Thursday, February 03, 2011

If It Weren't Sad, It'd Be Funny

In today's NYT, there's an article concerning "Italy’s traditionally byzantine, male-dominated politics" and, naturally, the further sex-capades of Silvio Berlusconi.  Among the choice facts mentioned and Italian conditions of life listed, the following came to the fore:

* 59 percent of women in the 27-member European Union are employed v. 46 percent of Italian women
* According to the 2010 World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index, Italy ranks 74th out of 134 countries.
* In familycentric Italy, fewer than 10 percent of toddlers have access to preschool nurseries (I hear Maria Montessori turning in her grave).
* Italian women have come far in a country whose most entrenched power structures - the Roman Catholic Church and organized crime - remain male and secretive.   For the first time, women now lead the industrialists’ association and Italy’s largest labor union. (“It took them nearly 100 years to appoint a woman, and they chose the worst economic moment,” Ms. Marcegaglia recently said about herself.)

I did a double take when reading the pairing up of organized crime and the Roman Catholic Church; I'd always missed the connection.  What with the other issues the Church has been having the past 5 years or so, I'm wondering which of the two male dominated organizations feels more slighted being grouped with the other.


It sounds like someone needs to watch The Godfather again!

Speaking tangentially: Blu-Ray hi-def has struck me as the most unnecessary and underwhelming technological development of the last decade -- but that movie comes as close as any to nudging me into a rethink of that opinion.
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