When I was in Tanzania I learnt a lot about women conditions and empowerment. Talking with a teacher at Mkuru primary we agreed that raising awarenss (about rights, health, environment, etc..) in women means changing society, because they are the mothers of the adults of the future.
According to what I was listening on the radio this morning, there is a hot debate about the role of women also in a so called “developed” country like Italy. After feminism, despite of it, and maybe because of it, it seems like Women are still and more openly identified with sexual objects, in the hands of Men. The exacerbation of the value of “conforming to the physical standards advertised as being cool”, which is not the same as Beauty, is worse than at times of pin-up. And I’m not a feminist, I like femininity, I don’t like conformity and lack of personality. (I like men too!!)
I thought about myself, and how I tried to follow my dreams according to my personality, which someone suggested as a way of keep on being a women with dignity.
I did it, but I paid such a big prize. I did it, but maybe what I was not able to do was in part conditioned by the fact that I am a woman. I remember when I started my wildlife studies I was told women were not allowed to do research on wolves (in that department). In the end, me and my friend were the first exception, but once we were in town instead of the field, someone said: “oh, you look like you are pretending to be women..”
After that, with all my troubles between work and personal life, I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be treated as garbage to dispose if I weren’t a woman.
Then, very recently something happened which really surprised me, because I ended up to forget that women are also supposed to have children, naturally and usually. Before finishing my contract at an international comunitarian research centre, I was offered a new different one, and I was asked about my plan on having children.. I bet 1 milion euro that no man has ever been asked.
Of course it was a man who asked me, but maybe it would be the same with a women in the same position, because it’s a social attitude problem…