In Sicily, a Story of a Menu, and Men

February 12, 2011

I found this menu outside a pub in Palazzolo Acreide in Sicily. I would not grace Pub dal Maestro with my presence even if my favorite chow were carne di cavallo (horse meat) and I were dog-hungry.

Pub Menu in Southeast Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Maybe Italy’s emperor and his Italian TV empire relegate women to a “decorative role” in life, but that does NOT give some pub owner in the wilds of Sicily the right to exploit women to sell his horse and wurstel. Or does it?

Is this dewy-eyed nymphet making the cuckold sign?  I hate to sound like a sourpuss, but why would she do that?

My Italian sisters are finally beginning to speak out. There’s going to be a nationwide protest by women tomorrow, February 13. You go, girls!


UPDATE: The main protest in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo was jammed with about 100,000 women. Click here for story.

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14 comments to In Sicily, a Story of a Menu, and Men

  • Jann, this ad makes no sense whatsoever. And what is she wearing to advertise beer? Seriously, is there anything advertising marketers won’t put a near naked woman on? Considering it’s more than likely targeting a male demographic, I understand the get up but come on, women will never be one up while we have airheads willing to dress down like this. How very sad.

  • Jann,
    I’ve seen that very sign in the Veneto, in more than one establishment; I’m sure that it’s gifted for free by the beer distributer. I’ve seen naked or half-naked women used to sell things so frequently that I’ve become a bit oblivious to it. Last year naked women were painted as animals and used to sell pet food. I try to understand it, but it’s a part of the culture that I can’t quite grasp.

    Will you be in the piazza for “la dignità”? I’m curious to know if it is happening with as much fervor in Sicily.


  • Wayne

    Maybe a girl playfully making bull horns at a pair of bottles pictured as bull horns is just that: playful. As someone in advertising, I think you’re all giving the creators too much credit. Sometimes we don’t put too much thought into it, or the clients dumb it down even further. And a par postr is probably an afterthought…

  • Rosa

    Sicily has changed…muchly!

  • I have always been perplexed at the number of places Italians seem to find room for half naked women: game shows, furniture ads, and wrench kits only being the beginning of a very long list.

  • Sam

    With regard to John’s comment – something tells me the pub owners are going for a more gut (or just below the gut) reaction to that photo.




  • To play devil’s addie, in a culture where the horns are usually an insult only hurled at a man by a man, a woman’s participation in such a dialogue–fetishized while doing so, even–could be considered deviant. Is she throwing the horns to another woman to suggest that SHE is sleeping with her husband? Or is she throwing the horns at a man to suggest that SHE is sleeping with her }:o (That’s a guy with eyebrows raised by the way). Is the poster suggesting that the promiscuity men are usually allowed to have is also now fair game for women?

    Am I actually saying that this bar is making a provocative statement about gender equality? No. But it is interesting to read it from a different angle.

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