Tuesday 25 October 2011
Why pick on Angela Merkel, chaps?
Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi must have better things to do than to insult the German chancellor.
Merkel and Sarkozy: why shouldn’t the German chancellor eat cheese? Photo: AFP/Getty Images
By Bryony Gordon7:30AM BST 25 Oct 2011 1 Comment
Should Eurosceptic MPs care to add any more grist to their EU referendum mill, then may I suggest they look no further than the less than flattering comments made recently about the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, by two other European leaders.
First up, we have the ever-charming Silvio Berlusconi. The Italian PM is reported to have told a newspaper editor that Ms Merkel was an “unf—able lard—-”, which seems a bit rich coming from a man who so resembles a bloated, embalmed corpse he has to pay women to sleep with him.
But I digress. Next up, Nicolas Sarkozy. He reportedly told another, nameless EU leader that Mrs Merkel “says she is on a diet and then helps herself to a second helping of cheese.” Quel dommage – a woman actually eating fromage.
Anyway, the German chancellor is said to have been so hurt that she brought the issue up with Sarko at a retirement party held last week for Jean-Claude Trichet, the chief of the European Central Bank. Their argument could be heard as the orchestra struck up the opening bars of the EU anthem, the ironically titled Ode to Joy.
What with one thing and another – new babies, corruption trials, the eurozone in crisis – you might think that Sarko and Berlo had better things to do. And while it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Berlusconi is unable to view the world’s most powerful woman in anything other than aesthetic terms, or that a man who lives with a supermodel should be disgusted by women eating cheese, the truth is that these two are merely the tip of the iceberg, the big beasts of sexism in politics.
Shortly after Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested on sexual assault charges last May, France’s public works minister, Georges Tron, was forced to resign when he was accused of molesting two former female staff members. Meanwhile, Chantal Jouanno, the French sports minister, said she could not turn up to parliament in a skirt without facing cat calls, while another female MP claimed that when she arrived in tight-fitting clothes, a member of Sarkozy’s UMP party told her: “Dressed like that, don’t be surprised if you get raped.”
Women in politics are damned if they do get dressed up and damned if they don’t. But as long as our female politicians aren’t turning up for work in swimwear or hessian sacks, I couldn’t give two figs what they wear. What I do give a fig about is this: men in politics can have countless affairs, father illegitimate children, take part in orgies and allow themselves to be seduced by suspected Russian spies, and we laugh it off as if they are boyish misdemeanours. Meanwhile, a female politician who has the temerity to eat some cheese and have a big bottom is pilloried.
Politics? It truly is showbusiness for ugly people, and none are uglier than those who still believe it matters what a woman looks like.
Obama’s women’s team of foreign policy makers, Hill Sam and Sue must not be fans of those louche 19th cent. ‘orientalists’ Isabelle Eberhardt and Jane Digby. The Swiss-born Eberhardt, an explorer and writer, drowned in the Algerian desert at 27 and the British beauty Digby, after many romantic liaisons (some yielding children) married a Syrian Sheik 20 yrs her junior (she was 46 and no ‘virgin’) and embraced the nomadic life moving about the desert by camel train and living in a tent which is what I was hoping Condi R. would do after Gaddafi admitted to having a crush on her (Liza, I have enough dye for both of us!) It’s too late for that now.
Here are wikip entries for these 2 exotic women.Jane Digby Isabelle Eberhardt