There’s too much confusion about the word “feminism”

mom-1508902_1280

According to OxfordDictionaries.com, feminism is “The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”

In its definition feminism contains the term “equality.”

As I said in another post,  it was at high school when I heard the word feminism for the first time.

As an Italian native speaker,  things get even more complicated since there are two terms to refer to sexism:”maschilismo” and” sessismo”. “Maschilismo” probably derives from “maschio”, which is male in Italian. In Italian it is a synonym for “sessismo”, that’s all.

However, some people believe that, since feminism derives from the word “femmina” (female),  feminism would be “superiority of women over men”. This is completely wrong in my opinion.

Some people propose “antisexism” as a neutral term, but I think there’s nothing to change. You can even call it “apple”, what matters is what is it about: equality.

Thanks to feminism I learned to fully accept myself and to be more tolerant to minorities in general. I wish everyone could know the benefits of feminism!

When I heard the word “feminism” for the first time

[This post may contain mistakes, because English.is not my first language]

Maybe you were wondering where I have been such a long time.

Well, my life is always full of changes and unexpected facts, so you shouldn’t worry if I don’t post for some months. I’ve not forgotten this blog and certainly I won’t.

Today I want to talk about something autobiographic, but in some ways related to feminism.

When did I hear the term “feminism” for the first time?

I was at high school. It was my 4th or 5th year, if I am not mistaken. My philosophy teacher said:

I believe in the equality between men and women. I’m a feminist.

I remember that I didn’t question the word “feminism.” Even if it was the first time I heard it, it was clear to me that it had a positive meaning. What surprised me was that a male pronounced it. I guess this may be related to the fact that, whether we want it or not, we are all affected by patriarchy.

Patriarchy, directly or indirectly, controls our minds. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a feminist or not. It is really likely that you experience the violence and the injustice of patriarchy, because our society is grounded in it.

Now I think differently. It doesn’t surprise me anymore when a man tell me he is a feminist, because I’ve become a feminist myself.

But, to be honest, does it matter if a person is male, woman or non-binary?

We are all people, that’s what it matters, and we should all fight against patriarchy!

And you? When did you hear the word “feminism” for the first time?

Leave a comment, if you want.

P.s. I will talk about my teacher in other posts. I know it may be a little bit personal, but he really had a big influence on me!

Dear Father, do you know me?

I was in a car.

In a stranger’s car.

He was talking to me, but I barely answered his questions. He was driving, and he drove me somewhere.

I don’t remember exactly when.

I felt this once, when I was in this car, but the thing is that the man that was driving was my father.

Dear father, have you even been present in my life?
Dear father, have you ever known me?

Have you ever listened to me?
When I was a kid, I used to embrace you. I remember your fat belly, how I played with it.

But, then…I don’t know what happened, but I was not your baby anymore.

And I looked for a father, elsewhere. And once I found another dad. I remember that he knew many things about me.

He appreciated how I was. He still knows me, and I know – they told mehe is still talking about me, even if we don’t meet anymore. It’s two years I don’t see him.

Dear father, my other dad was my teacher. He completely changed my life. He made me what I am right now. He made me think a lot about this world, how it is good and ruined at the same time.

He said that he wanted to be a friend for me, but he wasn’t. He was and he will be forever my daddy.

Sayuri.

***

[Italian Translation]

Ero in auto.

Nell’auto di uno sconosciuto. Mi parlava, ma rispondevo a malapena alle sue domande. Guidava, mi portava da qualche parte. Non ricordo esattamente quando.

Questo è quello che ho sentito quando ero in macchina con lui, ma il punto è che l’uomo che stava guidando era mio padre.

Caro padre, sei mai stato presente nella mia vita?

Caro padre, mi hai mai conosciuta?

Mi hai mai ascoltata?
Quando ero piccola, ti abbracciavo spesso. Mi ricordo la tua grossa pancia, come amavo giocarci.

Ma, poi…non so cosa sia successo, ma non ero più la tua piccola.

Ho cercato un padre altrove. Una volta l’ho trovato. Ricordo quante cose sapesse su di me.

Mi apprezzava. Mi conosce ancora e so (me l’hanno detto!) che sta ancora parlando di me, anche se non ci vediamo più.
Sono due anni che non lo vedo. Padre, il mio papà era il mio professore, colui che mi ha completamente cambiato la vita.

Mi ha resa ciò che sono adesso. Mi ha fatta pensare tanto a questo mondo, a come sia bello e rovinato al tempo stesso. Mi ha detto che voleva essere un amico per me, ma non lo era.

Lui è e sarà sempre il mio papà.

Sayuri.

Yes, I’m a free bitch!

[This post may contain mistakes, because I’m not English.]

[Traduzione italiana disponibile dopo il post in inglese.]

Hi! My name is Sayuri, I’m 20 and I live in the south of Italy. My real name is different, but everyone on the Internet call me Sayuri.

I decided to create this blog to talk about my experience as a discriminated person. I think I am part of more than one discriminated category. First of all, I am a lesbian. Secondly, I am a southern Italian girl. Finally, I am a woman. Therefore, I experienced three types of discrimination. All of them shocked me, and this is the main reason why I am writing this post right now.

Let’s start with my first assertion: “I am a lesbian.”

This sentence should not be interpreted literally. It is very difficult to label my own sexuality, since I have very strange tastes. I am not equally attracted by both sexes, but it would be very difficult to give you in a few lines, dear readers, a good representation of my sexuality. From a physical point of view, I like both girls and boys. But, from a romantic point of view, I have always preferred women. This is the reason why I believe I am a lesbian. As a lesbian, I have been discriminated only a few times, when I was a teenager. What I experienced more was (and still is) being sexualized by males. Many people asked me to have a threesome, orgies, or something like that. Many men liked me only because they imagined me (or hoped to see me) having sex with another woman. This may seem incredible, but it is the truth.

Being sexualized is an issue that I experienced both as a woman and as a lesbian/bisexual girl.

Being a southern Italian girl, I experienced discrimination because of my origins. I live in Campania, near Naples, one of the most beautiful cities of the world. However, for many Northern Italians we (I mean, southern people) are dirty, uncivilized, and underdeveloped. Even among feminists the prejudices about Southern Italians are widespread. For example, I remember a discussion about feminicide and harassment on a Facebook page. The administrator of this page argued that ‘harassment is more likely to happen in the south of Italy’.

She said this without any clues. When some people replied that feminicide, for example, happens more in northern Italy than in the Southern part of the peninsula, the administrator pointed out that ‘feminicide is so widespread in the North because more women work there than in the south; thus, it is just the result of female independency from men.’
I believe that asserting that feminicide is the result of emancipation is really dangerous. According to this logic many people may say that it might have been better if the women never worked. Furthermore, I did not expect that these prejudices could be common even in feminists’ pages.

As a feminist, I believe that feminism should be equality, but not only for women. As a southern Italian feminist, I decided to have a reaction against it.

The third type of discrimination I experienced is sexism (sessismo or maschilismo in Italian). As a woman, I have always felt disadvantaged. My brother could do things that were denied to me. My male classmates had the right to speak. We, the females, most of the times didn’t. When a boy tried to rape me (fortunately, he did not), my ex-girlfriend told me that it was my fault, because I was a bitch. But these are just some examples. I don’t want to talk about too many things right now. I just want to say that this blog will be about myself, as a member of three discriminated groups. Some posts will be serious, others will be not. I hope just to let you know as many things as possible about my country and my life.

The last thing I would like to talk about is why my blog is called puttana libera. A translation could be ‘free bitch’. Well, I think that ‘bitch’ is used as an offense by most misogynists. However, I have chosen this name because I’m not afraid of being labelled as a bitch. Maybe I can be a bitch, but at least I’m free. And if you call me bitch only because I want the right to be myself, you’re just a fucking misogynist.

Peace.

Sayuri.

Italian Translation:

Ciao a tutti! Sono Sayuri, ragazza ventenne del Sud d’Italia. Il mio vero nome è Flavia, ma tutti myi chiamano Sayuri. Ho deciso di creare questo blog per parlare della mia esperienza come persona discriminata, siccome penso di far parte di più di una categoria discriminata. Prima di tutto, sono lesbica. Poi, sono del Sud. Infine, sono una donna. Per questo posso dire di aver vissuto tre tipi diversi di discriminazione: ciascuno di essi ha avuto ripercussioni sulla mia vita. Ecco perché vi sto scrivendo.

Iniziamo dalla mia prima frase: “Sono lesbica”

Non dovete interpretarla letteralmente. E’ molto difficile etichettare la mia sessualità, dato che ho gusti strani. Non sono attratta da ambedue I sessi in modo equo. Dal punto di vista fisico mi piacciono sia uomini che donne, ma considerando solo l’aspetto sentimentale, ho sempre preferito le donne. In quanto lesbica, sono stata discriminata poche volte quando ero un’adolescente. Quel che ho vissuto di più (e lo vivo ancora) è stato essere oggettificata e “sessualizzata” da alcuni uomini. Mi è capitato che mi invitassero a partecipare ad un threesome o orge e molti uomini mi stavano attorno solo perché mi immaginavano o speravano di vedermi far sesso con un’altra donna. Questo può sembrare incredibile, ma è la verità.

Inoltre, essendo una meridionale, sono stata discriminata spesso per le mie origini. Vivo in Campania, vicino Napoli, una delle città più belle al mondo. Tuttavia, per molti settentrionali, noi meridionali siamo sporchi, incivili ed inferiori. Anche tra femministe i pregiudizi riguardo i meridionali sono molto diffusi. Per esempio, ricordo una discussione sul femminicidio e sulle molestie su una pagina Facebook. L’amministratrice della pagina ha dichiarato che ‘è più probabile che si venga molestate al Sud.’ L’ha detto senza avere alcuna prova.

Quando qualcuno ha risposto che il femminicidio, ad esempio, accade di più al Nord che al Sud, l’amministratrice si è difesa dicendo che ‘è più diffuso al Nord perché le donne lavorano di più che al sud; quindi, è solo il risultato dell’indipendenza femminile dagli uomini.’
Credo che dire che il femminicidio derivi dall’emancipazione femminile sia molto pericoloso. Secondo questa logica, molte persone potrebbero dire che sarebbe stato meglio se le donne non avessero mai lavorato. Inoltre, non mi aspettavo che tali pregiudizi potessero essere così comuni in pagine femministe.

In quanto femminista, penso che il femminismo sia uguaglianza, ma non solo per le donne. In quanto femminista del Sud, ho deciso di reagire a quanto detto dalla admin.

Il terzo tipo di discriminazione che ho vissuto è stato il sessismo. Come donna mi sono sentita sempre svantaggiata.  Mio fratello poteva fare cose che mi erano negate. I miei compagni di classe si sesso maschile avevano il diritto di parlare. Noi, le femmine, no. Dovevamo tacere. Quando un ragazzo ha provato a stuprarmi (fortunatamente, sono riuscita a fermarlo), la mia ex ragazza mi ha detto che era colpa mia, perché sono una puttana. Questi sono solo alcuni esempi. Ma non voglio parlare di questo ora. Vorrei solo dire che in questo blog parlerò di me come membro di tre minoranze discriminate. Alcuni post saranno seri, altri no. Spero solo che potrete avere quante più notizie possibili su di me. L’ultima cosa che volevo chiarire è la scelta del nome di questo blog.

Perché “puttana libera”?
Beh, molti misogini usano la parola “puttana” come un’offesa. Ma io non ho paura di essere chiamata così. Forse sono davvero una puttana, ma almeno sono libera. E se mi chiami troia solo perché voglio essere me stessa, allora sei solo un maschilista di merda.
Peace.
Sayuri.