Letter to MAREA from the young women of Trama di Terre

Dear Monica, Laura and MAREA

We are a group of italian natives and migrants young women, ageing from 17 to 27 years old.

Feminism is a new subject for many of us, while some of us are feminist since years.

In between us, some became feminist also thanks to you, thanks to your writings and the words you shared with us during your visits at our schools in Imola.

We live in a city, or better in a country, where is difficult to find places where we can freely express ourself, discuss and listen openly to each others, talk about the problems and fears we face as young women of the 21st Century.

However, we managed to find one of these places. You know it well as you referred to it in your feminist magazine, i.e. the Intercultural Women Association Trama di Terre.

This place allow us to see theory put into practice, to experience the daily life of many women and sharing with them our emotions, experiences and feeling. We meet every week and we put in to practice the precious teachings you, adult feminists, have taught us, have left us in inheritance in order to change a society where we find less and less space for us.

With this spirit, the day of the 14th of February we decided to get involved organizing the international demonstration “One Billion Rising” in the city of Imola.

We would like to tell you all about the efforts, the struggles, the discussions, the phone calls, the nights spent preparing flayers and videos, and the several dancing rehearsals we organized everywhere in the city for weeks.

We would like to share this with you, because it was emotional and special to see us all together on the stage reading the speech we prepared, with such efforts, during the previous weeks. We would do it all over again, we do not regret anything.

We do not even regret the political document we wrote where we asked for more resources for the Antiviolence Centers and more respect toward women. We asked for the same respect for our Italian peers and co-operants: Greta Marzullo and Vanessa Ramelli, welcomed in Italy, after their liberation, as a couple of silly, incompetent and unprepared young girls.

We dared to ask the public opinion: “would the reaction have been the same if they were two men?” Probably not. They would have been welcomed as heroes, as it was the case the two marines who killed those Indian fishermen.

All we have done and to prepare the campaign and our claims became suddenly superfluous due to this question. In particular, the right wing party of our city ignored all our efforts just to focus on this comparison. And they demonstrated against us exactly during the International Women’s Day.

And so drums, muscles and screams filled up the same square where we previously asked whether another world was possible, a better world for women, a world that can respond to our dreams and our hopes.

“Shut up, now we will show you what happens if you touch us”. That is what their message looked like.

Even if it that can seem weird, a woman was also taking part in the protest: a woman of the institution. The President of the City Council Paola Lanzon instead of meeting us and talking with us, decided to spend the 8thof March in that square, invested of her institutional role and to not take the distance from that militarist and fascist culture.

We received the solidarity from the women of CGIL, PRC, Trama di Terre, from the women of UDI and from many feminist women who sent us messages from all around Italy.

They, like us, think that such a behaviour from a woman of the Democratic Party who defines herself as feminist should not be ignored, exactly like we do not ignore the chauvinist and misogynist behaviour of many men and we do not protect them if they act with violence.

This being say, we would like you to explain us the reason of your thunderous silence. Why? We read that you will come to Imola the 20th and the 1st of April, and that you will participate at two initiatives together with the President of the City Council, Paola Lanzon, the same institution which supported and participated to the protest. Why?

We really hope that through your words and through your choices, the feminist and anti-militarist solidarity will reemerge. The same solidarity that we have hardly witnessed through these events.

Giulia, 20 years old; Maria Pia, 20 years old; Sara, 19 years old; Martina, 19 years old; Simona, 19 years old; Chiara, 19 years old; Marzia, 19 years old; Diletta, 17 years old; Margherita, 20 years old; Stefania, 21 years old; Serena, 27 years old.

19 March 2015