By Sharanya Gopinathan
Are you one of those people who feels better about their problems once they realise that there’re other people also suffering in the same boat? If so, this news might make you realise that we in India are not alone in electing embarrassing and misogynist people to high office, and in generally entertaining ridiculous mindsets.
During a parliamentary discussion on domestic violence, Malaysian lawmaker Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh thought it was important to interject that men suffer emotional attacks rather than physical abuse. He said that an example of this abuse is women refusing to serve their husbands’ sexual needs. He was soundly denounced by women activists who said that it was a ridiculous statement based on ignorance and the misplaced belief that women don’t own their own bodies and choices.
Before you laugh too hard at this Malaysian uncle, do remember, this is a belief widely held in India as well. In fact, it’s an idea that’s been held up by the Courts: the Supreme Court in 2014 ruled that refusing to have sex with your spouse for an extended period of time without “sufficient reason” amounts to cruelty. It’s fun, no, to see what lines the State likes to draw in your bedroom? “Unnatural sex” is “against the order of nature”, marital sex is compatible with the ground social realities of India, and refusing your spouse sex amounts to cruelty.
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