After several years of silence a brave and heroic thirty eight year old woman has come forward to denounce her former husband’s repeated rapes over the course of their marriage. Despite her numerous appeals, local law enforcement refuses to treat her allegations seriously. These sexist, male-chauvinist, largely white male officers actually state that by her own account she was not “legally raped.”
It all began a little over seven years ago. Margaret Friedan was propositioned by her husband at the time. He asked her if she would like to “make love.” Friedan reluctantly feigned a smile and nodded her head, deathly afraid, unable to express her real refusal and revulsion owing to the unequal balance of power between men and women in our society. Her husband had sexual intercourse with her, against her will, raping her!
“It was horrible. I felt so violated. I felt like he took away my dignity and my worth as a person. He had no right to do what he did.” Friedan recalls tearfully. Yet the abuse did not stop but continued on an almost weekly basis, sometimes even twice a week, year after year. “I felt sick and disgusted with myself. Every day I was dying a little bit more inside. I knew I was a strong woman and I knew some day I would find the courage to end the pain I was suffering.” Friedan continued recounting her years of rape at the hands of a cruel and hateful husband.
Friedan’s abuse was not limited to rape, but manifested in many other was. “He would often kiss me and hug me upon returning from work each day. To rub more salt into the wound, he would accompany these unrequested advances with a verbal ‘I love you’ routinely. He never stopped to ask first if that was ok with me or if he could even have permission. He didn’t care, he just used me and did whatever he wanted.” Friedan stated, pausing momentarily, trembling from the memories of her abuse.
Friedan reached for a tissue to wipe her eyes before continuing. “He would sit by me on the sofa many times, closely, intruding into my space and violating it. I was trapped for so long, so scared I couldn’t say anything. I shouldn’t have had to though, as I learned over the years from reading feminist authors and writers, I was being raped and sexually abused. It is always rape and abuse when a man initiates sexual relations with a woman or asks her to do anything. If that’s not rape, I have no idea what it is. Men are so repulsive. You know that most sexual relations historically, and even today have been rape. Most male and female sexual relations are rape and always have been.”
A sense of moral indignation compelled this reporter to attempt to arrange a meeting with an officer of the Los Angeles Police Department to discuss Margaret Friedan’s complaints. Remarkably the department refused my request. After repeated calls an angry and abusive woman-hating officer stated “She wasn’t raped, she admits she never told her husband no, or to stop. She was an adult woman and she consented. Regretting it later or feeling pressured does not constitute legal rape in this country! Rape is when a woman is violated against her will, like when she is screaming stop and trying to get away! You want my opinion? By falsely claiming to be raped she is insulting all the women who actually have been raped!” I attempted to counter that progressives and feminists now recognize that she was raped. All male initiated sexual relations are rape, but to no avail, the fascist beast had already hung up the phone.
Margaret Friedan is currently writing a book about the years of suffering and sexual abuse and violation which she endured. The book entitled Woman Empowered: One Woman’s Heroic Struggle Against Spousal Rape and Sexual Abuse will be available next month at major book stores and on Amazon kindle.
While law enforcement refuses to take Friedan’s harrowing and long ordeal of repeated rape and sexual abuse seriously, fortunately one group has agreed to take her case and launch a legal action against her now ex-husband and against the LAPD for refusing to prosecute him. The National Organization for Women has launched a class action lawsuit in federal court on Margaret Friedan’s behalf. Let us hope that someday she will receive justice and that the pig who abused and violated her year after year will finally be called to account for his crimes.
How many more casualties will be necessary before we wake up and realize that a real war is being waged against women by men in this country? Every day husbands are raping their wives. Women are being asked out on dates and agreeing, afraid to say no. Though women are a strong and independent gender, the male power structure is simply so over-reaching and the gender power imbalance is so great that women simply cannot say no in many cases. When will we say enough is enough and demand that men stop propositioning women, including their wives?