You Want to Live the Dream? You Do What You Want on Your Terms

It’s been a while since I last published a questionary for “You’ve Got No Reason Not to Fight”. Some months have passed and things seem to have gone totally wrong for women in my country: just think that more than 60 women have been killed since the beginning of 2012. Our society is going through a very hard time: economic and social crisis, political instability, hatred against women and feminicide are the main features of a historical period in which everything actually goes wrong. I’m 38 but I often feel my life has no direction, and I can only imagine how other women and younger generations feel. I’ve never wanted to live a ready-made life, but I think hope in a better future is what keeps lots of people going; if this hope is wiped away, for some reason or another, nothing remains, and this is the thing I’m fearing the most at the moment.

Despite such a dark moment, realizing that many other people share the same situation and the same fears makes you feel less lonely and hopeless. I’ve never believed in the concept of sisterhood, because sometimes social differences are stronger than the rest, but I believe in bonding with people (both men and women) who feel the same as I do, who experience the same (job) instability as I do, who just try to make things work and not to lose hope. I get inspired by these people, because they give me a reason to fight and not to give up. Among them, there’s surely Incorporella, the protagonist of today’s questionary, a strong and passionate woman who firmly believes in the power of irony, red lipstick and Courtney Love [1]! I hope you’ll enjoy her words as much as I do.

*What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I suppose not being able to be true. To be myself, no matter what, but pretending, to meet others’ expectations. Especially of the ones who love me. The feeling of anxiety that comes when you’re called to play a perfect role, and you can’t fail, or you’ll disappoint and hurt everybody who believed in you. And being humiliated. I can’t even think of it!

* What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Being surrounded by the smart, funny and caring people I love, no money problems, good music, books and food, and always slightly drunk!

* Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
I’ve always adored Scarlett O’Hara, for her being strong and practical but in some way romantic, fighting for what she thinks is the love of her life. For not caring about the fuss other people make out of her decisions, and for not giving up even when everything seems broken. And also, in later times, Beatrix Kiddo, the Bride, Black Mamba, the heroin played by Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. She too has lost and failed many times, but she can always get up, stand still and win. But without giving up her heart. And I must mention Malena, the role character in Malena es un nombre de tango, a Spanish book written by Almudena Grandes. Malena is a little girl who grows up in a big family, in constant opposition with her sister Reina, the perfect girl. She struggles to find herself, to feel better in spite of always being the outsider. I read it first when I was 17 and it really helped me figure out that the feeling of being constantly inappropriate and wrong simply derived from the non-stop reflection in the wrong mirror. I had to learn the pride of being different.

* Who are your favorite heroines in real life? much space and time do you have? The first one, and always, is Queen Courtney Love. I was a Hole fan before being a Nirvana one, and I remember how frustrating it was when I couldn’t find almost anything about her on our magazines in the early 90s. No posters, few articles, and almost no VHS with Hole videos. I remember one of the happiest days of my life was when I bought a pirate videotape with MTV unplugged and other live concerts. I felt like fainting! Even if the video quality was lousy, I watched it repeatedly, almost every day. She represented another way to be a grrrl. She represented a whole world of opportunities, not to end up as a silent, quiet beauty who waits for a big boy to come and make her life complete. She loved Kurt, but she survived him. She was beautiful and sexy, but in such an original and uncommon way! She was not boring and sweet Winona Ryder… she was rock! And her lyrics really helped me through the years, and they still do. She has such a clear deepness in singing what I need to hear, she needs just a few lines to tell everything that we need to know about death, love, rage, fear, female identity. I also adore Spanish feminist writer Lucia Extebarria, and Almudena Grandes, who I mentioned before, and Vivienne Westwood, who not only is one of my favourite designer ever, but also is a living piece of music history! I adore Marilyn Monroe, and Janis Joplin too, and I see them really close in their apparent strength but inner fragility, and endless talent, and cursed by the killer combo exhibitionism / shiyess. I could go on for hours, because it seems to me a crime not to mention Gwen Stefani, P!nk, Betty Friedan, Lella Costa, Virginia Woolf, Pamela Des Barres, Simone de Beauvoir, but I surely chose the ones who influenced my idea of being a woman the most.

* What is your most vivid memory of the 90s (from music, fashion, politics, culture)?
I have sort of flashing images, that surely include when I found out Kurt was dead, and the streaming of his funeral on MTV, and Courtney saying “Asshole” in a broken voice. Then, me taking the train to go to Milan for Ramones’ concert with a bunch of guys I barely knew. I remember the feeling of pure happiness I had while dying my hair in the strangest colours, and how I felt beautiful, very unusual thing for the teenage me! And I remember the emotion when I bought my first tiara at Claire’s, in London: I still have it, even if it’s all rusty and I can’t wear it anymore. I remember french kissing with my friend Viviana just to “Épater la bourgeoisie”, I remember walking on the streets in a sunny afternoon with flowers in my head screaming “justice for Edo, Sole and Silvano”. I’m not sure, up to now, it was a right cause, but I really felt the death of Sole and Edo as a personal wound. And I remember all those endless summers with England sky above me…

* What does “feminism” mean to you?
I suppose it’s just a consistent part of my education, culture and breeding. And of who I am.

* Have you ever given an active contribution to the feminist cause?
Actually, the closest I came to it it’s when I ruled a theatre class with teenagers and I often ended up talkin’ with the girls about what their parents defined as “contentious issues”, mostly sex and love life in their 13/14. I found out an unbelievable amount of false beliefs and miscomprehension of what “freedom” meant to them. But, actually, I’ve always wished to do something more. I simply have no idea of what I could do, as I’m not particularly talented or skilled in anything!

* Have you ever experienced sexism?
Of course. Is there anyone who never experienced it? Last time, not later than 3 weeks ago, I was with a (female) friend in a payment parking at 2.00 a.m. and we needed to get out. We did pay, but probably the parking ticket had some problems, or got demagnetized, and we couldn’t insert it in the machine to rise the bar. We spent half an hour arguing with the parking boy, who kept covertly saying were stupid, dishonest, or both. He didn’t even check the card. I’m sure if we were two men he would have said something like “No worry, it happens all the time” and just open the damned thing! It was so frustrating. And it does happen in every field of life. No matter how clever, adult and independent you are, you’re always gonna find some dickhead that treats you like a retarded bimbo.

*The quality you most admire in a man?
Empathy. And patience, as I don’t have any.

* The quality you most admire in a woman?
Ironic. And independence.

* What is your motto?
I’ve got like one thousand! I suppose it could be “There’s no crying in baseball”. It’s a quote from the movie A League of Their Own by Penny Marshall. Tom Hanks plays the alcoholic coach who can’t really relate with all those different women, partly because they’re not professional players, but mostly because they’re women. I love it because it’s ironic, and helps me to remember that, whatever happens, I must face it like the strong and smart woman I want to be. And I also love another movie quote, that says “You are more authentic the more you resemble what you’ve dreamed of being”. It’s taken from All about my mother and I find it really inspirational.

* What is the object that represents you most?
Both my red lipstick (I’ve got plenty of them and I wear it daily) and my tattoos. I could be naked but with them on I feel ready to face the world!

* Who would you have liked to be?
It’s not easy to say. I suppose, no one in particular, but surely I would have liked to have some music talent. If I really could choose, I would have been a better version of myself and the greatest female rock star ever!

* Could you put your identity into a few key words?
Erratic, funny, a big drama queen, and often furious. But quite lovable too!

* How do you imagine your identity changing in ten years? Or twenty?
This is pretty hard for me, as I can’t even imagine what/who/how I’ll be in a few months’ time. But I wish I’ll still be dreaming big and chasing the next star, in spite of reaching it or not. And still laughin’, laughin’ a lot, until the day I die.

[1] Please don’t miss the chance to read her awesome blog: it’s witty and insightful, just like her.



    1. You’re welcome!
      I’m so happy you’ve accepted to be part of the project. I love your questionary, so insightful and inspiring!

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