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Free Northerner: "The concept of marital rape creates the trauma of marital rape." And spouses who say "no" to sex are sinners.

Just because she says  "I do," it doesn't preclude herfrom saying "no" ever again.
Just because she says “I do,” it doesn’t preclude her from saying “no” ever again.

Free Northerner is a “Dark Enlightenment” blogger who describes himself as “a Christian and a reactionary monarchist from British North America” who,

after a period of red pill exploration … decided to embrace Christian masculinity. I am working to improve myself for God’s glory. My plan is to find a wife and raise a large family with traditional values.

If any woman ever decides to marry him – and I sincerely hope no one ever does — she should be aware that her Darkly Enlightened husband does not believe there is such a thing as marital rape.

In a recent post, Free Northerner set forth the essentially the same argument as his fellow reactionary Vox Day: that the marriage contract provides “sexual consent … for life,” and that those who argue for the existence of marital rape are thereby undermining the legitimacy of marriage itself. And then he adds some tweaks that make his terrible  argument even more terrible than that of Mr. Day. But we’ll get to those in a moment.

First, his basic claim:

Marital non-consent is an impossibility: if there is non-consent, there is no marriage; if there is marriage, there can not be non-consent.

So if a wife doesn’t want sex and her husband forces it on her – whether she is screaming no and fighting her husband, or if she is so cowed she can’t say a word – her “no” simply doesn’t count, because of the one time she said “I do.”

Free Northerner, a man of many short paragraphs, attempts to give a Christian justification for his stance:

The basis of Christian marriage is laid out in Genesis and reiterated in the Gospels. The man and wife become one flesh.

Can a person commit a non-consensual act upon their own flesh?

The very idea is absurd.

Indeed, he argues that anyone who believes that there is such a thing as marital rape isn’t a real Christian:

Any statement that there can be non-consent in marriage is an attack on the fundamental basis of Christian marriage and the Christian family.

And, furthermore, that anyone who says “no” to their spouse is a sinner:

The Bible is very clear that you should not deny your spouse sex. Someone who does is sinning.

But, hey, he’s no monster. If your spouse says no, even if this is Very Wrong because the Bible Told Him So, Free Northerner does acknowledge that it might not be so terribly polite or practical to go ahead and rape have perfectly justifiable marital sex with them.

All that being said, this should not be taken as encouragement to take your spouse if the spouse is saying no. Your spouse may be sinning and consenting, but it would not be the loving thing to do and might be sinful in itself. As well, from a practical standpoint, the law does frown upon it.

Free Northerner then pulls a very Warren Farrell-esque move. You may recall that in discussing his incest research in the 1970s, Farrell, the intellectual grandfather of the Men’s Rights movement, suggested that much of the trauma of incest might come not from the incest itself but from society’s negative attitudes towards it.

Free Northerner makes the same argument, a bit more forcefully, with regard to marital rape, claiming that the real trauma of marital rape comes not from one spouse forcing sex on another but on the notion that this violation is a violation.

That is, the real trauma of marital rape is caused by the idea of marital rape.

Here’s how he puts it:

The trauma of rape does not primarily come from its physical aspects, but rather its psychological aspects. The trauma comes from the violation.

If this is so, it stands to reason if there is no sense of psychological violation, there is no trauma.

The creation of the concept of marital rape, creates the idea that a spouse can be violated in marriage where the idea didn’t exist previously. Undesired sex that would have been an unpleasant duty is made traumatic by removing the psychological aspect of duty from it and imputing a psychological aspect of violation to it.

I think it likely, the psychological trauma of marital rape only becomes a reality because of the belief that there can be such a concept as marital rape. Pushing the concept of marital rape increases the likelihood of trauma from marital rape; the very concept of marital rape creates the trauma of marital rape.

Anyone with any degree of real human empathy can see that this is pernicious bullshit.

And in fact, Free Northerner has it completely backwards: it’s the fact that people don’t take marital rape seriously that makes it worse.

Even though marital rape is now illegal in the United States, numerous surveys reveal that both men and women take it less seriously than stranger rape, and there are still many who, like Free Northerner, don’t believe that it is rape at all. As late as the mid-1990s, fully half of the male college students answering one survey on the topic said that it wasn’t possible for husbands to rape their wives.

Yet numerous studies suggest that marital rape can actually be more traumatizing than stranger rape, both emotionally and physically. Rape by an intimate partner represents a profound betrayal of trust; it may be part of a broader pattern of mental and physical abuse, and it is likely to be repeated. Most wives who are raped are raped more than once, with a third of them raped twenty or more times. And contrary to what many believe, survivors of marital rape are often subject to more extreme physical violence than survivors of stranger rape.

Despite all this, many wives remain trapped in violent marriages without any outside support. Many raped wives are financially dependent on their husband-rapists and find it difficult if not impossible to leave; meanwhile, they’re often pressured to stay by friends and relatives who don’t even consider what happened to them to have been rape. Thus their trauma is made worse by the cultural denial that marital rape is rape.

It’s not the idea of marital rape that causes trauma; it is the fact of it. It is marital rape apologists like Vox Day and Free Northerner who enable it in the first place – and make the trauma worse once it happens.

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emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

Let me ask a question: how do the people at wehuntedthemammoth propose to eliminate “marital rape”?

How about if people don’t rape their spouses? Seems pretty simple, really.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Banhammer away.

Kate, men could stop raping their wives and other men could stop encouraging them to do so by claiming that it isn’t rape if you put a ring on it.

Pretty simple, really.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@cloudiah

I’m neutral, but if she was banned I certainly wouldn’t mind.

Fibinachi
6 years ago

Let me ask a question: how do the people at wehuntedthemammoth propose to eliminate “marital rape”?

What works:

* Criminalizing the rape of a partner (Done)
* Eliminating loopholes in legal codes that make rape of a partner legal grey areas by such circumspect notions as “one flesh” or “marriage grants on-going consent” (Done in most countries)
* Offering the same exact awareness training, campaigns and information that is available as with any other kind of rape (Done in most countries)

Done.

From there on out it’s a downward curve for rape of all kinds, as it has been, for several decades now. Woooooh! And most other crimes. It’s good to be alive.

I mean, this isn’t hard.

What won’t fix any crime is no-criming it. You can’t say “Well, we’ve managed to make no instance of marital rape occur over the past 10 years by declaring marital rape a legal impossibility because marriage grants on-going consent”. It’s like ruling that all suicides are actually homicides because a person was killed, and then declaring that your state is suicide free.

sort of silly.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Cloudiah,

It would be fine with me! I’m pretty upset about it too even though I have no personal ties like you do. Victim blaming and male entitlement (and apologia for it) is something I’m even less receptive to than usual.

I’m glad your friend’s daughter is OK.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Let me ask a question: how do the people at wehuntedthemammoth propose to eliminate “marital rape”?

Why do misogynists always come in here and put it on us to fix misogyny? We’re already against marital rape and all other rape. We already know about consent. We already have the right attitude and correct others who don’t.

It’s other people who need to change.

Chaos-Engineer
Chaos-Engineer
6 years ago

Let me ask a question: how do the people at wehuntedthemammoth propose to eliminate “marital rape”?

Eliminating it completely is probably impossible, so the goal should be to greatly reduce the frequency.

We’d do this using the same methods that we’d use to reduce the frequency of anything else: Education, social pressure, tax incentives, criminal penalties, etc. (Maybe not tax incentives in this case, but the other stuff should work.) Society is already doing this to some extent but there’s lots of room for improvement.

Do you have a counter-proposal? If it’s “blame the victim”, then that doesn’t work. That actually increases the undesirable behavior, because it sends a message that people can engage in it without being held responsible.

Kate
6 years ago

@Marie: People can already do numbers 1-4. So how do you account for its continued existence? Long story short: your way isn’t working.

@drst: The person has the right to say no in that scenario. The post in question is about a continued, sustained refusal to have sex, which I think is very different. I’ll have to think about the second part of your question.

@cloudiah: I’m sorry I’ve upset you. I am going to leave (not flounce, mind you) both because I do have somewhere to be and because its not really my intention to disturb. Have a pleasant day.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

The post in question is about a continued, sustained refusal to have sex, which I think is very different. I’ll have to think about the second part of your question.

THAT’S STILL NOT AN EXCUSE TO RAPE YOU REPREHENSIBLE ASSHOLE.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Kate,
Yes, it is. It is your way of victim blaming and pretending that rape might be a necessity or not really “rape” at all that fucking failed for a very long time.

Flit away special snowflake. No one here asked for your “advice”. You admit to being a female misogynist. This sight is meant to mock you. It’s not here to give you a space to tell the women here, some of whom are survivors of marital rape, that it’s their fault a man decided to rape them.

There is no justification for any rape. That you are eager to make one up is truly vile. What in the hell is wrong with you?

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

site
I’m off. (in so many ways)
Ta all and many hugs and well wishes to you. <3

Erica Stratton
6 years ago

“The post in question is about a continued, sustained refusal to have sex, which I think is very different.”

Things to do during “a continued, sustained refusal to have sex”:

1. talk with the other person about it

2. break up with the person

If someone’s continually refusing you sex, something is already wrong. Forcing them is not the way to fix it!

Ally S
6 years ago

Let me ask a question: how do the people at wehuntedthemammoth propose to eliminate “marital rape”?

Dismantle patriarchy, the origin of rape culture. A culture that condones and encourages sexual violence, especially that committed by men against women as part of a strategy of male entitlement and often intimidation as well. While legislative reforms can help in bringing justice to victims, the root of the problem is the social system that enables perpetrators in the first place.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Kate, you just implied that a man is right to rape his wife if she refuses sex for a stint of time, just after someone mentioned that they were being triggered because an evil misogynistic bastard murdered 6 people because ‘he was a virgin and how dare women not have sex with him’ and that murdering them was only fair, since he was involuntarily celibate.

Your ‘have a pleasant day’ does not cut it.

Quit the victim blaming, or don’t come back.

Please.

Fatman
Fatman
6 years ago

“Long story short, your way isn’t working.” But it is working, the incidence of marital rape, like all rape, is way down from the 1970’s. People still work to end rape because it still happens, and telling them to stop using the methods that have been effective so far, simply because the job isn’t done yet is foolish. Imagine you are building a levee with picks and shovels, halfway through the job you don’t discard the tools simply because you have not managed to finish the job yet. The tools are working fine, we just haven’t finished yet.

Ally S
6 years ago

@Marie: People can already do numbers 1-4. So how do you account for its continued existence?

Individual people can be supportive of survivors and harsh towards enablers and perpetrators, but that doesn’t mean that suddenly rape culture doesn’t exist. It will only go away once its systemic origins are dismantled. Whether someone has the ability to be genuinely anti-rape has nothing to do with whether the culture at large is anti-rape. If you understood anything about how social institutions work, you would know this.

Long story short: your way isn’t working.

The decreasing rate of rape in the US with the advent of feminist anti-rape advocacy suggests otherwise.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Kate: “Its not really my intention to disturb by advocating that women stop marital rape by just putting out.”

Fuck off.

drst
drst
6 years ago

@drst: The person has the right to say no in that scenario. The post in question is about a continued, sustained refusal to have sex, which I think is very different. I’ll have to think about the second part of your question.

@Kate – So you believe a married person can rape their spouse. Because if the person has the right to say no and says no and the other person forces them into sex, that’s rape. There is no gray area here, which is why you’re ducking the question. You know damn well that this would be rape and there’s no difference if Person A and Person B are dating or living together or legally married. So you actually when the truth comes out believe in “marital rape.”

Also no, the post is NOT about “sustained refusals,” it is about any refusal at all. The post is arguing that no wife has any right to refuse anything to her husband ever and even if she tries and he ignores it, it’s not rape. You cannot simultaneously believe in and deny the existence of rape within marriages. Well, you can try, but you look like a damn fool.

Ally S
6 years ago

:: offers hugs for cloudiah ::

It’s really upsetting to me as well. I understand why you’re extra pissed off at Kate.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: emilygoddess

He found a church he likes? Yay! I occasionally think about our brief discussion about UU and I’ve meant to PM you guys on Tumblr and see if you wanted to talk more about it,

He’s going to the local MCC! If that doesn’t work out, he’s going to try the local UCC, which is a denomination he’s been with before and also has a local trans meeting. (And seems to have more of the call-and-response tradition that he’s more comfortable with.) So he has a good start!

RE: Kate

Men might feel the need,

You’re not a man, so you don’t know a thing you’re talking about. I’m a man, and I have never, EVER felt the need to rape anyone. Any man who DOES feel the need to rape someone should seek professional help, because godDAMN. Also, the guy who did rape me, and groomed me to be his child spouse, tried to claim that he wouldn’t need to rape me if I was a better partner. I was a fucking child, but he expected me to be his spouse.

how do the people at wehuntedthemammoth propose to eliminate “marital rape”?

I’m so glad you asked! Education on rape and consent, so that rapists can learn and reform. Beefing up support systems for partners who are raped, so they can leave, along with support systems for the rapists themselves, so that they can reform. (Because jail time does not solve the problem. Many rapists are repeat offenders, and I want them to be able to change, not just get locked away.)

This protects EVERYONE. Rape happens to people from all walks of life. Children, boys, girls, EVERYONE. Protecting them from rape is so important. I say this as someone who came from a family where both boys and girls were molested, and rape was a horrifying everyday occurence committed by family members. I want to make a world where people like my mother and uncle are never abused by their parents again, and where they never have to cope by abusing those who came after them. I want to break my family cycle.

You act as though rape is a foregone conclusion. That’s bullshit. We stopped lynching as a cultural practice in my country, we damn fucking well can protect our people from rape.

ceebarks
ceebarks
6 years ago

I typed out a whole thoughtful response to Kate but WordPress ate it and now I’m like, eh, no use talking thoughtfully to manosphereans anyway, is there?

There was a great article in Psychology Today awhile back about how the right to leave was one of the original social-regulating systems in the days before agriculture tied people to a hunk of land (and each other, by extension.) I have been trying to find it but failing. Bummer.

Basically if you tried to abuse/neglect/harangue/control people, even you own children, they could walk off and join another group or household. Put a limit on how big an asshole you could get away with being, even if you were a big asshole by nature.

Point is, when people have have the legal right and practical means to walk away from a bad situation, they will eventually do it. When not, they put a lot of energy into building up a wide and fascinating array of mechanisms to tolerate their misery instead.

While divorce is an expensive pain in the ass, I think it’s an acceptable outcome to ongoing relationship conflict. Rape is not.

I want to be amazed that I just had to say that but there’s a manospherean in the conversation so there is not much background knowledge one can take for granted.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

I’m a gay man, stereotypically the most hypersexual demographic around. (Unless you mean my husband, who’s bi.)

Sometimes, one of us wants to have sex and the other doesn’t.

When this happens, shock! We don’t feel the urge to rape each other. We DON’T HAVE SEX. Sometimes, we find a kind of third option by finding a nonsexual way to provide the part of sex we really want. An orgasm? Cuddles? Closeness? A distraction from a bad day? All of these things can be achieved without us necessarily having sex with each other.

There is no “need” for marital rape. There is no urge or craving. Our relationship skills aren’t intended to keep us safe from marital rape, because WE DON’T WANT TO RAPE EACH OTHER.

I swear to god, misogynists not only have low feelings of women, they have the lowest feelings of men too. It disgusts me.

I’m a man. I have STANDARDS for my gender.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

@kate

@drst: The person has the right to say no in that scenario. The post in question is about a continued, sustained refusal to have sex, which I think is very different. I’ll have to think about the second part of your question.

So, Kate, you think that if one spouse makes “a continued, sustained refusal to have sex”, then the other spouse may need to rape them? How long is “sustained”? Are we talking days, weeks, or months before you believe rape is a necessity?

Actually, don’t answer. I’d rather not know any more of your “thinking” on any subject.You disgust me.

Selfie
Selfie
6 years ago

This seriously makes me sick. The fact that he isn’t just a fart in a windstorm on an empty hill at night, barely noticeable and then he’s gone, the fact that people like him are an actual threat to victims, kills me. It kills me that there’s more than one of them and some of them are cops, or priests or authority figures. It makes me hate humanity.

brooked
brooked
6 years ago

While the UN study of rape in six Asian-Pacific countries that came out last year deals with rape of non-partners, I think it’s pertinent because it asks men why they raped.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/10/world/asia/asia-rape-report/

The majority stated they rape due to sexual entitlement, something that the Free Numbnuts’ rambling is drenched in. The fact that I can’t tell if Kate thinks sexual entitlement should be challenged is part of what makes her posts disturbing.

Almost 40% of men in the study stated that they raped “as a punishment”. This points to where Kate’s attitude shifts to appalling and only worthy of being told to fuck off. Seriously, do she not know that men who rape their partners are committing an act of violence that’s meant to punish, humiliate, control and/or harm their victim? That therefore rape is not prevented by encouraging men to be better at sexy times? Kate, gather up all your ramblings about men’s “needs”, GTFO and go back to Minterville to complain about women with your crank hack hubby.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@kate

@Marie: People can already do numbers 1-4. So how do you account for its continued existence? Long story short: your way isn’t working.

It’s decreasing. Plus, you don’t do 1-4. That’s why I set them out there. Because if you think people do do 1-4, why the fuck aren’t you doing them.

@erica

If someone’s continually refusing you sex, something is already wrong. Forcing them is not the way to fix it!

Um, or they just don’t want to have sex (or don’t want to have sex with you.) Dumping them is an option, but the lack of sex doesn’t mean something is wrong.

Ledasmom
Ledasmom
6 years ago

What, Kate’s logic is that anything that doesn’t work 100% is ineffective and useless?
Well, there goes pretty much all of medicine, then. Also seatbelts, bike helmets, fire alarms, the fire department, and all human progress ever, because obviously if one person anywhere dies of starvation, agriculture is Just No Good.
Even without the vile implications of a possible “need” for rape, Kate’s logic is laughable.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

I love how she keeps saying “have a pleasant day,” as though that’ll somehow persuade us she came here to wish us well.

dustedeste
dustedeste
6 years ago

Huh, I’d like to hear how Kate’s policy of just not calling sex under duress rape is working at reducing the rate of rape for anyone who actually knows what rape is. I mean, really.

Also, in answer to this:

Let me guess who’s responsible for keeping up the relationship skills in Kate’s scenario. Fuck off, Kate.

I feel like we did just recently hear from Kate about how the tone in her relationship is managed, and that it is managed by Kate always smiling and not being allowed to have negative emotions, and that she was advocating that this is the woman’s role in a relationship. Do correct me if I’m wrong and that was some other pretend-feminist MRA-girlfriend.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

dustedeste: That was kate and her secret of a happy relationship. ABS: Always Be Smiling.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Am I the only person who thinks Kate’s behavior merits a banhammer? I’m pretty upset about this shooting, so maybe my temperature gauge is off-kilter.

May be posting after the fact, but yes, I think Kate’s rape apologia (or, seriously, rape advocacy, since she expects women to submit to men whether we want sex or not) warrant the banhammer. She’s even grosser than Minty, and that’s saying something.

Hey troll: you’re saying I should let some man inside my body when I don’t want him there, just because we’re in a relationship and he has a boner.

Fuck you forever.

kittehserf
6 years ago

ABS: Always Be Smiling.

I’m never gonna see the Australian Bureau of Statistics the same way again.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: hellkell

That was kate and her secret of a happy relationship. ABS: Always Be Smiling.

As someone who managed the Raping Year by dissociating and constantly faking happiness (because abuse would escalate if we expressed any sort of resistance or unhappiness), this really deeply horrifies me. I mean, I figured I could be a victim or a volunteer, so might as well make it feel somewhat under my control and be a “volunteer.” *shudder*

Also, my mental illness is the type that our brain DOES yank out certain sprockets to keep us from feeling too unhappy. It’s actually incredibly horrifying and creepy, to both us and other people.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

LBT: I’m sorry. Apologies if I triggered you.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Oh no, it’s totally okay! It’s just, people act like being able to magically make themselves happy is a panacea, when actually, it’s more like those YA dystopias that send you screaming into the night!

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

If that doesn’t work out, he’s going to try the local UCC, which is a denomination he’s been with before and also has a local trans meeting.

I was gonna suggest the UCC, actually, since you said he was Christian. They’re like the Christian version of UU and the UUA has partnered with them on social justice stuff before. The North Carolina UCC is suing the state, arguing that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage infringes on their religious freedom to marry gay couples. So, yeah, the kind of Christians I can get behind.

Which is all moot if he likes the church he’s found, but other Mammotheers might find it useful…

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Yeah, the UCC he went to in Texas made a positive impression on him. He kinda likes traditional trappings, not traditional ethics.

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

@emilygoddess*

*I had a serious brain bloop and almost misread your name as ‘free hugs’. I don’t know why.

I was gonna suggest the UCC, actually, since you said he was Christian. They’re like the Christian version of UU and the UUA has partnered with them on social justice stuff before. The North Carolina UCC is suing the state, arguing that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage infringes on their religious freedom to marry gay couples. So, yeah, the kind of Christians I can get behind.

:3 It’s nice to hear there are actually some churches that aren’t supporting homophobia, especially since I left my last one because of it. (along with the notes from the older priests pantsfeelings)

Zolnier
Zolnier
6 years ago

Okay what the Hell is “British North America”? Are we talking the States, or Canada? Canada would make slightly more sense.

dustedeste
dustedeste
6 years ago

@Zolnier:

My assumption was probably one of the British-er parts of Canada, when considering the addition of the “northern” in the name. Which would make him not-unlikely to be in the province I’m in. Of course, I could just be reading too much into things, and too influenced by my own surroundings in my assumptions.

Zolnier
Zolnier
6 years ago

I know of a Texan monarchist, apparently the idea is that the King of America should be Washington’s descendent…. even though I’m pretty sure Washington didn’t have any biological kids that we know of.

Americans seem to have a odd longing for old-fashioned monarchism for a nation state that’s been a republic since its inception.

Take in point a television program my younger sister used to watch quite a bit, A Pair of Kings, that show seemed to think the kid trying to overthrow his cousins who use their crown as nothing but an excuse for indolence and a way of extracting intimacy from one of their servants was the baddie.

….I’m sorry I just heard that awful theme song for the first time in two years and I needed to complain.

oogenhand
6 years ago

Reblogged this on oogenhand.

Samantha
5 years ago

http://truethoughtsofcourage.blogspot.co.nz/
Blog about marital rape….

Kay Cee
5 years ago

Sorry im late to the party but got to reply to ceebarks:
Might you be talking about this blog by Dr. Peter Gray, Freedom to Learn, specifically this post? http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201304/the-most-basic-freedom-is-freedom-quit

samantha
5 years ago
Reply to  Kay Cee

Sorry im late to the party but got to reply to ceebarks:
Might you be talking about this blog by Dr. Peter Gray, Freedom to Learn, specifically this post? http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201304/the-most-basic-freedom-is-freedom-quit

Thank you so much for that! I read it and am sending the url to everyone I know. I could not agree more with Dr. Gray.

Woo!

kellyrtillson
5 years ago

Auuuuggghhh. Guys, pkease believe me when I say: this man is not really a Christian. This is not an idea Jesus word support. And the majority of normal Christian churches would be horrified by this. This kind of shit is so embarrassing. This is like “stone the nonbeliever” Christianity, which forgets that Jesus literally stopped a crowd from stoning someone.

Spindrift
Spindrift
5 years ago

Someone can identify as a christian and still be a terrible person. Christians come in many forms.

You can say “he sucks at being a good christian for X and Y reasons”, but I don’t think you get to decide who is and isn’t a christian. That’s just a “no true scotsman” fallacy.

KL
KL
5 years ago

I wonder if their “logic” holds in same sex marriages? If it is a man forcing another man, would they suddenly see a problem?

KL
KL
5 years ago

Kelly – Jesus believed divorce was very wrong, and the old testament is very pro-rape.

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