New Furor in Chile: Minister's Risque Gift
Government official receives a sex toy
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2016 10:00 AM CST
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet tweeted that the sex doll prank "cannot be tolerated."   (Twitter)
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(Newser) – A Twitter tempest has erupted in Chile over a risque Christmas gift presented to the country's economy minister: a blow-up sex doll with its mouth covered with a note that read, "To stimulate the economy." Luis Cespedes has since apologized for hooting with laughter as he, er, handled the nude, anatomically correct doll, but the furor was already off to the races, reports the AP. "What a shameful joke," tweeted outraged journalist Consuelo Saavedra. Even President Michelle Bachelet took to social media to denounce the X-rated gift from the Manufacturers' and Exporters Association (Asexma), calling it misogynistic. "The struggle for respect for women has been an essential principle," she tweeted. "What happened at Asexma's dinner can not be tolerated."

What annoyed many Chileans the most, especially women, was the reaction of Cespedes, who is seen cracking up as he walks off stage with the doll. Cespedes said he was "caught by surprise," reports the BBC. The man behind the prank, Asexma chief Roberto Fantuzzi, tweeted a mea culpa, saying that as a father and grandfather he meant no "violence against women." Critics saw the episode as evidence of pervasive sexism and machismo. Ex-President Sebastian Pinera famously joked in 2011 that the difference between a politician and a lady is "when a politician says 'yes', he means 'maybe', when he says 'maybe', he means 'no,' and if he says 'no', he's not a politician … When a lady says 'no', she means 'maybe', when she says 'maybe', she means 'yes', and if she says 'yes', she's not a lady'." (This "angel" turned out to be a sex toy.)

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