Spanish politico to Italian P.M.: Get therapy!

Spain's equality minister says Silvio Berlusconi is a chauvinist who needs psychiatric help.

By Tracy Clark-Flory
May 21, 2008 12:26AM (UTC)
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Spanish Equality Minister Bibiana Aido has a message for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi: Get therapy to deal with your raging sexism, already. In her recent comments to Spanish newspaper El Pais, she also said that it's questionable whether such treatment would be effective: "He would need many sessions." Yowzers.

So, what has Aido so annoyed? For starters, when Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero chose nine women for his Cabinet (making the majority female), Berlusconi teased that the Spanish Cabinet was "too pink." Berlusconi appointed four women to his Cabinet, raising female representation to one-fifth. All four women, who Berlusconi refers to as "le bambine" ("the kids"), have sparked scandal because of how uncommonly beautiful they are. Mara Carfagna, the new minister for equal opportunities, is a former showgirl and beauty queen; before appointing her, Berlusconi publicly announced that, were he single, he'd happily marry her.


It gets better. Just recently, he was caught passing a flirtatious note during a session of parliament to two recently appointed M.P.s that read, "Gabri, Nunzia, you look very good sitting there together. Thank you for sticking around [to listen to the speech] but it is not necessary. If you have any gallants who have invited you to lunch, I authorize you to go [underlined three times]. Many kisses both of you!!! Your Prime Minister." The women responded in kind: "Our dear Prime Minister, we can only accept gallant invitations from you!" Who knew Italian parliamentary sessions so closely resembled high school yearbook meetings?

In shocking contrast, Spanish P.M. Zapatero has declared himself a feminist, created a ministry for gender equality and, amid controversy, appointed a pregnant woman as minister for defense. Maybe next he'll personally sponsor Berlusconi's therapy.

Tracy Clark-Flory

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