Tickets to friends: «United to fight injustice and patriarchy». The extract from Francesca Michielin

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One of the most evocative images he uses Corinna De Cesare to tell about your commitment in the newsletter The Period and book Tickets for friends, published by Fabbri Editori, is that of the subway. «When we enter the subway and sit next to a man, if he spreads his legs to us, it is instinctive to squeeze us, to make us smaller. The same thing happens in everyday life ”, explains De Cesare, journalist and activist who, thanks to The Period, which with its 12 thousand subscribers is one of the most followed newsletters in Italy, is trying to tackle several issues of great urgency that the traditional media do not talk about. The reason is simple: “The media have a patriarchal gaze on facts and reality. The Global Media Monitoring Project says that around the world that women who are interviewed as experts only barely 24%. They talk about us when they kill us or try to kill us; when we belong to the entertainment world or if we have a kinship with important men. We are rarely called to intervene in the public debate as ourselves ».

Giorgia Tullio
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Within the pieces collected in Tickets for friends and already appeared in The Period by talented journalists and activists such as Carlotta VagnoliIlaria Gaspari, Stella Pulpo, Federica Venni and Melissa Panarello – “These are the items that I wanted so much to read when I was a girl”, says Corinna De Cesare -, the objective of the operation is simple: unite all together, women and men, against injustice. One of the stereotypes that weighs on the shoulders of feminism is, in fact, the one that sees the debate as pertaining only to women and not to men. «Males must be our best allies: we must try to involve them. The attention has shifted to the attempt to join forces to arrive at justice ”, insists De Cesare who adds, in fact, that it is often women who keep within themselves an internalized sexism that they do not realize. A real change, according to the author, will, however, be very long: «Newspapers must be aware of the importance of language. The errors of 30 years ago are still present today, and this is not acceptable, mostly because stereotypes make us feel all too comfortable. However, it is necessary to dismantle them in order to live a more equitable life ».

Vanity Fair proposes below the preface of Tickets to girls written by Francesca Michielin, which De Cesare defines as follows: «It is a very beautiful preface that tells a lot about what happens to us every day. With Francesca suggesting that we reclaim our place in the world and make room for it: we owe it to ourselves “.

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Ever since I was (more) young, I have felt that the space was tight.
And again, I felt that the space, in addition to being narrow, was “granted” to me.

I was almost occupying it because I had been given a special permit, an exemption, whether it was a reward or, worse, a favor.
I lived feeling ashamed of how cumbersome my words, my ideas, my taking part in “men’s things” could be, playing with them, like them, perhaps better, perhaps worse.

I felt the pressure of error pressing on my cervicals, the ideal of perfection amplifying the anxiety stuck punctually in the middle of my chest.
I felt guilty to shine, to live, those rare times, on the top of a mountain, where you can look at your colleagues from above but where the wind blows harder, and it’s colder. And for some it was (yes, some, multiple masculine) it was unfortunate that I rejoiced in a bright moment, because “watch it go by soon”, because “look, next time without me you can’t do it” and the possibility , I stress, rare to have a place high up in the hierarchy seemed to be an embezzlement, or fortuitous. Because having power for a woman has never been a neutral concept. Rather, it is a moment that has always been steeped in value meanings, in which the woman herself is never a person, a person in all respects, made up of dreams, defects, ambitions, merits: being a woman is a role, a task, a status, and this status women never decide. It is the males who decide.

The woman is the one who must do, do by virtue of. But what the woman wants to be, proud of her in her complexity, is not granted to her.

Every so often, indeed often, I think that I would just like to exist as myself. Present to myself without reserve. And do everything they do too, make choices with the same serenity, perform actions with the same effort, dress as I please, walk the street in the evening without anguish, live as they live: flying without a weight attached to the foot as has happened to us since the dawn of time.

I wish my body wasn’t constantly sexualized because I choose a skirt instead of a sweatpants, or mortified if I choose a sweatpants instead of a skirt; I would not be told that I am sloppy or that “I look sick” if I don’t want to wear makeup, a “whore” or a “bona” ​​if I like to wear makeup and, why not, put on a bright red lipstick. I would like not to be pestered if I wear a top with a neckline, not to be called an “educator” if I wear a shirt buttoned up to the neck. Because the question is always the same: why should my expressing myself satisfy the taste of the males, receive their approval, satisfy them? Why must the way of expressing myself through my body become, even here, values? And of value, moreover, to the extent that men, with my body, can potentially do something about it?

I would like to live following the flow of my body, which is nothing simpler and more precious than a body. If I wake up swollen, that sucks, I know, but never mind. If I’m fat, amen. Because being fat is not an insult. I would also like to lose weight maybe, but because I want it. Not because they make me feel wrong.

Every now and then I feel the need to neutralize myself, almost. I would hope that no one would understand that I have a vagina and I have breasts.
“What is your name?”

“Michielin” and that’s it. Without saying Francesca.
I have a brother named Filippo. He signs himself by signing FM. I do it too, because in this way I am equal to him. Which is a man.
But then I look in the mirror, and I think my reflection is judging me too. After all, he does nothing but show me something so powerfully symbolic that it is defined, in dictionaries, as the opposite of “war”: a woman.

Let’s think about how damned disgusting language is still. How limited it is but, above all, limiting.
Because speaking so badly makes us think badly. And viceversa.

We, “warrior princesses”, mothers, girlfriends of companions, female scientists, teachers (those of elementary school? , but don’t you say a woman footballer? Spoiler: no).

The woman is always a woman, she is a parent, nurse, sister, aunt, and we are told that she is a value, a positive thing, as if she were responding to what she is naturally suited to.

What about the woman who doesn’t want children? “A selfish.”

We claim our surnames, we claim our appointment with history. We claim the memory. A place in the world like males.

And when this place arrives, this space is occupied, the agony is not over:
“It’s only there for the pink odds.”
“How lucky you are.”

“What a kick in the ass.”
“Who did he give it to?”
“You’re good for being a woman.”
“And when she has children she will surely drop everything.”

But maybe, maybe, the phrases were just these. Often they are thinner, more treacherous, and they settle there, in the bottom of the brain, like the sand of the beach of the last beach vacation, which you think you have completely eliminated from your backpack, but it is still there, getting stuck. And it is a small, insignificant, but constantly present annoyance.
You don’t give too much weight, you get used to that sand. But no, you have to wash everything away, even the apparently most innocent belief.
Revolutionizing one’s way of speaking to also revolutionize what we think, in a daily exercise of change.
Because change is a constant practice. It’s necessary.

For two thousand years things have turned in a certain way, but not on all fronts, and not everyone thinks so. We are (ill) healthy carriers of patriarchy, some more, some less, and now that awareness has come, the time has come to vaccinate.

And then let’s start talking more about it. Always talking about it. Like in this book.

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