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On female italian ministers and their oral skills July 8, 2008

Posted by dorigo in humor, news, politics.
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…I know, I know. This is a family friendly blog, and I do not usually indulge in trivialities. The only reason I plunge into such a topic tonight is because the main italian newspapers are dealing with the exact same topic. And who am I, to blow against the wind ? I am no minister😉 …

So. It so happens that one of the new ministers appointed to the “equal opportunities” chair last May by Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s new prime minister, is Mara Carfagna (right), ex tv star and definitely a gorgeous woman, who’s apparently endowed with at least one other quality.

It also happens that some parts of audio taping of phone conversations between Berlusconi and some individuals who were being investigated have made it to national press.

It further happens that Berlusconi is not happy about being found with the hands deep in the honey pot, and he promptly had his lackeys design a law to prevent judges from ordering wire taping of phone conversations when investigating crimes punishable with less than 10 years of imprisonment.

It finally happens that many disagree with the proposed new law, which would prevent the discovery of important crimes. A manifestation took place today to complain against this and other proposed laws by the newly installed government. Sabina Guzzanti, a satyrist who can’t hold her tongue, had this to say about the whole story:

“A me non me ne frega niente della vita sessuale di Berlusconi ma tu non puoi mettere alle Pari opportunità una che sta lì perché t’ha succhiato l’uccello, non la puoi mettere da nessuna parte ma in particolare non la puoi mettere alle Pari opportunità perché è uno sfregio”.

(“I couldn’t care less about the sexual life of Berlusconi but you cannot place as equal opportunities minister a woman who’s there because she sucked your c**k, you cannot put her anywhere, but in particular you cannot give her the equal opportunities chair because it is an insult.”)

As amused as I obviously am about the whole thing, I think Sabina overstepped the mark in not one, but three different directions. I love her as an actress and a comedian, but I totally disagree with her means, her target, and her goals.

The means: a woman insulting another woman using the alleged sexual favors she provided is disgusting to me, especially if those favors were coerced in some way.

The target: If Mara gave head to her boss she is the victim, not the offender. Attacking Berlusconi through this story is in fact attacking Carfagna herself, guilty of being unfit for the mandate she received: and who knows whether she is unfit ? She might end up doing much better than many other ministers who arrived where they are not because of what they sucked, but because of what they licked.

The goal: this is a cheap way to entertain her audience. She used to fly way, way higher than that. I am really sorry to have to witness such a lack of style.

The only justification i can accept to excuse Guzzanti is that indeed, our current government is not just a merry company of dwarfs and dancers: it is doing a lot of damage to our country. The law proposed by Berlusconi’s lackey Alfano to stop investigations against the four highest charges of the country (among which, guess, Berlusconi himself, who is very worried by the judgement of a corruption case whose trial is set for September, the Mills affair) outrages every person with a gram of grey matter in the skull. And the fact that italians do not care much about this umpteenth walking over the principles upon which our constitution is based, being much more concerned with the loss of purchase power of their salaries, is a further reason for being infuriated.

Comments

1. Andrea Giammanco - July 8, 2008
2. dorigo - July 8, 2008

Are you referring to this, Andrea ?
http://www.clarin.com/diario/2008/07/05/elmundo/i-01708762.htm

To be specific, the alleged phone call between Berlusconi and Carfagna (and not, as in the hoax, between Berlusconi and Confalonieri) has made it to South-American press but not to our press, according to Repubblica.

In any case, I am not convinced that the wire taped phone call mentioned by El Mundo was an hoax, but it is completely beside the point. The point is what Guzzanti made of it.

Cheers,
T.

3. Anonymous - July 9, 2008

Personally I’m more interested in the fundamental contributions that Italian women have made to our modern understanding of science, such as for example
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Gaetana_Agnesi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elena_Cornaro_Piscopia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rita_Levi-Montalcini

4. goffredo - July 9, 2008

The NO CAV day was a great success!

5. AlexZiller - July 9, 2008

Hello,

a.let’s suppose Carfagna did it, and let’s suppose she did it consciously in order to get the position she currently is in charge of. In this scenario (which still has to be proven) I would not say “she is the victim, not the offender”.
b. I also think S.Guzzanti was totally wrong: she was not allowed to publicly offend Carfagna from allegations that still have to be proven as true. One has also to consider the fact that a phone call is not a proof of an actual sexual act.
c. IMHO comparing the case to the Lewinsky’s one (as was made from somebody in Italy) is not appropriate at this stage. Everybody can make fun of Monica&Bill “after” because the fact was proven and admitted from both parts.

complimenti per il blog!

Regards, AZ

6. Andrea Giammanco - July 9, 2008

It seems to me that this spanish article is referring to Repubblica, and the difference (B. speaking to M.C. and not to F.C.) is not due to their access to new sources, but just to having misunderstood/oversimplified the matter.

Anyway, as I said, the substance doesn’t change so much: if the hoax worked, it is because of history:
– he is known for a similar phone call to F.C. several years ago (much before entering in politics, speaking about having sex with soubrettes working in his tv broadcasts)
– he is known for pushing some pretty female actresses in RAI
– he continuously gets associated to similar situations, as in the second article that I linked in my previous comment.

Anyway, it’s not because of its sexual life that I don’t vote for him😉

7. goffredo - July 9, 2008

Andrea. You wrote: “it’s not because of its sexual life that I don’t vote for him”.

Then you have something in common with most of the people that DID vote for Mr. B!

8. Andrea Giammanco - July 9, 2008

Hey, maybe somebody votes for him BECAUSE of his sexual life, we can’t know!

9. goffredo - July 9, 2008

Andrea
and indeed maybe somebody did NOT vote for his sexual life.

10. dorigo - July 9, 2008

Jeff, Andrea,

don’t you think the odd thing here is that italians are one way or another forced to deal with the private facts and the private interests of the prime minister ? Laws designed to keep him untried, laws fit to prevent his tongue slips from becoming public…

I however have to say that the recent thing that infuriated me most was not the attempt to get immunity to Berlusconi himself. It was the golden gift of a new concession to the owners of the italian highways, who not only receive it without any attempt at getting a good deal for us (the citizens), but grant Autostrade the right to increase tolls according to the actual inflation, while salaries are anchored to the programmed one!
This is incredibly outrageous.

Cheers,
T.

11. goffredo - July 9, 2008

Outragoues. Yes. But I in all frankness am more outraged that a hit man, that killed more than a dozen people, was let out of jail to kill again.

People get outraged over diverse things. Then we have our biases that blind us to some things and not to others. The fairest thing to say is that if the checks and balances of Italy were in stable equilibrium then there would be a decent chance that we would all be less outraged.

Berlusconi is a serious symptom and not a primary cause of Italy’s sick state. But I agree that if unchecked then he could indeed cause further damage, really try to imitate his friend Putin and be a primary cause of further problems. Everyone needs checks. Just look at the damage unchecked magistrates have done. No checks and things get out of control.

jeff

p.s. If I were Berlusconi I would peronsally buy a one-way plane ticket for Umberto Eco to anywhere he pleases. Now that I think about it I just might start a money drive to buy Eco the ticket. Every type of person could pitch in: those that dislike Berlusconi and those that dislike Eco. All would have something to gain: those that dispise Berlusconi would have large caliber ammunition and say how Italy’s best minds abhore Italy to the point of escaping from Italy, leaving behind bolognese cuisine; those that dislike Eco would be happy to rid themselves of the bull-shit that the he arrogantly farts out periodically; Eco himself might losse weight.

12. dorigo - July 9, 2008

Hi Jeff,

I have to agree. We have different sensitivity to the various manifestations of “the insolence of office”. I think one criminal out is bad enough, but a million blue collars being stolen money by a Higway tycoon is worse.

Then, I disagree with your dislike of Umberto Eco, whose ideas you might not like, but whom is one of our finest literates.

Cheers,
T.

13. dorigo - July 9, 2008

Thanks Alex, and I do agree with your points.

Andrea, ok – we might not know the truth, and in fact, who cares – we have already enough to gossip about.

Cheers,
T.

14. island - July 10, 2008

Whoa, I only stopped by to see if I could borrow your telescope so that I might find the bottom of the stock market, but now I’m thinking that Italian politics might be the way to go…😉

15. estraven - July 10, 2008

Hi Tommaso,

1) If a grownup, not-too-poor woman chooses to have sex with the richest man in Italy, I wouldn’t call her a victim. If.

2) A comic artist may have freedoms that a politician does not. I wasn’t scandalized by Guzzanti’s words – maybe I read to much Vernacoliere in my life?

3) Carfagna may be a good minister. However, I am definitely not impressed by her work so far: her latest proposal is a law to make street prostitution a crime – and to be a prostitute in one’s apartment one needs approval by all the neighbors(!).

4) Finally, would you like to say a few words about the new “finanziaria” and its provisions for academic hiring?

@Jeff: I would be happy to buy a one-way ticket not for Eco but for myself. Moving a family is a bit more difficult, though.

16. Randall - July 10, 2008

The real problem here was pointed out by Tommaso himself: what’s the judgment of a country which is continuously talking about his Prime minister’s life? Where is its future?

About Berlusconi: after 15 years and several governments he was unable to fix one (1!!!) of the many problems of Italy…as the British say “If you are not part of the solution, probably you are part of the problem”.

Cheers,

Randall

17. goffredo - July 10, 2008

As a chemist would say
“if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the precipitate.”

18. Laura - July 11, 2008

It does indeed sound like Guzzanti showed “a lack of style,” but the picture you choose to accompany this post isn’t very classy either.

19. dorigo - July 12, 2008

Laura, the picture was the best I could find on the internet among those that did not show Mara naked or in her former sex-symbol look. If you think that an open mouth is too suggestive of the sexual act mentioned in the post, it is your problem, not mine…

Cheers,
T.

20. dorigo - July 12, 2008

And Jeff, that is a nice one…
T.

21. Matteo Martini - July 14, 2008

Tommaso,
“If Mara gave head to her boss she is the victim, not the offender”..
Gee..
You have a funny way to think, sometimes.
If Mara willingly performed sexual acts in exchange of a place in the Parliament, being a minister and an annual salary with 5 zeroes, she is a “victim”??
Tommaso, single mothers with little income and one or two children to raise up, they can be considered as “victims”, not that b….!!!!

22. Matteo Martini - July 14, 2008

estraven,
“3) Carfagna may be a good minister. However, I am definitely not impressed by her work so far: her latest proposal is a law to make street prostitution a crime – and to be a prostitute in one’s apartment one needs approval by all the neighbors(!). ”

So funny, a woman who just prostitute herself, wants to make prostitutiona crime.
Maybe, she will make the law that one woman can not prostitute for less than xxxx euros and a place in the Parliament

Tommaso, sorry for two posts in a row

23. dorigo - July 14, 2008

Hi Matteo,

first, I will never call a bitch a woman who exchanges sexual favors for an advantage of any kind. It is very un-gentlemanly and a quite chauvinistic way of thinking. Be careful, you might end up concluding that the majority of women are like that.

Second, the extent of the benefits she allegedly obtained has nothing to do with the moral judgement.

Third, even if Mara was willing or even sought to have sex with mr. B. as a means of boosting her career, she remains a victim of a world where women are perceived as objects, where they can be bought or sold or had for a salary increase. That world is the world of exploitation of the poor by the rich, of the weak by the strong.

Cheers,
T.

24. goffredo - July 16, 2008

We are all “objects” in the mind of those that exploit us and explotation takes many MANY forms, but it can even loose meaning.

There is the exploitation of the poor by the rich, of the weak by the strong, of the masses by the few, of the sheep by the charismatic, of the insecure by the sure-of-themselves, of the masocists by the sadists, of the stupid by the smart, of the smart by the smarter, of the talentless by the talented, of the talented by talented masterminds, of the faithful by the cynics, of the cynics by cynical masterminds, of the criminals by the Al Capones, of weak women by ruthless males, of weak men by ruthless women,….

But sometimes different people do bump into one another, something outrageous happens, and yet there is no “victim”. Indeed the masocist/sadist interaction challenges the “victim/exploiter” concept pair. Who exploits who?

The masochist to the sadist – “HURT ME!”
The sadist replys to the masochist – “NO!”

25. Matteo Martini - July 17, 2008

Hi Matteo,

first, I will never call a bitch a woman who exchanges sexual favors for an advantage of any kind. It is very un-gentlemanly and a quite chauvinistic way of thinking.

Hi Tommaso,

if a woman who exchanges sexual favours for an (economic) advantage is not a bitch, who is a bitch, then?

Be careful, you might end up concluding that the majority of women are like that.

Tommaso,

you give me a list of easy shots on this one🙂

Second, the extent of the benefits she allegedly obtained has nothing to do with the moral judgement.

Tommaso,

then, what should be base our moral judgment on?

Third, even if Mara was willing or even sought to have sex with mr. B. as a means of boosting her career, she remains a victim of a world where women are perceived as objects, where they can be bought or sold or had for a salary increase. That world is the world of exploitation of the poor by the rich, of the weak by the strong.

Cheers,
T.

Ah, Tommaso, Tommaso,

let me tell you very honestly, in politics as in life , you seem quite (very) naive.

Did anybody put a gun on Mara`s head and forced her to do a b*****b to Berlusca?

Prostitution in general is both the exploitation of the women by the men, but, in many many cases, it is also the exploitation of men by women, or both.

Do you think that Mara was exploited?

Men can hardly open their legs or their mouths (sorry for being rude) and get (a lot of) money in exchange of minutes of non-work (how long will a b**wjob to Berlusconi last?).

I WOULD think about doing a b**wjob to Berlusconi in exchange of becoming Minister of Health, Minister of Research or any other Minister (maybe, even for something less than that), and I bet many other men would think that too.

I bet you still think that this high-level b****s (who get 10 times your salary, are famous doing half of the work you, have the power while you have no power, and would look down to you as an hopeless quantum “geek” while they are stars) are “victims”

Think twice, please.

Regards, Matteo

26. dorigo - July 17, 2008

Hi Jeff,

sure, exploitation is such a natural behavior of Man. It still enrages me sometimes.

Matteo, thinking that a woman is well described by the word is quite different from calling her that way out loud. That is what I call un-gentlemanly behavior.
As for the high-level b’s, I pity them. They are the product of a sub-culture. You seem to value their money, their fame and their power: quite curious! I actually could not care less about each. I am the one looking down on them with reason. To me, knowledge is the only real power worth having.

Cheers,
T.

27. Matteo Martini - July 18, 2008

Tommaso,
you mean that calling a person with a bad name out loud is rude, but saying the same thing quietly, maybe while the woman is not listening to you, is OK?
Mm..
Looks like quite hypocrital..

As for pitying the b`s..
It would be an interesting discussion whether knowledge is the only real power worth having, or not (really, if I had a blog, I would make a post about it)
That was not the point I was trying to make, I was just replying that Carfagna does not look like at all as a “victim”, as you suggested, quite the contrary.

I hope I do not look like to picky, anyways..

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[…] of parts of phone conversations he had with other politicians, important managers, and even TV showgirls with which he probably had sexual encounters. This infuriated him, and caused his promise that he […]

29. Not a Say of the Week but… « A Quantum Diaries Survivor - October 10, 2008

[…] is the ironic comment pronounced by Sabina Guzzanti, an italian comedian who had personally attacked the minister for equal opportunities, Mara Carfagna, during a show. Guzzanti had lingered on the […]


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