Friday, February 8, 2008

This concept of "wuv" confuses and enrages us

I know this is in Italy and I'm not supposed to be reading the news anyway, but this is ridiculous. A court in Italy decided to severely reduce a 34-year-old man's sentence for having sex with an underage (13 year old) girl because they decided there was "real love" between the pair.

First of all:

In Italy, the age of consent is 14, so this is like the equivalent of in the average US state (where consent is usually about 16) a 36 year old and a 15 year old. So sketchy, illegal technically, but don't think of it as quite the same thing legally as a 30 year old and a 13 year old in this country.

HOWEVER, the reason behind the sentence reduction was not "she was only a year away from being able to consent, so we'll reduce it on those grounds" but it was "they loved each other."

Here's the thing. The law says a 13 year old can't consent to sex, she can't consent to sex. Period. Well, she can, but it's invalid consent-- like if a completely plastered girl consents to sex, that's invalid (of course in that case, she may have had a standing consent with a guy that it was okay for him to have sex with her while she was drunk, like if they were dating. Someone who is underage could not have done that, since they have never previously been able to give valid consent). According to the laws of consent, when a person who is underage consents to sex, their words are essentially meaningless, and only affect whether or not the crime is "statutory rape" or just "rape."

And yet according to this Italian court, if the girl "loves" the man (maybe she did, doesn't matter) and he loves her, then her consent becomes valid. Despite the fact that nothing in her brain changes when she thinks she loves the man that makes her judgment better and makes her older.

Ultimately, though, what really bothers me is that this is a moral decision on the part of the judge. According to this judge, sex + love = okay, sex + no love = bad. And even though I personally agree, I don't think that that is a decision the courts should make. This is saying that a teenage girl who has sex with an older man because she thought he was hot and wanted to have sex was somehow coerced and unable to consent, but one who wanted to have sex with an older man because she felt she truly loved him was NOT coerced.

It's saying that women/girls would NEVER have sex willingly unless they loved the man and the man loved them (could also be saying the same for young men, but I doubt it; anyway, that's irrelevant). Which is not true and a moral judgment of women who have sex with people they do not love. If the judge feels that that is immoral, fine, but it shouldn't come into the courtroom. Judges should go by the law, not their own moral codes, if they live under a truly secular government, which Italy claims to have.

84 comments:

Lexcen said...

I agree that judges should stick to the law and not introduce moral codes into their decisions.

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