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You can't rape your wife.

Ah I thought that title would get your attention and it did. There has been a lot of outrage about the recent law that Afghan President Hamid Karzai just signed that, among other things, "guarantees that married men can have sex once every four nights and wives must submit. In effect, it legalizes marital rape." The outrage has lead, according to CNN, to Karzai saying his government will review a recently approved version of a law. Hopefully that will make a difference (if not let's keep up the outrage).

In the middle of reading about this I had a flashback; a flashback to 1978 where in most of the United States, it was legal (or at least not illegal) for a man to rape his wife. That was when Laura X started the National Clearinghouse on Marital and Date Rape and successfully led a campaign to make marital rape a crime in California (yes that California; in 1977 it was not a crime for a man to rape his wife there or pretty much anyplace else in the US). The situation was such that when the legislation was introduced, the then chair of the state senate judiciary committee said that while he wholeheartedly supported the measure; "the bill would have a difficult time passing the legislature, since there were those in that body with the mentality that believed "If you can't rape your wife, who can you rape?" ".

Thanks to Laura and her allies, the legislation passed and became law. Laura went on to work on 45 other state campaigns to make date and marital rape against the law. Now in the US, if you rape your wife, you've got a damned good chance of getting arrested and going to jail. Not only that, but folks are horrified, with the idea that martial rape might be allowed anywhere in the world. That is an incredible change in this country in just 30 years and it needs to be acknowledged.

Thank you Laura X; you've made the country and the world a better place