I don't follow European politics very closely -- only grasping the broad brushstrokes, but I see that a recent bawdy cover pic of Angela Merkel (chancellor of Germany) is raising eyebrows. Europe is certainly used to its women leaders and they have provided some of its most conservative or hard-lined politicians. No matter -- what is fascinating is the difference in the way a woman is attacked.
The EU rotates its presidency, and Merkel currently holds the post. Evidently, the Poles feel that Germany is condescending towards them in the way Merkel has wielded that post, and yet if she were a man, she would be called a bully, a tyrant, or a fascist. Since she's female, the press has latched on (pun intended) to a feminine way of condescension -- which would be to be a peverse step-mother or an oppressive smothering mother.
"The cover's message," Stanislaw Janecki, editor-in-chief of Wprost, told SPIEGEL ONLINE, "is that Germany, especially Ms. Merkel, was trying to treat Poles and the Polish leaders as small children completely unable to act on their own and somehow dependent on Germany.... There is the impression that Germany, being more powerful, wants to dominate Poland and that the Kaczynski brothers [whom she is tandem-nursing] want to stand up to this domination."
The editor also insists that it's not an attack on Merkel but the Polish leaders who acquiesce. He's insisting that the choice of a body attached to her head was a nod to how much she is liked.
"We imagined it to be a little funny," Janecki says. "The stepmother is often more sexy and more friendly that the real mother is. The body is of a young, 21-year-old model. I would say it is quite a nice body, and we didn't want to say anything bad about Ms. Merkel." He says they got the image from a model agency the magazine works with and they were looking for somebody "who was not so thin but someone who also has a good body."
Real mothers aren't friendly like step-mothers?! Ouch! (Maybe having something to do with the father abandoning them and the kids to find a newer [more fun] model, ya think?) This is so indicative of how very post-Christian and clueless the prevailing culture is there. Photo-shopped cleavage, kudo's to the sexiness of step-mothers, appreciation of good bodies as cover material, and a rip on motherhood as the best way to make a point -- all evidently touchstones of contemporary family values (and this would be from supposedly catholic Poland.)
Forget the Euro, put immigration on a back burner -- without the family, all else is heavy tile on a paper shack.