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Telling a man he has ‘No Balls’ is a criminal offence in Italy, court rules

Jordana Divon
Shine On
August 2, 2012

In Italy, masculinity is considered such a delicate and precious resource that the courts have long stepped in to protect it.

In 2008, Italy's highest court ruled that the touching of one's own man bits in public was a criminal offense — even the innocent adjustment of one's testicles in a pair of tight trousers.

There's been a string of bad luck for these guys ever since.

Now the country's court system has added another no-no to the male nether region.

On Tuesday, the country's court ruled that anyone who tells a man he has "no balls" had better be prepared to pay up for hurting his pride.

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"Apart from the vulgarity of the term used, the expression definitely also has an injurious quality," the male judge, Maurizio Fumo, says in his ruling, as reported by AFP.

"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 decision stems from a conflict between two male cousins in Potenza — a city in the southern region known for its beautiful 12th century cathedral and, apparently....its hypersensitive men.

In the heat of an argument, Alberto, a justice of the peace, reportedly told his lawyer cousin Vittorio that he was deficient in the testicle region.

Vittorio armed himself with another lawyer and sued his family member for damaging his reputation, since the insult was uttered at the workplace with "third parties present."

During his argument, Vittorio's lawyer claimed the insult implied his client was "worth less than other men because he did not have the attributes."

Alberto, who may want to consider a new career after this, will be forced to pay his cousin a fine and, even worse, forever be known as the person who engendered this law.

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Here in Canada there are no similar affronts to masculine pride that can result in jail time, but a list of strange historical Canadian laws shows we're no strangers to arbitrary rulings.

In Uxbridge, Ont., don't attempt to climb a tree in front of a police officer or risk the wrath of the law.

In Nova Scotia, a person is not allowed to water their grass when it's raining.

And though there's unlikely to be a sudden revival, old Toronto law states that if you're planning to drag a dead horse down Yonge St. make sure you don't do it on a Sunday.

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