THE BLOG

The Homophobia In Italy Shouldn't Be a Shocker

09/27/2013 05:29 EDT | Updated 11/27/2013 05:12 EST

Barilla this, Barilla that..

I am absolutely sure that in other countries, business leaders harbour their own prejudices, they just know how to keep these things to themselves.

In Italy, at the table people speak openly about things that are taboo in other places - like politics and religion, family..and apparently also sex!

But I think that we're all missing some very important points.

I've been living in Italy a long time and the deeper issue here is that there is a concept of family that has just not yet evolved to a point that the rest of the western world may feel is acceptable. But I have to say, if Canada is an apple, Italy is an olive. You just can't compare them.

I'm not making excuses, but trying to explain that this is a society that moves as slow as a sloth, in spite of all the genius and innovation it has historically gifted the world.

And the world enjoys the fruits of Italy's super slow traditions: olive oil, wine, textiles, shoes, leather.. none of these things would possess the same quality if the were produced more quickly.

I'm thinking Mr. Barilla is just a bit slow too.

Sounds like he's already being caught up and thrown into a fast-track social evolution and I'm sure he regrets having said what he did... out loud.

Families here, for the most part, still eat together around the table without the television on. Most people actually cook their meals -- I mean buy actual perishable foods and make the raw materials into something. Regional and family food traditions are passed down from generation to generation (usually through the women) and not so often modified; change is not embraced so easily here (that's a whole entire blog series right there) and there is a positive side to that as well -- maybe THAT'S what he was trying to say!

I have eaten pasta (Barilla and otherwise) with many Italians over the years and even at dinner today.

There was a lot of head shaking and face palming at the mention of Barilla's comment and I think that North America can relax knowing that the word at the average Italian table tonight was embarrassment; I heard that everyone deserves to live well and be free and consume the highest quality products possible. So don't worry, the kids are alright.

Will Italians start to boycott Barilla? There are certainly a lot of calls out for it on social media, but I'm not so sure.

I've always been a Garofalo girl myself, and I could care less who the people sitting at my table are sleeping with.

Barilla boycott