Yesterday three activists of the Femen group, founded in Ucraine in 2008, protested top-less against Berlusconi after he had voted, as all citizens, in a public school.
There’s a reason why I am writing this post in English, and it is that I feel like if I write it only in Italian it will be of no use, since what I’m meant to say will sound maybe too obvious to Italian speakers (hopefully) and a little more interesting and edificating for those who are less acquainted with Italian sex and gender culture.
On the Femen website, www.femen.org, the group declares to be active worldwide in the fight against patriarchism in all its forms – dictature, church, sex-industry. And I must say, I might agree with all that, although I am not so sure that, since great part of the political structures were made by men and for men, it’s a smart idea to take for machist and bad thousands of years of civilization and to blame basically everything our cultural background is rooted in and we develop, although unconsciously, our ideas out of. It’s exactly like those people rejecting Christianity – I don’t mean the faith, I mean the role in our history -, because there’s no proof of the existence of God and because Christians have been responsible of several massacres: not that it’s something to be proud of, but it’s anyway insane to forget that the all skeleton of contemporary culture is built on the millenary tradition of Christianity – from the law of gravity to the great realist novel of the 19th century, from the pentagram to psychoanalysis.
But let’s go on. The group states to be the voice of a new 3rd millennium feminist movement, fighting with “a warm breast, a cold head and clean hands”. Isn’t that too much of a cliché and kind of neoplatonistic to represent woman’s body’ zones of heat and cold in that way? I mean, how does it really refuse patriarchism if it’s using exactly the woman’s body’s representation that it’s been used for centuries? Why the hell (although I do understand the meaning of a cold head, a cold mind) should a woman fighter be warm in the breast and cold in the mind? Don’t they see that there’s something perverse in language already? Plus, this means that the group identifies itself in topless women protesting in public places against the aforesaid manifstations of patriarchism. Does this really make sense?
I mean, yea, ok, me, my christian, catholic, southern Italian, small bourgeois background… anyway, I’m not really sure you girls got the point. Not if you need to use your tits as the symbol of what you call “sextremism” (then, I’d say: why tits, and not pussy? just more comfortable to be displayed around?) I mean, don’t you fight against slavery of woman’s body, and shouldn’t you be fighting against slavery of woman’s body’s representation? Isn’t that exactly what the whole pornography industry does: focusing on those two -yea, very beautiful – balls of flesh, and stopping the neurons to make further connections? Ok, I might be talking like that because I wear an A cup, but still, I mean, it doesn’t feel like you got the point of this whole feminism, renewal of the world, let’s fight against the usurpator, thing.
Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that, at least in my country, Italy, a country that actually VOTED for Berlusconi, CHOSE a man whose normal electoral behaviour is to make jokes about women elector’s orgasms – which would be not such a scandal in itself, if it wasn’t for all the shit his “sense of humour” is supposed to hide – this topless thing doesn’t get the result you hope for, both in the media and in the consciousnesses. I mean, you see Italian men’s culture: tits are their totem for women. Tits are everywhere on TV at everytime of the day, it is almost “humiliating” for a young woman not to have enough tits to show off through a scandalous neckline at parties, TV shows, job interviews… sometimes it is even commented as a defect, in some talk shows, to have a small breast. I mean, humiliation of women DOES take place through exposure and representation of the breast, and using that symbol to fight what it means it’s exactly as going around showing off swastikas to fight nazism. Useless. Above all when you show swastikas to nazists.
You have shown tits to a man who will make a funny joke about your nipples and all his electors will laugh. Couldn’t you think about anything better to shake worldwide awareness of Italian political and sexual culture? Something better than three foreign women (sexual availability by definition) shaking their boobs and screaming “Berlusconi Basta” (basta: among the most famous Italian words in eastern Europe) without posing other arguments?
Plus, really, I have stated once that I am awaiting natural death of the guy, but it must not really be that bad, if the most of Italian women love him. Troubles are for those left, who look for more, in a man.
(Photo on top of the article is from the Femen website)