Marriage - Bliss versus rape of dignity
Marital bliss versus rape of dignity
This image, divided in two frames, tries to explore opposing sexual dynamics that women experience in marriage – one where the union is consensual and gratifying and the other where sex is a vehicle of force, domination, violence and brutality.
The first frame portrays marital bliss, when the woman is a picture of contentment – an equal partner in satisfying consummation. The second frame, in contrast, is one of ravaged dignity, of a woman suffering from coerced union as a means of brutal subjugation. Martial rape is the least reported of domestic violence crimes and is still far from being as criminalized as stranger rape, though the effects of both have been empirically proven to be equally traumatic for the woman. Since the woman’s body is considered an object of possession in marriage, sex of any kind, however humiliating, is still largely silently endured.
Here I am portraying a Bengali (Indian) bride - the red dot and vermilion on the forehead are signs of marital status. Though the subject here happens to be Indian, marital rape is a global problem, with rights organizations across countries fighting for the criminalization it deserves.