DWF 101 Fuori di noi. Le parole del femminismo – Abstract

Feminist: the F word – Federica Castelli e Roberta Paoletti

This paper gives an account of two meetings with some high school students in the suburbs of Rome on the “F word”. What does “feminist” mean for us, as feminists, and what does this word recall to teenagers? Feminist who, feminist…what? Why to be feminist today? These are some questions that guided discussions around the “F word”. A void blackboard to be filled with ideas, reflections and even stereotypes; an unexpected whirlwind of suggestions, deconstructing what has already been said, what has already been done; a richness coming from material experiences and relationships. This paper is more than a genealogical and deconstructive operation. It is the story of our attempt of going out from the given feminist point of view, to check out the common imagination around the “F word”. It is an occasion to rethink the feminist position from the inside, through a dialogue starting from different life experiences.

Trace a circle, then write “feminism” – Serena Fiorletta

A group of undergraduate female students has worked on the term “feminism”. What does this term mean for each participant? what meaning does it assume in the contest of the group that has been gathered for this specific work? what does it signify after the experience of the workshop? Feminist well-known practice of “starting from oneself” to reach the others (and to come back to yourself) has been adopted. The juxtaposition between “feminism” and “masculinism” emerged in this context as a pivotal point. During long discussions, the conceptualization of these two terms has changed at an individual level, and the impossibility of considering them as “symmetrical” has been recognized. The elaboration, as a group, of a re-newed meaning of the word “feminism” has connected it to concepts such as “rights” and “self-determination”. And then to the final question: do we still need Feminism?

A generation with no differences? – Fiammetta Mariani

What do teenagers  understand of the Italian feminism lexicon? This is the challenge for a reflection that led me to a dialogue with some high school students. I combined feminism and linguistic, young generations and myself in order to investigate how italian schools and teachers transmit the basic concepts of feminism to teenagers. Starting by a text (Una ragazza speciale by Elvira Banotti), I tried to trace down the reactions of boys and girls without imposing the ‘feminist alphabet’ on them.  The intention was to let them understand the drivers (desire, emotion, relation) of the most famous slogans that have characterized the feminist political struggles in the 70’s.  The experiment is still open and it is impossible to draw a simple conclusion. But one thing is clear:  equality is a strong value among young students, without sexual differences.

Producing the change: new generations of feminists, schools and the education for differences – Monica Pasquino

From 2013 the Association S.CO.S.S.E. – Soluzioni Comunicative Studi Servizi Editoriali – organizes courses for teachers in primary and pre-primary school on non-sexist and anti-discriminatory education, financed by the city council of Rome. The program involves more than 200 teachers and is connected with several similar experiences in other Italian and European cities.  Gender stereotypes and biases, which are still very present in the Italian society, are formed basically in early childhood, inside the family, in the relationships with other children and in school. Stereotypes on sexual identities derives from patriarchal culture: non-sexist and anti-discriminatory education  contributes to help society achieve social changes. Despite the public support and the positive ratings of involved teachers, the program has been rubbished by some fundamentalist roman catholic organizations in order to defend the traditional, and supposed ‘natural’, male and female roles. The Association S.C.O.S.S.E. is actively reacting together with the public support of feminist, antiracists, homo and transexual and secular organizations.

The use of gender in the italian language – Marilù Pone

In the 80s, feminists started to reflect on the sexist use of language. In  1987 Alma Sabatini carried out a research to identify sexist forms in press language, suggesting alternative forms using all the means offered by the italian current grammar. The work aroused deep skepticism among journalists and linguists. 25 years after, this article present again such analysis, adopting the same methodology and working on the same newspapers and magazines. The results are striking: while changes occurred in some aspects of the grammar, the tone, the style and the hidden messages of the news are still affected by sexual stereotypes and by an obsolete vision of society and genders roles, with just a few exceptions.