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Boldrini says no to violence via the Internet

Slew of sexist slurs surface on Beppe Grillo's Facebook page

03 February, 15:06
Boldrini says no to violence via the Internet (ANSA) - Rome, February 4 - Italian Lower House Speaker Laura Boldrini on Monday slammed recent sexist attacks against her posted on social media.

"The Internet is a beautiful thing and a great opportunity, but it must not be used in this violent way," Boldrini told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with students at a Rome high school.

On Facebook on Friday, anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) leader Beppe Grillo wrote "What would happen if you found yourself in a car with Boldrini?" and posted a video of a young man in a car with a cardboard cutout of the speaker, giving her a piece of his mind.

This was followed by a slew of verbally abusive and sexist comments, some of them calling for her to get beaten up and forced to prostitute herself, others for her to be gang raped by "Africans" and other minorities.

"Take her to a Roma (gypsy) camp and make her have sex with the boss," one comment said.

"What if she likes it?" was another comment.

"Then I'll take my turn with her," the commenter answered.

Also on Monday, Austrian MEP Hannes Swoboda slammed the violently sexist attacks on Boldrini.

"It is unbearable to have the leader of a political movement promoting and glorifying rape. I hope its more sensitive followers will open their eyes to its fundamentally inhumane core," said Swoboda, who is Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats whip.