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15 October 2010

Chronicles of life and death

How do you spell boring? SOCCER!

I totally agree. I've a personal thing against it. I was raised in a family where both my father and brother were (and still are) obsessed with soccer, my hate is psychological and deep because of the many things  I couldn't do due to its implications and because of being neglected in the name of it.

The reason why I find it completely unecessary, though, and therefore I wish it could be banned from sports, is that violence and hate have always plagued soccer here in Italy. Scenes of violence with racists chants and anti-semitic banners occur on a nearly weekly basis at stadiums, while nothing is being done  to reinforce legal sentences and punishments such as bannig people from attending matches like in the English Premier League. So then, when the media dust settles after another victim, nothing really changes and see you to the next fatality.

The outrage was massive on last October 13 after the riots in Genoa, when Serbian hooligans ramped in and forced to suspend the Euro 2012 qualifier match Italy vs. Serbia. Ultra-nationalist fans broke out to proclaim independece of Kosovo and protest against the aspiring EU Serbia, aborting a match that was meant to be played in honour of the 4 Italian troops killed in Afghanistan.

Here's some of the mess they created.

No excuses, violence can't be justified in any way, but at least these Serbians were there to fight for a belief. We're all indignant, and with all reasons to be, but please, let's stop blaming Serbians and not be hypocrital, let's not forget Raciti and Sandri killed in the riots of our past. We all have skeletons in our closets. So let's stop all the blaming and admit instead that what should offer joy is only turning into a crescendo of violence that we are unable to stop or even control. And as long as we can't manage, I believe it's necessary and inevitable to watch these games from TV only. Let's do something concrete for once: a year or more of emtpy stadiums. 

While the 33 Chilean miners were rescued in what was a massive operation and a global story of human struggle that transfixed the world and that every corner of the planet was watching, we were dealing with our usual chorus of shock over Serbians and, before that, over Sarah Scazzi's homicide. This 15-year-old girl said no to his uncle's avances, who strangled her, abused of her after she died and hid her body in a well. Then he went home and played the worried relative with the rest of Italy, following the terrible case from TV channels as if it was a new reality show.

Poor, innocent Sarah :(

While Sarah's thin body laid in a wet well,  the media portrayed her as the usual bored teenager who is attired from some nasty pedophile who emerges from the dangerous depths of the net. And while investigation concentrated on Facebook, the family monster kept up with his life, hidden by his wife and daughters, who probably knew about his perversion. It took him 42 days to finally confess the truth, which was revealed to the girl's mom live on TV, of course.

It's terrible, I know. I just can't stop thinking about poor Sarah and being in her mom's shoes. How devastating. And the most horrible thing of all would be for me feeling massively guilty for not realizing that my daughter was being molested by a close relative. How couldn't I notice? Where were I when she needed me? Maybe working my ass off in some ugly factory,  forcing myself to slavery and night shifts, while my husband and bigger son had moved to Milan for a better salary and my daughter  was out in the streets, taken care by relatives who ended up being the cause of her death.

Sadly enough, these episodes are only the tip of the iceberg. What needs to be fixed are the fountains of our society, which is sick. Starting from our politico-cultural humiliant system, which assigns to women a totally subordinate role. Bimbos registered in electoral lists only to give a fake idea of freshness, glamourous models hired for business dinners (the famous ones joining our premier's dinners had a black dressing code and a light make up on), showgirls ridiculed on TV every time (rarely) they open their mouths.

All this is symptomatic of how women are viewed in Italy. The only females valued are the ones obsessed with their own body image and at the service of male seduction.

The indecent advertising that stylists Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana consider every woman's sex fantasy, via Corriere.

Of course, the image created by the media in other countries isn't always respectful too. Advertising makes use of women's bodies all over the world, taking advantage of eccentric and provocative images. Not to mention modern pornography. But abroad women aren't only this. They are not just beautiful silent dolls.
There're some exceptions, of course, a few women who made it in this machism culture. TV presenter Simona Ventura became prestigious in the national RAI, she's respected and a role model for many aspiring soubrettes. She has a web tv of her own and is indiscutibely talented, but still she sells herself in a sexy version. Oprah Winfey, to whom she likes to be compared, doesn't have to go sexy to gain her credibility, hey! Have a look at what I'm talking about.

Isn't this absolutely amazing and sad at the same time? All other women who dare to open their mouths to demand equality, respect and civil rights are not taken seriosuly and  are always labelled as hysterical or frustrated. Take legislator and activist  Emma Bonino, feminist journalist Lilly Gruber, or president of the opposition Democratic Party Rosy Bindi, who was defined "more beautiful than intelligent" by our premier, in one of his remarkable jokes that are a disgrace for Italy.  A comment that tries to quieten and means becoming complicit in a well-developed system that knows how to permanently gag women. (credits)

Fortunately she had the nerve to answer "I'm not one of your ladies, President", so at least she didn't shut up, because when you hurt others the result is always silence. But considering how much appreciated the dwarf's jokes are, that answer was only a drop in the sea. Because, let's face it, the battle isn't against Berlusconi only.
"It's against our friends, partners, colleagues and bosses. And if they are sexist, who can blame them? For the Italian male, it's not going too badly. They can be family men as well as serial playboys; they can work hard and return to splendidly kept houses; they can be anti-Berlusconi, yet make jokes about women Berlusconi-style, and whoever gets offended is just a silly woman. And to enjoy a spectacle of serried ranks of starlets, they can watch the half-naked silent TV showgirls invented by Berlusconi's channels. Some 80% of Italians receive most of their information from Rai and Mediaset which, indirectly or directly, are controlled by the prime minister." (credits)
Having stated this desolate situation, it's obvious that in this patriarchal ssytem women are promoted for their personal success and achievement only to be placed on the chessboard of power. This seems to be Mara Carfagna's case. Her career from calendar girl/showgirl to Minister for Equal Opportunities raised many hackles, not only because she was appointed at a time when Berlusconi's male-dominated administration was under pressure to bolster its government image, but also because of the unfortunate comment he made about her. The "If I weren't already married, I'd marry her" made everyone suspicious about the nature of their relationship and therefore promotion, and it costed him public apologies to his former wife Veronica (who ended up divorcing him anyway after the Noemi scandal.)

I don't care about her sex. The fact that a woman has been chosen for this role is actually a victory after years of struggle, like parliamentarian Santanchè said. I don't care about her looks. Beauty is certainly not an obstacle if accompanied by brain. I don't even care about her lack of experience. Anyone smart can learn quickly, and Mara La Bella (her nickname) seems smart enough if she used her body to get where she is today,  considering the system we live in. I judge by her Ministery laws and reforms, and honestly, I haven't seen much in 2 years.

She let us adopt a much awaited anti-stalking law, finally, but at the same time she introduced a new law making street prostitution a crime, with fines for clients as well as prostitutes. And this left me perplexed. It seems pretty hypocrital to me, as I don't think you help women to escape prostitution slavery in this way. Moreover, she declares herself to be anti-feminist and against sex-unions and abortion. This is controversial to me, considering the role she was appointed. She also declared that she completely agrees with the French initiative to bann burqua, adding that Italy will soon be following its steps. Why doesn't she bann nudity from TV instead? It'd be much more educational than soppressing someone who wants to show pride in their culture, religion and spirituality. For all the educated and bright Muslim women I know, there is no contradiction in wearing the hijab with being liberal or modern, traditionalist or feminist, globalist or authentic.

Moroever, I believe such a strategic Minister must explain his working ethic and should be able to answer the press and confront with anyone, so it pisses me off la Bella's behaviour on declining an interview to Lilli Gruber for her book Streghe (Witches), about the condition of Italian women today. She even refused to asnwer those questions via e-mail, in a way that was certainly much safer and neutral for her. Bah, women are truly from Venus, aren't they? And Mara is the typical Venusian.

Rossella Palomba explains us in details why women don't move ahead in our society. Listen attentively to what she has to say, please. 

See? These are some of the things that don't make me happy to live in Italy. I would like to live in a country where civil rights are taken seriously, where our Prime Minister doesn't offend women, where I can leave my car parked in the streets and be sure to find it intact the day after, where I send my husband to watch a match and expect he comes home safe and sound.

In other words, like someone puts it:

Heaven is where the police are British,
the chefs Italian,
the mechanics German,
the lovers French,
and it's all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German,
the chefs are British,
the mechanics French,
the lovers Swiss,
and it is all organized by the Italians. 

Yeah, let's make some humour out of this, because current data aren't encouraging at all. I also encourage you to leave a comment and explain what women situation is like in your country. In this way, I certainly won't change things, but if someone important ever reads this post, maybe he'll realize how things are different and better abroad. I want to think there's hope for me out there, rather than risking to have this post removed or even be taken to court for my opinion. Because, you know, Italy is also starting to be this: a totalitarian regime where even anti-Emperor opinions are banned! :(


  1. I do wonder: what must happen for people to realize we are doing this all wrong? Why can't we just strive to lead good and decent lives...and justice for all?

  2. The answer to everything I think lies in what you said; that unless the foundations of our society change nothing serious can be done to fix what’s rotten. Abolishing things is not always the answer, (imagine abolishing men….) no matter how boring and painful to us women can be, (again men……) and I know so many that feel the same. We have to be fair what others like and want but demand what is rightfully ours.

    I may sound harsh but woman shouldn’t threatened by anything, WE put ourselves in a minor position because we do not use the most powerful weapon nature has given us, BRAINS. Advertisements and men that treat us like meat, narrow-minded bosses, difficult husbands or partners, ungrateful friends, demanding kids or parents….nothing should bring us to our knees...
    I was looking at some quotes about women and the wisest ones were by men saying women lose strength because each one try to hurt or offend the others. So true… If women put a stop to how men want them we would have a chance to have the upper hand in many aspects of our lives. Instead we try to find what breast size is better, how curvy our ass should be, oh sorry, how curvy men want it to be and so on we would spend all that precious time and energy to do something better for ourselves and thus the society we live in. Do not play opposition to your own sex ladies!

    Am I thinking the wrong way? I have been taught that when we think something is wrong with our lives it’s nobody’s fault by our own. We need to fix things. Men will always want boobs and asses-stop giving them to them! You may try and try and try but there will ALWAYS be one who will play in the opposition.

    I only have one word to say to women. Respect yourselves. Start expressing yourselves and let others now what YOU want for a change.

    And I have to add this to mothers that might read this. Talk to your kids, male and female, about their sexuality and teach them how to protect themselves. Be honest with them and make the understand it is vital that you talk about what happens to their body and so as they grow up they will not end up confused and angry teenagers. Explain them what sexual harassment is and most of all find a suitable way so they talk to you…. I wonder if Sarah felt free to talk about all this to someone she trusted… Would her fate be other?

    I straggle to fit all my thoughts into as fewer words as possible but when we talk about food for thought Elda this is exactly it. Thank you…….. respect……...


Hi! Thanks for stopping by, your opinion counts! Feel free to express yourself xxx

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