This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019
Advertisement

Italy rules 'no balls' insult for men is a crime

In an unusual ruling, Italy’s Supreme Court has decided it is a crime to use the insult as it ‘hurts male pride’.

Image: Sarah G... via Creative Commons/Flickr

ITALY’S HIGHEST COURT on Tuesday ruled that telling a man he has “no balls” as an insult is a crime punishable with a fine because it hurts male pride in a ruling on a curious row between two cousins.

The case was brought to the supreme court by a lawyer named only as Vittorio against his cousin Alberto, a justice of the peace, for the phrase uttered during a heated courtroom exchange in the southern Italian city of Potenza.

“Apart from the vulgarity of the term used, the expression definitely also has an injurious quality,” the male judge, Maurizio Fumo, said in his ruling as quoted by Italian news agency ANSA.

“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.”

The court also found that because the insult was uttered at the workplace with third parties present it could be seen as damaging Vittorio’s reputation.

Vittorio’s lawyer had argued that the expression implied that his client was “worth less than other men because he did not have the attributes.”

A judge will now rule on the fine that Alberto should pay to Vittorio.

The ruling, which comes after years of legal dispute, did not specify whether any insults against women should now also be considered crimes.

- © AFP, 2012

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

TheJournal.ie Team

Read next:

COMMENTS (32)