The Syncretion of Polarization and Extremes – Part 38 – Italy: The Unbearable Weight of Being a Woman

Transposing emblem by Sara Deiana
Cagliari, Italy – Me above – Roman Kraft

It is a major problem. Sadly, one spread across our whole planet. The victims are all different: they may be black, white, atheist, religious, well-educated, monogamous, sterile, libertine, married; and yet they all share the same fate – they were born a woman.

The statistics on violence committed against women in any given part of the world are simply shocking, disgusting, not acceptable nor tolerable and, despite that, in my opinion, not given enough consideration.

I will talk about the country I grew up in, whose people’s mentality is the one I believe I know the best: L‘ ITALIA.

Florence, Italy – Only me – Tolga Kilinc

I will try to explain what I mean when saying that I am talking about a huge problem that is not given enough consideration. There are many distinct forms of violence and abuse; unfortunately, in Italy, a woman is killed every two days, and last year statistical data showed that on average eleven women were raped daily. But we don’t hear much about it because everyone is so busy fighting over other major issues like immigration, religion, politics – essentially just fighting against each other. In fact, we only make a fuss about it if the culprit is an immigrant and the victims are Italians, but that’s another matter that we have to leave aside for now.

Siena, Italy – Myself – Megan Murray

We are faced with a problem that is deeply rooted in today’s society and sadly inextricably entwined with our glorious culture and history. Yes, our country suffers from a well-known disease called machismo or maschilismo. The disease is alive and can be found in many families, work environments and relationships of every kind. Il maschilismo is not limited to discrimination – it actually kills. It is not a mere exaggeration, but a certainty that has been more than proven by now. It is the culture that preaches and promotes the superiority of the male, his right to own everything he wants, including women. And it is an issue that should be treated with the seriousness and relevance it deserves. Because in a more or less accentuated way, with more or less serious consequences (certainly lethal once every two days), its effects impact half of the Italian population. It is a problem that must be tackled by society as a whole, in a compact way: institutions, press, television, school, men and women, girls and boys.

Venice, Italy – Me by myself – Maradon

And here comes the concept of polarizzazione – what really strikes me and leaves me speechless, thinking to myself “how” and “why.” Polarization happens when people become divided into contrasting groups. Someone has to explain to me how a human being can find any convincing thought, how anybody has the courage to even think, let alone utter words which will defend and justify the MOSTRO, which will be on the side of the attacker.

Venice, Italy – Me phone – Oleg

If any of you are brave enough – and if you can keep your sanity – to scroll and read through the opinion of our fellow humans in online newspapers, blogs etc., you will notice that what prevails when the subject is rape are mean words like: “she had it coming,” “she was looking for it,” “she was not dressed in an appropriate way,” “she drank too much,” “she was alone,” “she shoudn’t have been there,” “she tempted him.” And, when we read some comments about a woman being killed by her partner or husband, we have the privilege of reading some fine thinker saying “he was too jealous,” “…but he loved her,” “he was a good man,” “he probably didn’t mean to.” We might think that it is still alright – although it is NOT, still within the limits of the standard macho minds, because after all, they are just some idiotic comments by random people. If such opinions are sometimes reported by the major newspapers of the country, you realize that we have a problem, a big problem. In fact, when a newspaper reports about one of the many feminicides happening throughout the country they often refer to it as a “crime of passion.” What passion are we talking about? Again, between the lines, some part of the population, an important one in this case – the newspapers, radio or television broadcasting news – are trying to convince us that the man did it in the name of love!

Verona, Italy – Us – Max Böhme

So, in Italy, and I am afraid not just in Italy, we live in a society that tends to be maschilista, so rape becomes, rather than an act that is always and in any case to be condemned, the subject of debate, depending on the case. This debate can have many different points of view and often the victim will be accused of something. It is as if we have gone back to the 16th or 17th century when women were accused of witchcraft.

Rome, Italy – With you – Goran Bogicevic

This is the society we have to live in, which in some ways, seems to be going backwards, a society in which the victims will feel culpable, because they were wearing the wrong clothes that night, because they shouldn’t have had that one more drink. But also because we don’t always have the courage or the strength to denounce the violence, and hearing words that make us the object being blamed doesn’t help the healing.

Rome, Italy – Us above – Veroniki Thetis Chelioti

The saddest thing is to see women also behave in this way and taking the side of the rapist along the lines of the common refrain: “She asked for it,” “yes, but being alone at night!,” “I wonder how she was dressed.” Changing this way of thinking as a woman is very important, it can be the first step toward fighting this violence, becoming a society that has respect for all women and that detaches itself from this “male” dominant way of thinking.

Sara Deiana

Credits

Snapshot 1: Cagliari, Italy – Me above – Roman Kraft (Unsplash)

Snapshot 2: Florence, Italy – Only me – Tolga Kilinc (Unsplash)

Snapshot 3: Siena, Italy – Myself – Megan Murray (Unsplash)

Snapshot 4: Venice, Italy – Me by myself – Maradon (Shutterstock)

Snapshot 5: Venice, Italy – Me phone – Oleg (Shutterstock)

Snapshot 6: Verona, Italy – Us – Max Böhme (Unsplash)

Snapshot 7: Rome, Italy – With you – Goran Bogicevic (Shutterstock)

Snapshot 8: Rome, Italy – Us above – Veroniki Thetis Chelioti (Unsplash)

Cinemblem voiceover: Caterina Piagentini

Locations

Home: www.perypatetik.net

Social: www.facebook.com/Perypatetik

Cinemblem: Perypatetik youtube channel

The Syncretion of Polarization and Extremes

Ahmed, Amina. Growing up with Abuse: A Life of Extremes – Lebanon. April 2019.

Alencar, Joana. Lack of Social Trust – Brazil. January 2019.

Antonyan, Hayk. Polarization Does Not Equal Extreme – Armenia. September 2019.

Awdejuk, Pawel. Pole-arization – Poland. June 2019.

Baccino, Alejandra. Polarization within Ourselves – South America. January 2019.

Bondarenko, Evgeny. What You Sow Does Not Come To Life Unless It Dies – Ukraine. May 2019.

Cannarella, Daniela. A Past-Present Dicotomia – Italy. June 2019.

Casas, Marilin Guerrero Casas. Balance – Cuba. May 2019.

Cordido, Veronica. Hanging by Extremes – Venezuela. January 2019.

Dastan, S.A. Polarization and the Epidemic of Extremity – Turkey. August 2019.

Escandell, Andrea da Silva. The Illogic of Extremes – Uruguay. May 2019.

Gomez, Javier. The Canyon Inside Us – Argentina. July 2019.

Hernandez, Jonay Quintero. Extremism Is Now the New Hype? – Spain. February 2019.

Husseini, Maha. Bilingual Par Excellence – Canada. August 2019.

Israyelyan, Mania. Polarized Within Ourselves – Armenia. June 2019.

Julber, Lillian. Difficult to Understand – Uruguay. July 2019.

Kanunova, Nigina. Role of Polarization in the Life of an Individual and Society – Tajikistan. July 2019.

López, Virginia Sanmartín. Why Live on an Edge? – Spain. August 2019.

Montano, Osvaldo. Progress in the Face of Polarization – Bolivia. February 2019.

Protić, Aleksandar. Linguistic Balkanization as a Means of Polarization – The Balkans. June 2019.

Ranaldo, Mary. Social Polarization – Italy. April 2019.

Ray, Sanjay Kumar. At the Crossroads – India. August 2019.

Romano, Mavi. Censorship and Cultural Survival in a World without Gods – Spain. January 2019.

Çakir, Peren. Needing a Sustainable Future in the Midst of Political Polarization – Argentina and Turkey. September 2019.

Sariñana, Alejandra Gonzalez. Student Movements – Mexico. March 2019.

Sekulić, Jelena. The Polarizacija of Serbian Culture – Serbia. June 2019.

Sem, Sebastião. Brandos Costumes – Portugal. July 2019.

Sepi, Andreea. A World of Victims and Perpetrators? – Germany and Romania. February 2019.

Sevunts, Nane. The Era To Close – Armenia. March 2019.

Skobic, Alexandar. The Loss of Identity – The Balkans. April 2019.

Sitorus, Rina. Polarization in Politics: All a Cebong or Kampret – Indonesia. March 2019.

Spirito, Julieta. A Thought about Polarized Insecurity – Argentina. April 2019.

Valenzuela, Monica. Adults and Children – Peru. April 2019.

Vuka. Extreme Immunity to Functional Tax and Judicial System – Serbia. March 2019

Wallis, Toni. Walls and Resettlement – South Africa and Angola. February 2019.

Williams, Jazz Carl. Unfinished Episodes – Spain. May 2019.

Zakharova, Anastasiya. Feminism – Russia. August 2019.

Forthcoming

CW 39 – Montenegro – Nikolina Pavicevic
CW 40 – Columbia – Christian Escobar
CW 41 – Kenya – Kenn Mwangi
CW 42 – Pakistan – Muhammad Kashif Shahid
CW 43 – Tunisia – Sarah Turki
CW 44 – Estonia – Margot Arula
CW 45 – Ghana – Kwasi Amankwah Awuah
CW 46 – Dominican Republic – Aura De Los Santos
CW 47 – Montenegro – Nikolina Pavicevic
CW 48 – America – Talia Stotts
CW 49 – Philippines – Kristian Uusitalo
CW 50 – Hungary – Zoltan Monar
CW 51 – Syria/UAE/Egypt – Ahmed Ibrahim
CW 52 – Nigeria – Ethelbert Umeh Voiceover by Caterina Piagentini
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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