If I had time, I’d like to propose in this blog some reflections about some movies I watch. A couple of examples are “La ragazza del lago” (2007) or “The reader” (2008). Something else imposes me to write.
What happened few days ago in my hometown Florence imposes me to discuss briefly the possible rape against to US young citizens by two police officials (Carabinieri). I spare the details, as they can be retrieved in many newspapers, following the updates. My point is that the English reader might be unaware of some Italian domestic politics and rhetoric about rapes and sexual harassments nowadays. Only few months ago an (almost) young prominent politician – Mrs Debora Serracchiani – pretended to maintain publicly that a rape done by an immigrant is worse than one done by a compatriot. The appalling and astonishing point is that supposedly she belongs to the moderate left party (Partito Democratico), while I can’t see that much about being liberal, progressive or decently human in her position upon the issue of rapes. Quite certainly she said so in order to chase some populisit and proto-fascist public opinion that is spreading in Italy in these times. Nevertheless, her point has no possible defence both legally and morally. By the way, her point was that we the Italians are so nice to welcome the immigrants that the latter should be even more respectful. This declaration dates back May the 12th 2017. This is the text: “La violenza sessuale è un atto odioso e schifoso sempre, ma più inaccettabile quando è compiuto da chi chiede e ottiene accoglienza”. “Sexual harrassment is always an unpleasant and disgusting act, but this is more intolerable when it is perpetrated by some who applied and obtained asylum”. If the rationale is that “the closer and the more you owe and shared, the more disgusting”, why shouldn’t be a former boyfriend or husband more disgusting than an immigrant? What is closer than kinship?! Let’s say what Serracchiani really meant: “let’s use immigrants as goat escapes if some occasion will come around (so guys, you may vote for the Left anyway, come on)”.
I remember a notable Berlusconi-side journalist (Mr. Sallusti) backing Serracchiani’s position affirming that it was about “our women”… He must have a proprietary understating of women and I avoid to comment further. After all one does not expect that much from a Berlusconi-side journalist and Serracchiani’s declaration was already enough. It was pretty enough too that a notable “independent” journalist – Lilli Gruber – backed herself too this position, probably because that was Matteo Renzi’s strategy and I suspect Gruber really appreciates him a lot (I can hear Italians laughing at this sentence; it is pretty clear Gruber likes Renzi). Yet, I remember that day also Paolo Mieli – a notable editorialist for the most read Italian newspaper, an intellectual with a background in history and a career started from extreme left positions in the 60s and 70s – was not contrary to this. This editorialist, who I might have appreciated in other occasions and whose style is that of moderating on behalf of the moderates, cause to me some regurgitation that night.
Today, we face the fact that quite certainly at least some abuses were done by officials. Whilst it is certain that this is an aggravated crime (a police officer shouldn’t “be nice” by means of offering himself as a taxi driver), I am afraid many people will struggle to see that this event is morally aggravated. I am afraid Serracchiani’s words are going to be re-debated and that she is not going to say she was wrong.