Judge Annulls Marriage Because Wife is Not A Virgin

Yup, you read that right and it happened in France, via Le Monde . So here is the story: this Muslim guy marries a young woman who told her she was a virgin. On the wedding night, he discovers – shock and horror – that she is not. The guy brings the daughter back to her now dishonored family. Then, he hires a attorney to get the marriage annulled (no divorce because, as the attorney puts it, divorce implies fault relating to marital obligations). A judge agrees, stating that the proper reason for the annulment is (my translation) “error on the essential qualities of the person” (the woman that is, the essential quality being virginity).

But this has nothing to do with religion, the man, his attorney and the judge clamor when they get called on it. It’s about the lie. She said she was a virgin and she was not. It was important for the man, therefore, he’s entitled to his annulment. Except, of course, that everyone agrees that the “essential quality” that the young woman lacked was virginity, and that is not neutral. Would he have annulled his marriage if his bride had been a couple of pounds heavier than she had told him?

And it is this kind of reasoning that lead to something I blogged about a while ago: the increase in hymen restoration surgeries for Muslim women in Europe (it’s actually a pretty good post, so just go read it, ok?).

Personally, I think the young woman is better off rid of that idiot. On the other hand, the very fact that she is now seen as having dishonored her family is disturbing because we know that crimes of honor are committed in Europe.

Moreover, as legendary French feminist Elisabeth Badinter points out , in France, consensual sexuality is a private matter over which the court has no jurisdiction. The fact that virginity was “important” to the man does not mean the court should have adjudicated on this.

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4 Responses to Judge Annulls Marriage Because Wife is Not A Virgin

  1. Gilbert Martinez says:

    This makes me sick. It also reminds me of this guy I knew who said he had to marry a virgin. That he would go to strip clubs and visit prostitutes did not seem contradictory to him. Disgusting.

  2. Frenchdoc says:

    Goes back to the double standard that one gender is free to enjoy its sexuality in a variety of “formats” whereas the other is strictly controlled in its sexual expressions.

  3. Chris says:

    I think the court ruled appropriately. Whether or not the guy should care about the woman’s virginity isn’t the issue. He does. Like any religious belief, it doesn’t make sense, but we’re a society that accepts other people’s political and religious beliefs. Tolerance.

    The problem is that she lied. About something that was important to him. The lie means that he entered into the marriage contract with her under false pretenses, and like any agreement made under false pretenses, the deceived party should be free to opt out.

  4. I remember once when I was young, dumb, and full of c** (more or less on all of this). The woman professed love, and this and that, and asked for a new car. Believing that my prospective wife should travel in style, she got what she asked for. And promptly proceeded to drive around, in front of the whole world but me apparently, with her real paramour. When someone slapped me up side the head with the truth, I went and got my vehicle back, and proceeded to sue for the money loss. I won.

    Ain’t it a funny old life sometimes?