24 August 2021

Italian Taliban

Four femicides in 24 hours: Talibans are not only in Afghanistan. Everywhere in the world one sex is oppressing the other, and violence is a function of domination. We cannot consider our Afghan sisters as "us" and "them". The fight for women's freedom is one and the same.
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Four femicides in 24 hours. Four women were killed by men related to them - husbands, fathers, boyfriends, former partners - simply because they were women. A mother and a daughter in Carpiano, near Milan. A wife in the province of Bologna. A girl, killed by her former boyfriend, in Aci Trezza, in the province of Catania.

The details of such events are useless if not to confirm, once again, the ineffectiveness of the measures of protection: those who should be distanced never really go away, those who are reported get angrier and the warnings raised by women always get ignored.

It is pointless to delve into the lives of the victims and their executioners in search of the 'reasons behind the tragic act' (i.e. possible justifications for the murderer).: he was depressed, he was crazy, he had lost his job, he was blinded by jealousy. The outcome of these quests can only produce horrifying headlines like this one from the magazine Corriere della Sera.

Italian Taliban

Read: that man must have been really desperate to kill 'his light', together with his mother - who was not good at keeping house - by shooting her in the head. When you seek for the 'reasons of this tragedy', you are looking for ways to comprehend, find a rationale, put yourself in the killer's shoesunderstand him, and induce compassion towards him.

But the rationale is always the same, it is useless to look for something else unless you are determined to avoid facing the truth. The reason is domination, the plan of the fight is this, and only this.

Vanessa Zappalà - 26 years old, killed in Aci Trezza by her former partner Tony Sciuto -. had left the man because of his continuous mistreatment. Sciuto - the image at the top is taken from his Facebook profile - killed Vanessa (and then killed himself) because of this. He demanded that she stayed with him allowing him to keep being abusive. He demanded that she stayed with him to let him "be a man" as he understood being a man, for whom the control of women is a must, whereas the loss of control is an unbearable dishonour.

The victim is always a woman who rejects, who shuns domination. These crimes are crimes of honour. The scene is always the same, in an endless loop. Everything else is just a variable outline.

Italian Taliban
Tony Sciuto, murderer of Vanessa Zappalà

In his latest version, released by the police - the man was later found hanged in a cottage not far from the site of the femicide -. Sciuto looks like a Taliban: long beard, grim look. A very striking resemblance.

The Taliban explicitly set up the control of women as the cornerstone of their regime and elevate it to a political system. In Taliban's Afghanistan, patriarchy shows itself in its archaic purity and extremism and does not need pretence. This is the face that the regime intends to expose to the world, this is its idea of social order, a bulwark against the terrible disorder of the pre-Islamic Jāhiliyya.

But the logic - control and domination - are the same that we see operating with femicides. The killings of women reveal a self-evident truth. Feminine freedom, female desire, cannot have much of a chance. Every two or three days someone strangles a woman or puts a knife in her belly or a bullet in her head to remind us of this. Rape, mistreatment, violence, harassment, injustice, the attempt to make us disappear, all this is a reminder of that.

Italian Taliban
Vanessa Zappalà - on the left - with her friends

This is why, when we think of the terrible plight of Afghan women, the logic of 'us' and 'them' risks being futile. By fighting for our freedom we are also fighting for theirs. By fighting for their freedom we defend our own.

Italian Taliban
Kabul, 1970s

It is a mistake to think of the Afghan sisters as entirely not free, and of us as absolutely free.

It is important, to be successful, to maintain the perspective of a common plight, that is having to deal every day with one sex who oppresses the otheralbeit with different degrees of ferocity.

Marina Terragni

Original article here
Translation by Angela Tacchini


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