Silvio Berlusconi’s sexist quips spark feminist backlash in Italy

Thursday, October 29, 2009

berlusconiWASHINGTON - A petition against Silvio Berlusconi’s chauvinistic quips has attracted more than 100,000 signatures.

The Italian PM’s frequent demeaning comments to women have not been received well by the females in the country, reports The Christian Science Monitor.

And this time, the rebellion was sparked by an insult thrown by Berlusconi recently at a female political opponent.

During a national television debate about a pair of corruption trials he is facing, the 73-year-old premier found himself in an argument with opposition member of parliament, Rosy Bindi.

An angry Berlusconi lashed out and told her she’s “prettier than she is intelligent” - implying that she was neither.

To which, Bindi replied that she was not a woman at the prime minister’s “disposal”.

The remark stirred an outrage among many Italian women, resulting in an online petition, which is hosted at the website of the centre-left La Repubblica newspaper, with many posting photographs of themselves bearing indignant messages.

Some of the photos were superimposed with the words: “We are not your concubines,” while others read: “I am not a woman at your disposal.”

A self-portrait of a bare-shouldered young woman in a straw beach hat, with a cigar in her mouth, was simply captioned: “Unavailable.” (ANI)

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