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Veronica Lario, Silvio Berlusconi, & “Standing By Your Man”

June 25, 2009

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.

  1. Emily permalink*
    June 25, 2009 12:55 pm

    Interesting. Also the new scandal by South Carolinian Governor Mark Sanford is another example of a powerful man having an extramarital affair in the media.

  2. S.P. permalink
    June 26, 2009 7:22 am

    as it seems berlusconi had a preference to younger women with 60 years difference. odysseas elytis who won nobel had a relationship with a poet iliopoulou that was 55 years younger than him and andreas papandreou the father of yorgos papandreou that he will be the next greek prime minister had a relationship with dimitra lioni that was younger 4 decades than him. So it is not so irrational the fact politicians or nobelists to make relations with 50 or 60 years younger people than them and it happens quite often carla bruni is at least 20 years younger than sarkozy in france.

    the only negative point is that european leaders are too busy this period of time with sexual and economic scandals and they do not do anything to release aung san suu kyi in burma

    • June 27, 2009 12:22 am

      S.P. I’m not really sure I understand your point. The fact that other people have done something, no matter how high their attainments in a given area, isn’t a rational argument for it being all right. I mean, by that argument, it would be OK to be a fascist since Ezra Pound supported them.

      • Emily permalink*
        June 27, 2009 10:56 am

        I agree with Elizabeth. Just because many other people have done something wrong, doesn’t make it right. Please explain yourself S.P.

    • thomasmurphymusic permalink
      June 29, 2009 10:44 am

      I am confused. I think I disagree, but more I am confused.

  3. ti cote permalink
    July 30, 2009 3:52 am

    i know this is old but i feel compelled: first off i know what berlusconi did is dispicable, no doubt. and its good that Veronica Lario stated her disapproval. yet when he remarks about ‘the pleasure of conquest’ he’s really only speaking for himself, his take on it. it could be too that whatever female involved feels the same, seeing him as a conquest, no? as if some man who just had sex with a woman says to his pals ‘i hit that’ and she says to her friends ‘child’s play’ does this make sense?

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