Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

RAI decision to not broadcast Miss Italia raises furor


Rome, July 16 - Italian House Speaker Laura
Boldrini's praise of State-television RAI's decision to not air
the Miss Italia beauty pageant sparked furor on Tuesday in
politics and showbiz.
On Monday, Boldrini characterized the decision as a ''modern
and civilized choice'', and an acknowledgment of media's
important influence on how women are perceived.
''Only 2% (of women) in TV express opinions, speak. The rest
are mute, sometimes undressed,'' Boldrini said at a Milan
conference on image, power and the condition of women, which was
also attended by the powerful CGIL union leader Susanna Camusso.
''Italian girls should be able to go on television without
parading with a number. They have other talents,'' Boldrini said
in a discourse that disparaged Italian media's consistent
recourse to old gender stereotypes.
Boldrini's comments were skewered on Tuesday by right wing
politicians and entertainment personalities.
''We agree with the Chamber Speaker Laura Boldrini who
applauds RAI's decision not to broadcast Miss Italia because, as
she says, it deals with a contest in which the girls are mute,
undressed and have a number on them. For the same reasons we
suggest also blacking out all those guys on TV, often on Sunday
afternoons, who run behind balls in underwear, in silence and
with a number on their backs,'' said Massimiliano Fedriga, MP
with the anti-immigrant Northern League party.
A senator with the Northern League, Gian Marco Centinaio
said, ''I have never been a fan of beauty contests, and I don't
defend something I am not passionate about but (rather) the
sacred right of women to proudly display their own beauty''.
Centinaio went on to accuse Boldrini of erring in the
direction of authoritarian men who feel entitled to
''barbarities'' against miniskirts, high heels and lipstick.
''I am sure that she understands that the debate is much
wider. Woe those who note that Laura Boldrini is not scandalized
by the imposition of the burqa. I imagine that she knows that
Islamic women can not speak unless questioned and never with a
man who is not a member of her own family. On this, which
happens under our eyes and with general complacency, her silence
is truly deafening,'' Centinaio said.
''Blaming Miss Italia is snobbish criticism, going too far
and hypocrisy,'' exclaimed protagonists of ''Edicola'', a
multi-media news-commentary created by the popular Italian
entertainer Rosario Fiorello, known as ''Fiorello'', posted on
YouTube and transmitted by other media.
''(Miss Italia) never hurt anyone. On the contrary, it
brought good to a lot of beautiful, talking women, who thanks to
the contest found work,'' said Fiorello, who noted that the
pageant also provides work to suppliers, like ''hundreds of
hair-dressers arriving from all over Italy''.
Boldrini also had defenders, like the undersecretary at the
cultural heritage ministry, Ilaria Borletti, who on Tuesday said
she agreed with the chamber speaker despite the pageant's ''long
history of Italian tradition'' and the ''important...actresses''
emerging from its contestants over the years.
''In the last 15 years, the image of the woman in
television has been gradually debased and crushed, without the
proposal of an alternative model more consonant with the
extraordinary journey that women in Italy have taken in work, in
professions and in society to establish themselves,'' Borletti
The Catholic television viewer association Aiart also
pitched itself into Boldrini's camp.
''We've been asking to stop Miss Italia since February.
Thus we completely agree with Chamber Speaker Boldrini's
declarations. It is a dated show that is watched with interest
by ever fewer Italians,'' said Aiart president Luca Borgomeo.
''Let's say it clearly. The TV broadcast of Miss Italia may
have worked well in the 1960s-70s, but in the 2000s it no longer
makes sense,'' Borgomeo concluded.

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