Where is the Casa delle Donne in Rome going?

'The House we are all' reads the beautiful slogan of the historic enclave in Trastevere. But in that space, which is public and should be open, the#039;agibility is only transfeminist. And after the uncritical support for the Zan ddl -to stop feminicides-, the yes to the 'uterus for rent' and to 'sex work', now also the hymn to male ultra-bodies in women sports: maybe it is time for a reflection
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The International House of Women in Rome agrees with the University of Pennsylvania's proposal to name Lia Thomas 'Woman Athlete of the Year'.

Lia Thomas, about whom we have spoken several times here, is the famous swimHours who repeatedly outperformed her opponents competing in the women's categories, but who at least had the merit of finally exploding the issue of male ultra-bodies in women's sports. The post shared by the International House of Women, a confusing little treatise on intersectional feminism, concludes: "And of course, in case I never see you again, good afternoon, good evening and fuck the TERFs ❤" .

A few weeks ago, the president of the House Maura Cossutta had stated, in the face of recent cases of feminicide particularly bloody, which the solution to the problem would be the rapid approval of the Zan Law (and why?). Luisa Muraro has long noted the "female tendency to prefer the truth of the other"; and Mary Daly also emphasises the self-evaluative propensity to find any cause more important than their own. These recent stances of the House are a prime example of this propensity.

Maura Cossutta's is an official statement, neither denied nor downplayed by the various realities that make up the executive of what is nationally presented as the 'temple' of the feminist world. The declared plurality and the different positions flaunted by the 'historians' of this reality have once again proved to be a pious illusion.

The House presents itself as "a open structure that looks to the territory and the world; a laboratory where gender policy is combined; a city, national and international centre for welcoming, meeting, promoting rights, culture, policies, 'knowledge' and experiences produced by and for women'. 

Instead, a close ranks on the trans-feminist line expressed mainly by Non Una di Menowhich was in fact given blank mandates on content, political relations, and relations with other realities of the feminist world. What one sees is a Bulgarian' alignment to all trans-feminist theses -apparently shared by the PD- including the recent explicit support for the abominable practice of womb renting in reaction to the Meloni-Carfagna proposal to make it a universal crime, punishable even if committed abroad.

No internal debate, no dialogue with feminism in the rest of the country, with the historical acronyms expressing themselves in a clear and reasoned manner against the Zan ddl, and in particular against the heart of the law, i.e. gender identity, the forerunner for self-id or self-certification of gender. No consideration of the critical arguments of intellectuals, jurists, constitutionalists, even long-standing left-wing politicians like Stefano Fassina. Same silence, same 'no-platform' wall on the Gpa, same hairy rhetoric. 

Why did the House end up as a loudspeaker for movements that hate women and want to erase them?

A few years ago International House of Women was under eviction. The Raggi junta wanted to put that space out to tender, as happens with all publicly owned spaces.... Money was needed, lots of money, the historical associations that had 'made' the House were worried sick. Apparently Monica Cirinnà would have played a role in this rescue. The funds arrived. But where is the plurality of voices that one would expect from a publicly supported organisation? Is the House really open to all women, starting with Roman citizens, or is it now just a trans-feminist garrison?

The elders of the House, perhaps romantically, welcome the energy and vitality of the NUDMs, their ability to be in the media and mobilise the younger ones. It was said that the internal dialogue is always alive, that radical feminism would also have space and consideration. This does not seem to us to be the case.

A meeting organised at the House by Radical Feminism on 1 December 2018 did not enjoy a fantastic reception. Reserved instead for 'sex workers' (finally entering through the front door, said Pia Covre) while survivor Rachel Moran and the prostitution abolitionists were silenced, threatened, bullied, pushed around by the sex worker groups who had a free hand.

And now the support for the Zan anti-femicide bill - because, as Cossutta explains, "violence against the LGBTQIA+ community is also gender-based violence'.-, and the hymn to Lia Thomas, which catalysed vigorous protests from women.

Wouldn't it be time for the International House of Women in Rome to open up an internal reflection and take seriously its commitment to dialogue with feminism kept 'outside'?

Anna Perenna                                         

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