Two protest marches took place this weekend in Italy, one in Milan where fifty thousand women were marching to keep the current Italian abortion laws intact, and one in Rome where people were marching for the legalization of of same-sex civil unions. The opposition (the Italian wingnuts if you will) was not happy:
"These demonstrators are really nauseating," Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli, a member of the right-wing Northern League, was quoted as saying by the Italian news agency ANSA. "Family is a serious thing, based on love between a man and a woman."
Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione, who is close to the Vatican, told reporters that people's energy should be spent on pro-family efforts like finding jobs and housing.
"These are the political problems you should put the spotlight on, because without children, Italy dies," Buttiglione said.
Right-o. Let's just force women to have more children. Let's not ask them why they have so few. Let's not learn that Italy has changed and most women now must hold a paid job but that most Italian men have not changed. They still largely don't lift a finger at home. And mothers get mommytracked in no time at all. How many children would you have if it meant not just a double work shift but a triple one, and maybe even a lower salary?
This is one of the topics that truly pushes my buttons: the idea that women either don't have "enough" children (in Italy) or "too many" (in India), and that they will be made to do the right thing for the society. Never mind what the women themselves think. They don't count, except as instruments for bearing children, preferably sons.