Oppression: prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority.
This also may take your interest, from the past.
Let us first take our existing marriage laws. We shall find that in England whilst the woman is practically relieved of all responsibility for the maintenance of her husband, he can be compelled by poor law to maintain her under a penalty of three months’ hard labour for leaving her without provision, should she choose to apply to the parish. On anything that by latitude of interpretation can be deemed ill-usage or neglect, she can, if rich, obtain judicial separation with alimony from the divorce court, or, if poor, a magisterial order for separation with weekly maintenance from the police court.
Jackson versus Jackson has decided that a wife can leave her husband at will, that he cannot raise a finger to compel her to remain with him or to come back, neither can she be imprisoned for contempt of court for refusing to obey an order for restitution of conjugal rights; in other words, it is decided that the contract of marriage is the single case of a contract which one of the contracting parties is at liberty to break without reason given, and without compensating the other party. But it is well to remember that it is only one of the parties that has this liberty, for Bunhill versus Bunhill gives the wife the right to follow an absconding husband and break into his house, if necessary, for the purpose of compelling cohabitation. He, on his part, is precluded by the decision in Weldon versus Weldon from obtaining restitution of conjugal rights even by way of action; he is liable, however, for his wife’s postnuptial torts, so that she has only to slander or libel some person without his knowledge or consent, and whilst she comes off scot free, even though possessed of property, the husband can be cast in damages. Trespass to land, trespass to goods, injuries done through negligence, all these actions coming under the legal definition of “torts,” render the husband liable, no matter what private wealth the wife may possess.
Is the ability for a woman to put a man in jail effectively at her whim if he is not sufficiently wealthy not injust? Would you consider it a form of oppression, or not?
I can give modern examples, actually far worse ones for men where the women are literally holding the power to end their lives with impunity.
But I'm wondering what you consider oppression first.