Thursday, March 07, 2019

In Southern Italy, The Far-Right League Celebrates The International Women's Day...

To honor the International Women's Day, the Italian far-right league in Southern Italy has published a pamphlet with this message:

It was intended to be a dedication to women, but the pamphlet instead takes aim at those who “offend women’s dignity” by impeding their “natural role” of “supporting life and the family”.
It contains a list of six ways in which it says what it calls the natural role of women is harmed, including by “those who claim self-determination that arouses rancorous attitudes towards men” or who support laws that would allow same-sex couples to declare themselves as a child’s parents on some official forms.
The leaflet ends with a message saying that women have “a great social mission to fulfil in regards the survival of our nation”.
Members of the opposition centre-left Democratic party said the flyer “aimed to take women back to the Middle Ages”.

My translation:

The "natural" role of women is to give birth to lots of children for the new Reich, to serve as house-keepers and sexual partners,  and to obey the commands and wishes of their husbands and fathers.

This is hilarious.  The European far right's number one enemy consists of migrants and refugees, a large percentage of whom are Muslim.  One of the main arguments the far right, in general,  employs in opposing Muslim immigration is to point out the oppression of women inside Islam, especially in the teachings of petro-Islam which has become more common in European mosques because of Saudi financing.

Yet the innermost core of their own views about women is almost identical, even if in practice they would allow women a little more freedom*!

The leader of that far-right movement did try to distance himself from the pamphlet's message:

Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League and deputy prime minister, distanced himself, saying he did not support the content. “I’m working for equal dignity between men and women and between fathers and mothers,” he said.

There's that "dignity" code-word again!  The Catholic Church uses it when talking about its treatment of women.  Women should be allowed to keep their dignity!  Whatever the term might mean**, it does not mean equal opportunities for (or equal treatment of) men and women.


*I have never been able to make logical sense out of the odd political bedfellows our current era contains. 

For instance, the patriarchs of the right share many of the values of the patriarchs of the Islamic right, and that should make them into bedfellows, right?

But instead of that they fight each other.  Because only one group of men can stand on top of the power ladders and have access to all the society's resources, including the bodies of its women? 

At the same time, the left, including the feminist left,  traditionally seen as the supporters of human rights of all types,  should not be in bed with those ideologies which openly advocate fewer rights for women than men, right?

But sometimes that is exactly what happens:  When criticizing specific sexist practices would appear to give support to those who harbor and disseminate anti-Muslim bigotry, or when it could be interpreted as "white saviorism" or colonial oppression, then women's rights tend to lose.

** Play with the word a little and you will find that it can be applied when something is quite unfair. Say someone believes that no woman can do higher mathematics.  That someone could then argue that letting women even try strips them of their dignity as they would falter and fail and look ridiculous.