Miss Italia organizer invites House Speaker to show

Boldrini sparks controversy by criticizing pageant

Miss Italia organizer invites House Speaker to show

Rome, August 7 - The organizer of Italy's Miss Italia beauty pageant wrote to the Italian House Speaker Laura Boldrini on Wednesday, asking her "woman to woman" to attend the competition finals August 11. "I invite you to join us on the square together with Miss Italy and the audience," Patrizia Mirigliani wrote. Boldrini sparked controversy in July when she praised State-television RAI's decision to not air Miss Italia. "It is a modern and civilized choice and an acknowledgment of media's important influence on how women are perceived," Boldrini said. "Only 2% (of women) in TV express opinions, speak. The rest are mute, sometimes undressed," Boldrini said at a Milan conference in July on image, power and the condition of women, which was also attended by the powerful CGIL union leader Susanna Camusso. "Italian girls should be able to go on television without parading with a number. They have other talents," Boldrini said in a discourse that disparaged Italian media's consistent recourse to old gender stereotypes. Mirigliani said that "those few words spoken by a representative of the government, with its official function as a guarantor of plurality and freedom, are a disparagement of the Miss Italy contest". The event organizer also said that the House speaker's comments had dealt an economic blow to the industry. "My company and a group of Italian companies that employ, on the whole, hundreds and hundreds of people, have been seriously hurt in a moment that is already undergoing economic crisis," she said. If Boldrini attends, she will "learn about the ethics and social reality of a historic competition that has been honored by the presence of prominent names and launched actresses like Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida and Lucia Bose," Mirigliani said. The beauty contest is holding its 74th edition this year.

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