Italian Men in Pantless Protest: That’ll Show ‘Em

Reuters UK reports that five Italian businessmen staged a protest outside the Italian parliament yesterday, arguing for the abolition of tax debt collection agency Equitalia. You may ask yourself, why is one of the biggest news agencies in the world covering a few Italian dudes’ hissyfit over paying back taxes? Well, the answer is the same one you’ll get to “why are Mommy and Daddy having another baby?”:  Because they did it without pants on.

The protesters, members of business lobby Cobas Imprese, claim to have lost dozens of their colleagues in Italian business to suicides prompted by Equitalia’s harsh policies and tactics for collecting back taxes and associated fines. The picketers held signs with messages translating to “you are destroying thousands of jobs” and “Equitalia = Killing Machine.” Sadly, none of them held signs reading “è giorno di bucato” (“it’s laundry day”) or “i miei testicoli puzzano. Io li sto aerazione fuori” (“my balls stink, I’m airing them out.”) or “sapete che vi piaccia” (“you know you like it”), or offering any other reason why they all forgot/opted not to wear pants.

This pants-free picketing  is not the first radical action against Equitalia, an agency whose specter has loomed larger as Italy has suffered from the global recession. In 2011, an Equitalia director was wounded by a letter bomb. A series of anarchist firebomb attacks targeted at the agency followed in 2012. The members of Cobas Imprese clearly felt the only way they could escalate after these violent protests would be dropping trou. The sight of pale thighs apparently trumps the threat of murder and mayhem in Italian culture.

But it would seem the protesters have reserved their “nuclear option” for later deployment: they kept their underwear on this time. If their demands are not met, we must prepare ourselves to be exposed to unfettered European man bush and uncircumsized Italian ween.

[photo: “Man with his pants down isolated on white background“]

Robin Hitchcock is an American writer living in Cape Town, South Africa. She is an inactive member of the bar which makes her much less bitter than working lawyers. Robin writes sketch comedy for the Pittsburgh-based all-female troupe Frankly Scarlett and performs improv comedy with Cape Town's The Long Shots. Robin is also a staff writer for the feminist media criticism site Bitch Flicks. You can find more of her writing at her blog, tumblr, and Twitter.

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