Are these people actually idiots or what?

It\’s almost unbearable to wake up to a world in which the welfare state that has defended us from the worst excesses of the market is being destroyed. The only way to hold on to the last vestiges of entitlement, and even reverse defeats, is to fight like hell.

Bereaved but determined families pursuing those who neglected vulnerable patients in Staffordshire had to do a massive piece of organising before the deaths of hundreds were looked into. (Other suspect hospitals are emerging.)

Your first example of the worst excesses of the market is the behaviour of an uncaring state bureaucracy?

61 thoughts on “Are these people actually idiots or what?”

  1. No Tim, this fits perfectly with the left’s re-writing of history. As Mid-Staffs refuses to go away, so the need to re-write its history grows. Give it 5 years or so and it will have been a private hospital, proving that private medicine puts profit before patients etc.
    We have the same with the Euro. Ritchie and friends are busy writing that it was a bankers/speculators’ stitch-up, designed to help Capital move at the expense of Labour.
    The NHS, the monopoly provider, the totem, the standard, the Eagle of the British Left. Absolutely any tactic, any lie, is justified if it serveshe cause of defending it in its monoploy state.

  2. from later in the article The market, which we are urged to love, honour and obey…

    No, you’re not. You can hate it if you like. But only a fool would deny that it exists and that it cannot be cheated.

  3. One of our biggest failings is in not explaining to people that all the market really is is a means by which they get to decide what they want to pay for the stuff they want to buy.

    Yes, monopolies, cartels, we need laws and a bit of government, but that’s reallly all it is.

    No businessman – I don’t think? – ever got rich by making stuff no-one wanted or needed.

  4. By the way, Tim, the answer to your broader question is yes, Selma James is an idiot – this is surely well-known.

    She has also had a very nice life out of her bullshit, writing books such as The Rapist Who Pays the Rent.

    I was thinking of writing The Slut Who Gets a Free Ride, but apart from the fact that I think such a book would be grossly disrespectful to my mother, my wife and all of the normal women I know, I think I might not get a column in the Guardian out of it.

  5. Colonel Shotover

    Selma James is founder of the International Wages for Housework Campaign.
    Nuff said.

  6. “No businessman – I don’t think? – ever got rich by making stuff no-one wanted or needed.”

    Reginald Perrin

  7. JuliaM – quite right. I’m thinking of the endless lies and evasions of the Left. Their reaction to recent events like the Mid Staffs NHS killings, or the Muslim gang rapists who preyed on young English girls for years with the complicity of social workers – that wonderful welfare state again – has been conspicuously muted or dishonest. What kind of human beings are they? Clearly not the morally elevated compassionate people they so loudly claim to be.

  8. Surreptitious Evil

    Just like the LHTD, it is “or what”.

    Egregious, malicious falsehood – either knowingly (as I suspect for the WGCE) or simply deluded – incapable of seeing, never mind understanding, any evidence which does not support their imprinted prejudices.

    No real idea which applies to this lady but idiocy is entirely optional. Albeit, the Colonel’s point at #6 does suggest that it is egregious delusion combined with gibbering idiocy.

  9. @ CJ Nerd

    to take this sersiouly for a sec: oh but they do, so long as you can persuade parliament to pass a law saying they have to have it anyway.

    Ho yusss.

  10. In partial defence of Selma James…

    “Rapist who pays the rent” was written in the 1980s. The point wasn’t to condemn all husbands as rapists, although Selma James obviously comes from the school of thought that women in heterosexual marriages are often exploited by their menfolk. (And looking at how, e.g. the housework percentage done by women is higher than for men even when both work, she at least has a point worth hearing out. I understand that in Spain, allowance is made for “unpaid work done” in divorce settlements, and I hardly think that’s misandric. Particularly for blokes who do more than a 50% share of the work!) But “Rapist who pays the rent” was about the legal environment of the time.

    Marital rape was only recognised as a crime in R v R in 1991. There was previously a marital exemption of “implied consent”, something which I hope everybody would now find grossly illiberal. I was eventually convinced by a law professor it should not have been sorted out in court and Parliament should have done the job – in effect the judgment made marital rape a crime retroactively, which is pretty illiberal too.

  11. @ sam

    Very good point. Or by exploiting Mike Denham’s simple shopper, and selling the government stuff it thinks it needs but is incompetent to buy.

    eg the 12 billion quid NHS IT system, or more recently the golf-ball locating bomb detectors.

    (I know this last isn’t the UK government, but it’s interesting that the criticism mostly falls on the wanker selling the kit and not the wankers at the UN and elsewhere who bought it – and who never had to worry, personally, about whether it worked or not).

  12. @MyBurningEars

    Understood, but I was trying to make the point that she’s just another scum-sucking extremist shill in the race/sex/culture war – just as much as I’d be if I wrote The Slut Who Gets Everything Free of Charge.

    Yes, women do more housework, but in my case at least it’s because my wife is more concerned about the state of the house that I am.

  13. There was previously a marital exemption of “implied consent”, something which I hope everybody would now find grossly illiberal.

    Quite possibly, but then you remember that marriage isn’t a liberal institition, which is why during the brief liberal period between the 1950s and 1990s, people abandoned it in droves.

    It’s a tradtional institution, not a liberal one, and was a pragmatic contract implying rights and duties regarding sexual and childbearing services (“consummation” and all that); its origins lost in the mists of prehistory, ubiquitous to every culture on Earth. Where does being “liberal” come into that?

    From a *liberal* (i.e. Western European contractual individualist approach), one could reasonably say that the correct situation would be that sexual refusal would be a breach of contract. That would not allow the use of force. It would however allow the husband to sue the wife in civil court, or release him from his contractual obligations.

    So the actual current mess of taking an illiberal institution and updating it without taking its ancient implied contractual terms into account is that we have a situation in which the male can be burdened with not only the traditional contractual terms (such as post-divorce support of an ex-wife), but new ones, while in return having no contractual rights to nookie, children, or anything else.

    Which isn’t very liberal either, is it?

    So really, the point is, people don’t seem to appreciate that there was no recognition of marital rape because, under ancient custom, a wife had indeed provided an implied sexual consent by walking up the aisle; basically, if you don’t intend fucking this man, don’t marry him.

  14. Tim Yeo?

    On the housework issue does that include cleaning cars, carrying shpping in, mowing lawns, painting windows etc?

  15. …implied sexual consent by walking up the aisle; basically, if you don’t intend fucking this man, don’t marry him.

    …………..
    Worth adding something on the end of Ian’s comment.
    Marriage was never important for the union of the man & wife. It was the union of the two families & the protection of the offspring that was important, in a world where that meant real physical protection. The woman, the child-bearer, moves from the protection of her family to that of her husband & the offspring now being the joint responsibilities of both families. that’s behind the “…does anyone here know any reason…” part of the wedding ceremony. It’s a public stating of contract & it’s ensuring *all* parties to the contract are aware of what they’re getting into.
    And the wife’s providing sexual comforts to the spouse is part of it as well. The purpose of the marriage is to provide those children. If he starts looking & fathering some elsewhere, it endangers the agreement as much as her being impregnated by another man.
    Why there’s so much hostility to single sex marriage is because, to a lot of people, marriage is still a union between families with much the same implied obligations. It’s not simply about two people.

  16. Ian B>

    Rubbish. That’s not implied consent, it’s (in your terms) a contractual agreement to consent that may be breached. Do you give an employer implied consent to enslave you at all hours by agreeing to work some hours? Of course not.

    Apart from that, your conception of what ‘marriage’ has been historically is not founded on actual history. In reality, the marriage-contract generally excludes sexual relations outside marriage, but does not guarantee them for the man – in the Judeo-Christian tradition the wife has the right to demand sex from the husband, but not the other way around.

  17. Dave,

    Stop being so modern.

    A work contract normally specifies hours of work, but it may not. Some people aer “on call” all the time, and some salaried workers are basically expected to work whatever hours are necessary to get the job done.

    But all contracts are diffferent anyway. A marriage contract is rather unusual. So we can’t just apply the same standards; however as I said above, in liberal terms you can’t force sex on someone, but refusing it would be a breach of contract. Hence, annullment was allowed for non-consummation. And, which is why the State was reluctant to recognise rape within marriage; the Feminists were, as usual, being ahistoric; because by marrying, the woman was agreeing to be the man’s exclusive sexual partner.

    Just one more thing; it is worth noting that being sexually demanding isn’t unique to males. It’s simply a biological fact that men can physically rape, and women generally can’t. But I can’t be the only man in the world who has reluctantly serviced his partner despite not really being in the mood, because he knew that if he didn’t she’d be in a mood with him (er, me). Funnily enough, nobody ever seems to be very bothered about that, though. Can’t think why.

  18. “by marrying, the woman was agreeing to be the man’s exclusive sexual partner.”

    No-one was agreeing to be anyone’s sexual partner. They were agreeing not to have sex with anyone else, but there’s no commitment to have sex with their marital partner.

    ‘Implied consent’ is actually founded on the principle that a man was the only legal adult in a marriage; just as he would (supposedly) vote on behalf of his wife, or decide if she consented to medical treatment, or arrange her property as he saw fit, so he could decide if she consented to sex*. The only reason it wasn’t abolished sooner was that it almost never came up in the period after women started to be treated as legally competent; it’s worth noting that the case of R v R involved violent rape by an estranged husband, and the ‘implied consent’ argument was merely an attempt to wriggle out of obvious guilt through an archaic loophole.

    “The circumstances of the case were these. The appellant married his wife in August 1984 and they had one son born in 1985. On 11 November 1987 the couple separated for about two weeks but resumed cohabitation at the end of that period. On 21 October 1989 the wife left the matrimonial home with the son and went to live with her parents. She had previously consulted solicitors about matrimonial problems, and she left at the matrimonial home a letter for the appellant informing him that she intended to petition for divorce. On 23 October 1989 the appellant spoke to his wife on the telephone indicating that it was his intention also to see about a divorce. No divorce proceedings had. however, been instituted before the events which gave rise to the charges against the appellant. About 9 p.m. on 12 November 1989 the appellant forced his way into the house of his wife’s parents, who were out at the time, and attempted to have sexual intercourse with her against her will. In the course of doing so he assaulted her by squeezing her neck with both hands. The appellant was arrested and interviewed by police officers. He admitted responsibility for what had happened. ”

    http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1991/12.html

    [*If you’re only referring to a brief period in English legal history, then in a contractual sense what you say is true-ish. But it’s certainly not a common historical western standard of marriage.]

  19. Dave,

    You can’t sum up thousands of years of history (and prehistory) in one modern test case or one recent statement of the legal position. The institution has certainly altered radically over time, and legal statements don’t necesssarily sum up social, individual and religious attitudes. So we’re probably arguing past one another.

    Nonetheless; the key point here is one in which we are in that sense in agreement. Marriage historically was a contract with radically different terms to those we expect today, as with the wife becoming considered property. As you point out, thus her sexuality (as everything else) became the man’s property. This seems barbarous to modern eyes.

    But these were not modern people. In primitive societies, males have to be owners of women, because the women cannot defend themselves. This is why westerners fail to understand the dynamic in (say) Muslim societies which are still following tribal value systems; a woman stepping outside the protection of the family is literally declaring herself fair game.

    This is not liberal, not just and plain not fair, now that society has moved so far from tribal culture. I am not defending it. But I am “defending” ancestors acting that way, because it was the only practical way to behave in the absence of civil society, policing, etc.

    So, we have altered the terms of marriage; however, we have introduced considerable inconsistencies as a consequence.

    My own view FWIW is that we ought to just abandon this primitive, tribal institution altogether. It is already cracking at the seams. And replace it, now that men and women are individuals, with specific contracts regarding property and childcare etc; “marriage” being a non-legal ceremony in the church or other place of your choice.

    Nevertheless, blaming people in the past for not recognising a crime- rape- which was inherently impossible under the contractual terms is useless. Sexual compliance (as other compliance) was a basic part of the contract. Sex and marriage were indivisibly linked; in many times and places, the marriage itself being sealed by a witnessed sexual act (either directly witnessed, or the old bloody sheets malarkey).

    We may not approve of olden ways, but at least they had some form of consistency to them. I’m not sure we can say that about the current form.

  20. “basically, if you don’t intend fucking this man, don’t marry him.”

    This may or may not be a point of pendantry, Ian, but IMO the chap is the fucker and the gal is the fuckee (absent esoteric plastic appendages, available, so I am told, in all good smut emporia).

  21. Edward-

    I tend to see fucking as a cooperative enterprise, so it’s entirely appropriate to say that a couple fuck each other.

  22. “I tend to see fucking as a cooperative enterprise, so it’s entirely appropriate to say that a couple fuck each other.”

    Except during divorce, when the lawyers get to fuck both parties.

    Ian, to a large extent we seem to be arguing at cross-purposes. It seems to me that you were, and are, using ‘one modern test case or one recent statement of the legal position’, or its equivalent, as the basis for your ‘historical’ statements.

    “Marriage historically was a contract with radically different terms to those we expect today, as with the wife becoming considered property.”

    What I’m trying to get across to you is that what you say is only true of a relatively small area, for a short time in history. It’s generally untrue that wives are or were considered property. The English legal situation which existed for a couple of hundred years is very much the exception rather than the rule. It doesn’t appear in common law, for example. Broadly, historically, marriage was a relatively loose institution with fairly ill-defined rights and obligations.

    I think we agree that legal concepts of marriage have no place in modern society.

    “Nevertheless, blaming people in the past for not recognising a crime- rape- which was inherently impossible under the contractual terms is useless.”

    That hasn’t happened, except in the narrowest legal sense during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – and I’m not aware of any specific accusations being thrown at the long-deceased in that regard, so much as justifiable criticism of a barbaric legal position. As the statement of facts from R v R showed, that case was rape in anyone’s book; it’s inconceivable that the defendant had a reasonable belief of a legal entitlement to violently rape his estranged wife.

  23. @ #26 Dave
    You don’t know, do you?
    When I was young the family doctor was “on call” whenever needed, including the “small hours”. We had a telephone so that my father could be summoned if there was an emergency at work (and its importance was so drummed into me as a small child that, as an adult, the telephone could wake me when the alarm clock 6 inches away failed). As a self-employed individual I have to fulfill the contract which means working whatever hours are needed – on one occasion my client’s client ‘phoned me after 7 o’clock in the evening wanting a draft report updated and published by 8 am the next morning; I pointed out that the girl who did the formatting didn’t get into the office before 8 am but I duly did my bit and emailed it around 2 am and my client’s CEO did the formatting himself in the small hours of the morning.
    In the Judeo-Christian tradition the male head of the household has no rights, only duties, so to take his absence of rights as revealing something about sexual relationships within marriage is ridiculous like claiming to identify north from a magnetic compass in a steel mill.

  24. So Much for Subtlety

    MyBurningEars – “The point wasn-t to condemn all husbands as rapists, although Selma James obviously comes from the school of thought that women in heterosexual marriages are often exploited by their menfolk.”

    She picked an interesting title if that was not what she wanted to do. Nor does the fact that she comes from a School of Crazy mean that her book is not a work of Crazy. Obviously.

    ” (And looking at how, e.g. the housework percentage done by women is higher than for men even when both work, she at least has a point worth hearing out.”

    I utterly fail to see why that is the case. And even if it was true, that would not make all or even most husbands rapists would it? But let us suppose that women do more housework. So freakin’ what? A marriage is vastly more than just who does the dishes. Who contributes more over all? Probably neither.

    “I understand that in Spain, allowance is made for [unpaid work done] in divorce settlements, and I hardly think that-s misandric.”

    As it is in the English speaking world – that is the point of alimony. A woman sacrifices her looks and her career to “support” her husband and so is entitled to continue her life-long vacation once she chooses to get rid of him.

    ” There was previously a marital exemption of [implied consent], something which I hope everybody would now find grossly illiberal.”

    Well I find it illiberal but I tend not to think of that as a term of abuse. We will go back to the idea in the end. After all, it is impossible to police each and every second of a marital relationship. If consent is given at one point, when do we know when it has been withdrawn? You support the jailing of the Thirty Second Rapist in Australia – because that is how long it took him to stop once the woman changed her mind? The legal system decided that consent was given by marriage and withdrawn, if at all, by divorce. Perhaps they should have moved it to separation. But given the need for a clear marker, it was as good as any.

  25. So Much for Subtlety

    Dave – “No-one was agreeing to be anyone-s sexual partner. They were agreeing not to have sex with anyone else, but there-s no commitment to have sex with their marital partner.”

    Sorry but that is not true, in either the law or in Christian ethics on which it is based. They were not agreeing not to have sex with anyone else. The default situation was that they were not allowed to have sex with anyone else. For some of the time covered by legal writers relevant to this discussion adultery was still a crime. The marriage was opening the gates to having sex. They were agreeing to go from not having sex with anyone to having sex with one person. Spouses were specifically and clearly told not to withhold their bodies from their Significant Other. Men and women both. Read your Paul.

    “[Implied consent] is actually founded on the principle that a man was the only legal adult in a marriage; just as he would (supposedly) vote on behalf of his wife, or decide if she consented to medical treatment, or arrange her property as he saw fit, so he could decide if she consented to sex*.”

    Sorry but no. The law said that the two became one so the legal person of the wife became extinct in the marriage. Not that she was a child, but that she could not, and should not, operate independently of her husband. Hence could not testify against him.

    If you are going to slag off a tradition you do not understand, you ought to make a minimum effort to understand it.

  26. John77>

    I have no idea why you think anything you say disagrees with me somehow. By the analogy I gave, you or the doctor in your examples are not by your behaviour consenting to being forced to carry out those actions if you choose not to; at most you can only be sued for breaking a contract, not imprisoned and forced to work.

    Your point about the Judeo-Christian tradition similarly doesn’t seem to conflict with anything I actually said. I’m not sure what you understood you were arguing with there.

    SMFS>

    WRT sex in marriage, you’re making a very similar error to Ian. Enacting a framework within which something is legal is not the same as making it compulsory.

    “The law said that the two became one so the legal person of the wife became extinct in the marriage. Not that she was a child, but that she could not, and should not, operate independently of her husband.”

    Yes, your way is possibly a better way to put it. That’s what I was referring to. Is it right to say that the legal person of the wife became extinct, though? She could still have personal rights in law, assets held in trust to benefit her specifically, and so-on. The situation is at least akin to the control which a parent exercised over a child’s legal person at the time, so I thought that would serve.

    “Hence could not testify against him.”

    Could not be forced to testify against him. That’s nothing to do with marital rape.

  27. Just as an aside, one of those amusing things you find on the internet was a petition to the Crown by a group of women asking for coffee shops to be closed down, since they were keeping their husbands away from their duties in the marriage bed.

    http://www.gopetition.com/famous-petitions-in-history/232/the-women-s-petition-against-coffee-1674.html

    “…for can any Woman of Sense or Spirit endure with Patience, that when priviledg’d by Legal Ceremonies, she approaches the Nuptial Bed, expecting a Man that with Sprightly Embraces, should Answer the VIgour of her Flames,”

    …and then the bastard Methodists descended and ruined Merrie England. But that’s another argument 🙂

    It’s also nice to Observe that the internet didn’t invent Excessive Capitalisation.

  28. So Much for Subtlety

    Dave – “Enacting a framework within which something is legal is not the same as making it compulsory.”

    Sure. But if a husband used force to get sex from his wife he was not committing a crime because he was entitled to do so. The Churches would have made it clear that a wife was expected to put out and put up. So no one is forcing husbands to sleep with their wives, no matter what the wife wanted, but they are doing everything just short of it. In fact the Bible could hardly be more clear on this subject:

    Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

    This is the basis of marriage in the Western world. Actually all over the world marriage is usually an exchange of resources for sex. In most of the world, it is not unusual for people to regard a refusal of sex from the wife as a repudiation of that obligation and hence for the use of a little bit of force to correct that perfectly normal. Marital rape is routinely shown on East Asian TV Soaps for instance. Without the slightest hint of condemnation.

    “Could not be forced to testify against him. That-s nothing to do with marital rape.”

    It is because it goes to the heart of her legal personhood. She was assumed to be under the duress of her husband at all times. Which obviously applied to testimony – and even actual crime – but also to sex.

  29. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “…and then the bastard Methodists descended and ruined Merrie England. But that-s another argument”

    That is not another argument, them is fighting words. In all fairness by the middle of the 17th century, the Puritans had already banned bear baiting (which was a terrible idea as it lead to the extinction of bears in these Bless’d Isles) and attempted to ban Shakespeare (no doubt their failure has been mourned by schoolboys ever since).

    However in a world where plenty of sex is available elsewhere, husbands usually have to be reminded of their obligations to their spouse. The traditional Jewish wedding vow – originating in a polygamous world – includes promises from the groom which goes into specific frequencies. Athenian law – in a city where prostitutes and house slaves were abundant – actually made it a crime not to sleep with your wife often enough. Once a month I dimly remember. This is a case where those damn Methodists tipped the balance to the distaff side.

    “It-s also nice to Observe that the internet didn’t invent Excessive Capitalisation.”

    Well English is a German dialect….

  30. SMFS>

    “if a husband used force to get sex from his wife he was not committing a crime”

    The concept of crime doesn’t really help here, if we’re talking about historical concepts of marriage. It was certainly seen as wrong, in most places and at most times. What was done about that wrong varied widely, of course. In that sense it’s just another form of wife-beating.

    “The Churches would have made it clear that a wife was expected to put out and put up.”

    Again, expectation is not compulsion.

    “In fact the Bible could hardly be more clear on this subject”

    That’s an interesting interpretation of a highly troubling passage. The amount of debate, and number of different interpretations, of that passage suggest otherwise. Not to mention that it would be the rarest of exceptions in that book if you were right.

    “In most of the world, it is not unusual for people to regard a refusal of sex from the wife as a repudiation of that obligation and hence for the use of a little bit of force to correct that perfectly normal. ”

    That’s a disgusting thing to write even going by your usual standards. It says a lot more about you than the people you claim to know about.

    “She was assumed to be under the duress of her husband at all times.”

    Evidently you missed the point of my correction: a wife most certainly could testify against her husband; she simply could not be forced to testify against him.

  31. SMFS-

    I’m not quite sure what point you’re making- “tipped the balance to the distaff side?”.

    The point I was (jokingly) making was that the Methodists (revival puritan trend) killed off the lusty wench and replaced her with the prudish Victorian matron. Which did us no good at all.

  32. Dave-

    That’s a disgusting thing to write even going by your usual standards.

    And that’s the useless tactic of avoiding answering a point by professing moralist outrage. Another Victorian era trend we really need rid of.

  33. SMFS>

    “The traditional Jewish wedding vow”

    There’s no such thing. Seems it was just another of the myths, legends, and half-remembered factoids that made up your post because there’s nothing very close to what you claim in any part of a Jewish marriage ceremony.

  34. Just out of interest Dave, do you think that marriage partners (male and female alike) have a sexual obligation at all to their partners?

  35. Ian>

    I can’t really answer that in any meaningful sense given that I set no store by legal definitions of marriage. If people are defining things their own way, they can include any obligations they want. To answer, I’d have to ask you which specific marriage partners you refer to.

    Of course, the existence of an obligation does not automatically provide for a method of enforcing that the duties incurred are carried out. Just because you have an obligation to do something does not compel you to do it, as I’ve been trying to explain.

  36. Actually, thinking about it a bit more, I can say that I don’t think any such obligation currently exists in marriage as defined by English law. Making the humpity-humpity is expected to be part of marriage, but not explicitly required to be so.

  37. Of course, the existence of an obligation does not automatically provide for a method of enforcing that the duties incurred are carried out.

    I made that point myself way back up the thread. But if there is a contractual obligation, there has to be some recognition of breach of contract. Same as, if you contract to do some work and don’t do it, the other person can’t force you to do it, but can sue you.

    I can say that I don’t think any such obligation currently exists in marriage as defined by English law.

    Which is the point really, because such an obligation did exist, which was one of the few grounds for divorce was non-consummation.

    Marriage is implicitly or explicitly a sexual contract. There is (or was) an implicit assumption that by agreeing to not have sex with anyone else, you would get it from the other contracting party.

    I really asked the question though because as a man, I have always felt an emotional obligation to supply my partners with sexual services of an adequate quality, as she requires them, to the best of my capacity. I think most men do. Isn’t there always at that level some kind of claim to the other’s person, in a Pauline Epistle kind of a way?

  38. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave – “The concept of crime doesn-t really help here, if we-re talking about historical concepts of marriage.”

    I thought that is what Ian B was telling you?

    “It was certainly seen as wrong, in most places and at most times. What was done about that wrong varied widely, of course. In that sense it-s just another form of wife-beating.”

    I am not sure you could justify the use of the word most there. I really do not. I think that for most of European history, marital rape would have been seen at worst as something to joke about – as long as there was no physical damage. And Shakespeare does come to think of it.

    “Again, expectation is not compulsion.”

    The two are somewhat linked. And I am getting the distinct impression you are arguing for the sake of arguing without knowing what it is you are arguing for. To return to the point, a wife who got married in the past knew full well that sex was expected. It was part of the deal. The law said the husband could use force to get it, the Churches told her it was wrong to deny it. Every time a woman got married she was most certainly agreeing to being someone-s sex partner and providing sexual access. This was enshrined in law and in religion and custom.

    What is your objection to this claim?

    “That-s an interesting interpretation of a highly troubling passage.”

    Does not trouble me in the slightest. Nor anyone else I know except a crypto-lesbian relative who campaigns for women priests. Nor is it particularly interesting. Being, you know, the black letter, plain face of the words, interpretation.

    “The amount of debate, and number of different interpretations, of that passage suggest otherwise.”

    You would have to show there was a slightest degree of debate before the feminists took over the Churches in the 20th century. I do not think you can do that myself.

    “That-s a disgusting thing to write even going by your usual standards. It says a lot more about you than the people you claim to know about.”

    I am sorry the real world upsets you but there you go. I suggest you deal with it. It was not uncommon even in Britain – remember the judge who said the law allowed “rougher than usual” handling?

    44Ian B – “I-m not quite sure what point you-re making”

    That by restricting and policing sex, the Churches have overwhelmingly benefited women.

    46Dave – “There-s no such thing. Seems it was just another of the myths, legends, and half-remembered factoids that made up your post because there-s nothing very close to what you claim in any part of a Jewish marriage ceremony.”

    Oh Dave, you are going to be such a joy and delight. Please do not ever change. Stay just the way you are. Because, as you will eventually realise, I am right. But please, keep it up for the time being until that fact sinks in. In the meantime you might like to take it up with Wikipedia:

    Before the wedding ceremony, the ketubah, or marriage contract, is signed in the presence of two witnesses.[4] The ketubah details the husband-s obligations to his wife, among which are food, clothing, and marital relations. This document has the standing of a legally binding agreement. It is often written as an illuminated manuscript that is framed and displayed in their home.[5] Under the chuppa, it is traditional to read the signed ketubah aloud, usually in the Aramaic original, but sometimes in translation.

    Or again here:

    The husband too, is indirectly implied to have some responsibilities to his wife. The Covenant Code orders men who have two wives (polygynously) to not deprive the first wife of food, of clothing, nor of sexual activity;[40] if the husband does not provide the first wife with these things, she is to be divorced, without cost to her.[41] The Talmud interprets this as a requirement for a man to provide food and clothing to, and have sex with, each of his wives, even if he only has one.[11]

    And again here:

    In marriage, conjugal relations are guaranteed as a fundamental right for a woman, along with food and clothing.[79] This obligation is known as [onah.][80] Sex within marriage is the woman-s right and the man-s duty. If either partner refuses to participate, that person is considered rebellious and the other spouse can sue for divorce.

    Or perhaps this Rabbi:

    Reading of the ketubah

    The ketubah is read in the Aramaic original and usually also in an English abstract and is subsequently handed to the bride. She should look after it carefully since it is her interests which it safeguards; if lost it needs to be replaced. The obligations her groom assumes towards her, apart from financial considerations, are maintenance, clothing and conjugal rights.

  39. Ian>

    The point I’m trying to make is that the recourse to the breach of contract (as you term it) has generally been divorce, not rape. Societies in which divorce was illegal have had some odd legal situations as a result, but they’re the exceptions rather than the rule.

    “I have always felt an emotional obligation to supply my partners with sexual services of an adequate quality, as she requires them, to the best of my capacity”

    Personally I look on it more as a matter of her wanting to at the same time I do than a matter of obligation one way or the other. Both of us have fully-working hands or fingers if a little light relief is necessary in the absence of the other’s enthusiasm, but frankly the day the wife turns to me and I don’t want to, or vice versa, has yet to come. Of course, it’s different for one like me who is the next best thing to a god* as far as the fairer sex is concerned.

    [*Who, going by the Greek and Roman myths, were sadistic, selfish, demanding and rather perverted lovers, so that wasn’t actually much of a claim.]

    Still, though, you raise an interesting point. It would seem to me that a moral obligation would arise if and when you require your partner to obtain his/her recommended daily dose of jigglings solely from you. Similarly, if SWMBO is to object to manual manipulation of the sordid sausage, she’d better be plenty forthcoming with the other.

  40. SMFS>

    About the only interesting thing you wrote was:

    “Being, you know, the black letter, plain face of the words, interpretation.”

    I didn’t realise you were a Biblical literalist. Suffice it to say that most others aren’t.

    Your little trawl of Wikipedia is, I’m afraid, not managing to dig you out of that hole. The Jewish wedding ceremony doesn’t involve vows. Judaic law prescribes the basics of marriage, and the groom also presents the bride with the Ketubah, or contract, laying out additional pseudo-voluntary obligations he’s taking on. It certainly does not traditionally stipulate a frequency of conjugal relations.

    Basically, not only is there no ‘Jewish wedding vow’, but you’ve also got it wrong on the duties the husband takes on.

  41. Surreptitious Evil

    Which is the point really, because such an obligation did exist, which was one of the few grounds for divorce was non-consummation

    Actually, unless my brain is on the fritz, it is more fundamental than that.

    Non-consummation was grounds for annulment. Legally, despite the ceremony, the vows, the register and the witnesses, the marriage was not considered complete in law (religious and civil) until that first bonk.

  42. Amazing. A thread disappearing up its own arse into complete unreadability, and I’m not involved!

    DBC Reed will be along in a minute to say than an LVT would sort it all out.

  43. @ Dave
    You claim to prove something on the basis that the Head of the Household has no rights, which a complete and utter “non sequitur” since he never has any rights. On that basis you can prove that the sky is yellow and green polka dots.
    You claim that “Do you give an employer implied consent to enslave you at all hours by agreeing to work some hours? Of course not. ” So I give you not one but three counter-examples to show that you are wrong. I could produce more but I thought that three was enough. Doctors are, or were last time I checked, on call as part of their contract.
    It would help if you had the honesty to admit when you are wrong instead of denying it.
    If you were literally talking about enslavement then you are so OTT and off-topic that your comments are completely irrelevant.

  44. @Interested: actually its a SVT (Sex Value Tax) thats needed. If either party is refused sex by the other then they can register that refusal with the local tax office and the refuser gets a bill at the end of the year, and the rebuffed party gets a payment. Thus its in both parties interests to shag like rabbits whenever asked.

    Incidentally on the whole marriage malarky, I’ve never understood why the bits in the marriage vows about “worldly goods thee endow” (ie the money) is enforceable in the event of divorce, but the bits about “cleave only unto thee” (ie the sex) isn’t.

  45. @Jim

    Be careful what you wish for.

    According to Reach (p4 below), the Catholics (p5), the police, and, er, Bournemouth Borough Council, domestic abuse includes withholding sex.

    (That’s if the withholder is the man, obviously. I don’t think it’s domestic abuse if a woman says no?)

    http://www.reachthecharity.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/what-is-domestic-abuse.pdf

    http://www.nbcw.org/nbcwomesticabuse.pdf

    http://www.dyfed-powys.police.uk/en/advice-and-support/look-after-yourself/domestic-abuse

    http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/Housing/CouncilHousing/Publications/Policies/Domesticviolencepolicy09.pdf

  46. Surreptitious Evil

    I am, re #58, utterly amazed.

    Withholding sex or affection.

    is emotional abuse, according to the left footers, and sexual abuse, according to Reach. I wish I’d known this when I was a teenage boy!

  47. All men are rapists, SE, except the bastards who won’t shag you.

    However, thinking laterally, I suggest you, me and about five million other former 14-year-old boys get together in some sort of class action.

  48. John>

    You do seem to have got rather confused there. Of course I meant ‘enslavement’ literally – and of course it’s extreme – because we’re comparing it to the concept of marital rape. The point of that analogy is that marital rape is the same kind of ‘solution’ to non-consent to sex that (literal) slavery is to breach of an employment contract.

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