Mafalda angry with Berlusconi
Mafalda shouted at the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi: “I’m not a woman at your disposal”, on a double page of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. It was devoted to a protest in which about 100,000 women repudiated the premier’s machismo.
The picture was sent by Quino, Mafalda’s creator, in support to the protest, with the same phrase used two weeks ago by the centre-left opposition leader Rosy Bindi, when Berlusconi offended her during a debate on TV: “You are more beautiful than smart. I’m not interested in what you’re saying.”
Since then, the phrase was taken as a badge of women’s claim against the macho statements of Il Cavaliere. It has even spread in thousands of t-shirts, caps, and even tablecloths, that are sold everywhere. And it was precisely the phrase chosen by Mafalda to challenge Berlusconi.
No one imagined that in two weeks time the reaction would be so strong and widespread. The Irish newspaper Iris Times commented that Berlusconi “aroused the sleeping dragon of Italian feminism,” which had been seen little in the last twenty years.
The protests are becoming stronger and many women even tease the Prime Minister. Several girls showed a picture letting Berlusconi know: “You’re not George Clooney.”
Before the increasing criticism from the female sector, Berlusconi apologized last week to Rosy Bindi, making clear that he only made a joke. The centre-left leader refused to accept the apology. “That’s not an apology. It further exacerbates the situation.
That way, Berlusconi managed to unwittingly exploit Bindi’s popularity, a fromer Health Minister in the “sinistra” governments. Now, wherever Rosy goes, she receives kisses and hugs, congratulations and expressions of solidarity, especially from the Catholic world, which she has frequented all her life.