We gladly receive and publish Raffaele Lauro’s contribution:
MARCH 8, 2021. THE MASCHILIST AND SEXIST PREJUDICE IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY, IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY AND IN POLITICS. WHEN A WOMAN PREMIER IN OUR COUNTRY?
1. THE MALE AND SEXIST PREJUDICE IN HISTORY
The male chauvinist and sexist prejudice, with a few very rare exceptions, moreover passed off as a contingent matriarchal phenomenon, dominates the whole history of humanity, the different civilizations of the origins, none excluded, along the span of centuries, pre and post Christians, in the East and in the West. It is not surprising, therefore, that no sociologist of politics has explored the complex cultural, religious and economic reasons, even physiological ones, which have consecrated and legitimized the male chauvinist ostracism towards women, in the seizure and exercise of power, in the government of peoples and states. Without going too far, it would be enough to reread, in this perspective, the history of the republic and the Roman Empire, the Christian Middle Ages, the absolute monarchies, modern and contemporary history, totalitarian, communist and fascist regimes, and even constitutional monarchies. and parliamentary democracies.
Women were condemned to be handmaids, lovers, courtesans, nuns, witches, spies and bargaining chips, in dynastic terms and objects of sexual supremacy. Decoration, appendix, frame: le contour du pouvoir! Among the few who have managed, through the Cunning of Reason (List der Vernunft), to conquer and exercise power, none have escaped the stigma of sexist discrimination, with the exception perhaps of Empress Maria Theresa of Habsburg. All have been told by contemporary historians, almost always male chauvinists, as prostitutes, courtesans, whores, manipulators, poisoners and, not infrequently, witches. The agrippine, the messaline, the marie, the elisabette and the caterine, were the sacrificial victims of the same prejudice.
Women, not endowed with the phallic symbol of power, the scepter, and without the masculine attributes to exercise it, because they were judged to be too sensitive, inconstant, hysterical and unable to control their passions, were thus confined to the Indian reservation of the alcove and of the ‘harem, intended only to give pleasure, to procreate and to raise children. Completely unsuitable for politics and leadership responsibilities in public institutions. It is no coincidence that, when you want to emphasize a strong female personality, you use the expression, in vulgar jargon: “That she has the attributes (masculine, of course)”!
2. THE BATTLES OF MILITANT FEMINISM
The same male-dominated prejudice has weighed, and still weighs, in all fields of human activity, in culture, art, science, sport, entertainment, cinema, communication, political parties, professions, management apparatuses, public and private, as well as in the business world.
Those women are well aware of this, who rarely succeeded in breaking down that prejudice and establishing themselves, even if their fatigue was, and continues to be, double, exhausting and daily, victims of marginalization, which has become pathological. An marginalization that invests, in terms of violence, sometimes murderous, and persecution, also other sexual minorities, condemned to hide, to be silent and to live in deception and fear, without the dignity of persons.
They too were victims of the same male-dominated prejudice. This is too broad a topic, to be dealt with briefly, but which violates constitutional principles and constitutionally guaranteed rights. It must be recognized, however, that often the battles of militant feminism, radicalized and ideologized, especially on the left, have done more harm than good to the cause of respect for the human person, regardless of the differences of sex, race, language or religion.
3. ART. 3 OF THE CONSTITUTION: THE PRINCIPLE OF EQUALITY INAPPLICATED
Many principles of the republican constitution of 1948, on which the dying Italian parliamentary democracy is based, have remained unactivated in ordinary legislation. The principle of equality, enshrined in art. 3, was the most unenforceable of all. Anti-feminine discrimination persists in our legal system and in current legislation, in the field of criminal and civil law, in social assistance, in work and in welfare. And not only.
The roots of these delays are to be attributed, first of all, to a cultural backwardness and to the selection-composition of the ruling classes of political parties, none excluded, of the first, second and third republics, on the right, in the center and on the left, with particular evidence in the communist, post-communist and now para-communist parties. All dominated by that ancient male-dominated prejudice that has often struggled to accept a woman as a minister, as an ambassador or as a prefect of the Republic, and who celebrated, with excessive emphasis (alibi or a reflection of guilt?), rise of a woman to the top of the Constitutional Court. When that should be the norm, not the exception, to be hailed hypocritically as a kind of victory.
Accomplice, of course, was also a press, which was also beset by often prejudice. It is not surprising, therefore, that the mere idea that a woman can become president of the Republic or premier disturbs the dreams of many political leaders, facade democrats or consummate hypocrites, who exercise, in a fluctuating way, depending on political affiliations, for express solidarity with the victims of that prejudice, sometimes paid for with life itself.
And not even the Draghi government has escaped this conditioning, as evidenced by the composition of its cabinet and the reactions of the female component in the majority parties, in particular in the democratic party, cause and effect at the same time of the ongoing labor in that party
4. ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE
Yet, since the Second World War, in some democracies, prominent politicians have reached the top of governments, such as Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel, to name the most significant, who have shown foresight, ability, firmness and determination. in the exercise of power. In Italy, on the contrary, despite the overt constitutional principles, no woman has ever been charged with forming a new government, with the consequence that ordinary legislation, especially that on social and welfare matters, has fallen behind the constitution, when not it comes to be discriminatory and persecutory towards working women.
The most devastating effect of this atavistic backwardness of the order and of our common life is recorded, daily, even in the political battle, with macho and sexist expressions, mocking and gratuitous, aimed at women engaged in public life. And we are not referring only to the “web sewer”, where anti-feminine foul language has exceeded all levels of guard and threatens the very survival of this instrument of direct democracy and freedom. It concerns politics itself, in which the male-dominated and sexist prejudice is often associated with the pseudo-ideological one, of fascist or communist origin, as in the deplorable cases of Boldrini and Meloni.
It is no longer enough to express hairy solidarity, almost ritual, which absolves no one. For those who have always been “on the side of women”, there is only one remedy for this democratic gap: to apply constitutional principles, before our democratic republic, already tired, limping and in ambush, is not definitively overwhelmed by a virus yet more lethal than the one that has been troubling the world for a year. A good start could be to elect a woman to the presidency of the republic or, with the help of the polls, to lead the government, a woman prime minister!