Thursday, October 7

Fringe Benefits

While in Paris attending (and blogging for) the Women's Int'l Networking Conference, my thoughts are clearly on women's empowerment, women leading the future, and the shaking loose of old (male-oriented) ways of conducting business. The Italian presenters are all amazing women, each trailblazers in their own field, all with incredible backgrounds and by their very presence, reveal that a lot of good things are happening in Italy - many of which are even being exported abroad. Sadly, Italy kept coming up as an example of how bad things can get: While we have 60% of the graduates, we rank 72nd in the world on equality issues.
The reasons are many: from mammismo, male culture, deeply entrenched ideas of men's & women's places.

And so it's last week's news out of Vicenza from the Corriere Veneto, that paints this picture for me so accurately - showing from what depths we need to come out of:

- A boss in a Company said that if his staff met their objectives, his secretary would be the prize.
In the old days, women (worldwide) turned a blind eye to this - the victim thankfully is filing a formal complaint. His response, "It was just a joke." Sorry, sense of humour failure.

- A nightclub opened in the area, "Diverso Strip Club" which needed to improve upon women in cages and lap dances. So now, it's nude women as serving trays. The food is served right on them (or off of them, depending on your point of view).

- And of course, there was the traditional beauty contest in the area whereby the winner was awarded with a waitress position at the end.

Now, we've been talking about finding your passion in the workplace, but I think this is going a bit overboard...!


Judith in Umbria said...

If you're depressed about it, imagine how I feel. I paraded with a sign in the 70s, spent a great deal of energy breaking down barriers that girls of today have allowed to creep back. Equality is only a word until everyone believes it.

No matter what you dream up that is embarrassing or demeaning to a woman, someone somewhere has already topped it. When you read books the imagined crimes aren't as horrible as real life.

Today's headline: uncle confesses he raped and killed his niece and dumped her in a well. Crime against her, but what has he done also to his wife, her mother, or his daughter who was his niece's best friend?

It takes a whole generation to be different as well as a will we don't seem to have.

Dave514 said...

The type of bad behaviour you describe is unacceptable. I tend to think that the further North you go and also on the North American continent you'd be hard pressed to find this behaviour.

For sure there is still a discrepancy in pay scales.

How do you change the underlying belief system of Italian men that make objects of women? Beats the hell outta me.

cuz liz said...

@ David - I think it needs to start with the women. Right now, they just put up with the abuse. They need to believe it first, then demand a change in behavior from the men. Then the women need to back it up with action. Until women speak up, men will always say we are not really interested, or we don't know what we really want.

Very simplistic, but...

cheapest hotels in paris france said...

For sure there is still a discrepancy in pay scales.

How do you change the underlying belief system of Italian men that make objects of women? Beats the hell outta me.

Dave514 said...

Went the ilcorpo... website couldn't find the English version.

Irreverent Italy said...

@Davide - You had to click on Video but here's the right link:

Meanwhile, I don't think Latino cultures have the corner on this market...The US probably has umpteen more cases, just goes unreported- after all, it's just women...
In Italy, they go reported cuz it happens less frequently, and, it's not as big of place.
Don't think we are so virtuous...
And, pick up a copy of Ms. Magazine once in your life while you're at it - what an education.

Irreverent Italy said...

@Liz - it's not so simplistic - it's spot on. During the conference, two things came out:
1. Don't accept the unacceptable
2. Change the men & STOP fixing the women (at work)
3. And yes, women need to protest more.
That's why I promote Lorella Zanardo's work, Il corpo delle donne Hit VIDEO for English

Dave514 said...

I'd forgotten about Italian TV. Sorry, you're wrong, Italian TV shows women as sex objects and women go along with it. The fault is in large part to be laid at your feet. Yeah, yeah, I know, men are the shows producers.