What does that even mean, you might well ask.
After Independence Day and all it’s talk of freedom we’re experiencing a backlash of repressiveness. In more ridiculous divorce news in India a judge in Madras has ruled (click the link to read the article) a woman divorced from her husband cannot be given alimony if she has sex with another man.
Let me clarify. She and her erstwhile husband are divorced. They have moved on from their marriage to each other. But the judge is still stuck in their erstwhile marriage demanding the woman’s purity and faithfulness to her husband. Her new relationship is termed ‘adultery’. The judge deems she should maintain discipline if she expected money from her ex husband, which apparantly he is paying her so that she does not breach her sexual obligation. It seems that monetary assistance is provided to an ex wife to save her from destitution. Apparantly a new relationship is ‘ destitution’. Clearly the judge cannot imagine a decent relationship for a divorced woman. She’s either a saint or a sinner. If she doesn’t abstain from sexual contact with a man ( no mention is made of sexual contact with another woman) then she must be categorised as a destitute. After all, what woman in her right mind would want to have sex again after being divorced from the husband she was once married to.
Oh – and if she does have sex with another man then she can get her maintenance from him and not her husband.
Of course dear Judge, women are chattels, to be parcelled off and paid for by whoever has sex with them.
This news item was so ridiculous that I didn’t want to write anything about it at all, but I couldn’t really allow something like this to pass without commenting on it. The journalist who wrote it didn’t give us much information about the case – whether the woman has children from the marriage whom she has to support, either by herself because of the crime of sex with another man (termed adultery by the judge) or perhaps her lover will help support her children from a former marriage now that he has taken the unusual step of sleeping with a woman who was once married.
The article has a bad smell about it. The person who wrote it seems to be smacking his lips lasciviously at the ‘scandalous’ thought of adultery and divorce while the ‘poor’ judge, who is definitely poor in judgement, brings his antiquated, hindu, marriage-for-seven-lifetimes attitude to his work. It’s a very sad state of affairs. Adulterous or otherwise.