5 Shocking Laws Modern Countries Had Until A Few Years Ago

Social progress is not a series of containers to check in consecutive order. First we stop enslaving people, then we let wives vote , now we work on LGBT rights, and at some level in the future “were supposed” figure out healthcare or something — it doesn’t study like that. It’s genuinely more like trying to assemble a series of jigsaw puzzle although some dork maintains stealing key pieces. That’s how some supposedly modern civilizations end up ridiculously behind the curve in areas others take for granted. For instance …


In The U.S ., Gay Men Couldn’t Donate Blood Until 2015

Say you’re a healthy man( a stretch, we know ), and you’re willing to donate blood to those who are in desperate need of a transfusion. You devour pretty much nothing but purified sea and air for 24 hours, been a good night’s sleep, and then proudly walk into the donation center with your sleeve rolled up, ready to face down your primal anxiety of needles to save a life and perhaps score a free cookie. Medical doctors asks you some simple questions about what genitals you may have interacted with lately, and abruptly you’re being depicted the door.

The Blood Blog Am … am I being propositioned?

What the heck happened?

The FDA has a longstanding restraint that prevents men from donating blood if they’ve ever had sexuality with other humen. The regulation dates back to 1983, when AIDS was still new and scary and called “a homosexual plague.” But we’re much more educated on AIDS and same-gender sexuality these days, so the FDA ultimately loosened its limiteds … in 2015. All men can now donate blood! Uh, as long as they haven’t slept with another man in the last 12 months. Sorry, guy in intensive care with a serious gunshot weave, but if you think about it, a year can really fly by, right?

Given that blood dearths are a continual pressing concern, discriminating against a good clod of specific populations seems counterproductive. The FDA’s stance is that it’s all about safety, that 12 months ensures that if anyone were unknowingly HIV positive, it would still show up in screenings. Makes sense, right? But straight people who have slept around all time are still welcome to donate, while lesbian humen in healthy monogamous relationships are turned away. Meanwhile, Italy has performed individual risk assessments on donors instead of relying on blanket forbiddings since 2001, and they haven’t assured any increase in HIV infections. So perhaps we shouldn’t be stimulating non-straight humankinds choose between doing a good deed and enjoying sex this year, specially since we all know what we’d choose.


In France, Trans People Were Forced To Get Sterilized Until 2016

Legally involving people to get sterilized sounds like a sci-fi dystopia, but for transgender people in France, it was a darknes reality all the way up until October of 2016. Before then, French trans people who wanted to change their legal name and sex had to first secure proof that they’d been permanently and irreversibly sterilized.

France wasn’t alone in being behind the times. Germany simply dropped its sterilization requirements under 2011, Sweden did it in 2012, and Norway waited until 2014. And all of those countries are ahead of an eye-watering 22 European countries that still have mandatory sterilization laws on the books, including some places you wouldn’t expect, like Finland and Switzerland. In the 1970 s, Sweden became the first country to allow people to legally redefine their gender, but also said those same people mentally ill and unfit to reproduce. In reality, being diagnosed with a mental illness is still a requirement to transition in some countries, which we’re sure gets people queuing right up.

Transgender Europe/ The Washington Post For the progressive bastion Europe supposedly is, thats an dreadful lot of state-mandated eugenics.

This all paints a grim picture, but the European Court of Human Rights did lately rule that mandatory sterilization was a clear rights violation. In April 2017, the court ruled in favor of three French citizens who refused to undergo mandatory sterilization, which buttressed the new law in France and constructed repealing sterilization easier elsewhere. Europe’s legal system is a possibility messy and fragmented, but the court’s belief is influential enough that those fighting sterilization laws in non-eu countries now have an important precedent in their corner. They likewise have the “Come on, guys, haven’t you watched The Handmaid’s Tale ? ” argument.


In 2015, South Koreans Finally Agreed That Adultery Shouldn’t Be Punished With Prison Sentences

Adultery sucks, true. But it’s generally agreed upon that it should be punished by getting together with your best friend on Margarita Monday to affirm that Steve was a jerk who sucked in bed anyway, and not jail day. But from 1953 to 2015, the Republic of Korea would throw your cheating ass in jail for up to two years, which must have really raised the stakes in local soap operas.

Library of Congress Of course, cheating spouses still cant file for divorce, because when Korea says ‘Til death do us proportion, they mean business.

The law started with good intents — committing women in a male-dominated culture some measure of protection against dreadful spouses. But it soon evolved into a nightmarish morass of difficulties, including partners using it as a tactic to force divorces as well as men using it to blackmail married girls. So exactly the opposite of why they introduced the law in the first place.

At least 53,000 people were charged with adultery, and that’s merely since they started counting in 1985. And while jail period did become increasingly rare in modern times( thanks to couples reaching fiscal villages and courts demanding more proof before belief ), the whole ludicrous law still occasionally led to a bevy of policemen raiding a motel room based on a tip-off from a jilted devotee. Which genuinely doesn’t seem like a productive use of their time, even though it is would admittedly make for an entertaining reality show.

South Korea’s top courtroom eventually struck the law down in 2015, declaring that modern-day marital issues were best solved by those involved, especially since the country’s tribunals are likely to be tired of hearing arguings more suited for Judge Judy . Some advocacy groups condemned the ruling as a slip into immorality who are able to doom conventional families, but shares in condom and morning-after capsule producers kill way up right afterward. The will of the people was clear.


Swiss Women Couldn’t Vote Until 1971

We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about Switzerland, but they’ve always seemed like they’re reasonably with it. Hell, Swiss men started voting lane back in 1291. So they must have seemed like a bastion of progressiveness for a few hundred years … right up until other governments starting noticing these women all over the place and wondered if they might be people too. America devoted( white) females the vote in 1920, and Britain followed suit in 1928. Switzerland didn’t get around to dedicating females voting rights until disco got big.

Via Natemass.com Yet they still managed to fight it with an ad campaign straight out of the silent cinema era.

Switzerland is one of the few countries in which citizens vote directly on referendums to change their constitution. That has its advantages, but it also meant that while other countries only had to convince their representatives that ladies were 100 percentage for sure human, the Swiss had to win over a majority of adult humankinds, some of whom might not feel like sharing their power. And indeed, 67 percentage of Swiss boys voted to shoot down a 1959 referendum that would have given females the vote.

It wasn’t until the 1960 s, when Switzerland was turned away from the European Convention of Human Rights, that it started getting really embarrassing. After an application for a special exemption under extenuating circumstances failed( those circumstances being that they genuinely didn’t want to counting girls as people ), the Swiss finally moved with Plan B, comprising a second referendum on female suffrage in 1971. That one passed, with 66 percentage of men in favor of not being dorks, building Switzerland the final Western democracy to let women poll. Although one small canton did keep refusing to let females vote on local issues all the way up until 1991 , when the courts stepped in and issued a ruling that we presumed amounted to “Holy crap, you guys, get it together.”


Japan Only Got Around To Cracking Down On Child Porn In 2014

Anti-child-pornography laws seem like the one cause that all countries in the world could agree on, but Japan had some … issues getting on board. They merely banned the production and distribution of child pornography in 1999, which feels like, oh, roughly several centuries too late. Even worse, the law was poorly enforced, so Japan earned a reputation as an “international hub for the production and trafficking of child pornography, “ which is slightly less quirky than their reputation for weird video games and giant robots.

Oh, and that 1999 statute didn’t even ban possession of child pornography, so is asking for the product remained. It’s like banning the growth of of weed, but leaving intake legal … except we’re talking about goddamn child pornography . 2012 alone saw investigations involving 1,264 victims. The statute against possession didn’t come into impact until 2014, and it included a one-year grace period so people could dispose of their porn like they were hesitantly cleaning out beloved childhood comic books.

Now that the grace period has ended, offenders can be prosecuted with up to one whole year in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Notably, the law doesn’t include anime and manga that portray child sexuality, both because their publishing homes have some serious clout and because Japan has a super weird posture toward schoolgirl sex.

Takara-Tomy/ Hasbro Annnnd again with the goddamn giant robots

It’s a complicated issue, but at least they’re slowly making moves in the right direction. And in the meantime, some American with an anime avatar who’s never been to Japan will be happy to explain why this is the worst thing that has ever happened to civilization.

Alex Perry is a freelancer who wrote a novel about a time-traveling stalker and a heartwarming kids’ book about a boy and his genetically manipulated swine/ organ donor. She’s on Twitter .

Did you recently investigate abroad in Europe? Do you crave everyone to know about it? Then hang up a bloody map of Europe in your dorm, you jetsetting explorer !

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