In order to understand the seriousness of what happened on the 8th of March in Imola, we need to take a step back.
On February 14th 2015, during “One Billion Rising” (an international flash mob against violence against women) a group of girls read a statement expressing their willing to grow in a world that guarantees full freedom and self-determination rights to all women.
Among other things, they stated: “We ask to not underestimate, dismiss and criticized the word “feminicide”, because it refers to an existing phenomenon, although many people still deny it, and because a lot of people still consider women guilty when murdered and raped. We are thinking of the two kidnapped girls in Siria, Greta and Vanessa, as well as the disgraceful and shameful way they have been described. Luckily, they came back safe; but they have been described by the public opinion as irresponsibles for putting their life in danger to help a war-victim population. Would the reaction be the same, if they were men? Probably, they would have been welcomed as heros, as it has been the case of the two Marò, accused of the murder of some indian fishermen.”
A violent culture
According to us, this thought is not insulting. However, it unleashed the anger of some parties in Imola, Lega Nord, Pdl and others.
This anger led to the organisation of a demonstration for the liberation of the Marò detained in India. “Apolitical demonstration” says the organizers, even if its contents and methods, had a clear right political influence. Regardless of our personal opinion on the Marò’s case, the demonstration was held on the 8th of March, the international day of women. “In solidarity with the wives of the Italians” they said. Indian fishermen’s wives, clearly, do not count. Fully reproducing the idea of the soldier fighting for the country and the honour of the wives waiting for them at home.
An excessive answer, even violent in its nature, typical of the authentic chauvinism that imposes men’s power on women.
This is why, exactly on the 8th of March, they had to put the irreverent girls back in their place: a “macho” behaviour, no matter if there were also some women in between them. This male chauvinism is coherent with those (men and members of the Parliament), who insulted Greta e Vanessa.
Thus, regardless of the thoughts expressed in November 25th (International day against violence against women) by the male representatives in the Council of the Municipality, those who protested, reviled their real thoughts.
What is the relation between the Marò and the 8th of March? There is, clearly, a specific scope in the creation of a link between the two realities. Intentions do not count, facts do. It is a clear insult to the female gender.
Are women in power different from men in power?
The president of the Municipality Council, Paola Lanzon, who is also the leader of PD’s women in Imola, participated in the demonstration.
We believe that her participation as well as the words she used “in order to stop polemics” are completely unacceptable.
In fact, she declared that as it was fair to bring the two co-operants back, «[…] it’s fair, very fair, deserved and binding to bring the Marò back, as well. All the rest are big trifles, which do not help our country to be united, strong […]».
Authoritarian and resolved words that sell off the free thought expressed by a group of young women as “big trifles”.
We wonder how is it possible that the PD can accept such behaviours, characterized by the traditional culture of right parties and by a violent behaviour against women (violence is not only material), particularly during the 8th of March.
The intention cannot be misunderstood.
The President of Municipality Council is so coherently democratic that those who do not agree with her are “doing useless polemics” or, even “damaging the country”.
We wonder if the many of the women who join the PD and vote for it (some of them were present the 14th of February for the Flash mob) really share this choice and these attitudes.
If not, they should take a clear position without which the possibility of affirming together a re-equilibrium of gender in our society and our territory wold be compromised.
We encourage all women to reflect on it; because, women’s policy and the ideas expressed during the 8th of March – which reject not only sexism, but also militarism and nationalism – belong to a society that does not need heroes.
Trama di Terre / Intercultural Center of Women
10th march 2015