All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Is it Rape?

I want to propose a scenario:

A man and women get married, have children and are going through life in a "normal" manner.  They've been married for several years and the excitement has worn off and the sex is more drab than daring.  Lately even the drab has been rare.  They don't have a bad marriage, there aren't any "problems" or anything drastic, just infrequent and unsatisfying sex.

One Friday morning Spouse A tells Spouse B that they will be taking the children to their mothers for the weekend.  Spouse A orders Spouse B to not go to O'Malley's Pub for Happy Hour like normal because they have dinner reservations.  Spouse B dearly loves going to O'Malley's on Friday, but grunts in response.

Latter that day Spouse B takes off work at noon with the rest of the people in the office.  The boss is having a retirement party for one of the people in accounting.  They all go out to a local cocktail lounge for lunch and drinks.  Spouse B has several drinks and not feeling it would be a good idea to drive takes a cab home.

Spouse A comes to the door wearing nothing but a smile and proceeds to remove Spouse B's clothing and forcefully copulates with Spouse B on the couch.  Spouse A then fixes more alcoholic beverages and practically forces them down Spouse B's throat.  This drunken orgy continues over the weekend.  Saturday morning Spouse B wakes up to find their arms handcuffed to the bed and Spouse A on top doing things of a sexually explicit nature.

This process continues until Sunday when they have to sober up and retrieve the kids from grandma's.

  • Never at any point did Spouse B give written or verbal consent to Spouse A to engage in sex
  • Spouse B was intoxicated and therefor unable to consent
  • Saturday morning Spouse B was unconscious when sex began therefor unable to grant consent 
  • Spouse A never requested consent
  • Spouse A was a "selfish" lover and did not seek to pleasure Spouse B
Was what Spouse A did to Spouse B rape?

If not rape, some lessor form of sexual assault?

Does it matter if Spouse A is a women?

Go ahead and post an opinion in the comments.  I'm going to try to get out a follow up post latter in the week.


  1. Susan3:20 PM

    Wow. And I thought my ramblings were hard to follow. At least according to my hubby.(grin)

    I suspect the only time I would call it rape would be if the couple were separated and in preparations to get divorced. But if I am following your train of thought here, I would say that one of the spouse's was kind of rude. They ignored the reminder of the other spouse that there was dinner reservations for that evening.
    If the other spouse did not want to go to dinner that night, they should have taken the time to say so instead of this kind of behavior.

    I might not call it rape, but I would call it rude, disrespectful, unthinking and unworthy treatment of the other spouse.
    I think what some guys forget sometimes is that a woman approaches sex from a definite mental attitude. If her mind really isn't in it, she is not going to want to go through with it.

    You men might be able to follow through at the drop of a hat, but it takes us a little longer to get with the program, depending on what kind of day we had.

    No offense to the gentlemen here, but something you might want to think about is that frigid wives are not born, they are made. When I see guys complain about how cold their wives/sig. others are, I really have to wonder how hard they work at warming them up. A stirred pot puts out nicely. That is why I have been very happily married for nearly 38 years now. My hubby is an excellent pot stirrer.

    Again, this is not directed to any of the guys here. I am talking about some of the guys that post elsewhere. You guys here are the kind I would not mind meeting someday.

    1. What part was hard to follow? Was it the A and B thing?

      I think having an older women's perspective is very helpful.

      On a related note I suspect that the guys would love it if they got to play Spouse B in this scenario.

      Your point about frigid wives is a good one. However, I think that it is more complicated than that. A normal male is more than willing to do/say/buy etc things that get her "in the mood". What does a guy do when the reason she isn't interested is due to other reasons, maybe even to reasons that she doesn't understand herself?

      It's a great topic to explore and maybe I'll work that in if I can.

    2. Susan5:30 PM

      Yeah, that was kind of hard to follow, but I understand why you did it. You have a followup post coming so I figure you would make it a little more clear then.

      Oh I agree that the frigid wife area is more complicated. If a guy honestly tries everything from gifts to shows of affection to talking and it still doesn't work, she could have a medical reason at work.

      What always gets me all sugary inside, is when hubby does something so out of the blue sweet that I totally don't expect. Like grabbing the vacuum and doing that chore, or picking up the laundry and putting it by the washing machine.

      It doesn't sound romantic, but when a fellow makes an effort to help his wife with a chore, most of the time it is appreciated. If that wife has a clue that is.

      A good relationship takes a lot of effort on occasion. Think of it as your yard. You only get the yard that you put in the effort to get, right? Well it is the same with marriage to an extent.

      Believe me, I know there are women out there who have husbands that they totally do NOT deserve at all, and I am sorry for that. But there are guys out there that also have wives that they are not worthy of either.

      I try to not hide my head in the sand from either side of the coin. But I know from long experience that problems don't just happen with no reason. A couple should take the time to seek out a solution to their problems if they really care about that relationship they are in.

    3. Susan,

      If you don't want to answer this, I understand.

      Lets say your husband is feeling a little frisky and he knows your going to run to town to do a couple of hours worth of errands. So he does several small chores around the house that you would normally do. Does he always get red hot love'n as his reward?

      I'm asking because I hear women say what you said. I see PHD's have written books saying what you said. I know men who have tried doing what you're saying, and not only do they not get what they were after, they get treated worse for the effort.

      I can tell you from a guys POV, if we knew running the vacuum cleaner would always get us great sex there wouldn't be a dirty married couples house in America.

    4. Susan9:04 AM

      That was kind of why I made the point about "wife with a clue". A wife with a clue will appreciate her hubby and notice what he does for her, and will endeavor to make him happy. A guy with a clue will return the favor.

      Believe me, I know there are dumb bunny wives out there. I guess I was just making the point that there are clueless on both sides of the aisle. Kind of the human condition, right?

      To answer your question, sometimes he does, sometimes he gets one of his favorite meals if I could not follow through for some reason on the "hot lovin". He always gets appreciated in some way for what he does to help out around the house. When our kids were young, say 3 and 4 years of age, he would take them somewhere to a mall or park or someplace fun for several hours so that I could have the house to myself.

      He also got the chance to parent his kids without any interference from me too. I think that is my favorite thing that hubby ever did for me. More than dinner out, or going on family outings together. Just a break once every 6 weeks or so. The kids always came back with the best stories to tell of their adventures too.

    5. If running the vacuum always equaled wife in French maid lingerie cleaning out the pipes upon finishing the chore, American women would have the cleanest homes on earth.

  2. WaterBoy7:53 PM

    First, some observations:

    1. The list of Facts never states that Spouse B ever protested at any stage, whether drunk or sober (assuming they woke up on each morning sober, before being plied with more alcohol). Granted, an unconscious spouse is incapable of explicit consent, but how did that spouse react upon gaining sober consciousness? A lack of protest -- or beyond that, a positive verbal response -- could be interpreted as implicit consent.

    2. Define "practically" as it pertains to the forceful application of alcohol. Does it involve actually physically forcing the mouth open and pouring the liquid in, where the recipient is forced to swallow rather than drown? Or is it merely a case of repeated offering and cajoling, more of a social force? This has implications of a legal nature related not just to the prospective rape, but also to questions of simple assault and torture.

    3. Are you looking for the common sense answer or the legal answer...because they are not necessarily the same, given the previous two points.

    So now, given only the facts presented, the answers:

    Q1: Was what Spouse A did to Spouse B rape?
    A1: Legally Yes, but commonly No...and proving it in a court of law will be impossible.

    Q2: If not rape, some lessor form of sexual assault?
    A2: Legally N/A, but commonly No. However, see the previous observation concerning simple assault and torture.

    Q3: Does it matter if Spouse A is a woman?
    A3: Legally it should not, but often would in our biased legal system. Commonly, No.

    1. WaterBoy8:05 PM

      BTW, the direction this can go is interesting, given the genderless depictions of the two spouses. For not only can the two be reversed in a heterosexual couple, but they can also apply to a homosexual couple as well.

      Then you are in a real legal quagmire.

    2. That's why I did the A and B thing. If something is a legal right, it shouldn't mater if the aggressor is male or female.

    3. 1. I would argue that implicit consent occurred when the marriage was entered into. More on that in the follow up.

      2. I was assuming normal "have one more" type pressure.

      3. I'm not concerned with what American jurisprudence has to say about marriage, because its wrong, more on that in the follow up.

      4. I believe the gender has everything to do with the outcome in the scenario. A couple of reasons for that, one is most married men would like nothing more than the wife pawning the kids off on grandma and indulging in an explicit weekend of hedonistic passion. Another is if a women is spouse A its seen as empowering and sexy, not domineering and degrading.

  3. WaterBoy1:25 PM

    "1. I would argue that implicit consent occurred when the marriage was entered into."

    Yes, that's the "common sense" answer of which I spoke earlier. But common sense is not law.

    It would be interesting if the "explicit consent each time" thing were extended to everything else in the marriage:

    - "I do not consent to you getting half of this week's paycheck."

    So much for community property. On the other hand...if money and property are to be shared equally with no concern for the will or consent of the spouse who generates it, why should bodies be treated any differently?

    "3. I'm not concerned with what American jurisprudence has to say about marriage, because its wrong"

    Unfortunately, that's the yardstick by which a man will be judged if he does force himself upon his wife in a jurisdiction where it has been legislated against. Again, common sense and law are not always in accord, no matter what we think.