Thursday, 16 April 2009

Sauce for the Gander

Afghan Shi'ite Muslim demonstrate Wednesday in favor of a new law that would require Shi'ite women to get their husband's permission before leaving the house and would legitimize marital rape. A smaller group of Afghan women staged a rival demonstration opposing the law.

Omar Sobhani/Reuters

(Copied this from the Christian Science Monitor)

When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would not write about sex. Lots of people doing that, I reasoned. No need for a wrinkly to get into it.

I have just changed my mind, after reading about women in Afghanistan protesting the proposed law that would, among other things, require Shiite women to agree to sex with their husbands every fourth day.

Every fourth day? Could it be that this requirement is set up for a man with four wives, as I believe is allowed under Shiite law?

Pierre Trudeau famously said that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation. That covers it for me as far as adopting Sharia law as the law of the land; obey the tenets of your religion by all means, but do not enshrine these tenets in the secular laws designed to make the state a place of law and order for all. Frankly, I feel the same about any law enacted to enforce the tenets of any religion, the 'Close on Sundays' laws that until a few years ago forbade shopkeepers of any faith to open on Christian Sunday being a case in point.

When I was married, I took vows that I feel honour bound to keep. These promises I understand to include the right of each partner to have sex with the other one. Implicit, but there. With no three days off, either. And I recall, vaguely, reading that in Orthodox Jewish law a man is required to have sex with his wife once a week. Not sure of the detail, but the way I remember it would see that requirement as being for the wife's benefit.

And as I was doing housework this morning and thinking about it, I started speculating what would happen if the proposed Afghanistan legislation was an enjoinder on both sexes, a requirement for both a man and a woman to agree to sex once every fourth day. If a man had four wives, that would work out to sex every day for the man. Do you think that the men in the legislature in Afghanistan would rise to the occasion and pass such a law?

Because I don't.


  1. "Do you think that the men in the legislature in Afghanistan would rise to the occasion and pass such a law?"Rise to the occasion: I love it.

  2. HA! You got Anvilcloud acting up! That's a record. And oh crap, I didn't even mean to use the word up!

    But no legislation should happen around the bedroom. Period.

  3. I think about this a lot because, since puberty, my hormones have been such that sex can be difficult and painful. I'm sure there have always been understanding husbands who would not force themselves on their wives even when law and public opinion allow it, but I'm really thankful I got one of them, just in case.

    I might go for that every fourth day deal. There has been a lot of protest since I have tried to enact a change from an every other day to an every third day schedule.

    (But no, I don't think the government should have anything to say about it.)

  4. Who has the energy to legislate someone else's sex life?

    Also, we have got to change their mind in that region of the world about women being property. Where's that legislation?

  5. Uhm, and your post title...that's a good one.