Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Arranged Marriage in France

A French appeals court reverses a marriage annulment of a couple who wanted their marriage annulled.

1. Man wants to marry woman provided she is a virgin.

2. Woman claims she is.

3. They marry.

4. Man finds out she was not a virgin, wants an anullment, claims he was deceived into marriage.

5. The French civil code allows a marriage to be annulled if a spouse has lied about an "essential quality" of the relationship. Lower court admits that in this case the woman's virginity was an "essential quality" of the relationship, otherwise the man would not have married her. Annuls marriage.

6. Feminists go nuts. They claim that this would allow men legally to reject women on the grounds they were not virgins. They argue the decision is unfair because a woman would not be able to cancel her marriage if she thought her husband was not a virgin.
a. This will allow men to legally reject non-virgin women only if the woman's virginity was an essential and explicit pre-requisite for the marriage. If the essentiality of this requirement was not made explicit before marriage then obviously it cannot be used as a pretext for annulment. In this case the essentiality of the woman's virginity was made explicit before marriage. She deceived him. Breach of contract.

b. Women can also claim the converse. They can also demand only to be married to virgin men and to annul the marriage if they find out that their husbands deceived them with respect to their virginity. Nowhere is this option denied to the women.

c. People everyday discriminate against other people with respect to finding spouses. The discriminating factor can be beauty, race, age, wealth, love, personality, potential of success blah, blah, blah. The presence or absence of virginity is just another such criterion. If this last criterion can be outlawed then why should any other criteria be allowed in choosing a spouse? Should we outlaw all such discriminatory criteria? In that case is one legally bound to marry whoever wants to marry them?
7. Despite widespread outrage both parties accept the annulment and want to go on with their lives. Both unhappy about the brouhaha.

8. Government wants to mollify the feminist and other assorted critics. Direct public prosecutor to appeal.

9. Appeals court reverses annulment. Woman married to man again.

10. Feminists, Government: Happy. Man, Woman: Unhappy

11. The law has worked its magic.

Sources: 1, 2, 3.

No comments:

Post a Comment