Feminism | Posted by Valentina V. on 02/18/2011

Silvio Berlusconi and Italian Women

Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi

You may have heard about the private behaviour of Silvio Berlusconi – the male chauvinist politician that opened his door to protégées and lovers. Add this to Italian culture of degrading media and the poor opportunities women have for careers and the world must be wondering how we can accept all this madness. A lot of Italian women are trying to find the answers to the complicated question (our reality), “Why do women always have to find a solution to excesses of male privilege? Why do we put up with it?”

For a young woman like me, who was born in and has always lived in Italy, the recent political incident that has shocked society seems to be the last chapter of a long tradition of a corrupted generation. I’m talking about the Italian politician caste, a sort of privileged big family which has used its powers to defame the Italian people’s image to the world. After a long series of infamous behaviours from the biggest exponents of this “political family,” one would expect a radical change of the situation, or even just an unanimous declaration of indignation.

That’s why recently millions of women and men, children and old people have met along squares and streets of a lot of cities around the world, mostly Italian ones, to declare their categoric refusal to the objectification of the female gender. A huge movement of people, tired of these legalized discriminations, showed their disapproval.

Italian women – though I suppose we’re not the only ones- are stuck with every kind of business, are busy every second of our lives. We’re the welfare, the job, the family itself. Without any help, everything’s on our shoulders. Some of us also have legitimate ambition to go straight for our own desires. And we have accomplished a lot, that’s for sure, except for in politics. It seems that prostitution and stuff like this is a residual fact.

I personally get angry when one asks women to solve everything, including the failures and excesses of a male sexuality. You’re a perverted, violent and voracious man who pays for sex, but I have to handle and take blame for the situation, feeling wrong if I don’t. I’m the one who has to go shouting about my dignity and rights around squares, while you keep on doing whatever you want.

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  • GwrageddAnnwn @ at 4:39 pm, February 18th, 2011

    Hi! Being an Italian girl myself, I agree with your position and would like to add my two cents.
    What has happened is not a big surprise, I believe. The President’s behaviour towards women has been known since ages, and it’s more than scandalous that he hasn’t resigned yet.
    Even if it provoked a strong public reaction in the form of a national protest march, however, I noticed the dangerous absence of something: male voices. As long as women will be the only ones to protest, I fear that any discussion will be useless. As you said, women are asked to handle the problem: the real problem is, we are asked to do it on our own.
    I didn’t hear many men frowning at the scandal (I am talking about normal men, not babbling politicians). As long as men won’t be willing to take part in the defence of women, my fear is that nobody will be able to stop the horrible decline our country is into.

  • VictoriaL @ at 10:48 am, February 19th, 2011

    Hi! I’m an anglo-italian teenage girl who, like you, is disgusted by the current situation. I agree with both, but I do think there’s something more to it: not only are male voices missing, but also female ones. What I mean by this is that, apart from the protests mentioned, the scandal is not as big as it would have been in any other normal democratic country.
    Many girls my age (I’m talking about fifteen-year-olds) don’t even notice everyday sexist discrimination, so used are they to the “veline” mentality. It’s depressing but often true, at least in my personal experience: girls are bored with all the talk of equality and just think about boys and makeup. A few weeks ago, during religion lesson, we started discussing the “Adam and Eve” issue: all the girls exept myself thought that, nowadays, woman is equal to man. Of course, I live in a small provincial town, but I think the average young girls’ indifference is proven by the survey that recently appeared in an Italian newspaper: only 38% of women consider Mr Berlusconi’s behaviour towards their sex offensive.
    I’m sorry to say that Italy is a lost country.

  • NWOslave @ at 8:37 pm, February 20th, 2011

    Isn’t it the height of hypocracy to shame a man for visiting a prostitute while calling the prostitute a victim. What is she a victim of, her own greed? Is someone holding a gun to her head? She’s offering sex for money, by her oen choice yet she’s the victim?

    This article states, “all the girls exept myself thought that, nowadays, woman is equal to man” Men and women are not equal, we are totally different and equality is impossible.

    Men have invented and created all great art, music, science, literature, math, inventions, technology…everything. There are biological reasons for this.

    The inferior parietal lobule is subtantially larger in the brains of men. This is used for 3D mental manipulation of time space and object and for math processes. The inferior parietal lobule is larger still in men of genius. Further, women mature mentally, physically and emotionally until around 20 years old, while men mature to around 30. Science bears out the very old saying of, “women mature faster and men mature further.”

    The reason all history is filled with men inventing, creating art and music and literature is because of biology. If in the past women were found to have been great inventor’s, they would have been locked out of the kitchen and forced to invent. Any society that didn’t have women inventor’s would’ve been eclipsed. Would women then be claiming oppression in the past because they weren’t allowed to stay home? I believe they would.

    The brains of men and women are radically different. Men have never held women back, biology is the culprit.

  • VictoriaL @ at 1:10 pm, February 21st, 2011

    Then how come the majority of university students are now women?
    Oh, and, would *you* like to have Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister?

  • NWOslave @ at 6:09 pm, February 21st, 2011

    @VictoriaL…I’m guessing you’re addressing me with this statement, “Then how come the majority of university students are now women?” The answer is right here…http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110214/NEWS0102/102150310/UC-drop-computer-science-major?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

    If you go to the link you’ll see the university of cincinatti just cut computer science like many universities. Many are cutting hard sciences across the board but oddly enough they have enough resources to keep women’s studies and gender studies programs from being redundant. I’m sure all the techies are banging down the door to take women’s studies for a career at wal mart.

    As far as Berlusconi, I’d take a wooden table over Obama. C’mon the guy has spent more than 2 terms of Bush and 1 term of Clinton combined in 3 years and be honest, there is nothing to show for it.

  • Simim @ at 3:00 am, March 23rd, 2011

    “I personally get angry when one asks women to solve everything, including the failures and excesses of a male sexuality.”

    This is the history of the world. Women are currently disadvantaged to men. We’re “the underdog” in this battle.

    The underdog, in order to reach the top, has to figure out a way to move up and win, so to speak.

    If you were crazy good at playing chess, and then gloated about it, someone else not so crazy good would probably work about a way to keep you from gloating so much.

    But you wouldn’t stop gloating if you could help it, would you? You have that privilege to gloat.

    Men have privilege women don’t. It’s not an earned one, unlike chess skill, but it’s a privilege nonetheless. They can get away with stuff we can’t.

    But do you think they’re going to go out of their way to eliminate that privilege? Not particularly.

  • allie @ at 10:40 pm, April 9th, 2011

    @ NWOslave
    you seem to be a slave to your own stupidity! maybe you should read a book called Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy. she talks about how women are pretty much programmed by society to act a certain way and adhere to men’s needs AKA go into prostitution or the sex industry. they are a victim because society as a whole has told them that the only value is their body then men come around and confirm it. women from a young age are told that they are only good as they look, men don’t really have to deal with this. men are not the victims because they help women objectify themselves by going to prostitutes and strip clubs.

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