Thursday, October 22, 2009

For wrath, fury, etc., read anger

[cross-posted to the Hand Mirror]
Italy's worst advertisement, Brain-dead Berlusconi, is at it again, this time with what Reuters reporter Deepa Babington calls his "cutting remark about a female rival's lack of beauty": that she is "more beautiful than intelligent". Rosy Bindi is a senior left-wing politician, but Ms Babington can't rely on us getting Berlusconi's point from her photo - she has to describe her immediately as "matronly, bespectacled", nudge nudge.Italian women have reacted strongly to this "insult", with 97,000 signing the "Women offended by the premier" appeal, Facebook sites and protests. Bindi's response, "I'm not a woman at your disposal" has appeared on T-shirts and placards.So how is this anger described? As a "rare public backlash/feminist backlash" - a term much more accurately used for right-wing attacks on feminism.Reporters must have a handy little compenidum of well-worn phrases lurking somewhere on their computers, ready to leap to their fingers as soon as the words "women", "feminist" and "protest" appear. Women objecting to sexism never, you understand, express justifiable anger -no, behaviour such as Berlusconi's always "unleashes their fury", or, as here, "opens the floodgates of female wrath".And for good measure, Ms Babington (who clearly knows what her bosses want) saw fit to end the story by reminding us of S.B.'s earlier "swipe" at Bindi (which I won't deign to repeat here). The Dom-Post subs liked it so much that they used it as the large boldface caption for the PM's photo, even though it was months old and had little to do with the current story.

Posted by AnneE at 8:06 PM 0 comments.

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