“Something to Remember as We Go Forward: Don’t Be Afraid.”

When I started thinking of a project about what being women today means, I wondered why this topic was so important to me. I’ve spent all my life over-analyzing myself and the world around me, so I guess this is the reason behind all this. I still don’t know exactly what got me started but one of my strongest features – the sense of (moral) duty – has surely had a part in it. As a teacher and as a mother, I have felt the urgency to show women can’t be closed into a box and labelled and can’t be forced to accept the roles society wants to shove down their throats, just according to what has happened for centuries.

I often think my parental role is even tougher, when I see the female role models children can turn to, but – thank God – the world is not inhabited by beauty queens, top models, fashion bloggers and bimbos only. I’m always overjoyed when I realize independent, smart, witty and straightforward girls exist, and I wish B will turn to them (and hopefully be one of them) when she is in the middle of a teenage personality crisis. Today, You’ve Got No Reason Not to Fight features Margherita Ferrari, a talented writer, soon-to-be sociologist and co-founder of Soft Revolution [1].

In this picture, Margherita was planting some tomatoes in a traffic circle in Vicenza
(she’s part of a guerrilla gardening group, Santa Allenza dei Guerriglieri Verdi).

* What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Ending up doing a job that I don’t like at all and the thought of losing all my relatives.

* What is your idea of earthly happiness?
A vegetable garden during summertime.

* Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Matilda from the eponymous novel by Roald Dahl and Enid from Ghost World.

*Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Simone de Beauvoir, Nancy Garden and Carrie Brownstein.

* What is your most vivid memory of the 90s (from music, fashion, politics, culture)?
Uhm… probably the Spice Girls. I also remember when Silvio Berlusconi was elected Prime Minister for the first time because my grandmother had told me that he was very good and reliable man who loved children, so I kind of liked him.

* What does “feminism” mean to you?
It means deconstructing gender stereotypes.

* Have you ever given an active contribution to the feminist cause?
I don’t know if I have, but I was trying to do it when I co-founded Soft Revolution.

* Have you ever experienced sexism?
Yes, I have. For exemple, when I was sixteen my blog was haunted by trolls who claimed I was actually a man in his thirties. They didn’t believe that a girl could have been able to write those posts they enjoyed so much.
Having attended catholic schools for most of my youth, I’ve also experienced the twisted sexism of nuns. They really enjoyed reminding us girls that we were sinful creatures and that God was going to punish our lustful behaviours with STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

* The quality you most admire in a man?
Humour.

* The quality you most admire in a woman?
Humour.

* What is your motto?
I don’t have one.

* What is the object that represents you most?
My books, my computer and my rusty bicycle.

* Who would you have liked to be?
I’m quite happy with who I am but sometimes I wonder if I shoud have studied agronomy instead of sociology.

* Could you put your identity into a few key words?
I don’t believe in the concept of identity.

* How do you imagine your identity changing in ten years? Or twenty?
As said above, I don’t believe in the concept of identity, but in the future I hope to become wiser. I’m also working on becoming a better writer and good sociologist.

I started reading Margherita’s blog when she was a high school student and I’ve been reading it since then, not only because it’s beautifully written, but also because I can totally relate to some loneliness/inadequacy issues she’s been dealing with as a teenager and as a young woman. For this reason, I’m very grateful she accepted to give her contribution to my project: she proves I should stop envisioning a negative future for Italian society, as long as girls like her will keep on speaking their minds and fight to crush narrow-mindedness and sexism.

[1] This is probably the most interesting Italian all-girl zine I know, dealing with issues like self-perception, how women are depicted by the media (I particularly love this one), mass culture, sex and politics.

4 comments

  1. Margherita! I remember I used to read her blog ages ago, then I lost track of her. It’s wonderful to find her again on your blog! I have lots of catching up to do now!

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