Photo: angelocesare / flickr
The highest court in Italy has ruled that the act of telling an Italian man he has “no balls” (“non ha le palle”) is a crime punishable with a fine.Italian news agency ANSA reports that the case came to light after a lawyer referred the name Vittorio was said to have “no balls” during a courtroom debate in Southern Italy. The man who uttered the phrase, known as Alberto, is not only a judge but also the cousin of Vittorio. He will have to pay damages to Vittorio.
Maurizio Fumo, the judge presiding over the case in Italy’s version of the Supreme Court (the Court of Cassation) said that the words had an “injurious quality”:
“It refers not only to the target’s lack of virility but also to his weakness of character, lack of determination, competence and coherence — virtues that, rightly or wrongly, are still identified as pertaining to the male gender.”
Italian feminists aren’t too pleased with the decision.
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