The Italian Almanac

chastity belt

Italian News - November 21

Members of a movement in favor of the rights of separated fathers staged an unusual protest Monday morning at Fiumicino airport, wearing metal chastity belts as a way to convince visiting male tourists to abstain from sex while in Italy. Abstaining from sex, explained one movement member, "is the only way a man can void that a child they may father can be kidnapped by the mother".

The protest was organized to coincide with the marking of World Children's Day. The fathers' group said they took their inspiration from Aristophanes' play Lysistrata and urged abstention from sex, even through the use of a chastity belt, as a way to avoid a pregnancy which could produce a child for which father would find themselves without rights. As opposed to other European countries, in Italy even if a mother has been found guilty of kidnapping a child she cannot go to jail or even be arrested.

Earlier this month, the fathers' rights movement staged a protest in which the stripped down to their boxer shorts to underscore how child support payments can leave them with nothing. Last January, the fathers' rights organization won an important battle when parliament passed a law which strengthened the access and custody rights of divorced fathers and made joint custody of children the norm when parents split up.