Thursday, July 1, 2010

Those Crazy French

To preserve domestic tranquility, men should always shout "NO" when their wives ask "Does this make me look fat?" Well, Frenchmen now also have a legal reason to give that answer. In a nation where everything seemingly requires a role for government, there is a new law with penalties of "...up to three years in prison and a €75,000 fine" for men who insult their spouses. The law does apply both ways, so men who are called "lazy fat slobs" for watching TV instead of taking out the garbage also can run to the government for psychological protection. Allow me to stipulate that there is such a thing as "psychological violence" and there doubtlessly are cases of genuine non-physical abuse, but those presumably are ground for divorce, not a matter for law enforcement. In any event, here's a blurb from the UK-based Telegraph:

Couples who insult each other over their physical appearance or make false accusations about infidelity face jail, under a new French law making "psychological violence" a criminal offence. ...French magistrates have slammed the new legislation as "inapplicable", as they argue the definition of what constitutes an insult is too vague and verbal abuse too hard to prove. now also have the right to report their wives verbal abuse in a domestic row. It will apply to both married couples and cohabiting partners. ...Miss Morano said witnesses could be called on to testify in such cases and doctors' certificates charting a patient's descent into nervous depression as a result of such insults could be used as evidence. ...The courts also stood to be "clogged" by couples using the law to get the upper hand in acrimonious divorces, she added. Women who complain that their husband insulted them can now have a judge ban him from approaching his wife or their children on a simple declaration, she warned.

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