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.

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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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