her will. That seems to support the notion that marriage IS indeed oppressive and dangerous for women, just as Dworkin and MacKinnon said!
    And when you consider marriage as it was traditionally practiced before various modern reforms, it was undoubtedly oppressive and dangerous just as Dworkin and MacKinnon said. Women had few viable options for competing effectively as wage earners in their own right and so they essentially HAD to get married in order to gain male financial support. Also, if a woman wanted to have children, she HAD to get married because unwed mothers were shamed and ostracized. Yet, marriage (which was essentially a prerequisite to financial stability and motherhood) meant giving ownership of one’s vagina to a man who could legally force the woman to have sex against her will. Yep — it sounds like a pretty oppressive institution to me, being forced into a situation in which one’s must give up one’s right to bodily sovereignty.
    Fortunately, marriage has improved significantly over the years, now that women have more resources if they choose not to marry, no-fault divorce laws permit women to get out of unsavory situations, and women can call the cops if hubby forces sex.

  • http://happyfeminist.typepad.com/happyfeminist/ Happy Feminist

    Hi Joan,
    My post shouldn’t be taken too literally. I don’t know enough about Dworkin or MacKinnon to say whether the quotations that anti-feminist use against them accurately reflect their beliefs or instead are quoted out of context. My real point is that Schlafly seems to be in agreement with Dworkin and MacKinnon as they are presented in right-wing literature! I find that irony irresistible!
    Dworkin and MacKinnon are presented as believing that marriage is oppressive and dangerous for women. Schlafly in turn believes that a woman has or should have no recourse if her husband forces sex on her against her will. That seems to support the notion that marriage IS indeed oppressive and dangerous for women, just as Dworkin and MacKinnon said!
    And when you consider marriage as it was traditionally practiced before various modern reforms, it was undoubtedly oppressive and dangerous just as Dworkin and MacKinnon said. Women had few viable options for competing effectively as wage earners in their own right and so they essentially HAD to get married in order to gain male financial support. Also, if a woman wanted to have children, she HAD to get married because unwed mothers were shamed and ostracized. Yet, marriage (which was essentially a prerequisite to financial stability and motherhood) meant giving ownership of one’s vagina to a man who could legally force the woman to have sex against her will. Yep — it sounds like a pretty oppressive institution to me, being forced into a situation in which one’s must give up one’s right to bodily sovereignty.
    Fortunately, marriage has improved significantly over the years, now that women have more resources if they choose not to marry, no-fault divorce laws permit women to get out of unsavory situations, and women can call the cops if hubby forces sex.

  • http://happyfeminist.typepad.com/happyfeminist/ Happy Feminist

    Oops, I think a lot of us are double and triple posting because we keep getting a message saying there is a server error that would not allow our comments through. That’s what happened to me!

  • http://happyfeminist.typepad.com/happyfeminist/ Happy Feminist

    Oops, I think a lot of us are double, triple and quadruple posting because we keep getting messages saying that there is an internal server message that won’t allow the post through. At least that’s what happened to me!

  • legallyblondeez

    Re: wedding vows, mine did not include the word “obey” but we did promise to “honor you with my body.” That line was the subject of much discussion in premarital counseling (which I highly recommend for anyone making a long-term commitment to a cohabiting relationship!), but if we hadn’t talked about it it could be twisted to say “sex on demand.”
    We talked about how yes, it means sex and maybe making compromises when our sex drives don’t mesh; but it also means respecting each others’ body autonomy, taking care of our own bodies as a commitment to be healthy and therefore hopefully alive and together for a long time, etc. In the end, I really liked including it.

  • lazyfat-fat

    I don’t understand why my comment was deleted. For those of you who didn’t see it, the gist was that it seems to me that a Masters Degree from Harvard (Political Science) only carries merit when you have a liberal opinion.
    And this is something that no one has proven wrong. A conservative politician or pundit could have the same exact degree as a liberal, but clearly the conservative doesn’t have “any merit”, and is called stupid or ignorant.
    I think the problem is that a difference in opinion is being called the wrong opinion, which is pretty closed minded if you ask me.
    And as far as I’ve heard (please let me know if you’ve heard them say otherwise), neither this woman nor Coulter has ever said that a woman shouldn’t be allowed to do what they do (speak in public as an authority).

  • Anonymous

    i did not delete your note, nor i have spoken with the moderator who did. i can, however, make an educated guess:
    in the context of this post, arguing that this woman should be taken seriously heavily implies that she is CORRECT in asserting that marital rape does not exist, and that if it does, that it should be condoned. and i imagine that comments on this blog that encourage/excuse rape would in fact be deleted. i was personally offended and agree with the decision. the end.

  • EG

    A conservative politician or pundit could have the same exact degree as a liberal, but clearly the conservative doesn’t have “any merit”, and is called stupid or ignorant. I think the problem is that a difference in opinion is being called the wrong opinion, which is pretty closed minded if you ask me.
    All right, lazyfat-fat. Let’s get down to brass tacks. The position Schlafly is espousing here is that women have no right to refuse to have sex with their husbands. Are you arguing that this opinion has merit?
    Such a statement is not merely a “difference of opinion”; it cuts straight to the heart of women’s human rights. Are we property owned by our husbands?
    So tell me, why would you think feminists would be “open-minded” about such drivel? Not all opinions are worth keeping an open mind about. Rape is unacceptable. Slavery is unacceptable. Pummeling small children is unacceptable. If Schlafly started arguing in favor of slavery, would you be claiming that we have to take her seriously because she has a Masters’ degree?
    The fact that she is espousing an understanding of rape that makes women into property is why people here think that she shouldn’t be taken seriously. If you want to argue that she should be, you’re claiming that her position has merit.

  • donna darko

    it’s coulter’s and schafly’s arguments not the fact they have ivy league degrees. after all, bush went to harvard and yale.
    lazy fat-fat, do you agree the following are not feminist positions?
    “I think [women] should be armed but should not vote…women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it…it’s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.” (Comedy Central; Politically Incorrect; February 26, 2001)
    “It would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact. In fact, in every presidential election since 1950 – except Goldwater in ’64 – the Republican would have won, if only the men had voted.” (May 17, 2003)
    “I think the other point that no one is making about the [Abu Ghraib] abuse photos is just the disproportionate number of women involved, including a girl general running the entire operation. I mean, this is lesson, you know, number 1,000,047 on why women shouldn’t be in the military. In addition to not being able to carry even a medium-sized backpack, women are too vicious.” (Fox News; Hannity & Colmes; May 5, 2004)

  • donna darko

    ann coulter made those statements and a million more inane ones over the course of her career. it’s not her degrees that matter but her idiotic statements.

  • MCV

    To have people alive still that believe this makes me sick to my core. I think that she is deplorable person. When did “I Do� negate “NO�? Shame on YOU!!! By making this comment you are supporting rape, and you claim to have family values? When did being raped by your husband and having children witness or know that their father raped their mother is having family values? Well, I guess even highly educated people still can make brainless comments that have invalid conclusions.

  • MCV

    To have people alive still that believe this makes me sick to my core. I think that she is deplorable person. When did “I Do� negate “NO�? Shame on YOU!!! By making this comment you are supporting rape, and you claim to have family values? When did being raped by your husband and having children witness or know that their father raped their mother is having family values? Well, I guess even highly educated people still can make brainless comments that have invalid conclusions.

  • lucyelizabeth

    you guys are amazing.. that Mrs. Syphilis or whatever is a total idiot and should be slapped. I’m doing a project at college on feminist literature and found this site.. its so great!