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Wednesday, 09 November 2016 19:37

Trump: A comment from across the Atlantic

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Donald Trump 8566730507 2

Luckily, America has finally bloody decided. Unluckily, they've managed to elect the sort of demagogue who will, to be euphemistic, challenge the rest of the world for four years minimum. If he makes it that long without being impeached that is.

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Photo: Milos Constantini (flickr); Licence: CC BY 2.0

Our editor Alexander Neofitov points you in the direction of a few articles guaranteed to make you ponder. Read about the similiarities between Donald Trump and the so-called Berlusconismo, the (not so) strange death of clubbing in Europe, and another Icelandic political conundrum. 

 Alexander, Project Manager and Diaphragm editor

 alexSexism in politics: The Donald vs. Mr. Bunga Bunga

Donald’s latest exposure reminded us again what dirty, dark and testosterone-infested game politics really is. A leaked tape, allegedly just one (and not the steamiest) of many recorded, involves Mr. Trump bragging about grabbing women by the pussy and kissing them whenever he desires to. This appears to have shocked America. Possibly even threatening, of all Trump histrionics, to truncate the man’s pathetic attempt to sit at the helm of the most powerful nation in the world. But can it really shock us Europeans? After all here in Europe this style of political machismo had been going for decades during the reign of another tycoon-come-politician. Of course we are talking of Signore Berlusconi (aka Mr. Bunga Bunga) and his period in Italian politics, aptly titled Berlusconismo in a recent article by Annalisa Merelli for Quartz. Merelli, an Italian living in the US, offers a look at the consequences of electing someone like Berlusconi/Trump to run a country. A witness to Berlusconi’s political evolution, the author depicts the way in which he tapped into public exploitation of women to boost his media empire in the 80s. When he entered politics, however, Berlusconi stepped up his game. To a point where his sexual obsessions became part-and-parcel of what it meant to make policy in Italy, a symbol of his rambunctious, corrupt “sesso e soldi” style of ruling the country. A very nice documentary, titled Berlusconi’s Women, made by an Australian TV station of all things, also deals with the objectification of female bodies in the Italian public domain in the last 30 years. You can check it yourself, but just for heads-up - there is a snippet from an obscure TV show, displaying a young woman hanging from a hook, representing a piece of ham in a meat shop, whose behind is repeatedly stamped by the macellaio. If your eyes haven’t left their sockets by then, in another scene four female journalists sitting at a table discuss the specifics of female career advancement during the Berlusconismo, including providing oral sex when needed. One of the journalists ironically exclaims (adapted) “I told my father - you taught me the wrong things...study, go to university, be brilliant.. when it fact it was so easy - why didn't you tell me to learn how to do a proper blowjob?”. This should not be happening. Like, seriously.

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Photo courtesy: Alexander Neofitov

The EVS4ALL project consortium spent a few days in Paris in the beginning of October 2016 to discuss the progress of the European Voluntary Service for All – a two-year civil initiative striving for more inclusiveness and flexibility of the European Voluntary Service. The latter, a European programme that has been running for twenty years and one of the undisputable successes of European integration, has built many of the social, professional and cultural ties, necessary for nurturing a healthy European citizenry. The EVS4ALL project partners, on the other hand, have made a substantial contribution to the practical and policy aspects of extending the programme’s benefits to each and every European citizen. To learn more about the challenges addressed by the project, its conceptual underpinnings, structure and results follow the link. 

16438065636 6a14a51f38 zPhoto: Michqel D Beckwith (Flickr); Licence CC0 1.0 

What is Europe? Is Europe more a geographical, cultural, political or economic concept? What defines the European identity? These are all questions E&M has pondered from the very beginning, and over the years we’ve come up with many very different answers. Indeed, our vision of what Europe is and should be is influenced by many factors. With this new regular feature, My European Bookshelf, we wanted to consider one of those factors: literature. In this space, E&M has invited young Europeans to share the books that have shaped their understanding and perception of Europe. 

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