Today, in news of the fucked up: a judge in France has ruled that a man named in court documents as “Jean-Louis B.” is solely at fault in the divorce proceedings between him and his wife due to “lack of sex over 21 years of marriage.” As if that wasn’t humiliating enough, he’s been ordered to pay his now ex-wife 10,000 euros as some sort of compensation for all the orgasms she didn’t get to have during that time period.
Via The Telegraph:
The ex-husband claimed “tiredness and health problems” had prevented him from being more attentive between the sheets.
But a judge in the south of France’s highest court in Aix-en-Provence ruled: “A sexual relationship between husband and wife is the expression of affection they have for each other, and in this case it was absent.
“By getting married, couples agree to sharing their life and this clearly implies they will have sex with each other.”
There are so many things wrong with this decision. First of all, if we’re going to put a monetary amount on all that sex they didn’t have, 10,000 euros seems way low. The average French person has sex 121 times per year, which works out to be 2,541 sexings over the course of 21 years. 10,000/2,541 =~4 euros per sex. If sex was worth so little to her in the first place, why was it capable of being the sole factor in the dissolution of their marriage? Logique, Madame B.!
More seriously, this ruling seems to fall on the wrong side of the issue of consent. Nobody, male or female, should be forced to have sex against their will, and telling someone they’re legally obligated to have sex with their spouse brings back memories of laws–laws that still exist in some parts of the world–that say it’s totally okay to rape someone if you’re married to them. (Historically, most victims of these laws have been women.) This goes without saying, but when and how to do it is an extremely personal decision that should stay between the two people who are married to each other, and if they can’t come to an agreement that works for both people, they probably shouldn’t be together. They definitely shouldn’t stay together for 21 years, and if they do, it’s on both of them, no? Do any French/lawyer people want to chime in with insight on how the judge came to interpret the law in this way? Because from where I’m sitting, it seems completely absurd.