For decades, women have been used on Italian television shows as speechless bodies serving an audience-enhancement purpose. It is enough to turn the TV to any channel at any time to observe this. Advertisements also often make use of women’s bodies to sell everything from tires to antivirus software, using sexual double-entendre, and sometimes even brutal slogans.
We remember once, at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, staring shocked at a huge advertisement for holiday cruises displaying six half-turned naked women and the slogan, “We have the best backsides in Italy” (in Italian the word also means breast)…
We have met plenty of girls who are much more intelligent and hard-working than their male colleagues, but who still feel the need to justify whatever success they have. Of course, this is not just an Italian problem, but we have traveled across Europe and beyond and have never seen advertisements as shocking as those in Italy, or so many half-naked women on afternoon TV-shows, or women judged more for their appearance than for what their brains and souls have to offer.
But there is another Italy. It is made up of women and men who are sick and tired of this narrow-minded vision, who do not perceive old men taking advantage of their riches and power to get young girls as a model to follow.