I have been thinking about this a lot. If we did not live in a culture where men wanting to “own” or “possess” a woman meant that some took that to include rape. If rape was not the elephant in the room, is it an issue? And is it purely a male inclination?
So, remember (no, of course you don’t, I talk too much) when I said Jewish women had it better than Christian/Catholic women (I know Catholics are Christians, it’s just that for most of Jewish history the only Christians were Catholics)?
The ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract, says that husbands are obligated to give their wives three things food, clothing, and sexual relations (usually defined by rabbis as orgasms). Interestingly, this obligation ONLY falls on the man.
Women always had the right to own property.
Marital rape and spousal abuse was not okay (not saying it didn’t happen, obviously it did, but it wasn’t kosher). Jewish law is actually “yes means yes” and it has been for thousands of years.
There is/was/will be a LOT of unfairness and patriarchy in Judaism. But I do love how forward they were.
There’s a scene in one of the books where Jamie wonders whether it is “the lack of the foreskin” that makes Jewish (and Muslim) men think that marital sex is a good thing. I always wanted to sit down with Jamie and have a conversation about it 🙂