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9.30.2011

WOMEN'S ROLE IN POLITICS?

I make no secret of the fact I find appearance important. Some people believe this is a shameful thing to openly admit, but the way a person chooses to present themselves is telling, and has been used for centuries as a way to define status. However, even as a fashion writer , I have my limits.
Someone who doesn't is Silvio Berlusconi. The Italian Prime Minister has rounded up himself a political party full of gymnasts and glamour models. I have no doubt in my mind that his party looks absolutely stunning but that doesn't detract from the fact that most of these girls have no political experience at all. So far, Italy has had two anti-feminist equality ministers who oppose gay marriage and pride. Mara Carfagna, an ex topless model with a striking resemblance to Nicole Scherzinger was appointed as a minister in 2004, apparently courtesy of a fantastic blow job. Inspirational stuff. Carfagna believes the discipline of women is more important than their independence. Berlusconi himself is more than a little stuck in the 18th century with his views on the role of women; I quote, 'Ladies, I have a mission for you on election day: cook. The boldest can try making a tart, the most skillful, profiteroles.' Wow, thanks Silvio.
I would like to think that after reading the previous statements you aren't happy. Neither is Anna Wintour. US Vogue's Editor In Chief has reportedly been having her say during Milan Fashion Week, asking 'How can Italy tolerate Berlusconi and is bevy of girls?'. Rumours are awaiting confirmation that Wintour wants the women of Italy to demonstrate against him.

This situation is not limited to Italy. In Russia, political parties use 'Sexy Car Washes' and strippers in order to gain support. As Stylist so correctly asked, is this really women's place in politics?
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has recruited several gymnasts to his party. One party representative is Olympic medal-winning Svetlana Khorkina. Khorkina posed for Playboy shortly after turning 18 and says, "It's very good to be sexy." But can sexy run countries?
Here in England, our government isn't exactly overflowing with glamour models. We saw Ann Widecombe on Strictly Come Dancing, but we have not seen her tits. In fact, our female politicians are deemed so unappealing that the media ridicules them. If a women has not put more thought into her appearance than her job then she is a joke. This does not happen with men, so why should it happen with women? Would we really rather have uneducated women performing oral sex on David Cameron for a place in parliament?
Those few woman who have gained a place in our country's government are immediately demoralised by the media as 'Blair's Babes' and 'Cameron's Cuties'. I would like to think that in future, after paying £27,000 in tuition fees, women in power will have earned a more prestigious title than 'cutie'.

It looks like we still have a long way to go.