ThisWeekSoFar: The First Italian Woman in Space & Violence Against Women

violence against women street harassment

Hello everybody!
In two days December starts, the classes finish, the Christmas decorations are taken out of their boxes. Are you ready? Did you manage to create a Christmas list with all the presents? I’m working on it. Anyway, this post is not about December, but what has happened this week in Italy and in the world.

First of all, 24 november: Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian woman in space!

Her expedition “Futura 42” departed 5 days ago to reach the International Space Station, she speaks 5 languages, has studied abroad and struck the competition of thousands of candidates. Amazing eh? Well, a huge number of Italians didn’t think like that: on the web comments from “what’s all this attention, it’s a work like another”, “what is she doing so eroic? there are more important things to resolve”, “how many people would eat with the money of this mission” to “damn she’s horrible!”, “she’s not a woman, she looks like a man!” were everywhere.

The departure was transmitted just by a single channel. In the others? movies, tv series, etc. After some minutes, the attention passed to, of course, a football match. In the newspapers, no special mention. An historical event completely ignored because, hey, there’s Milan – Inter. Meanwhile, a lot of foreign tv channels were transmitting live and cheering for her. I cannot believe how sad all this was.

25 november: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

This is a massive topic. In Italy every day at the news minimum one woman is declared murdered by her ex or boyfriend. Men that refuse to be left, men that refuse that she can have a life, and maybe another love, apart from them. Or men – and this is so much less discussed – that beat up their partners or children to feel powerful. The problem is also that statistically half the women murdered had reported their partners. Totally defenseless.

But violence can be more “subtle”, it can be also verbal or psychological.
I remember walking down the street in Lima 6 years ago (I was 15), when I was there on vacation, and do not be left alone between whistles, comments and “compliments”. In Tallinn, I was chased by a drunk Estonian on a desert street and really feared for my life. The awareness that I could never walk alone or take a taxi on the street accompanies me everywhere.  To remain in Verona, the comments and looks that girls receive every day in via XX Settembre, all the runnings that my friends do to go home when it’s dark, the fear of constant danger.

Precisely in Lima was launched few days ago the campaign “Silbale a tu madre” with Natalia Malaga against verbal street harassment: mums of catcallers were “transformed”, with new hair, clothes and makeup, to look younger, and passed in front of their sons, that inevitably catcall them. The reaction of the mums, realizing that what they were told was true, and the stupid excuses the sons gave, is priceless. Just watch it.

 About street harassment and sexual assault, I will leave the word to this video by Rosianna Halse Rojas, a lovely youtuber and also the personal assistant of John Green.

About bad relationships, check out this video by BeautyCrush.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to follow me on my other social media, the links are in the sidebar! :)


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