Is it all right for different cultures to have different definitions of “rape?”
- Thursday, 02 April 2009 13:21
As many of you are aware, President Hamid Karzai just signed a new Afghan law that appears to legalize the rape of a wife by her husband. This is an interesting law because it does not apply to Sunnis, only to Shiites. The Shiite lawmaker who drafted the law, Sayed Hossain Alemi Balkhi, defended the legislation by saying that the law his been misunderstood, that it actually gives “more rights to women than even Britain or the United States does. ” In a nutshell, the law says that a “woman is bound to preen for her husband as and when he desires…and bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband,” unless she is ill.
What do you think about this? Every culture around the world has a different definition of what constitutes “rape.” Is it all right for one culture to define it differently than another? Where’s the line when it comes to civil rights? Is it related to harm? Should we as Americans, or anyone for that matter, have the right to tell other cultures how they should or should not define culturally sensitive terms like “rape?” Why? What does or does not give us the right?
Thanks for thinking about this.
Mike and Kathy