A day for women dignity in Italy
Today, in hundred towns and cities, Italian women and supportive men are demonstrating in favor of women dignity, equal opportunity, and a hope for a future worth living.
The public show it is happening right now. I'm writing from Milan, where Piazza Castello, the demonstration place, is almost full. It's a big Piazza, and filling it is not an easy task. But today, I see, is a special day.
My way of taking part to the demonstration is to say you, the World, what is going on in Milan, Rome, Turin, Naples, Palermo, and countless other places.
Is to witness, from my standpoint, that Italy is not the blind irresponsibility of our prime minister, the indifferent despise of women he publicly shows on any possible occasion, and the guilty ignorance of most of a political class interested more in surviving than helping us towards a future I imagine they are often not skilled enough to envision.
Here in Italy there still is an alive civil society able to say "No!"
My wish - and my certitude - is this day is not the only day of building a new era.
From where I am in this exact moment, in the warmth of a quiet room and not the rainy cold of Piazza Castello, I can not just wish my sisters there a day of success. It's imperative I too take a stand, and now I do. I feel no better place for this is on Pulsewire.
Italy, since last century's late Eighties, has faced a massive civil degradation. Many relate this with the advent of Mr. Berlusconi in politics, but in my opinion the germs of this phenomenon predate him of many years. He acted as a catalyzer, accelerating a process already developing.
The germs of what see today were in fact present and latent in Italian society since many decades.
The despise of women, and feminine values in general, is one of the heritages we owe to Fascism. In their attempt to define the "new man", early fascist ideologists defined a role, a way of being, after the example of pretended ancient Roman heroes. An ideal made of determination, ruthlessness, loyalty to Il Duce - and submission of women, whose only contribution to the New Era was to be giving birth to the soldiers necessary to fight the regimen wars.
Twenty years of continuous hammering by propaganda molded an unaware ideology which still survives. I've personally encountered it on many occasions decade after Il Duce was exposed at Piazzale Loreto in Milan, after his execution.
I found it in the horror for the feminine exhibited by some of my schoolmates. In the indifferent mode in which rapes are perpetrated and, later, justified. In countless daily abuses.
It may even be that the Italian peculiar form of machismo found a strong support in the most conservative parts of Catholic Church and society, with their pretent to define a normative sense of good and evil, masculine the first, and feminine the second.
Today, the pathetical (and pathological) example of mr. Berlusconi allows to face just the evolution of something old, decidedly not original. With some additional elements.
Among these new elements is, as we see from here, the massive and systematic use of television. Mr. Berlusconi is brainwashing people since twenty years from his televisions (and now, as the Government chief, even all public television). The effectiveness of this strategy stems from a simple fact: Italians do not read.
More than 75% of people base their electoral and financial decision on television. And television, in Italy, is portraying a fantasy world which would look like a horror movie, if seen by people unaware of something else.
A world, in which the only "value" is individual success, measured in terms of money - and the "consequent" amount of casual sex relations thus allowed. An image so similar to an industrial cattleshed reproduction plant, with women reduced to pretty pets to be just used, and men to breeding bulls.
The mercification of women body is massive, in Italy - and in my opinion part of the overall people domestication process.
One of the major points we are protesting against in today's public demonstration is just this: we, as human beings, of any gender, want dignity. We are not an industrial commodity. And surely are not "things" some powerful people may dispose of at will.
There is a lot more, however. Just yesterday, the television (!) news reported on women having far exceeded men in intellectual careers and professions. Girls and women, they said, study more, and more profitably. They read more. They maintain a wider open mindedness. Eventually, they get more degrees with better votes.
Yet they are vastly under-represented in both corporate and political life.
What the news program omitted was that studying hard and getting a good degree vote just qualify you as a "resource", worth exploitation at a lower cost.
Just as one example I know very well: an applied mathematician (stereotypical women work in Italy) may be as technically competent as an engineer (stereotypical men stuff), and maybe twice as flexible, three times more intelligent, and ten times less likely to ask for a raise. "Then", a better resource, in the sense they will be paid routinely a 30% less on beginning career, and with little growth opportunities.
In Italy, what really counts is not on being a good "resource", but mercilessly controlling some.
In other terms, exerting domination over, and against.
(Herbivorous anumal style. Social predators win their life doing a complex task, and as a consequence are more equalitarian. But the kind of animals we Italian should be are more similar to domestic cattle, aggressive in their docile, disciplined, narrow minded and predictable way.
To this, we say no, too.
The Italian culture is imbued, intoxicated of unbalanced masculine values. It is this, precisely, which is driving us to decadence. The individualistic, solipsistic bunch of affluent sheeps easy to shear, afraid of any change, is exactly what "they" want of us.
They forgot one little detail: we are lions, and the big roar of today should at least indicate them their model of people to be inadequate.
Besides of roaring, the Italian society needs a deep reconstruction. The re-emergence of "femininity" (just to give it a name) is one of the most important points in this healing process.
Today, Italians are fanatically divided on everything. And they fight, incessantly barking all against all. Being gentle, today, is a subversive act. For Italy to start reconstruction, kindness will need to return.
Kindness alone is not enough, however.
We also need the other attributes ascribed to "femininity", and to date removed:
- Reflecting logically, embracing complex problems in their many aspects before attempting to spit a "solution".
- Being open-minded, and appreciating others' points of view, as a way of formulating better, sharper ideas.
- Valuing co-creation and co-operation. Appreciating the possibility of co-leadership. Imagining forms of power able to construct something (anything!), instead of "controlling".
- Being able to maintain a "friendly critical" attitude, and continuing to explore new ways.
- Last, being independent the way masculinity does not allow: not accepting submission to a worthless lord, being explorative, and willing to carry back the discoveries, and share them.
In Italy we have also specific problems. We have to decide where our energy which come from. Whether it will be of nor nuclear. If so, where and how waste will be treated safely. Whether we really are willing to invest in tourism (incompatibly with the huge cementification we assist today). We need a value political class able to engage in policymaking, and not willing to waste their time and our worth in politics.
We Italians have to decide where to invest strategically, let it be biotech or green power or something else, in order for Italy to give a non-parasitic contribution to the global economy. We need urgently to find in which way we will produce wealth, in a way allowing a future.
We have many decisions to take, and quickly.
What we, after all, are asking today is no less than this: we can contribute to solutions. And we need our voices are heard.