It's goodbye sexism, welcome feminism on Italian TV

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London, June 5 (ANI): Italian television could finally be heading in the direction of feminism with the formation of a new anti-sexism watchdog that will crack down on the gratuitous use of young female flesh by state-funded Rai TV.

The new panel will work 'independently' for ensuring "the correct representation of people's dignity, with particular emphasis on the distorted representation of women".

Approved by ministers, if the panel spots too much flesh or female stereotyping, it will report back to the Rai commission in parliament, which has the power to censure programme-makers.

"Is this the beginning of a revolution? We hope so. With the creation of the panel to monitor the way women are portrayed on state TV we hope to curb the use of women as mere decorative images," The Independent quoted Giovanna Melandri, the Democratic Party MP and a member of the Rai commission in parliament, as saying.

Silvia Costa, an Italian member of the European Parliament, agreed, "I'm very satisfied that this amendment that has been approved will allow a more realistic representation of women in our country."

Even Mediaset, owned by the infamous Silvio Berlusconi, allowed a female presenter a stint on its top-rated evening satire show Striscia La Notizia (Hot off the Press), which despite its pretensions of sophistication, still employs dancing girls in hot pants to flesh out the programme.

"Every five years some politician realises that Italian TV is too sexist, and tries to change that. It never worked and I'm not sure it will work this time," he said.

"It would be like trying to stop us eating pizza: showing sexy girls on TV is so ingrained in our daily life that it can't be stopped anymore. I really believe that," said one Mediaset comedy writer who declined to be named. (ANI)

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