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Playing With: Marital Rape License
Basic Trope: A husband rapes his wife.
  • Straight: Bob tries to initiate sex with his wife Alice, who, for whatever reason(s) is not in the mood. When she turns him down, he scowls, picks her up, throws her on the bed, rips her clothes off and has his way with her.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob rapes Alice to death.
    • Bob rapes Alice several times.
    • Every married man in the work does this.
  • Downplayed: Bob molests Alice.
  • Justified:
    • This couple lives in No Woman's Land, where a woman has few or no rights, and is considered property rather than a person.
    • Alice and Bob are not in a healthy marriage.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice and Bob have consensual marital sex.
    • Bob rapes everyone but Alice.
  • Gender-Inverted: Alice rapes Bob.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice resists Bob's advances, but then gives in.
    • It sounds like Bob is raping Alice, but it turns out it's just the TV show they're watching.
    • Right before the "rape", Bob and Alice were already seen agreeing to the entire thing as a roleplay.
  • Double Subverted: Alice gave in to Bob's advances because she felt pressured. She worried that if she failed to fulfill her wifely duty, even just this once, Bob would cheat on her or divorce her.
  • Parodied: Bob kisses Alice against her will, and she reacts as if he had raped her.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
  • Enforced:
    • The setting of the story demands it.
    • The author wants to show that Alice and Bob's marriage is unhealthy and unsafe.
    • The author sincerely believes that a husband can rape his wife, because she is legally married to him, and marriage usually comes with certain expectations.
    • The author firmly believes that a husband cannot rape his wife just because they're married, and wants to do a Broken Aesop about it.
  • Lampshaded: "It's not rape if it's your wife!" "It doesn't matter if she's your wife. She said no, and she has a right to say no!"
  • Invoked: The expectations in Alice and Bob's culture regarding marriage, sex, and gender roles cause Bob to think that he is a) entitled to sex with Alice and b) has a right to just take it if she won't give it to him.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied:
    • Alice is interested in sex.
    • When Alice turns down Bob's sexual advances that night, Bob feels disappointed, but accepts it and just goes to bed, watches some TV, or has A Date with Rosie Palms instead; he doesn't rape Alice or coerce her into sex.
    • Bob doesn't make sexual advances towards Alice that night in the first place, either because he isn't in the mood, or can tell she isn't in the mood, or both.
    • Alice trains to become stronger than Bob, so there's no way in hell he could even try to rape her without getting a broken arm in the process.
    • Alice divorces Bob.
  • Discussed: "Is it considered rape if you're married?"
  • Conversed: "Why do men always get away with rape on this show? That would never happen in Real Life."
  • Deconstructed: This is a form of Domestic Abuse; one still has the right to say no to sex, even to one's spouse. It might be all the worse for Alice because people honestly buy into this, leaving her without a support system to rely on. Because people buy into this, Bob will most likely get off scot-free.
  • Reconstructed: Alice gets the help she needs, and files for divorce from Bob. (If she takes him to trial, in this case, he is found guilty of a crime and punished accordingly.) If she decides to pursue romance again, she makes sure that her new guy has nothing but the utmost respect for her and her wishes and treats her well.
  • Played For Laughs: Black Comedy Rape, "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization
  • Played For Drama: Bob doesn't know he has hepatitis, and unknowingly gives it to Alice.

Back to Marital Rape License

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