The Instigator
Leigh17
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The Contender
lmunoz
Con (against)
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Actions taken by husband in bride-kidnapping video evidence a Rape or nontraditional rape occurred

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/5/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 587 times Debate No: 54079
Debate Rounds (4)
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Leigh17

Pro

According to the Susan Estrich article regarding rape, non-traditional rape differs from rape proper due to the amount of violence or physical force which is used during the commencement of the act. In the video entitled Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan, physical force is initially used by the husband; however, it is the woman"s state of duress and compliance due to her lack of choice which constitutes this act as being deemed non-traditional rape. Although the woman eventually agrees to the marriage, and thus the act of sex, it appears that she is not able to say no due to her culture"s tradition. The woman is under a state of duress because she feels obligated to follow through with the marriage, although she reports that she did not want to get married in this way. In Kyrgyzstan, although Bride Kidnapping is technically illegal, tradition and customs are viewed as above-the-law, which places the woman at risk for being violated by rape proper or non-traditional rape, depending on the amount of physical force which is actually used, therefore, making the crime of rape a sexist crime. Furthermore, non-traditional rape places the blame on the victim because in the end the woman agrees to the marriage, and thus the act of sex.

Author, Susan Estrich concludes that the husband in the Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan video committed non-traditional rape as opposed to the act of rape proper, as follows:

(1) The husband kidnaps his "bride" with the intent of commencing the marriage with an act of sex; therefore, his mens rea involves intention to force non-traditional rape and the actus reas is the physical act of committing non-traditional rape. (162.1.1)(2:08)
(2) When the woman is forced against her will into the car of her future husband, she resists therefore constituting non-consensual force. (163.1)(12:32)
(3) When resisting, the woman risks bodily harm and this resistance is a condition of non-consensual force. (165.1)(12:33)
(4) The woman is taken to the family of her future husband, at which time she is placed under a state of duress which is detrimental to her mens rea, and according to our author, law has traditionally assessed the mens rea of the victim during an act of rape. (162.2)(14:50)
(5) The woman admits defeat by appearing unable to say no to the marriage, which concludes that the female was passive, and non-traditional rape punishes female passivity. (161.1.5)(27:04)
(6) Due to the lack of physical force during the act of sex, the husband does not commit an act of rape proper. (161.1.3)(30:34)
(7) However, it is this lack of force in non-traditional rape which makes it easy for the man to exculpate himself, which is the case with this husband, as he states that everything went according to plan. (164.3)(18:41)
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(8) Therefore, the husband fits the qualifications for committing non-traditional rape as opposed to the crime of rape proper.

As a result of the amount of physical force used during the above act, our author would distinguish this woman as being a victim of the crime of non-traditional rape as opposed to the crime of rape proper.
lmunoz

Con

In thinking about rape, it is very difficult to come up with a precise definition. In her essay titled Rape, Susan Estrich states that regardless of the differences in definitions, every statue is composed of three main characteristics when defining rape, "force" "threat" and "consent" (179.6.2). In the video Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan, the only characteristic of the three that is used by the "husband" is physical force and it is only seen when she is being kidnapped. We do not see any physical force from the side of the "husband" in the act of sex. The fact that they were a couple prior to the marriage, shows that there was a lack of force because they already knew each other. It can also be stated that there was no "threat" from the husband because the "bride" and the "husband had a previous understanding that they were eventually going to get married. Therefore, the "bride" is fully aware of the cultural traditions that take place in the area and therefore must be respected. In areas like Kyrgyzstan, its citizens believe tradition to be above religion and law and it is regarded as sacred and both men and women respect these traditions.
In the Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan video, the action of the husband show that a Rape or nontraditional rape did not occurred according to the following:
(1)Every statue is composed of three main characteristics to define rape, "force" "threat" and "consent" (179.6.2)
(2)Consent is an essential characteristic of rape, and when a women consents to have sexual relations, it is no longer consider Rape or non-traditional rape. (162.6.1)
(3)The victim must demonstrate, at the time of the act, her non-consent by engaging in resistance that will leave no doubt in the men"s mind. (164.4.2)
(4)The "bride" had a relationship with the "husband" at the time and she knew that they were going to get married eventually. (26:11)
(5)At the time of the ceremony, the "bride" consents to take him as a husband and states that it is a decision she made herself by her own will. (26:35) (162.6.1)
(6)She is conscious and aware that this is part of her tradition and hence must be respect it. (27:10)
(7)Kyrgyzstan"s citizens believe tradition to be above religion and law and it is regarded as sacred. (17:50)
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(8)Therefore, the husband"s acts does not show that a Rape or nontraditional rape occurred because there was consent from the side of the bride and there was no use of threat or force at the time of the act of sex.

Because the bride is completely aware of the situation and because she is aware that it is an ancient tradition, it can be concluded that Rape or nontraditional rape did not occurred. The only characteristic of non-traditional or proper rape seen is force, however it is not the case during the act of sex. Also, there is no use of "threat" since the husband did not threaten her into marring him, instead she embraced it as part of her tradition. Lastly, the "bride" gave her consent to marrying the "husband" during the ceremony when she was asked if it was her decision and free will in marrying him and she said yes. Once she gives the consent to marry him, she is consenting with the rest that comes with marriage.
Debate Round No. 1
Leigh17

Pro

In response to Premise 1, Author, Susan Estrich does report that every statute regarding rape includes some form of combination of force, threat, and consent; however, she states that these definitions are based entirely on the victim"s response, which should not be the case (162.2.4). This focus has made the assessment of rape according to a male standard that dictates what is appropriate for a woman"s sexual conduct (162.3.1). Therefore, the law provides no definition of rape apart from the woman"s conduct (162.5.2), which allows for sexism from within our legal system.

In response to Premise 2, the husband does not respect the initial answer of "no" to mean non-consent. Therefore, he further pressures her into "going along" with the marriage (177.5.2), as displayed in the video when the woman admits defeat (27:04). This represents non-traditional rape because the woman"s passivity places the blame on the woman (161.1.5). During the car ride, the bride is asking to be taken to her mother and she states that she does not want to be with this man; therefore, she is not providing consent. It is only when her mens rea is placed under a significant amount of duress, due to tradition being enforced upon her, that she gives in by saying yes to the marriage (162.2) (14:50). He takes her initial answer, which is no, to mean yes; therefore, his mens rea does not allow for her to provide consent because her consent is a non-issue. She lacks the ability to provide consent without being coerced by culture, family, and tradition.

Furthermore, non-traditional rape is distinguished by the amount or type of force that is used (161.1.5). Although the bride eventually agrees to the marriage, she is initially forced into a car against her will by her future husband and his wedding party (12:32). The act of resisting constitutes non-consensual force (163.1.3). During the act of resisting, the woman risks bodily harm, which is a condition of non-consensual force (165.1.2) (12:33). Non-traditional rape ensures a male freedom to coerce a woman who is afraid, vulnerable, and powerless to her situation (174.3.2). As the woman in this video concludes, she is unable to change tradition so she gives in to the patriarchy system (161.1.5) (27:04). This is a form of force due to lack of any other option, which constitutes non-traditional rape.

In response to your argument, Premise 4 is irrelevant to the determination of whether or not non-traditional rape occurred. An established prior relationship, or consent of future marriage, does not allow for the husband to take away her free will to choose on any given moment. Furthermore, according to our author, rape between two people who had a prior relationship is often considered non-traditional rape versus rape proper, all depending on the amount of force which was used (161.1.3). Therefore, our author is concluding that all forms of rape can occur with two people who are in a current relationship or who had a prior relationship.

In response to your argument, Premise 6 is irrelevant based on the fact that she has been coerced to believe that her tradition should be respected. This is something that was instilled throughout her childhood; however, this coercion and duress has taken away her choice of free will. Therefore, she is being punished for her female passivity, which is a criterion for determining non-traditional rape (161.1.5) (27:04).

Therefore, according to the Susan Estrich article regarding rape, the husband does meet the qualifications of committing non-traditional rape, as she was clearly coerced through duress and tradition and lacked the ability to reasonably say no to the husband"s request.
lmunoz

Con

In response to your argument"s intro, author Susan Estrich"s literature appears to illustrate the video of Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan as non-traditional rape, however, she does not conclude such claim because as she states, "most cases deviate in one or many respects from this picture, making interpretation far more complex." (161.1.2)

In response to Premise 1, can we really observe from watching the video that the husband"s intention is to commence the marriage with non-traditional rape? Or is the act of sex a side effect of the marriage especially when we recognize the familiarity between the both of them. (161.1.3) (4:35")

In response to Premise 2, being forced against your will to get into someone"s car, does not always constitute the basis for the commencement of rape or the beginning of non-conceptual force towards rape. For example, in an effort to avoid costly medical bills, victims of accidents try to avoid being taken by an ambulance to the hospital, however, as a result of their physical state are forced against their will into the ambulance.

In response to Premise 3, the author Susan Estrich does indeed state that resistance is a condition of non-traditional rape. However, it does not necessarily mean that a lack of resistance is not non-traditional rape.
In response to Premise 4, citation 162.2 illustrates language "describing the prohibited act [actus reus] committed by the defendant [The Husband] and the prohibited mental state with which he must have done it" making premise 2 erroneous based on the interpretation of actus reus and mens rea.

In response to Premise 5, non-traditional rape does not punish female passivity, it is the law that "reflected, legitimized, and enforced a view of sex and women which celebrates male aggressiveness and punishes female passivity."(161.1.5)
In response to Premise 6, indeed, the author does state that when there is a lack of physical force during the act of sex, the individual does not commit an act of rape proper, but neither does it mean that he commits a non-traditional rape. It is not an either or situation, where if one is not the case, then it must be the other.

In response to Premise 7, there was indeed use of force at the moment when the "bride" was kidnapped (12:30) therefore, the statement that there was a lack of force is erroneous.

The conclusion, primarily based of premise 6 and 7, is not valid. The conclusion suggests that because there was a lack of force, one of the qualifications of non-traditional rape, then the husband committed non-traditional rape. Nevertheless, we do not know the reasons why the lack of force existed. To name a few, their previous relationship prior to the marriage could be an explanation as to why the couple would want to avoid force during the act of sex. In the case of the husband and bride in the video, the fact that they were a couple prior to the marriage, shows that there was a lack of force because they already knew each other. While it is true under the definition of non-traditional rape (161.1) that a lack of force is one of the characteristic of non-traditional rape, it is not the only characteristic which defines non-traditional rape.
Debate Round No. 2
Leigh17

Pro

To respond to your introduction argument, although Susan Estrich does state that interpretation is far more complex in nontraditional rape, she provides instances (161.1.3) which could constitute as nontraditional rape. I never stated that the Bride Kidnapping video was a specific example that Susan Estrich used; however, based on her opinions regarding rape, we can use her premises to determine that the instance in Kyrgyzstan could constitute as nontraditional rape. Sex as a side effect of marriage that a woman did not truly want could be considered nontraditional rape. Therefore, I am confused regarding your response to my first premise.

Nontraditional rape is defined in the book as "a law which has reflected, legitimized, and enforced a view of sex and women which celebrates male aggressiveness and punishes female passivity" (161.1.5). Therefore, your response to my premise 5 is invalid. Nontraditional rape does punish female passivity.

Forced marriages are an example of what could constitute as nontraditional rape under the definition according to our book. One of the above-mentioned instances (161.1.3) involves inarticulate threats, which one could interpret from the video when the family of the husband tells the woman that she will be happy and that this is their tradition. (14:50) This is where she is placed into an extreme amount of stress, as I discussed in my 4th premise on my standard form argument. I never stated that all of these instances the book spoke about had to be true, only that the video could potentially fall into one of these categories, such as I just distinguished above.

Based on the premises we discussed in class and our discussion of actus reas and mens rea in class, the physical act and mental state, are what takes places during the act of rape, such as the physical actions of the person committing the act, as well as the victim (which is how force is determined), and the mental states of both (162.1.1). Her duress falls under her mens rea, and her eventual consent which leads to sex that she may not necessarily want but feel obliged to participate in, constitutes as nontraditional rape. She is psychologically persuaded by using tradition as a reason to accept the marriage. I am not understanding your explanation in your argument regarding premise 4 of my initial standard form argument.

In response to your response to my premises 2, 3, and 6, I am distinguishing the force used from the kidnapping as opposed to the act of sex. I agree with you regarding that no force was used during the act of sex or that we cannot conclude either way if force was or was not used. The woman does eventually consent to the marriage. However, initial force was used when the woman was kidnapped by the bridal party (12:32). One can draw a conclusion that based on her tradition she understands what is happening to her at that moment is bride kidnapping which will lead to a commencement of marriage which includes sex based on their tradition. Therefore, at that specific instance she is resisting against the whole ideal of marriage which constitutes non-consensual force. Her later state of duress and consent to the marriage when really opposed to the idea distinguishes the act as nontraditional rape.

In premise 7 of my initial standard form argument, I am responding to premise 13 which we discussed in class, which helps us to determine a case of nontraditional rape. Such as the example of forced marriages, the man removes himself from blame based on the ideal of tradition. In the video, when he states that everything went according to plan, he is removing the blame from himself. (164.3) (18:41) By her eventually consenting to the marriage, which based on her tradition she knows will lead of a commencement of an act of sex, this can be viewed as a lack of force in the end, which is how he exculpates himself. And that also constitutes this act as an act of nontraditional rape, as opposed to an act of rape proper, due to the lack of force which can be coincided with eventually consent of the victim. ( 161.1.5)(27:04)

My conclusion was #8 on my standard form argument because it was located below the line. It therefore reflects all above 7 premises, not only 6 and 7, as your argument claimed. The conclusion of my standard form argument simply states that the husband fits the qualifications for committing non-traditional rape, as opposed to the crime of rape proper.
lmunoz

Con

The author might state that these definitions are based entirely on the victim"s response; however, the law is not based of her beliefs but instead on the legal systems and its officials which have determined that force, threat and consent are characteristics of rape. Whether the author agrees or not, is irrelevant. (162.2.4) although these definitions and laws have been determined by male officials, it does not mean that it is not accurate. Could it be then that every decision made by a male on a female subject is erroneous because he is not a woman? And if the law provides no definition of rape apart from the woman"s conduct, which other conduct should the law use in order to define rape without allowing sexism to be present?

In response to your response of Premise 2, the "husband" and "bride" had a relationship previous to the kidnapping and the bride states that she knew they were going to get married eventually; therefore, she had consented in marrying him already previous to the kidnap. The reason she is asked to be taken to her mother is not because she was not consenting to the marriage but instead to the way it was happening. Again, the mens rea applies to a defendant in a criminal act and not to the victim. In which way was the "bride" committing a criminal act if you state that "it is only when her mens read is placed under a significant amount of duress"?

Although the bride was forced into the car when she was being kidnapped, it does not necessarily state that she was forced while the act of sex which is the main argument. The argument is not whether she was kidnapped or not, it is whether there was an act of non-traditional rape. Being forced against your will to get into someone"s car, does not always constitute the basis for the commencement of rape or the beginning of non-conceptual force towards rape.
The amount or type of force used is one of the characteristics of non-traditional rape, however it does not mean that the "husband" forced the "bride" into the act of sex. Again, because there was forced used at the time of the kidnap, it does not meant that there was force used at the time of the act of sex.

In response to your response of Premise 4, from a western perspective, you are correct in stating that "an established prior relationship, or consent of future marriage, does not allow for the husband to take away her free will to choose on any given moment" however, this is not the case in Kyrgyzstan where its citizens see tradition as more important than religion or the law. Further, westerners, believe that the "bride" has been coerced to believe that her tradition should be respected taking away her choice of free will, but Kyrgyzstan tradition see it as the necessary next step in life.

In conclusion because the bride is completely aware of the situation and because she is aware that it is an ancient tradition, it can be concluded that Rape or nontraditional rape did not occurred. Furthermore, she gave her consent when she agreed to marry the "husband" prior to the wedding.
Debate Round No. 3
Leigh17

Pro

In response to your response, I am aware that according to Western law, an argument can be made as to the innocence of the husband in relation to the crime of rape proper or nontraditional rape. And as discussed in class, Kyrgyzstan Law has made Bride Kidnapping illegal; however, no laws have been made to distinguish the case of rape proper or nontraditional rape. I will not argue with you in these regards.

However, I maintain my position that according to the premises that are included in Susan Estrich"s article entitled Rape, the husband commits an act of nontraditional rape. She provides specific instances which could constitute as nontraditional rape (161.1.3). I am not stating that all of these instances must stand true. However, I am proposing that premises included in Susan Estrich"s article could draw a conclusion that the husband committed an act of nontraditional rape. Therefore, what Susan Estrich is stating is not irrelevant to my specific argument. My premises are not based off of Western Law or even Kyrgyzstan Law or what any official court of Law would conclude. In order to change these practices, which women are forced into marriages that they may not necessarily want to be in, we must think outside of the current western law. As Susan Estrich states, rape within the criminal justice system is a sexist law (160.2.1).

Is it okay to force a woman into marriage, which will ultimately lead to an act of sex? Why is it legal for a man to have sex with a woman if she has been forced or coerced into a marriage? What happens if the woman does not want the marriage or sex? Is it okay that she may live a miserable life because of this? It is these questions which could potentially be describing nontraditional rape.

I understand your argument as to when someone if forced into a car, it does not necessarily mean that a rape is going to occur, whether rape proper or non-traditional rape. However, due to Kyrgyzstan tradition, I am stating that it is a fair assessment to conclude that the woman knew that a marriage was to occur and that sex would commence the marriage. It is this whole ideal of the woman admitting defeat and appearing unable to say no to the marriage (27:04), and thus the act of sex, that constitutes this as an act of nontraditional rape.

The whole act of Bride Kidnapping fits the definition of nontraditional rape, which is defined as the view of sex and women which celebrates male aggressiveness and punishes female passivity (161.1.5). The woman in placed under a state of duress by the family, as well as her tradition, and she reluctantly agrees to the marriage, and thus the act of sex (27:04) (177.5.2). She is being punished by accepting a marriage that she does not necessarily want to engage in. Although you state that she had previously agreed to marry him, this is irrelevant because she states she did not want to get married in this way.

I hold to my initial statement that forced marriages allow the man to remove himself from blame based on the ideal of tradition. In the video, when the husband states that everything went according to plan, he is removing the blame from himself (164.3) (18:41). By her eventually consenting to the marriage, which based on her tradition she knows will lead of a commencement of an act of sex, this can be viewed as a lack of force in the end, which is how he exculpates himself. This is one criterion which could constitute as an example of nontraditional rape.

In conclusion, I hold that the husband is guilty of the crime of nontraditional rape, according to the premises distinguished in Susan Estrich"s article on Rape. Although, it can be agreed that our Western legal system would most likely not deem him guilty. It is unfortunate that women are still seen in some places around the world as possessions to be owned by men. Like Susan Estrich, it is my hope that the future will bring about change regarding women"s rights and equality.
lmunoz

Con

Yes, Kyrgyzstan law has made Bride Kidnapping illegal, but how effective is a law that is not enforced? Although bride kidnapping is illegal, people, including government officials and policemen, understand that it is a tradition and no harm comes from it; And when it is enforced, the men usually get away with it because by simply talking to the police (10:00). From this response we can assume that even governmental officials understand that no harm in being done to the "brides" including non-traditional rape.

In order for the premise to be correct, all characteristics must be true. When one does not apply, then the argument is a weak one. Just because one of the characteristics apply, does not necessarily mean that it is non-traditional rape. If you are arguing that your "premises are not based off of Western Law or even Kyrgyzstan Law or what any official court of Law would conclude" then the use of the video as an example is erroneous. If you are using the Bride Kidnapping video as an example, then Kyrgyzstan law and traditions must apply.

Again, force was used only at the time of the kidnap. The "bride" was not forced into marrying the "husband" and although we can"t see it, due to their relationship at the time of the incident, it is safe to argue that the act of sex was not forced.
You are correct in arguing that "The woman is placed under a state of duress by the family, as well as her tradition, and she reluctantly agrees to the marriage, and thus the act of sex (27:04)". For the sake of the argument, let"s say that the "bride" was mentally, opposed to physically, forced into marrying the "husband" because of the strict repercussions of the traditional beliefs in Kyrgyzstan, in that case it could be argued that it would be the family who committed the crime and not the "husband". If the "bride" had the choice of deciding whether or not to marry kidnapper and regardless of her decision her family would take her back without any repercussions, I am almost certain that there would be more "brides" who would not consent to the marriage. Therefore, the families are the ones committing the non-traditional rape and not the husband.

Yes, those questions could potentially be describing non-traditional rape, it does not necessarily mean that it identifies it as one. If we are not referring to any specific law, then in the case that a woman does not want to marry or have be involved in actual sex, then she can simply say no because no law will hold it against her. However, in the case of the video, saying no to sex or marriage goes beyond the law.

In conclusion, I hold my point that the husband did not commit non-traditional rape because there was consent from the side of the bride and there was no use of threat or force at the time of the act of sex. Because the bride is completely aware of the situation and because she is aware that it is an ancient tradition, it can be concluded that Rape or nontraditional rape did not occurred. The only characteristic of non-traditional or proper rape seen is force; however it is not the case during the act of sex. Also, there is no use of "threat" since the husband did not threaten her into marring him, instead she embraced it as part of her tradition. Lastly, the "bride" gave her consent to marrying the "husband" during the ceremony when she was asked if it was her decision and free will in marrying him and she said yes. Once she gives the consent to marry him, she is consenting with the rest that comes with marriage.
Debate Round No. 4
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