What does Menopause have to do with Rape?

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  • The Delhi High Court has found that forced sex with a woman aged between 65-70 years,who had attained menopause, is “forceful, but not forcible“.
  • The judgment seems to indicate that a woman who has passed the age of fertility (menopause) cannot be termed a victim of rape.
  • If one is to interpret the judgment, then it is only women who are in the reproductive age who can be considered victims in a rape case.
  • Older women will no longer be safe after such a judgment.
  • Menopause has nothing to do with rape since it's about the uterus; one does not have sex with the uterus.
  • No lady who has passed menopause will now be safe.
  • One can't use menopause as a reason to lower the punishment for rape. It is a violation of a woman's dignity and must be treated as such.
  • Rape is concerned with a woman's vagina, not the uterus, and it is the uterus that is affected during menopause.
  • A 30-year-old woman can get her uterus surgically removed, so you can't say she is not a victim of rape.
  • It's like saying that you can't trespass on my land that is fertile, but if nothing much grows there, then it's OK.
  • This is a perfect example of how patriarchy sees women's bodies.
  • Rape, regardless of the victim's age or marital status, is a brutal act.
  • We can't categorize rape -there isn't a scale on which you can put it.
  • Women's rights activist Ruth Manorama feels that the judgment is retrogressive and is a danger to women.
  • Whether the victim has attained menopause or not, is a child or a prostitute, does not matter as rape is punishable by law.
  • In traditional India, we respect older women, so the punishment should be double.
  • This is a sad reflection of the judicial system which is progressive in many ways, but retrogressive when it comes to women.
  • That the ruling could be seen as an encouragement to crimes against older women and children.
  • Rape is not about conception, it is about the victim being traumatized, being susceptible to infections and fearing ostracisation from the community.
  • Families may also start telling older women that nothing will happen even if they get raped.
  • Girls attend puberty when they are 11-12 years old, so it could make people think that there is no problem in abusing a child who is below 10.
  • Conception is not the only thing; one needs to understand the trauma caused after rape.
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