We Are Turning Cursive Letters Into Knives

After a couple of weeks of hiatus (in the meantime my blog has been flooded with Christina Aguilera’s style posts, I know that), You’ve Got No Reason Not to Fight is back with a very special questionary. I’ve often explained why Soft Revolution is the best virtual place to speak about feminism right now and the reason is very simple: besides the original and never predictable way in which topics I care about are dealt with, what I think is really special is the tone of the articles. One of the problems I’ve often had with on-line feminism is the better-than-thou, cooler-than-you, I-pretend-to-be-a-loser-but-I-am-not tone, the (accidental) exclusion of some categories of women from a certain subject or the dominance of a certain aesthetic which I don’t really find myself into. I can’t see any of this in Soft Revolution, but, on the contrary, lots of curiosity, wish for learning more and for understanding our society through the lenses of complexity and diversity.

Today’s questionary comes from Valeria, one of the founders of the site: I met her in 2011 (when she interviewed me) and she immediately struck me with her kindness, her interest in my story (I’m such a boring person) and her wit. It’s been a pleasure to have her in this small project of mine: read her questionary and I’m sure you’ll agree with me.

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* What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Insincerity. Pretending to be someone we’re not.

* What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Being with someone I love and laugh, laugh, laugh. I love hearty laughs, and the different inflections of people’s laughs: they make me feel comfortable.

* Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Tough question! Ok, let’s take three of them. Phoebe (Holden Caulfield’s sister), Lisa Simpson, Deloris Van Cartier / Sister Mary Clarence.

* Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
In this moment I’m kinda obsessed with Françoise Mouly.

* What is your most vivid memory of the 90s (from music, fashion, politics, culture)?
As a girl born at the end of the 1980s, I totally experienced the pop scene of the 1990s. If I had to mention an album I worn out in that period I can say Natalie Imbruglia’s first album, Left of the Middle. Other inevitable travel buddies of that decade were overalls, Invicta products and Spielberg’s movies.

* What does “feminism” mean to you?
Feminism for me means freedom to be ourselves and the deconstruction of useless stereotypes based on gender.

* Have you ever given an active contribution to the feminist cause?
Well, with the webzine Soft Revolution Margherita, Marta and I are trying to do our best to fulfill the “cause”, as you call it. I prefer saying that we’re trying to put in motion the brains of people who usually don’t reflect on bad behaviors to the detriment of women, and somehow lead them to understand what’s acceptable and what’s not.

* Have you ever experienced sexism?
Sometimes I have to bear out-of-place jokes while working, yes.

* What are the most important rights women still have to fight for?
Equality in the working environment, safety in their homes and in the streets at night.

* The quality you most admire in a man?
Sense of humour and loyalty.

* The quality you most admire in a woman?
Sense of humour and loyalty.

* What is your motto?
”Be more constructive with your feedback”.

* What is the object that represents you most?
A pair of trousers (I rarely wear skirts) and a whatsoever autobiographical comic book.

* Who would you have liked to be?
Beyoncé, maybe? No, probably Gertrude Stein.

* Could you put your identity into a few key words?
I’m a lone wolf, who loves laughing like a hyena sometimes.

* How do you imagine your identity changing in ten years? Or twenty?
I hope to be a fully realized worker and a good mother.

The beautiful picture Valeria sent me was taken last summer in the comic book section of the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris. I really love it as it perfectly symbolizes Valeria’s passion for comic books (and for books in general). I complimented her on her open-back dress and on her hair, too, because I think they beautifully speak about her personality. Probably there’s no reason to say that, because it’s understood, but Valeria, along with all the other women I’ve featured in You’ve Got No Reason Not to Fight, is an example of how it’s possible not to conform to the rules of a restricting society, to be curious and inquisitive, to push boundaries to achieve one’s own dreams.

[1] The title of the post is from Bloody Ice Cream by Bikini Kill.

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