This article is published in number 9 of Vanity Fair on newsstands until March 2, 2021
Exactly five years ago, when I was appointed director of Raitre, I received many sexist insults, on social media and in some newspapers. So many that I do first to remember the messages of solidarity, which were not many, but among the few I remember well the public one of Michela Murgia. Of course the insults didn’t please me, but I decided to ignore them. I didn’t even answer when, about three months later, I took off the wig and discovered the hair that was growing back after the chemotherapy just finished: there they insulted me even more vulgarly, convinced that with that gray hair I wanted to give me a tone.
They all seemed so foolish to me that I thought that answering would only give him satisfaction. And then I felt a little sorry for them. Five years have passed since then and things have changed. Journalists, professionals, all women, have broken the boxes. In Italia Selvaggia Lucarelli and Laura Boldrini have begun to report and sue the haters by disseminating names and surnames. Now Marianna Aprile has decided to do the same, but without spreading the names of those who insult. An ebook has just been released called #STAIZITTA Journalist! by Silvia Garambois and Paola Rizzi: Fromhate speech to zoombombing, when words gag. Shut up (and nine other phrases we don’t want to hear anymore) it is also the title of Michela Murgia’s book to be released by Einaudi.
If Giorgia Meloni is insulted today and rightly expresses solidarity from all sides, it is also thanks to them, and to a lot of other women who are putting their face on it, from Chiara Valerio to Carlotta Vagnoli, from Giulia Blasi to Chiara Tagliaferri, to Annalisa Cuzzocrea and many others. If I think back to five years ago, to the climate of then and to that of today (the train of MeToo) I realize that responding and reporting sexist and misogynistic attacks is sacrosanct, and that especially for those who have more strength and visibility it is a must, even if it is a nuisance and a great waste of time. It must be done for those who are not equipped, for the Tiziane Cantone who commit suicide, for all the people – women and men – who believe that keeping quiet and suffering – personal attacks, sexist insults, small and large violence – is the only possible choice. .
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