10/19/2012 02:11 pm ET Updated Dec 19, 2012

The Secret to Italian Politics? Penis Size, Apparently

Finally they've said it. Finally they've admitted that political infighting between men is essentially based on who's got the biggest... beanpole. When I read that Grillo (Italian comedian, at the head of Five Star Movement) has accused Renzi (mayor of Florence) of being envious of the size of his penis I drew a deep sigh of relief. Now it's all clear. They've said so themselves.

For men political discussions, polemics, ideals, plans and projects are in large measure just convenient cover. The important thing is to stake your claim, dominate, overwhelm. And in order to do so they inevitably rely on the affair they've got attached between their legs, which must be straight, healthy, strong and ready to go.

What do you think they're really saying when they start shouting in some committee or panel? What do you think they're really evaluating when they count their votes? What do you think most of the so-called political battle really is? Penis measurement. Otherwise they'd be calmer, they would confront their adversaries with a touch more moderation. They would strengthen their positions with actual arguments, rather than insults. And there would be more women involved in politics.

Obviously I'm exaggerating a little. But believe me, the fact that our sense of modesty has driven us to keep this extremely specialized male competition hidden from view has complicated Italian political life to no small measure. Pretending that nothing was going on has kept us from recognizing the real reasons for so many battles between men, for all that diatribe. And it has kept us from re-evaluating them, reducing them, ignoring them.

Now that even they have admitted what's going on, we can all allow ourselves a nice, healthy laugh of liberation. The true reach of this ridiculousness has finally become clear. Politics is largely envy. Penis envy.

This post originally appeared at L'Huffington Post and is translated from Italian.