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Bride kidnapping rape

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/8/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 800 times Debate No: 54273
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Emiliya AbramovaMay, 07 2014
PHI 310
(1.)The kidnapped bride is completely unaware that she will be kidnapped and therefore is unable to provide consent (4:48).
(2.)The kidnapped bride continues to scream while she is captured and physically resists her kidnappers (12:40).
(3.)In cases of rape, resistance is evidence against the man" it is evidence that the woman did not provide consent (164.4.3).
(4.)The kidnapped bride is physically maintained by the kidnappers as she continues to resist both in the car and in their house (13:18).
(5.)The kidnapped bride explicitly demands she be released from the hands of the women who were trying to convince her to calm down (13:53).
(6.) The kidnapped bride begins to reluctantly submit to the groom"s family after several hours of resistence (16:00).
(7.)The kidnapped bride then goes on to admit, that the reason she did not continue to fight once in the presence of the grooms family is because she felt that she did not have the opportunity or free choice to leave (27:05).
(8.)In cases of rape laws- and the judicial system, as a whole- must acknowledge that victims may not always resist or continue to resist for an array of reasons- but this lack of resistance does not undermine or diminish the occurrence of rape (165.2.3-4).
(9.)The expert in the video stated that due to kidnappings there is a high rate of suicide, proving that there is a direct correlation between an illegal act of kidnapping and their mental health implications (6:31)
(10.)Women or a kidnapped bride lack the ability to exercise free choice when accepting an unwanted marriage proposal because even women in the community are aware of the mental health ramifications of faced by those who choose not to accept the marriage proposal. (6:31).
(11.)In the video, the director of a women"s shelter stated that the kidnappers eventually feel compelled to stop their resistance and agree to the marriage because the society in which they live in is male values dominant (29:05).
(12.)Social institutions give rise to the pre-existing notions that when a female arouses a male she also, inherently consents to further sexual advances or assaults (179.7.2-3).
(13.)Ultimately, rape is defined by the victims non-consent (180.8.1)
(14.)In the video, the bride explicitly states that her dream was to become a lawyer and that she did not want to get married for another year and upon completion of her education (27:10). --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(15.)Therefore, the actions taken by the husband in the bride kidnapping video evidence that a rape or nontraditional rape occurred.

In conclusion, social institutions inherently contain pre-existing notions that uphold a patriarchal framework. This patriarchal framework strips women living in the society of their ability to make a free choice. Therefore, when traditions rooted in patriarchy are accepted and followed, women lack the ability to resist these traditions. In the case of bride kidnapping, this is especially evident. The kidnapped bride explicitly consents to the marriage, but only in distress and after having spent hours constrained by the male friends of her future groom and, additionally, his female family members. In this case, consent is not meaningful, because the kidnapped bride"s ability to consent does not initially exist. Even if the kidnapping serves as an example of tradition accepted by an entire society, the universal ability or capacity to make decisions is clearly violated and therefore, regardless of its social construct origins, the kidnapped bride was, indeed, raped.


1. In Kyrgystan, tradition is above religion. (17:50)

2. In Kyrgystan, religion is above law. (17:50)

3. In Kyrgystan, tradition is above law. (17:50)

4. Kidnapping is an old tradition that those--men and women--living in rural communities throughout Kyrgystan accept and practice. (3:34)

5. Even when acknowledging the criminal act that is kidnapping, kidnappers and other community members use only the term "kidnapping" to describe the act or practice--the word rape is never used. (4:48)

6. When woman is in the car, though she is frantic, she does not experience any sexual advances--neither wanted nor unwanted. (13:12)

7. When in the car, woman is never physically harmed by any of the men. (13:19)

8. In tradition of bride kidnapping, male"s family seeks woman"s consent to marriage. (12:45)

9. Essentially, the kidnapped bride has the technical ability to reject the entire kidnapping and subsequent marriage. (14:55)

10. Woman is asked to accept the marriage. (14:54)

11. Therefore, woman is aware that she possesses the ability to make a meaningful choice in the situation. (14:59)

12. Kidnapper"s family offers kidnapped bride to accept the scarf of marriage. (14:53)

13. Scarf of marriage is a metaphor for the process that is the proposal and marriage. (14:54)

14. Kidnapped bride is aware of what the scarf entails. (14:53)

15. Kidnapped bride is thereby aware of the implications of her decision to accept--or reject--the scarf. (14:53)

16. Kidnapped bride accepts the scarf of marriage. (15:42)

17. Non-consensual force is defined as a woman"s will to resist. (163.1.1-3)

18. The kidnapped bride obviously does not resist when she exercises her ability to make a decision and ultimately decides to accept the kidnapping. (15:44)

19. Additionally, non-consensual force requires that the woman or victim risk bodily harm as an expression of her will to resist. (165.1)

20. Even as the kidnapper"s family urged the kidnapped bride to accept the proposal, the woman did not face or risk bodily harm. (15:43)

21. Tradition requires that kidnapped bride"s family also provide consent in order for the actual proposal and marriage to be validated. (21:30)

22. Kidnapped bride"s family does provide consent. (22:23)

23. Proposal and marriage are, therefore, valid. (26:09)

24. Kidnapped bride has sex with the kidnapper only after consenting to the marriage. (30:35)

25. Kidnapped bride, like other women in the community, are taught from an early age that virginity is something to be valued. (30:47)

26. Tradition requires that a woman have sex only after marriage, with her groom, hence the purpose of the public sheet-hanging with a woman"s blood after she and the groom have consummated the marriage. (30:36)

27. Kidnapped bride"s groom hangs the sheet with the kidnapped bride"s blood on it, signifying not only that the kidnapped bride has had sex with him, but that she was a virgin prior to the sex.(30:54)

28. These traditions, practices and beliefs are all indicative of a patriarchal society. (29:05)

29. Women, including kidnapped bride, accept patriarchal ideals. (29:09)

30. Evidence that the kidnapped bride accepts patriarchal ideals is that she was a virgin prior to having sex with her new groom.(30:54)

31. Considering that the kidnapped bride lives in and accepts these patriarchal ideals, she would only have sex with her groom.(27:10)

32. By engaging in sex with the kidnapper, the kidnapped bride is expressing her idea of their relationship: that they are a married couple. (30:55)

33. The kidnapped bride consents to the sex by consenting to the marriage and accepting her position as the wife--not victim--of the kidnapper. (31:00) -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

34. Therefore, the kidnapper is not guilty of having raped the kidnapped bride.

If the essential distinction between rape and non-rape is consent, then this particular example of the kidnapped bride serves to underscore that distinction in cases where societal norms and traditions are seemingly bizarre to others. The kidnapped bride is obviously aware of the kidnapping traditions and understands the implications of the kidnapping, the scarf proposal, and the consummation of the marriage. Likewise, her family, too, is aware of the kidnapping tradition and the role they play in this tradition. Ultimately, whether or not either party holds a favorable position of the tradition is not the question; the true question is whether or not both parties, with the knowledge of the tradition and patriarchal ideals, consent to the proposal, marriage, and the subsequent sex. In this particular case, both parties consent to all three crucial phases of the marriage process. Whilst an underlying problem lies in the patriarchal ideals or framework that dictate the societal norms and traditions, criminalizing an act that is otherwise accepted by the two primary parties engaged in it would require applying an irrelevant interpretation to a system that functions on its own ideals and traditions.
Debate Round No. 1


In line five of your standard form argument you state that the word "kidnapped" is used and not rape. However, words play an insignificant role to the act that is done. The word that is used does not necessarily take away from the action that occurred. You also state that "Kidnapping is an old tradition that those--men and women--living in rural communities throughout Kyrgystan accept and practice (23:17)" again, accepting and practicing a tradition does not necessarily mean the act is moral. Your next line states that the woman is never physically harmed by the men, however, as stated in my standard form, you will find that there rape comes in two forms, traditional and non-traditional (138.2-4). In non-traditional there is the possibility that the victim is not physically harmed and is at times forced to provide consent due to the lack of opportunity to escape the situation (150.2). Therefore, your arguments eight through eleven are invalid because in non-traditional rape women are often not given the opportunity to be able to run away from the scene. You state that "Therefore, woman is aware that she possesses the ability to make a meaningful choice in the situation (12:25)" however, this statement fails to recognize the fact that most rape cases take place under non-traditional circumstance; the ability to flee the scene is not available for you. In my argument, statement seven answers your arguments. Your following statement, 13, argues that the bride is aware of her implications of decision to accept or reject the scarf. Being aware of your implications does not necessarily imply that you can escape the marriage. If she would have decided to reject the scarf, they would continue to hold her down, as they have done for hours, until she would accept.

As stated in my argument, statement two, the bride did in fact refuse her kidnappers physically. Whether or not the kidnappers used force is irrelevant since she was the victim who was kidnapped and forced into marriage. Again, my third statement explicitly answers the arguments that you laid out in the beginning of your argument (view my explanation above), "In cases of rape, resistance is evidence against the man it is evidence that the woman did not provide consent (164.4.3)." The bride did in fact physically resist her kidnappers. Even if she had not resisted, that does not diminish the act of rape (165.2.3-4). Therefore, your statement "Additionally, non-consensual force requires that the woman or victim risk bodily harm as an expression of her will to resist. (165.1) is invalid according to my argument. Your following argument number twenty is invalid according to the line of reasoning I provide above about the fact that bodily harm does not diminish the act of rape. Rather, the bride does not provide any form of consent for this union and the act of sex that follows after the union took place. As stated in my previous argument, the bride explicitly says how she wanted to wait until she was done with school before getting married, therefore, she had not given her consent for the union.


You refute the notion that patriarchy and societal norms are relevant to the understanding of whether or not the kidnapping constituted rape, because, as you claim, patriarchy and the traditions it gives birth to are not always necessarily moral (1.1.3). However, "not necessarily" concedes that cases do exist in which the practices and traditions that exist within in a patriarchal society--and as constructed within the constraints of that patriarchal society--are moral. Because these practices are known, understood, and accepted by those who live in the community in which the practices occur, one must concede that the same patriarchal ideals that guide the residents" decision--including the kidnapped bride--to accept and to go along with the tradition of bride kidnapping and the marriage also guide the residents" moral compass. Patriarchy is so prevalent in the community, that the notions of morality and ethics accepted and shared by those living in the community are reflective of that patriarchy (29:05). And yet, morality, at least to a certain degree, must exist within this patriarchal society, as evidenced in the idea that a kidnapped bride"s consent is a necessary condition for a valid marriage (14:54).

In the community, women, including the kidnapped bride, accept patriarchal ideals (29:09). Thus, women"s frame of reference and understanding of the contextual world are dependent upon this patriarchal design or framework. Hence, the reason that the women are obviously aware of and accepting of bride kidnapping (3:34). If you argue that this practice is immoral merely because it is patriarchal and/or an old tradition that has roots only in patriarchy, the you must concede that the kidnapped bride--and even the kidnapper--is incapable of executing moral thought and practicing moral decisions. Furthermore, arguing that this kidnapping is rape because the tradition is in contradiction with the interpretation of morality as you understand it rejects the idea that elements of morality are subjective and an appropriate reflection of the times and places they are applied to; the kidnapped bride can make decisions only within the context that she is aware of and understands to be truth. If the kidnapping is immoral because of its societal roots or origins, then the kidnapper and kidnapped bride are simply equal participants in an immoral or moral-irrelevant act.

However, the real problem with arguing that the kidnapping constitutes rape because rape is immoral and the traditions, because they are patriarchal, are thereby immoral is that it forces you to concede that the kidnapped bride and kidnapper are both unaware of the significance or even existence of morality, and neither are others in the community. Thus, in your argument, morality does not exist at all in the situation in which the kidnapping occurred.The kidnapping could not have possibly been immoral, because an understanding of morality does not exist and therefore an understanding of immorality does not exist. Rape, however, as you imply is immoral (1.1.3). Therefore, this kidnapping could not have been immoral, which is something that rape necessarily must be and is.
Debate Round No. 2


In response to your first paragraph, your argument states that in most societies there are ideals and practices that people adhere. Am I correct? Well, I have not denied that statement at any point in round two. However, accepting practices and following practices does not necessarily mean they are moral. Yes, there are certain practices that are moral but that is not because they are accepted and practiced. Rather, it is because a universal standard of morality exists and this kidnapping the bride contradicts it. I never at any point in my argument stated that kidnapping was rape simply because it was immoral. I stated that accepting the practice of kidnapping does not necessarily make it moral. Kidnapping and rape are two separate categories. The reason I made any reference to that statement (aside from trying to refute your argument) is because accepting patriarchal standards and practices does not necessarily mean they are moral. My point in making this argument is to show that even if the kidnapping is a result of a patriarchal framework that does not mean that rape had not occurred.
Furthermore, even in the case that the kidnapping is not immoral (hypothetically), it is immoral if it occurs without the consent from the bride. The same applies to rape, it is considered to be rape (and obviously immoral) if no consent is provided from both parties. You state that the decisions both males and females make in their society is because they are born into a society that already carries pre-existing notions of what morality exactly is, therefore, any decisions they make is limited to the context that they understand to be the truth. According to that statement we can make the inference that when a serial killer murders, he does so because that was all he was exposed to, that is the context he was limited, therefore, he should not be held responsible for his crimes. Am I wrong? I am simply applying the logic you have used in your second paragraph. However, just because that is the context the killer was limited to does not take away from the fact that he committed a murder and should be held responsible for his crimes. Again, there is a universal standard of morality and his crimes contradict that standard.
In your following paragraph, I respond to your argument with statement thirteen and fourteen from round one. Rape is not only defined as immoral but also as "Ultimately, rape is defined by the victim"s non-consent (180.8.1)". In the video, the bride explicitly states that her dream was to become a lawyer and that she did not want to get married for another year and upon completion of her education (27:10)." Even if we remove morality from the context of rape, that does not diminish the act of rape in any way. My argument states that the husband ultimately commits the act of rape; it does not necessarily matter whether the notion of morality exists within that society. I have never at any point in my argument stated that rape occurs only when the notion of morality is accepted. The acts that the groom and his family commit might be a result of patriarchy but the bride does not at any point freely consent to the union.


You say that even if the bride kidnapping is moral--not immoral--it would consequently be immoral if it "occurred without the consent" of the bride (1.2.1). Furthermore, you add that if the bride does not consent, then the act is not just immoral, but an act of rape (1.2.2). However, as noted in my original argument, there is obvious consent granted by the kidnapped bride (15:42). Specifically, the kidnapped bride is aware that when the family of the kidnapper offers her a scarf of marriage, she technically has the choice to reject that scarf by taking it off (14:53). Just moments after the scarf is placed on her head, the kidnapped bride not only expresses her consent by not removing the scarf--though she is aware, because of her knowledge of the tradition, that she has the option to do this and what it would mean--but also accepting candy from the women who have placed the scarf on her head (15:44).

More telling, however, is that the only actions that occurred when the kidnapper"s female family members were trying to convince the kidnapped bride to accept the marriage proposal were the scarf wrapping of the head and the offering of candy (15:44). At no point did the kidnapped bride face physical harm nor was her life in danger (15:40). Non-consensual force in the context of rape, however, requires that the woman or victim risk bodily harm as an expression of her will to resist, as cited in my original argument (165.1). You say that that the kidnapped bride obviously did not consent or initially resented consenting, because she had originally voiced her desire to complete school before marriage (1.2.11). Simply because she had originally not wanted the marriage, for whatever the reason (in this case, the reason being furthering her education), does not mean that when the actual kidnapping and marriage proposal occur, she is unable to grant consent or allowance. The kidnapped bride"s initial stance is not as important as the decision she makes once the act has occurred. Take, for example, Woman X who vows to never have sex with Man Y; if one day, Man Y asks Woman X to have sex with him--even goes as far to beg her to have sex--and Woman X ultimately grants consent, and has sex with Man Y, that is not an example of an occurrence of rape. Her feelings prior to the act, in a case like this, are ultimately not essential to the crucial question: if rape occurred.

And this issue of consent essentially ties back to the issues of morality and patriarchal societies. When making a decision, a person inevitably must use filters that are formed by the society in which the person believes. In this case, in order to best determine whether or not the kidnapped bride did, in fact, consent, we must first understand consent in the society and the way in which consent is given.

In this case, the kidnapped bride was aware of her options--aware that she could reject the scarf of marriage, ultimately rejecting the entire proposal and kidnapping--but she actually offered consent. Thus, since the kidnapped bride offered consent, this entire process does not constitute rape.
Debate Round No. 3


As a response to your first argument about the fact that the bride provided consent, I will refer back to my first arguments that I written. "(5.) The kidnapped bride explicitly demands she be released from the hands of the women who were trying to convince her to calm down (13:53), (6.) The kidnapped bride begins to reluctantly submit to the groom"s family after several hours of resistance (16:00), (7.) The kidnapped bride then goes on to admit, that the reason she did not continue to fight once in the presence of the grooms family is because she felt that she did not have the opportunity or free choice to leave (27:05), (8.) In cases of rape laws- and the judicial system, as a whole- must acknowledge that victims may not always resist or continue to resist for an array of reasons- but this lack of resistance does not undermine or diminish the occurrence of rape (165.2.3-4)." These statements are a clear example of what non-traditional rape is. When presented with a situation where a woman feels genuinely unsafe and recognizes the fact that she cannot escape her situation, the woman will reluctantly give into her rapist/kidnapper. "From some men"s point of view, the problem is that some women who "no" would be willing to say "yes" or at least to "go along" if properly pressured (177.5.2).

In response to your "risk bodily harm" argument, rape does not necessarily require any use of force for it to be constituted as rape. If you look back to my argument in round two you will see how the use of force is not always included in rape cases. There are expert marshal arts fighters who know how to attack their opponent without putting a single bruise on their bodies. Your following argument that states that the bride had consented to the marriage is invalid because at no point in the video does the bride state that she wanted to be married off. Rather, she states that this is the way her culture is and she has to accept their practices. She states that she would have been willing to marry only after graduation and completion of her degree (27:15).

The kidnapped bride was not aware of any of her options because she was clearly not given any other option but to accept this union. The grandmothers and females all kept her in the tent for hours only to have her reluctantly accept the marriage proposal. The bride had not wanted and physically resisted the union. In addition her family was clearly aware of the kidnapping because when the grooms family showed up with the goats in less then an hour, the brides family had a whole feast prepared therefore, they were well aware of the kidnap. How should she "know" of her options when her family knew of the kidnap and did not stop try to put an end to it? Therefore, the rape that the groom committed is constituted as non-traditional rape, where the use of force is not a necessity for it to be rape. The bride is not given any opportunity to leave and escape the union since her family supported the kidnap and she had no resources available.


In your argument, you establish a distinction between two primary types of rape: traditional and non-traditional (1.1.6-7). Although I agree that these distinctions exist and that rape is not restricted to only one strict, narrow, and unchangeable definition, the particular bride kidnapping case presented in the video does not fit either distinction--neither traditional nor non-traditional. It is true, as you note, that there are instances where women do not actually resist for fear of harm, but this lack of resistance does not necessarily mean that the rape did not occur or undermine the occurrence of a rape (165.2-4). That is not to say, though, that any and all cases in which a person or party exhibits resistance, rape has occurred. But this is also not to say that when cases arise in which a person or party does not exhibit the resistance you feel they should be exhibiting that rape has occurred or that the party or person not exhibiting the resistance is not doing so out of fear. This is an assumption that cannot be proven, because only the involved party is aware of her feelings in that situation.

Also, I agree that use of force is not necessarily required as a criteria for determining the occurrence of rape, as you noted in your argument (1.2.1). Yet, your example of the martial artist not inflicting bruises contradicts your point: a martial artist inflicts force, even if the bruises are concealed or do not exist. Still, force in any form--whether physically visible or not--is not the problem in this case. In the situation of the kidnapped bride, the kidnapped bride was not forced to accept the proposal, however; neither physical force nor verbal force existed--in fact the kidnapped bride is explicitly asked to accept the marriage (14:54). You maintain, though, that the kidnapped bride could not have possibly resisted due to a lack of resources and the knowledge that her family had already consented (1.3.6). Furthermore, you imply specifically that the major source of a "resource" that would have allowed her a free choice--a free choice to resist the marriage--would have been rooted in her family and her family"s consent (1.3.5). According to your argument, the kidnapped bride lacked this free choice because she was aware that her family knew about the kidnapping prior to its occurrence and still did not stop it, and furthermore, her family even gave consent for the marriage after the kidnapping had occurred (1.3.5). The problem with this scenario is that the kidnapped bride was not aware that her family knew of the kidnapping prior to its occurrence, nor that her family consented after she had already consented herself. So if those are her lack of resources that influenced her decision or coerced her to consent, one must consider that she was unaware that those resources did not exist in the first place.

Ultimately, the bride was asked to consent (14:54). She gave consent, without the risk of bodily harm and without the knowledge that her family had already known of the kidnapping and would eventually consent to the marriage (15:43). Therefore, the consent granted by the kidnapped wife is valid, and the kidnapping, marriage, and sex could not possibly be defined as rape.
Debate Round No. 4
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