drghirlanda

Neuroscience, evolution, and culture

Tag Archives: italy

Swede Surrender

Italian politics has never been a model to follow. Things did not improve when, in the early 1990’s, the 50 year opposition between the Christian Democratic Party and the Italian Communist Party came to an end because of corruption scandals (mostly affecting the first party) and of communism going out of fashion (mostly affecting the second one). The current political situation is of a Prime Minister who has repeatedly narrowly escaped jail (often through his own tweaking of the law) and of opposition parties who have proved unable to lift Italy out of its historical inefficiency.

I think it is time for Italians to acknowledge that a radical intervention is needed. My idea is: let Italy become a colony of Sweden. It would be a win for both countries. Italians would enjoy efficient administration and sane public policies, and the Swedes would benefit from having a base in a country with better climate and food.

Are you in favor?

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A Fine Example of Sexism in Italian Divorce Law

In italy, a woman cannot remarry until 300 days after a divorce. This norm intends to avoid paternity disputes by making sure that, upon remarrying, a woman is not expecting a child from her previous husband. Such intent is apparent from the provisions, stated in the same law, that allow to cut the 300 days short if:

  • The woman proves she is not pregnant.
  • The woman proves that she did not legally live with the former husband in the 300 days after divorce.
  • The previous marriage has been terminated because of the sterility of either partner.

How many flaws can you find in behind this norm? I have found the following:

  1. A divorcing man is not required to prove that his former wife is not pregnant, hence the norm is sexist.
  2. The law assumes that a woman has sex only with her husband.
  3. The law assumes that a woman has sex with a man only if they live together.

All this makes the norm ineffective in its intent, i.e., preventing paternity disputes. The law was written around 1980, mostly by men born in the 1920s and 1930s. Those aging, somewhat sexist, democratically elected lawmakers could not anticipate that paternity tests would obsolete their hard work in a few years. While point 1 above is, in theory, sufficient to make the law unconstitutional in Italy, the law itself has not, apparently, been challenged in court, and thus stands as of today, August 20th, 2009.

I have been able to find other similar cases: Puerto Rico, Lousiana before 1970 (remarriage laws in the U.S.). Do you know of other similar legislation elsewhere?