Femminismo, parità, diritti LGBT e politica italiana

Men and feminism: a chat with “Il Maschio Beta” — dicembre 25, 2017

Men and feminism: a chat with “Il Maschio Beta”

[Italian version HERE]

This text is the result of the interview with “Il Maschio Beta”, whom I had the pleasure to meet some months ago. I really appreciate his engagement with feminist and LGBT+ issues and that’s why I want to share with you his points of view!


How would you describe the word feminism? What makes you a feminist?

To me feminism is two things. First, an acknowledgment of the ultimate discrimination of human history, the sexism perpetrated by men against women: a mental structure that crosses all ages and all societies, and is so ingrained in our way of thinking that sometimes it is very difficult to acknowledge it.

The second part of my definition of feminism follows the acknowledgement and is the determination to address and fight this historical injustice; the goal would be to start conceiving every living person for what they are: people, and not something determined by their sex and/or gender. People often misunderstand “feminism” as limited to the fight for equal opportunities in the workplace, or little more than that; if we limit our definition to legal discriminations, it is easy to assume that once they have been corrected by the law, there will be no more need of feminism. However, the third wave of feminism has proven that there is still much more to be done, even in Western countries, because we have not addressed the core issues of the discrimination: we still blame women if they get raped, we still blame women not only when they leave their husbands but also when it is the husbands who leave them, we still consider women little more than what’s between their legs and judge them both if they do sex and if they don’t do sex (slut-shaming is alive and well everywhere), we dismiss women’s issues as trivial, we rarely acknowledge the low or bad presence of women in media… In other words, we are still far from considering women people in their own right.
I chose to become a feminist because I wanted to help other human beings achieve the status of person that I enjoy simply for being a man; and also, if I may be totally honest, because I know that equality and respect are the future and when my children are going to ask me what I did to rectify this situation, I do not want my answer to be “I did nothing”.

– When did you start to define yourself as a feminist? Why would you think men should use this term?
I actually have a very specific date for that! It was the 24th September 2014, after I heard Emma Watson’s speech at the UN where she launched her #HeForShe campaign: she was summoning men to support feminism and I got the call. I had always been convinced that women deserve equal opportunities and equal treatment but back then I saw no way I could possibly be of any help: the issues were so widespread and deep, I could not even begin thinking about it! Besides, I was very reluctant to identify as a feminist: first because I thought that it was women’s business and that as a man I could have no part in it; but secondly because I was still convinced that such a word implied “misandry”! Oh well, the things you later get to be ashamed of… Getting to know more and more feminists – online and live – I grew out of that dissatisfaction and today I find that for all intents and purposes identifying as feminist suits me quite fine. I am of course aware that some activists would rather prefer men to identify as “allies” or “pro-feminists”; I am fine with that, too, but I see that “feminism” still carries a stigma that as a man I would like to help dismantle: I am a cis straight white able-bodied man (a Default Man, to quote Grayson Perry) and if I find no fault in using this term, then maybe other men will follow and find it appealing in their turn. Let’s keep in mind that for the average Default Man feminism in itself is still a lot to process, so I think we should keep alternative labels like “pro-feminist” or “ally” on the side for a moment…

Why did you open the blog “Il Maschio Beta”?
I opened my blog and the related Facebook page almost two years after I officially became a feminist. During the previous few weeks I had been feeling slightly unwelcomed in the feminist groups I was attending (one live here in London and the other online); I sensed a bit of rejection on a personal level but the main issue had to do with my role as a male in a feminist group: how was I allowed to talk about women in groups where women wanted to talk about themselves? Or about men in groups where one of the biggest concerns is not making everything “about men”? (and reasonably so…) Or was I just expected to listen? And what then? How was I expected to actually start changing things? Back then I was helping a friend admin-ing a pace on Facebook and after I wrote a post asking men to stop being silent in front of femicides she suggested I could open a blog. Inspired by the suggestion, and by the example of other feminist blogs I admire, I created both the blog and the Facebook page related. Now I finally have my space where I can talk as a man to other men, thus – hopefully! – avoiding any charge of mansplaining… In time, I started using the blog not just for my own posts but also for translations of articles from other languages and as a tool for popularization; and I started using the Facebook page to bring to men not just the most obvious of women’s issues (gender pay gap, rape culture…) but also as a platform to raise awareness about a number of issues, from male and white privilege to LGBTQ+ rights, from racism to fatherhood and mental issues…

According to you, how feminism can be beneficial to men?
As I said in a previous answer, I became a feminist after listening to Emma Watson’s speech. One of her main arguments to invite men to join the cause was the damage made by patriarchy to men; I can safely say after spending some time thinking about men and masculinities (as well as after having my own experience of how damaging the preconceptions on masculinity can be) that it is all – unfortunately – very true: from the psychological pressure to “be a man” to the increased number of suicides, most of the perceived illnesses of menfolk that some would like to blame on feminism are actually the patriarchy’s fault; therefore, embracing a more tolerant and welcoming culture can only do good to men. And this does not only apply to Default Men such as myself: there are categories of men that we rarely acknowledge as men but who are men alright! Gay people, for a start: a few days ago, I was reading the results of a survey from where it emerges that what most gay men are scared of is being seen as feminine, as not manly enough. One of the core teachings of feminism, at least to me, is that being associated to females and/or femininity is not something to be ashamed or scared of (maybe only when it is a pinky and sugary tool of patriarchy aimed at perpetuating submission – but this is another matter). How much good would our gay brothers receive if we did not contribute to make them feel guilty for what they are and ashamed of themselves? And a similar reasoning can be applied to every man who does not belong to a respected group: poor men, black men, trans men…
(By the way, case in point: we are so used to thinking of “man” as equivalent to “Default Man” that we forget a man can perfectly not be a cis straight able-bodied white man…)

If you think about the Italian society, what do you think could be improved in terms of women’s rights?
If we stick to legal rights, the first two widespread (and, I find, very underrated) discriminations that come to mind concern housewives and prostitutes. Italian welfare state still depends on women’s availability to make house chores and attend to childcare; however, this all happens for free: housewives still do not get paid for what they do, a residue of an age when the acknowledged social contract was that the man went out to provide for the family and the woman stayed in the house to maintain the house, cook and clean. Of course, many more women now have a job of their own, and fathers apparently have started attending a bit more to their own children, but the weight of the house care still falls heavily on the woman (OCSE-Sole 24Ore) Either we start paying housewives (but I’m not sure this could be feasible financially for the State) or we seriously commit to changing something: allowing women more flexibility with their jobs, or granting extended paternity leaves to men and making sure that they take them, finding a balance between the two, or something else entirely… I am not an economist so I don’t know what would work better; the problem, however, is there nonetheless and we’d better find a solution soon.
The other problem I mentioned is prostitution: there is an unaccounted number of women enslaved by men and other women to provide sex for men, most of them trafficked thanks to ties with organized crime, and this is already an incredibly serious issue, no less serious than slavery in tomato fields in Southern Italy (caporalato), but considered almost tolerable because “it’s the oldest job in the world”. There is also the case of many women who start selling sex out of poverty: sometimes we read in the news that female students yield to economic pressures and start prostituting themselves and on occasion we also read of job ads for women (care of old people but also the usual office job…) where it is hinted (never explicitly stated, God forbid!) that an availability to perform sexual services is requested. No matter what we can think of prostitution as an issue: as long as women are brought up thinking that renting their bodies is a viable solution to escape poverty, there is something wrong with our society (if not else, because men are never asked to do the same).
This leads to a second part of my answer, which covers attitudes that cannot be mended with the law but which still need some thinking. As I mentioned in my first answer, we still live in a deeply misogynistic society, and Italy is even more so than our Western partners. It does not help to reply that until a few weeks ago women could not drive in Saudi Arabia: we should aim for the best, not compare ourselves to what lies behind us! We need to change the mentality of a country that still reeks of Latino chauvinism, Catholic moralism, and Fascist machismo: men must learn to take responsibility for sexism, racism and any discrimination they contribute to; women should stop fighting each other because of a misunderstood self-righteousness (the “I’m not like the other women” attitude); when it comes to sexual aggressions such as revenge porn, rape, femicide, we should stop blaming the women (who more often than not merely made choices we just may not like), and start blaming the men if there is malice on their side; overall, we all should start thinking that women can do just as much and as well as a man, in politics, economics, the industry, the military, education…

I had never had an orgasm, but then…  — settembre 20, 2017

I had never had an orgasm, but then… 


At first I didn’t want to write this article. I thought “it’s too personal”, just like maybe it was too personal to talk about me and my rapist. But here I am, so… I guess I changed my mind!


I’ve always been interested in sex. It’s something that has always fascinated me. I started to masturbate when I was 10 and I had sex for the first time at 14 with my ex girlfriend. Some months ago I found some erotic stories that I wrote at that age, when I first discovered I was attracted to both men and women. Guys saw me as some kind of “Goddess of sex”, maybe just because of my bisexuality or because I talked about sex and sexuality without any problems.

I wasn’t the Goddess of Sex, though. I arrived at my 20s and again sex was still my obsession and my torment. My obsession because I obviously liked the idea of it. I liked to make the other person feel good, so to say.  “What about you?” asked my best friend. “Do you feel any good?”  “Yeah, but…” “But what? Have you ever had an orgasm?” “Well…no, I haven’t. I mean…” I don’t know when or why but after some sexual intercourses I arrived at the conclusion that orgasm was something that I could never reach. I thought I had some kind of problem, and this frustrated me. I could reach an orgasm indeed, but only through masturbation. Once, something changed: it happened. I was surprised and I felt like a different person. I don’t know what changed. Probably I trusted someone for the first time. I let myself go. I experienced some sexual desires I was afraid before to experiment. And I felt much much better. I understood that sex was not only about giving, but also about receiving. Which seems obvious to most of you, but it wasn’t to me.

In February this year I had for the first time the idea to write a story about what happened to me. I started Orgazm in April. It’s essentially a homoerotic love story between Kay and Sara, two expats living in Germany. Sara is a bisexual woman whose dream is being a singer. After an abusive ex relationship, she starts to explore her sexuality. When Kay gets to know her, Sara goes to parties, she gets drunk and has sex many times. Kay is fascinated by her lifestyle, but at the same time she shows some kind of criticism.

Kay’s story is not my story, but surely my experience inspired me to write this novel. My aim is depicting women having sex (mostly with other women), talking about sex, thinking about sex and exploring their sexuality. I’m sure many women out there don’t feel listened by their partners when it comes to sex. Other times they don’t even know their desires, essentially because patriarchy puts pressures on women not to talk about their sexual desires and kinks.

So, if you are having trouble reaching an orgasm, I just wanna tell you: relax, it’ll happen. Just take your time and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s not your fault, it’s never your fault,  I believe in you! 

[P.S. In this article I’m referring to clitoral orgasm reached through external or internal stimulation of the clitoris, as Masters & Johnson’s research shows. It’s my experience and I’m not saying it will be everyone’s. But in a world where women’s sexuality isn’t taken seriously it’s my job as a feminist to talk openly about my relationship with sex and sexuality]



Onestamente all’inizio non volevo neanche scriverlo, quest’articolo. Ho pensato fosse troppo personale, ma direi che ho cambiato idea…
Sono sempre stata interessata al sesso, mi ha sempre affascinata. Ho iniziato a masturbarmi all’età di 10 anni e ho fatto sesso per la prima volta a 14 con la mia ex ragazza. Qualche mese fa ho trovato delle storie erotiche scritte da me a quell’età, quando ho capito per la prima volta di essere attratta sia dagli uomini che dalle donne. I ragazzi mi vedeva come una sorta di “dea del sesso” solo perché sono bisessuale e ho sempre parlato apertamente di me e dei miei desideri sessuali.

Non ero la dea del sesso, però. Ho superato i vent’anni e il sesso si è mostrato ancora una volta come la mia ossessione e il mio tormento. La mia ossessione perché ne amavo l’idea. Amavo il momento di condivisione con l’altra persona e che l’altra persona si sentisse bene.
“Ma tu?” mi ha chiesto poi la mia migliore amica. “Ti piace?” “Sì, ma…” “Ma cosa? Non hai mai avuto un orgasmo?” “In realtà no…”

Non so quando o perché, ma dopo una serie di rapporti sessuali ero arrivata alla conclusione che per me fosse impossibile raggiungere un orgasmo. Pensavo di avere qualche problema e ciò mi portava frustrazione. In realtà un orgasmo potevo raggiungerlo tramite la masturbazione.
Un giorno, però, qualcosa è cambiato: non so come ma è successo. Ne sono rimasta sorpresa e da quel momento in poi mi sono sentita come una persona differente. Non so cosa sia cambiato. Probabilmente mi sono fidata di qualcuno per la prima volta, mi sono lasciata andare, ho deciso di vivermi fino in fondo ed esplorare desideri sessuali che prima avevo paura a sperimentare. E mi sono sentita molto molto meglio. Ho capito che il sesso non è solo dare, ma anche ricevere. Che sembra ovvio per la maggior parte di voi, ma non per me.


Nel febbraio del 2017 mi sono detta di voler scrivere una storia riguardo ciò che mi è accaduto. L’ho iniziata ad aprile. Si tratta essenzialmente di una storia d’amore e nello stesso tempo omoerotica fra due donne, Kay e Sara, due expat che vivono in Germania. Sara è una ragazza bisessuale il cui gran sogno è diventare una cantante. Dopo una relazione abusiva con il suo ex ragazzo inizia ad esplorare in vari modi la sua sessualità. Quando Kay la conosce, Sara va nei locali, partecipa a feste, si ubriaca e fa sesso ripetutamente. Kay è affascinata dal suo stile di vita, ma nello stesso tempo ne è critica.

La storia di Kay non è la mia storia, ma sicuramente la mia esperienza mi ha ispirata a scrivere questo romanzo. Il mio scopo è mostrare donne che fanno sesso (in genere con altre donne), che parlano di sesso, che pensano al sesso ed esplorano la propria sessualità. Sono sicura che ci sono molte donne che non si sentono capite dai propri partner in ambito sessuale. Altre volte loro stesse non conoscono i loro desideri, essenzialmente perché il patriarcato spinge le donne a non parlare dei propri desideri sessuali e kink.

Quindi, se hai difficoltà a raggiungere un orgasmo, voglio solo dirti: rilassati, accadrà. Prenditi il tuo tempo e non porti pressioni inutilmente. Non è mica colpa tua, non è mai colpa tua. Io credo in te!

Am I homoromantic? — agosto 17, 2017

Am I homoromantic?


Sexual orientation is an internal mechanism that directs a person’s sexual and romantic disposition towards one or more persons, to varying degrees (LeVay & Baldwin, 2012). However, defining sexual orientation is challenging in a world that is rapidly changing. Sexual orientation has been perceived either in terms of discrete categories (homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual) (LeVay & Baldwin, 2014) or as a spectrum. Even if the debate regarding its nature still remains one of the major unsolved questions in sex science (Gangestad, Bailey, & Martin, 2000; Haslam, 1997), in this post I will talk about my personal attitude towards my sexuality, which I believe to be fluid.


As you probably remember I defined myself in some posts as a bisexual woman, while in others as a lesbian. This may be confusing for some of you and that’s one of the reasons why I would like to be clearer about it. Until I was 14 I thought to be heterosexual, because I experienced romantic and sexual interests towards people of my opposite sex. However, if I look back at, for example, the 10-years-old “me” I already had some kind of fantasies or desires towards women, which emerged predominantly in the form of dreams or weird thoughts like ‘Is she looking at me? Does she like me? Is she gay?’ At 14 years old I had my first real crush for a girl at my school. After that a really long period of self-analysis began. I started to question my heterosexuality and I looked back at my past to find traces of things that could make me understand who I really was. And I remembered about how many times I asked myself if my English teacher liked me. I remembered a girl at middle school who was defined as a ‘lesbian’ just because she kissed a girl. I remembered thinking that she was gorgeous and looking at her while she smiled at me. Then I remembered my weird relationship with what I believed to be an online friend, how I tried to flirt with her and how I was sexually attracted to her. I remembered that when I was 10 I had a dream where I kissed a girl twice. After a year of deep analysis I came to the conclusion that I’m bisexual. However, my attitude and my attraction towards both sexes is different. I only had relationships with women. I define myself as a homoromantic bisexual because I only experienced romantic attraction towards women (even if I don’t exclude a remote possibility of falling in love with a man). I also believe that my degree of sexual attraction is different depending on the sex of the person involved. The majority of my sexual desires are heterosexual (85-90%), even though I’m also sexually attracted to woman and I had more sex with women than with men. However, my romantic interest in people of the opposite gender is really low. Some people have troubles understanding my sexuality and they don’t like the term homoromantic. They perceive the expression of my preferences as a threat or as a way to label what I am. But why would it be a label? Why is the term bisexual a more acceptable term than bisexual homoromantic? Bisexuality is not 50% attraction towards women and 50% attraction towards men. It’s much more complex than this, just as sexuality itself.
Even though further studies might have to clarify what sexuality is and what its relation to romantic attraction is, in this post I wanted to show you how I define myself and how proud I am to tell you: I am a bisexual. I am a homoromantic!

P. S. I’m not offended if someone uses the term lesbian to define what I am. However, I believe it’s not accurate. I prefer using the term bisexual because I don’t want to erase any part of myself. If I sleep with a man, I’m not straight. If I sleep with a woman, I’m not a lesbian. I’m still bi, I’m still me.
Thank you.



I thought a lot about deleting this article because it doesn’t represent what I am anymore. I believe there’s little research about romantic attraction and I’m not sure if it’s really separated from sexual attraction. While writing this article in August 2017, I found indeed some articles about romantic attraction, but they were just hypotheses. Since some bisexual people had a romantic preference for one of the sexes, they said there may be a difference between romantic and sexual attraction. However, there’s no evidence to prove it. I respect people who use terms as “homoromantic”, “biromantic” or “heteroromantic”. However, I do think that bisexual homoromantic is a word that doesn’t define me anymore. I’m a lesbian and I do fall in love just with women. I was wrong in believing that being a lesbian means excluding someone. It’s not excluding, it’s just being what I am: a woman attracted to women. A woman who loves women and loves sleeping with them.]


Gangestad, S. W., Bailey, J. M., & Martin, N. G. (2000). Taxometric analyses of sexual orientation and gender identity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 1109–1121.
LeVay, S., & Baldwin, J. (2012). Human sexuality (4th ed.). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer
Savin-Williams, Ritch C. “An exploratory study of the categorical versus spectrum nature of sexual orientation.” The Journal of Sex Research 51.4 (2014): 446-453.




I was raped by a woman (and I’m a woman, too!)  — agosto 4, 2017

I was raped by a woman (and I’m a woman, too!) 


Once I googled “woman raped by a woman”, hoping to find stories similar to mine. However, I found just a pair of articles, nothing more. That’s also the reason why I decided to share my experience with you. When I was 14 I had troubles accepting my sexuality because I didn’t want to be a lesbian. The term “lesbian” was unacceptable for me. I associated it to pain and fear.

But… Why? Well, when I was 7 something really bad happened to me. The daughter of one of my father’s friends was always really sweet to me. I think she was 15 or 16. I remember we played video games together, we made drawings. She hugged me most of the times. I was happy. I believed I had a friend, I trusted her. But one day…something changed. The first thing I remember is that she kissed me. I didn’t know what sex was. I didn’t know what love was. But I remember that I told myself: “If you don’t like someone and this person kisses you, you gotta push them away. That’s what they do in movies.” And I did it. Once, twice, three times, but she didn’t stop. At the end I just decided to do what she asked me to do. I touched her where she told me to touch. I closed my eyes as she told me to do. “Don’t tell mum and dad. This is our secret.” I knew it was wrong what we were doing. I remember that I found it disgusting. I stopped many times to cough or because I felt like I was going to throw up. But nothing changed, it just went worse. What happened to me shocked me. This rape is part of me now. I’m the result of everything that happens to me and this rape is part of it, whether I want it or not. For many years I believed that she did what she did because she was lesbian. That was all. I believed all lesbians were evil. When I discovered to be bisexual I told myself that I didn’t want to be like her, that I couldn’t like women, that it was wrong. Then I understood. I will never be her, because I do like women, that’s true, but I’m not a pedophile.

What shocked me the most about this whole story were people’s reactions. Some of them told me I invented it, that it can’t be true. Others made fun of me. They told me “yeah, you wanna play the victim now”. But I’m not a victim, I never felt I was. I’m a warrior, I’m a surviver and I’m proud of myself! The most disappointing reaction came from my parents. I remember that I was in the bathroom, crying a lot. When they asked me what was wrong I replied: “She kissed me.” What could I say? I was scared to tell the whole truth. And how could I tell them if I didn’t even know it was sex? They just laughed. My dad said something like: “Oh, doesn’t she have a boyfriend?” and my mum’s words were even worse: “You know, we can’t tell anything. She’s the daughter of your father’s friend…”

I don’t care now. I don’t care if people tell me that I invented it. I don’t care if you believe it’s a lie just because it’s not what it’s normally associated to the word “rape”. I just want to share my story because I know that there are somewhere people who experienced something similar. You’re NOT alone. You’re strong and I believe in you. Don’t be scared to tell the truth. I’m sure your voices will be heard.

[ITALIAN – La testimonianza di ciò che è accaduto]

Non mi ricordo molto, avevo sette anni e mezzo. La storia breve è che lei era la figlia di un amico di mio padre e, quello che credevo io, ovviamente, era che mi volesse solo molto bene. Insomma, penso che qualunque bambina che vede una persona che la tratta con dolcezza, ci gioca insieme e cavoli vari allora è ovvio che ci si affeziona. E niente. Premetto che io ho un fratello più grande e comunque quando andavamo da lei, in realtà i miei genitori andavano ovviamente a trovare i loro amici e lasciavano me e mio fratello con lei. Noi giocavamo sempre alla PlayStation, finché un bel giorno questa stramaledetta PlayStation si rompe ed inizia l’incubo…mio fratello era interessato unicamente alla Play quindi eravamo sempre io e lei sole mentre lui stava con i miei, di sotto. E nulla, ho ovviamente i ricordi molto vaghi. Mi ricordo la prima volta che lei si è avvicinata e mi ha baciata. Io sono rimasta interdetta, l’ho solo spinta..non sapevo un cavolo di niente, per me era semplicemente un “faccio quello che ho visto nelle serie tv”, ovvero che quando qualcuno non ti interessa lo respingi. Ma comunque lei ha continuato e mano mano le cose sono sempre più peggiorate. La maggior parte delle volte voleva stare lei sopra di me, altre volte mi costringeva a toccarla e io non capivo bene ovviamente che stavo facendo. E niente, le cose più brutte di questa storia sono state le reazioni della gente. Ai miei genitori, quell’estate ho raccontato semplicemente una volta in lacrime che lei mi avesse baciata. La loro reazione? “E non ce l’ha un ragazzo?” e poi una solita solfa sul “non dover dire nulla, perché è la figlia di un caro amico di tuo padre”. Nessuna domanda su che fosse successo di preciso, nulla. La cosa è stata liquidata in pochi secondi. Mi ha fatto malissimo ed ancora oggi mi sento malissimo se ci penso. In futuro ho provato a raccontare questa cosa. C’è chi si è dispiaciuto per me, c’è chi invece mi ha detto di essermi inventata tutto per attirare attenzioni, perché giustamente secondo loro dovevo avere una storia dolorosa alle spalle per risultare “interessante”. Ancora oggi ho paura ad aprirmi con le persone e questa cosa non l’ho più raccontata a nessuno (a parte la mia ex) da quando mi è stato accusato di inventarmi tutto. Sono stanca di passare per la vittima. Io non sono una vittima! Sono stata forte e ho superato tutto da sola. Nessuno mi ha difesa, nessuno ha cercato di aiutarmi. Quando ho scoperto di essere bisessuale, ho avuto tante difficoltà ad accettarmi soprattutto per questa cosa che mi è successa da piccola. Perché fino a quel momento pensavo che le lesbiche fossero persone cattive e che facessero cose sbagliate. Ho dovuto scindere omosessualità/bisessualità da pedofilia, ho dovuto capire che sono così perché sono così e non per quello che ho subito. Insomma, tante cose. E io ci tengo comunque a raccontare quello che mi è successo, perché non me ne vergogno. Avrei voluto solo sapere perché, perché fare un gesto simile a una bambina di 7 anni. Io l’ho rivista, la rivedo ogni volta che vado a votare. Inutile dire che non mi guarda neanche in faccia. E’ lei quella che si vergogna, non io. Io cammino a testa alta. Altre volte l’ho sognata. Una volta in particolare ho sognato chiaramente che la abbracciavo e che le dicevo di averla perdonata. Perché sì, io l’ho perdonata comunque e soprattutto, ho perdonato me stessa, per essere bisessuale ed essere quella che sono.

When I heard the word “feminism” for the first time — novembre 13, 2015

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? — aprile 16, 2015

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 hug 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 was two years ago the last time that I saw 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.



[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.


Sì, sono libera! — aprile 13, 2015

Sì, sono libera!

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

[Traduzione italiana disponibile dopo il post in inglese.]

Hi! My name is Libera, I’m a feminist and LGBT activist from the south of Italy. My real name is different, but everyone on the Internet call me Libera.

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. 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.


Italian Translation:

Ciao a tutti! Sono Libera e sono un’attivista LGBT e femminista del Sud d’Italia. Il mio vero nome è un altro, ma tutti mi chiamano Libera. 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. 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 significhi parità di diritti, 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 di 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.