Women protested across Italy this weekend, chanting “Italy is not a brothel,” to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The protesters say Berlusconi’s treatment of women—most recently on display in the investigation of whether he paid for sex with an underage nightclub dancer—undermines women’s dignity and reinforces outdated gender stereotypes. Leaked wiretaps of the investigation have run in newspapers for weeks, with stories of bundles of cash, sex games, and gifts given to women after attending parties at Berlusconi’s villa. Thousands of protesters marched in Naples and Palermo, and other protests took place in more than 200 cities, led by actresses, politicians, and other prominent women and organized through an online petition. "We are asking all women to defend the value of our dignity, and we are asking men: If not now, when?" organizers said on the protest website.
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