About Equality and Feminism

30 Jan

Feminism: The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

What is feminism? According to a Google search on the definition described above and in short it is about equality of women TO  men.

Some people have very different views on what feminism really is, some people would consider me to be a feminist and others not. If the foundation of feminism is equality then women should not be equal to men but men and women should be equal to each other.The wording might not seem important to you but in reality and in practice it makes a difference. I do not believe that women are entitled to special privileges over men, nor do I believe the contrary. Therefore if being a feminist implies this and for those who do not have a decent insight who may think this, then I would like to state that I am not a feminist.  I prefer to state I am an Equalist.

In fact, I support equal rights for all, between black and white people, between cultures, between religions, between ages, between social classes and between sexes.

Due to my recent discovery of this wonderful woman Lorella Zanardo and my fondness for the Italian people and culture I am putting a little emphasis on equality between the sexes. Without this woman or without this type of strong female character today in Italy, the sexism demonstrated in Italian media might have a future.

Lorella Zanardo and Women’s Bodies.

30 Jan

Lorella Zanardo and Women’s Bodies.

Watching Italian Television for the first time was most certainly an unforgettable experience. The visuals of camera tricks revealing intimate parts of almost-naked dancing girls had shocked me as I chewed on my spaghetti al mare. At first, I believed these images were a one off occasion. However, seeing the objectification of women in advertisements for products such as wine and yogurt, I realized that it didn’t stop at Italian Television and it was evident that it was an integral part of Italian media.After the shock, I was surprised; I simply could not believe that a country so close to the Vatican, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church could allow such media to be transmitted across the country during the day. However this was simply not a rebellion on religious morals, there was more to it than that. In fact, a darker side of Italian politics had been revealed to me. Berlusconi not only famous for his bunga bunga parties, he also happened to prime minister, has owned and still owns a huge proportion of Italian media. Surely such a rich and powerful man has a lot of influence on his media?After the surprise, I was angry at the situation after all, how could a country that I love so much, which has so much to offer, allow this sort of humiliation for women? I challenged my Italian friends and partner about this issue. Some of them didn’t see it as a problem as they didn’t know any other form of media, shrugging their shoulders and saying ‘e’ cosi’ (It’s like this)! Others explained that if you’re brought up right you know the difference between T.V and real life and others would just say they don’t watch T.V. This led me to feelings of frustration.I actually felt sorry for Italians, as It is very unfortunate that a lot of Italians didn’t/don’t know any different and they thought this was normal! But ‘E’ cosi!’ simply was not enough for me. After all, why should the Italian children be exposed to this rubbish day in and day out? This is bound to have an effect on children and adult’s ideas and views on women and not only for women but for the boys and men. What message is the media sending out about Italian men? As someone who is so fond of Italy and fond of the Italian culture, I find it such a let-down that the media present the culture in this way and I am frightened that maybe one day my future children may grow up surrounded by this sort of media.Then recently, I came across an inspiring woman called Lorella Zanardo. Her brave speeches, her documentary ‘il corpo delle donne’ and her public work has given me a reason to believe again, that one day, sooner rather than later, the Italian media and therefore the perception of Italian women and men can be reformed and any form of existing chauvinism can be kicked out of Italy. Lorella Zanardo is truly an exceptional woman who has demonstrated by her own work that Italian women can speak up and speak out, that they do have a voice and that the power and strength of woman can overcome such obstacles especially within chauvinistic media production. She is a true example of strength and courage and indeed, is one of my idols. She is an excellent example for young women and I wish to spread the word of her good work, after all, every little helps!

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