Women Rising Up Angry Over Berlusconi Sleaze

Politicians have complained to human rights court
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 20, 2009 6:12 AM CDT
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconin shares a yuk with former President Bush at the White House last year.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A feminist backlash is gaining huge momentum in Italy in the wake of Prime Minister's Silvio Berlusconi's "Summer of Sleaze," reports the Guardian. Women were especially incensed when Belusconi's lawyer said recently the randy leader would never pay for sex because he is merely an "end user" of women, explained a professor. "The choice of language summed up how far we have sunk," she added. Now old feminists are rising up and a generation of new feminists has been born.

Some 15,000 people signed a petition asking the wives of world leaders to boycott the G8 summit to protest Berlusconi's treatment of women. Other petitions demanding an end to sexism on TV followed, and two female politicians have filed complaints with the European human rights court about Belusconi's "repeated disrepectful" statements about women. A newspaper journalist's open letter calling for a "New Feminism" sparked an overwhelming response. "It was like uncorking a bottle," said the reporter.