Veronica Lario, Silvio Berlusconi, & “Standing By Your Man”
So. Silvio Berlusconi. I am pissed at this guy. I imagine readers have been following the coverage of his serial misogony as it comes to light.
I am particularly upset about his statement to Chi Magazine, regarding accusations he paid a woman to sleep at his residence.
“Naturally, no, I have never understood what satisfaction there is if not in the pleasure of conquest.”
This statement converts the pleasurable, sexy encounter leading to the sexual experience in which both partners are active participants into a one-sided, militaristic endeavor centered solely on the man. The man is active, leading the war. The woman receives, is “conquered” violently.
I have great respect for Veronica Lario for publicly stating her disapproval of his actions. This provides a contrast to the response of Silda Spitzer to the exposure of her husband Eliot’s involvement with a prostitution ring. She appeared at the obligatory apology press conference, standing silently in the background in apparent solidarity with her husband. My intent here is certainly not to blame Silda, as enormous societal pressure is exerted on her to behave in this way. However, I also do not wish to say that she was forced to, as this denies her autonomy.
So far Berlusconi’s political popularity remains quite high, but it is possible the continued build-up of revelations will damage him. Everyone loses when situations like this are tolerated. This contributes to the culture in which female-gendered people are asked to fear sex and accept passivity, and male-gendered people are asked to compound their sexual desire with their militaristic desire.