Western governments have expressed abhorrence at Afghanistan’s new laws that require a wife to fulfil her husband’s sexual desires and to wear makeup for him if he requests it. Feminists and others have described the law as abhorrent and as “legalizing rape within marriage”.
It’s fair enough to express disagreement with another culture’s ideas and codes. But surely there’s room for good faith, fairness, a little respect and some recognition that our own beliefs might possibly be as fallible as those we criticize.
The Muslim law may not necessarily legalize rape within marriage. It’s not clear that a wife is required to submit each and every time her husband wants sex. However, the law appears to place some marital obligations on the wife as well as on the husband.
Can we be really sure that our approach is better? Feminism has led us to believe that placing any marital obligations on women is bad, it’s abusive for a husband to dare to complain about anything about her including the way she keeps the house while he breaks his body to pay the rent, the way she looks after her body or appearance, or anything else (but if she complains that, for example, he is not bringing in enough money, that’s ok and he’s still the one in the wrong, a deadbeat dad…).
And how on earth can westerners claim to know better about how to conduct successful relationships? Under our codes the majority of marriages end before their children even grow up, we have an epidemic of unhappy blended families likely to last even less than the broken marriages that preceded them, and we see a more general epidemic of unhappy dissatisfaction with life.
We know better. We’re right and they’re wrong. Feminism knows better. Yeah right.