Marriage is considered sacrosanct in many cultures. It is the ultimate act of commitment between two human beings, the ultimate act of trust. Lately, in France, there has been quite a tumult because a court annulled a marriage between two Muslims because the man claimed the wife had not been a virgin, as she had claimed before they got married.
FRANCE plunged into a heated debate about its marriage laws today after learning that a court had annulled the union of two Muslims because the husband said the wife was not the virgin she had claimed to be.
Politicians, feminists and human rights activists denounced the verdict, handed down last month but reported in the national press only on Thursday, as an affront to the legal equality of men and women and a violation of a woman’s privacy.
The hoodwinked husband’s lawyer responded just as forcibly that civil marriage was a legal contract. The court invalidated this one because the wife had lied about what French law calls an “essential quality” of a contracting party, he said.
You may find this weird, but I actually am on the side of the husband. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that any man should be divorcing their wives if they were not virgins at the time they got married. That would be ridiculous. But, any man, and any woman, should have the right to terminate the marriage if they catch their spouse in a lie big enough, and how big is big I think belongs to the realm of the individual. This is not a case about equality of the sexes or not, it is a case of honesty. If you found out that your husband had been a cross dresser before you married him, and he never told you wouldn’t you think long and hard about continuing the marriage? What if he was gay? What if he had been a nazi? A communist? Fill in whatever pleases you and you will start getting my point.
This case is not about a woman’s virginity or not. It is not about women’s rights, regardless of what some people may want you to believe. It is about the simple fact that a marriage is a contract between two willing people. People can break the contract if they find out information that was withheld from them. That is the reason why the French court had no other choice but to grant the divorce or annulment or whatever they gave him. It is not important if the information is that your wife was not a virgin or if your husband had been gay. A court cannot get into the business of deciding what should be important. The simple fact is that if she did not disclose this information, which was her right not to don’t get me wrong, he has the right to request a divorce in the light of the new circumstances, period. It does not matter that we think he’s a jerk. It doesn’t matter that it makes no sense to us.
Of course people are jumping on this left and right and everyone has an agenda to perform.
“It is profoundly shocking that, in our country, a marriage can be annulled on the basis of non-virginity before the marriage,” Frederic Lefebvre, spokesman for President Nicolas Sarkozy’s governing UMP party, said.
Prominent feminist Elisabeth Badinter said the courts should defend Muslim women, not pressure them.
“The end result will be that some Muslim girls will rush to hospitals to have their hymens sewn back together again,” she told France Inter radio.
Actually dear president, it’s not shocking. You as a capitalist should be very well aware that withholding information that may be important to the other side when entering into a contract, constitutes grounds for canceling that contract. It doesn’t matter if you think the other side should care about this info or not. What matters is what the other side thinks about it.
See, this issue is a bit like sexual harassment. It does not matter if the man makes his comment with the intent of offending the women on the receiving end. All that matters is how strongly those women feel about those comments. So is this. It does not matter if we think that info should not matter to the husband. It matters how the husband feels about it.
Folks, let’s be clear. A MAN OR WOMAN HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO MARRY OR BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A NON-VIRGIN!. Absolutely yes! Just like any white girl has the right to refuse to be associated with white guys, and only goes out with black guys. It is the same thing.
Secondly, the argument about muslim girls getting a procedure done to appear virgins, is a slippery slope kind of argument. The fact is that as long as muslim girls marry a muslim guy who cares about this stuff, they would have just as much incentive to get this done, regardless of the divorce issue, and they have been doing this for a while now. It’s not new! That’s nothing more than a scare tactic on the part of Mrs. Badinter.
Conclusion-Is this guy a beacon of morality? Of course not. But that is not the point. Morality is relative and in his mind I am sure he thinks he’s doing the right thing. The point is that if this woman, willfully withheld such information from this guy, because she was afraid he might not have married her, then she’s just as guilty if not more. If she tricked him into believing that she was a virgin, then she had this coming. Feminists need to be careful not to go to the extreme where they start valuing women’s rights more than man’s rights.
The catch is that the same rights that I am advocating for this guy, would equally apply to any disgruntled woman as well. Only under those circumstances am I willing to stick to my arguments. This is not to be construed as me arguing to give husbands rights that would be rejected to wives. Absolutely not!