|DWF - Modelli femminili, 2010, n. 3-4 (87-88)|
Voci e sguardi di donne
Women’s freedom between self-determination, rights and representation. An interview with Francesca Izzo and Eleonora Palma – Anna Alfonsi and Monica Pasquino
In this interview, Anna Alfonsi and Monica Pasquino ask Francesca Izzo and Eleonora Palma to delve deeper into their positions on the connection between rights, self-determination and the political representation of women. While Izzo prefers to speak of self-determination (which simultaneously evokes freedom and responsibility) rather than of rights (which, in the discourse of law, always refer to a neuter, i.e. male, subject), Palma appeals to the language of rights because, according to her, the concept of self-determination has not found any concrete application or juridical recognition. Subsequently, they both discuss the need to introduce anti-discrimination rules in order to solve the problem of women’s representation in the institutions – going beyond the so-called “pink quotas” – and reflect on the distance between the freedom perceived by women and the conditions in which it is actually exercised.
Enhance the talent of women and “remain serious”. An interview with Mariella Gramaglia – Maria Antonietta Passarelli and Laura Talarico
Laura Talarico and Maria Antonietta Passarelli ask Mariella Gramaglia to expand on some issues she pointed out in her speech during the round table: from the conviction, particularly widespread among young women, that they do not have any rights, to the preoccupation for a more general loss of the ability on the part of women to act collectively as a political subject. Gramaglia suggests that we should aim once again to enhance the talent of women, of that infinity of girls who are not represented in the current imaginary and who need to put their intelligence to the test.
Hypatia’s temptation – Fabrizia Giuliani
Taking her cue from Gramaglia’s exhortation to focus on the mind of women, Fabrizia Giuliani ponders the risks inherent in the opposition of mind and body, and points out that the strength of feminist reflection lies in the ability to resist “Hypatia’s temptation”: the ability not to give in to the blackmail implied in that split and uphold the inseparability of body and mind in the affirmation of feminine difference and women’s “coming to freedom”.
“I had never seen one in person”. An interview with Annamaria Tagliavini and Flavia Rossi – Sara De Simone and Francesca Rinaldi
Annamaria Tagliavini and Flavia Rossi answer Sara De Simone e Francesca Rinaldi’s questions on the representation of the female body in the media, revealing radically opposed positions. Tagliavini, who belongs to the generation of “historical feminists”, maintains that the mechanism which enables women to gain access to power through seduction is not the result of a path of emancipation but the umpteenth form of subordination experienced by women. On the contrary, Rossi affirms that she herself once went for a screen test – pointing out that for this reason, during the round table, she heard somebody exclaim “I had never seen one in person” – and suggests avoiding simplifications and easy moralism in order to look for the economic reasons behind the choices of women who work in television – women we should recognise as subjects (and not only as objects).
Crystal women: female body, occupation and detention. Silvia Giacomini tells about her experience to Sara Martelli
Silvia Giacomini talks about her experience in the women’s section of Rebibbia prison with the association Ora d’Aria, demonstrating how the prison institution, which has always been a male institution, is totally inappropriate for the needs of women. Giacomini relates the reflections of women prisoners on “crystal women”, i.e. the women represented in the media, starting from the awareness of the unbridgeable distance that separates them.
We want also (concrete) things. The experience of a video-survey carried out with the Laboratorio – Sara De Simone
Sara De Simone relates how the idea to carry out the video-survey Di questa donna e delle altre was born. This thirty-minute documentary, projected during the round table, gathers the reflections of different women, all answering the same question: “what do you think about the way in which the image of women is currently represented Italy?”. In her article, De Simone reflects on the different points of view emerged during her interviews with over twenty women: women from the show business, Burlesque and Body Art performers, as well as workers, students, and shopkeepers. A vast and contradictory picture, unexpectedly offering many common articulations and conclusions which, according to the author, it would be very important to analyse.
Four photographs of women: why they can or can’t be found in the Italian press – Simona Filippini
Simona Filippini, a photographer and photo-reporter, comments on some images representing women’s faces and bodies, explaining why some of them – stereotypical images aimed to please an external, often male, gaze – are widely displayed by the media, while others – those which correspond to the image women would like to show of themselves – haven’t found a place in the daily papers nor in the so-called feminine periodicals.
Non-conclusive remarks: Knotting again the threads and planning the future – Sara Marini and Monica Pasquino
In these “non-conclusive remarks”, Sara Marini and Monica Pasquino try to convey the multiplicity of viewpoints emerged not only during the round table but also in subsequent discussions among the women of the Laboratorio. These are not real conclusions – the debate is still open – but an attempt to “knot again the threads” in order to “plan the future”.
Intersections of racism and sexism in contemporary Italy. A critical cartography of recent feminist debates – Chiara Bonfiglioli
In this article, recently published on the English review darkmatter, Chiara Bonfiglioli examines the way in which the current representations of female bodies have become a key signifier of contemporary racist and essentialist discourses, offering a map of grassroots movements fighting against the intersection of these power systems.
Female beauty practices - Cinzia Greco
A nexus of implicit obligations that influence women’s daily routines and demand an expenditure of energy, time and money. Oriented to the modification of female body, those practices could be considered an important aspect of the construction of gender. The research here presented had the purpose to inquire into the way those social demands are lived and which strategies of resistance women use. The research consists of 16 deep interviews with women aged between 20 and 65, and of two different moments of participant observation, the first conducted in a gym, the second participating to the activities of the feminist group Pachamama, of Ferrara. The analysis of the data indicates how the relationship with the practices is complex and how the interviewed, even if they accept to perform a large number of these activities, use behaviours and discursive constructions that can reduce the value of the practices