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Feminism and multiculturalism
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Say huh?

In France you can sue your spouse if they don't put out enough?? Srsly?
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bshmr
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
... In France you can sue your spouse if they don't put out enough?? Srsly?

And, I expected you to be suddenly interested in 'psycho-therapy' but that also has a price, costs money, (the second article). <g> ETA: unless one is a 'provider'.


Last edited by bshmr on Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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fork
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the comments at Jezebel:
Quote:
As I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong), in France, when the couple do not both agree to a divorce and have not been separated for 6 years, the only way to get one is to prove that that one party is at fault for violating the duties and obligations of married life. Usually this means proving that they were unfaithful, or abusive. The spouse requesting the divorce is responsible for the legal fees. Finally, if the divorce causes the spouse who was not at fault to suffer financially or in some other way, they may sue for damages after the divorce. . .

In this case, it looks like she wanted a divorce because of a lack of sex, but he did not. We can assume this because the divorce was not mutually agreed -- it was granted to her and he was found to be at fault for the deterioration of the relationship. Because she is the one requesting the divorce, she is the one responsible for all of the legal fees, so she has had to bear that financial cost. But because she is not the spouse at fault, she can sue for damages if the divorce has caused her to suffer in some way. Hence, she sues for damages on the grounds she can, lack of sex.

And Magoo, I'm not sure "put out enough" is entirely accurate. There's not a lot of detail yet, but it sounds like maybe he wasn't putting out at all. I know the link says "enough" and "with sufficient regularity", but other sources have worded it differently, and I'm thinking that might be one of those things that gets distorted with the retelling.
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's still pretty bizarre. And if we reversed the genders, I would expect a lot of feminists to be outraged.

Can you imagine that situation? A woman who has to come up with $13K to pay off her husband for not sleeping with him? What if he never bathes? What if he doesn't know what 'foreplay' means? What if he's just a total asshole in bed. Would we accept that the divorce is ALL her fault, and accept a financial penalty for that?

I think that any attempt to force someone to have sex, even if it's only to prevent being fined $13K if you don't, is kind of odious. That said, thanks for the backgrounder. It helps as much as anything could. :0
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Timebandit
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depending on the husband, that might be a bargain... Wink
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe. Divided into 20 years, that's probably less than you're paying for phone service.

Still, I don't think I'll ever be able to endorse the government in our bedrooms like this.

If your husband/wife/partner/lover/concubine/booty-call doesn't want to have as much sex as you, vote with your feet. That's my thinking. If my wife decided she was never going to have sex with me, I can assure you I wouldn't sit around sulking for the next TWO DECADES and then sue her for money.
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TS.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Magoo on this one. A ruling that a marriage can be dissolved because of the unwillingness of one party to have sex any more, and the party not wanting to have sex is fined is an extremely dangerous precedent.
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bshmr
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't the 'fine' analogous to 'alimony'?

Besides, 1) the husband admits to the facts and apparently understood societal, including marital, expectations; and 2) it takes serious mental gymnastics (distortions) to force continuation of a somewhat repulsive relationship -- spouse doesn't bathe, etc..
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TS.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No one is forcing them to continue the relationship. Haven't you heard of separation?

And no, the fine doesn't appear to have been equivalent to alimony. It appears to have been the legal costs that his wife bore when she pursued the divorce against him.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TS. wrote:
No one is forcing them to continue the relationship. Haven't you heard of separation?

And no, the fine doesn't appear to have been equivalent to alimony. It appears to have been the legal costs that his wife bore when she pursued the divorce against him.

Whatever you say, Barrister TS. But, tell us, where did you read that 'restitution' of legal fees can be ordered contrary to French domestic law (comment above) and is so rare as to have occurred twice.

Maybe the courts charge both when one is too stubborn. <g>
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The quote that fork linked to expressly says that the payment was for restitution of legal fees. Where did you get that it was forbidden?
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bshmr
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TS. wrote:
The quote that fork linked to expressly says that the payment was for restitution of legal fees. Where did you get that it was forbidden?

I re-read fork's post. Now, I understand your position on restitution for legal fees. I had understood the two as mutually or conditionally exclusive which now appears questionable or incorrect.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senor Magoo wrote:
I think it's still pretty bizarre. And if we reversed the genders, I would expect a lot of feminists to be outraged.

Is that how you see feminists - stick up for the woman, and only the woman, regardless of circumstance or principle involved?

But of course I thought about reversing the genders. And since the stereotype is that men want sex more than women*, sexual entitlement is a male prerogative, and sexual problems in marriages aren't exactly a rarity, it made me question why, if there really is a law saying there has to be sexy times in a marriage, why there would only be this one case, involving a woman not getting enough, after a supposedly similar ruling in 2000? I mean, wouldn't you think that the floodgates would have opened in 2000? Or that we'd have seen at the very least a few dozen cases of (mostly) guys suing their wives for "lack of sex"?

*survey
Quote:
A survey by the French Institute of Public Opinion questioned 1,000 adults and found that 76% of them suffer relationship problems that due to a poor sex life.

Half of those also polled said they had no desire to make love.

More than a third of French women confessed to citing headaches, fatigue or not in front of the children as excuses for saying no. One in six men admitted similar excuses.


Here is another possible explanation, that the intent of Article 215 is to address marriages of convenience, and refers to sharing a residence. So it could be a bad decision by the judge, who misinterpreted the article to be referencing sexual relations.


Senor Magoo wrote:
I think that any attempt to force someone to have sex, even if it's only to prevent being fined $13K if you don't, is kind of odious.

TS. wrote:
I'm with Magoo on this one. A ruling that a marriage can be dissolved because of the unwillingness of one party to have sex any more, and the party not wanting to have sex is fined is an extremely dangerous precedent.

Well, it's not like we've left all that interference in the bedrooms of the nation behind, same-sex marriage and abortion laws being the most obvious examples. In Ontario, unless the parties are aware at the time of the marriage that it will be platonic, there is an expectation of sex when entering into a marriage contract.
In the US, seven states still have anti-cohabitation laws. In North Carolina, it's not just an antiquated law still sitting on the books; there were 6 prosecutions in 2003. In Florida, some Republicans are currently opposing striking down a law that makes cohabitation a "second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by $500 or up to 60 days in jail". "The same penalty applies to adultery which one Florida woman tried to have enforced for her cheating husband in 2006."
So while this may be precedent-setting (excluding that case in 2000 which I can't find any information on) in that it's fining someone for *not* having sex, it's not precedent-setting for getting up into people's sexual business and fining or otherwise punishing them for "improper" sexual behavior.
TS. wrote:
And no, the fine doesn't appear to have been equivalent to alimony. It appears to have been the legal costs that his wife bore when she pursued the divorce against him.

TS. wrote:
The quote that fork linked to expressly says that the payment was for restitution of legal fees.

I want to point out that that quote was highly speculative, and that the commenter didn't seem to have more than a passing knowledge of French divorce laws. A subsequent commenter, who is in the process of getting a divorce in France, says there is a sort of no-fault divorce, although it sounds like it's fairly recent development and so may not have been available two years ago when the divorce in this case was granted. So basically what I'm saying is that nobody really knows what's what yet, and all these speculations about the decision, including mine, should be taken with a grain of salt.
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is that how you see feminists - stick up for the woman, and only the woman, regardless of circumstance or principle involved?


Not necessarily. But I stand by my speculation. If a woman who didn't want to have sex with her husband -- for whatever reason -- had to pay $13k for the right to say no then I would expect feminists to be up in arms. If they're up in arms over this too, great.
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fork
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I'm imagining that your speculation implied that if the genders were reversed, the reaction would be different.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you might be surprised, Magoo. Some feminists might be up in arms, but others, like myself, would wonder why, if you no longer want to have a sexual relationship with your spouse, you would object to divorcing to the tune of several thousand dollars. It's not that easy to rack up huge legal bills if nobody's raising objections.

It's not so much a matter of having to put out as it is not torturing the other party by refusing to put out AND refusing to let him or her move on. I don't think that's fair or acceptable for anyone, male or female.
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough, though I'd note that if she wanted out, and separated once she knew this, she could have been divorced 14 years earlier, and presumably without having to be the one to request the divorce or pay the fees.

That said, the French system does sound a bit quirky. Why should either spouse require the permission of the other to divorce? To me, that's like saying I can only quit my job if my employer agrees.

Liberte, egalite, fraternite. What's that first word mean again?
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Timebandit
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could she have divorced 14 years earlier? If her spouse is against divorcing after 14 sexless years, why would he have agreed then?
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seemed to me to be implied by this:
Quote:
in France, when the couple do not both agree to a divorce and have not been separated for 6 years


I took it to mean that if you've been separated for six years then mutual agreement wouldn't be required. Obviously if that's wrong, then I'm wrong too.
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Timebandit
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There can be extenuating circumstances, though. Perhaps co-habiting until the kids were independent was something they felt they needed to do. People stay in marriages longer than they should for all sorts of reasons.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the legends or myths about France is the tolerance-to-preference of married having extra-marital 'lovers' thus I suspected that an affair became more filling then the sum of being a token or fake wife and a comfortable affair. Un-mentioned is the possibility that the husband was merely 'gay' pretending to not be. Not that either happens. <g>
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
but others, like myself, would wonder why, if you no longer want to have a sexual relationship with your spouse, you would object to divorcing to the tune of several thousand dollars.


You may have answered your own question... sort of.

Quote:
People stay in marriages longer than they should for all sorts of reasons.

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Timebandit
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't think I did: My first remark was why the husband would want to rack up a big bill by refusing to divorce a wife he wouldn't have a sexual relationship with.

The second remark was in response to you questioning why the wife didn't leave earlier - and in context I noted that it could be a reason like raising kids, which often for a period of time makes it very difficult in an economic sense to leave a marriage.

I can understand an agreement to stay for a variety of reasons but find it hard to fathom fighting to make the other party stay when there obviously isn't a complete marriage in place.
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, but if the husband didn't wish to divorce, and notwithstanding a judgement like this one, where would his huge costs come from? Wouldn't it actually cost him nothing to not divorce?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're refusing to go for the divorce and that necessitates the spouse who is leaving going to court a lot, you're racking up the bills, albeit passively. It would cost nothing to simply not oppose the spouse who is already on her way out the door.
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Senor Magoo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough. I'm not trying to be argumentative here, but if you don't have reason to believe that you'll absorb the blame for a divorce, it also wouldn't cost you anything, if I'm understanding French family law correctly.

The article above seems to suggest that if only one partner wants a divorce, that partner pays the legal fees for it.

*But*, that partner can then sue for damages if the court rules that the other partner is the cause of the dissolution of the marriage. In this case, it appears that court ruled that the husband was solely at fault, and awarded damages in the amount of those legal fees.

And so I guess I still oppose the idea that if one partner doesn't want to have sex with the other then they're the sole reason why the marriage doesn't work. I can think of lots of reasonable reasons why one partner might not want to have sex with the other, but if saying no means you're the one at fault, regardless of why you say no, then I guess it's time to close your eyes and think of something else. That seems a bit coercive to me.
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