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Attention Italian men! Touching yourself in public is now illegal! PDF Print E-mail
Feb 29, 2008 at 09:33 AM
       You notice it soon after you arrive here. A man, perhaps feeling uncomfortable in his too-tight pantaloni, or feeling superstitious about something, allows his hand to wander and, over the clothing, I grant you, cups his genitals or shifts them from one position to another. How crass, right? But how common here, especially in certain less-refined circles. But now, says Italy's Corte di Cassazione, such behaviour must stop. It is "an act contrary to human decency" the country's highest court said this week and from now on will be considered illegal.

        Well, lots of luck. It is well known that Italians have a habit of ignoring laws which are far more important than this one so, figuriamoci, if they are going to stop grabbing for their "attributes" when they hear that a fellow smoker has just died of a brain tumor or that last week Gianni lost a leg in a motorcycle accident. "Mi tocco le ....." is an oft heard phrase whenever some pending disaster is mentioned.

       The court's ruling came in answer to a third and last-stage appeal by a 42-year old worker from Northern Italy who two years ago was convicted of "ostentatiously touching his genitals through his clothing," The Cassazione, which confirmed the umpressive fine - 200euros plus 1000 euros in legal costs - ruled that such behaviour is contrary to public decency, something we foreign women had figured out long ago.


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