Friday, 20 May 2016

Marital Rape

Dahut casts a slumber spell on Gratillonius, then tries, in the dark, to arouse him sufficiently that he will have sex with her in the mistaken belief that she is one of his other wives. What she attempts here is the crime of rape. This crime requires neither a male perpetrator nor physical force. Its essence is lack of consent. Force, fear or fraud suffice to negate consent.

The consent must be not only to have sex but also to have it with a particular person. Thus, pretending in the dark or in disguise to be someone's husband constitutes rape. Similarly, pretending to be a man's wife or, in the case of polygamy, one of his other wives also constitutes rape.

When Gratillonius, alerted, hauls down the drape, letting light into the room, the wind is heard, "Whoo-oo," outside. (Dahut, Chapter X, section 3, p. 220) This wind seems to become a protagonist in the narrative. Dahut, identified and violently rejected by her father, runs naked into the city as she will run naked through its streets when she has caused its inundation. Ocean will destroy the city as it once destroyed her childhood sandcastle of the city. Dahut's entire life prefigures its end - and that end will be the beginning of something else.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Very interesting, that what Dahut tried to do in Chapter X, section 3 of DAHUT was actually an attempted rape of Gratillonius. I never thought of it like THAT in my previous readings of THE KING OF YS. But it makes sense and I agree with your comments here. Very disturbing, seeing how far down the road to sheer evil Dahut had already gone!