Italy’s highest court has ruled on a subject of utmost importance: whether it’s a crime to say a man has “no balls.”
Yep, the dig is a crime punishable by a fine, because the insult makes a man feel less manly.
The decision came about after years of legal battling between two cousins, one of whom (a justice of the peace) used the insult against the other (a lawyer) during a courtroom exchange, AFP reports.
“Apart from the vulgarity of the term used, the expression definitely also has an injurious quality,” said the male judge in his ruling.
“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.”
Beyond insulting his manhood, the court found that because the insult was uttered at the workplace with third parties present it could be seen as damaging his reputation.
The ruling, which comes after years of legal dispute, did not specify whether any insults against women should now also be considered crimes.