SEOUL — This month, the Supreme Court of South Korea ruled that anyone who forces their spouse to have sex is committing rape. A Supreme Court official called the decision “significant in that it protects the wife’s right to sexual self-determination and reflects social changes with regard to marriage and sexuality. As a nation, we now recognize that unmarried vaginas and married vaginas deserve equal treatment.”
According to the Yonhap News Agency, a major issue in the case is that the Korean word for rape, ganggan — not to be confused with the Korean hit song “Gangnam Style,” though mixing the two up is understandable — is defined as occurring outside of marriage. Thus, wives could not technically be victims.
The Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s verdict that had sentenced a man to three and a half years in prison for raping his wife after threatening her with a weapon. Said Chief Justice Yang Sung Tae, “We must progress forward in our treatment of women and concede that no one probably wants to be raped, even after you get married.”
Adding, “In retrospect, living our lives according to a dictionary was a big boner on our parts.”
Dissatisfied with the speed at which change has occurred, Korea Women’s Hotline Secretary-General Song Ran-hee said perpetrators could have been punished before this amendment, “but the court chose not to take a proactive stance in interpreting the law. ‘But we don’t have a word for raping a married woman!’ Right, a South Korean can get a billion people to watch him yell at a girl’s butt, but coming up with a new word to keep women from being raped, we’ll have to get back to you on that one.”