In a swipe at free speech, Italy’s highest court has ruled that telling a man that he has “no balls” is illegal. The crime is punishable by a fine. Here are the details from The Raw Story:
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.”
All the more reason to celebrate the First Amendment in this country.
If a man is going to feel overwhelmed by being told that he has “no balls,” then it sounds like the charge is right on. He must not have any to be so easily “injured.”
It is just words and no one ever thinks that it is literally true. It is the same as saying that someone has “no guts” or “no brain.” Just wait until the Italian high court gets a hold of those putdowns. Those are insults to gastroenterologists and neurologists. Predictably, insults against women are still legal.