3 August 2022

Worker yes. Minister no. Woman neither

If there is one thing Italian politicians all agree on, it is the erasure of women, starting with language. While the 'progressive' left erases us with asterisks and schwa -fake-inclusive language that returns everything to the masculine- the right refuses to use the feminine for women of authority in institutions. But words are important because they make reality
Please be aware that the translation of contents, although automatic, has a cost to Feminist Post but is provided to you without any charge. Please consider making a contribution via the "Support us" page if you intend to use our translation service intensively.
The contents of this site are translated using automatic translation systems without the intervention of professional translators.
Translations are provided for the sole purpose of facilitating reading by international visitors.
Share this article

Incredibly -and with a secret vote, wickedly conceded by President Casellati- a few days ago, the Senate rejected the Maiorino amendment authorising women in the institutions to be called by their names. This is an issue of profound political importance.


There are many poets over the centuries who have made use of poetic licences, i.e. intentional grammatical, metrical and syntactic errors with the intention of emphasising a concept or altering the sonority of the composition. On 27 July 2022 in Palazzo Madama it was decided that institutions will also make use of a licence: the official language of the Senate Rules of Procedure may not use the Italian language correctly. Also women, who according to every dictionary and the Accademia della Crusca should be senators and ministers, will instead be senators and ministers. Or rather, will be deleted in the masculine passed off as neuter, in defiance of grammar.

The decision was sanctioned by 60 votes against, 16 abstentions and 152 votes in favour, a vote held by secret ballot at the behest of the right-wing parties. According to statements made following the outcome of the ballot, it is clear that It was the right-wing parties, in particular Fratelli d'Italia, that opposed the amendment promoted by Senator Alessandra Maiorino, a Pentastellata.

In 1934, the 'Thinking and Language', considered the masterpiece of L.S. Vygotsky, Soviet psychologist and pedagogue. According to the scholar, the development of an individual's psyche is influenced by the social context and the historical period in which they find themselves, and consequently by culture and language, quoting: "The most important fact, discovered through the genetic study of thought and language, is that their relationship undergoes many changes. Progress in thought and progress in language are not parallel. Their two development curves cross several times'..

Eminent scholars, such as B. Skinner, J. Piaget, J. Bruner and many others, have analysed the link between thought and language, expanding and deepening the same thesis: language and thought influence each other and are never independent of each other.

It is therefore no coincidence that the feminine, in the definition of a profession, only becomes an issue when it comes to professions considered to be of authority or prestige. That is why, despite having the same ending, we can have waiter and waitress, nurse and nurse but not engineer and engineer. Similarly, we can go to a tailor or seamstress, but to most people it is cacophonous lawyer instead of advocate, arbitra instead of arbitrator: medico can apply to a person, while medica can only apply to inanimate objects, such as a car. No exception can be made for terms such as rector/rector, director/director, minister/minister, senator/senator. The language is a product of current culture, and also in it we expresses patriarchal thinking: the places and professions of authority as well as those considered most prestigious must be male.

It is no coincidence that more and more often in the world, politicians hesitate to answer the question "what is a woman?"a word that is becoming almost taboo, but which is instead perfectly capable of recognising women when there is an opportunity to invisibilise them, erase them from language and culture and finally exploit them by virtue of their gender.

To the voters, however, I pose a question: it is acceptable for a political party to refuse to recognise the identity of the 52% of the population, going so far as to pretend to ignore grammar and the difference between grammatical gender and semantic gender?

There is also another side of the coin: those in parliament who are indignant about the non-approval of the Maiorino decree, but on the other hand sympathise with the self-id that empties the feminine of its biological identity. Parties who would gladly open up to an 'inclusive' language to such an extent as to erase the very definition of 'woman', to make it a vague idea conceived by male minds.

Valentina Aquenne

Still on the subject of language, a podcast by Claudia Arletti for La Repubblica.


Much of the news published by Feminist Post you will not read elsewhere. That is why it is important to support us, even with a small contribution: Feminist Post is produced solely by the voluntary work of many people and has no funding.
If you think our work can be useful for your life, we will be grateful for even the smallest contribution.

You can give us your contribution by clicking here: Patreon - Feminist Post
   - or -
You can send to: ASSOCIAZIONE CULTURALE BLU BRAMANTE
Obligatory reason: FEMINIST POST
IBAN: IT80C0200812914000104838541
You might also be interested in
26 November 2022
Citizenship Income Reform: taking sexual difference into account
The employment situation and wage levels of women -with strong regional variability- are very different between women and men. This was also the case for income, which also had a positive effect on the birth rate. This is why changing the institution requires a careful assessment of the so-called 'gender impact': an 'equal' reform could have unequal effects according to gender
The need for a citizenship income reform is now recognised across the board, albeit with different approaches and solutions. The Meloni government has presented its plan in progress. But the consideration of what is called the 'gender impact' -that is, the evaluation of the effects of the reform on women- still seems insufficient, generally underestimated by analyses. In a social situation and in a labour market like the Italian one, where women are strongly disadvantaged both in [...]
Read now
21 November 2022
Prostitution 'clients' know full well that they are committing violence
Research on sex buyers shows that men are fully aware that prostitution is violence, that criminal organisations keep women in fear and that there is no 'regulation' that holds. But they only stop if they risk a criminal conviction, as is the case in Sweden, Norway, Canada, France, Ireland, Israel and other countries that have introduced the abolitionist model. Otherwise, they continue to consider date rape as their right
by Julie Bindel Germany is known as the brothel of Europe. It is a hard-won title. With more than 3,000 brothels across the country, and 500 in Berlin alone, its sex trade is worth more than £11 billion a year. Prostitution, in all its forms, has been legal in Germany since the end of World War II. Recently, however, attitudes are changing. People and politicians are asking the government to take notice of the so-called 'pimp state' and [...]
Read now
11 November 2022
Iranian Beauty
In Iran, female beauty becomes the lever of a real revolution: nothing like the mortification-commodification of bodies that is propagated as freedom in the West. The struggle to be able to be a woman reveals the'hypocrisy of the queer
It is now almost two months since the Iranian girls' revolt against the veil began, an irrepressible wave that every day produces new images, new content, a breath of fresh air compared to certain narratives about women in the Islamic world, but also a mirror that reveals how much of an artefact there is behind so many politically correct watchwords of intersectional feminism or transfeminism. First, the veil is not a free choice, nor is that feminist empowerment about which we have been bombarded by [...]
Read now
7 November 2022
Belgium, new feminicide law. To be studied
In Europe, male violence is the leading cause of death for women between the ages of 16 and 44. Belgium equips itself with a new law that for the first time legally defines feminicides in order to develop policies based on official statistics. Keeping in mind that violence is a device of male domination
Stop the slaughter of women. This is the meaning of the new 'law on the prevention of and fight against feminicides, gender-based crimes and the violence that precedes them' adopted at first reading in the Council of Ministers on 25 October in Belgium. Deposed by the Secretary of State for Gender Equality, Sarah Schlitz (Ecolo/Verdi), the framework law for the first time legally defines feminicides in order to develop combat policies based on official statistics. And in [...]
Read now
29 October 2022
The name of the premier
Giorgia Meloni is not a feminist. Her history is not this. She has not shared in the long battles over language, over declension into the feminine instead of the neuter-masculine. But language today is a battleground that structures the most important political issues. And it deserves further reflection on her part
Giorgia Meloni is not a feminist. That is not her story. No woman on the right or centre-right who has held important political office, from Thatcher to Merkel, has ever called herself a feminist. Hence the non-sensitivity to the feminine declination of office, to which feminism instead attaches importance. Even if Angela Merkel at the end of her long chancellorship, during a meeting with the writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, agreed to call herself a feminist. According to Alice Schwarzer, founder of the [...]
Read now
16 October 2022
The symbolic is political
Giorgia Meloni's 'no' to Silvio Berlusconi's wishes has been described as a nemesis: a young woman who sinks the old leader -'dragon devourer of virgins' defined him as the 'ex-wife' - and does not shy away from friends and foes alike. An unexpected twist in our misogynistic politics. Although the future premier has never called herself a feminist
Pompous, overbearing, arrogant and insulting. And she shortly replies that she is not to be blackmailed. In short, to paraphrase another famous exchange, 'not at disposal'. The major newspapers have already spoken of nemesis. The Cavaliere put under by a woman much younger than him, Giorgia Meloni, who at 45 could be the first to lead a government in Italy: hard accounts with her father, after all, are part of her biography. On the opposite front, the [...]
Read now
1 2 3 ... 19