Fear of rights under Italian ‘Christian mother’ Meloni


Giorgia Meloni, a 45-year-old who has campaigned under the slogan “God, country and family” and against “awakened ideology”, is likely to become Italy’s first female prime minister if her post-fascist Brothers of Italy party holds general elections on Sunday .

“Yes to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby! Yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology! Yes to the culture of life, no to the abyss of death!” exclaimed a wild-eyed Meloni in a speech in June.

“Christian mother” Meloni has since attributed the feverish diatribe, made at a meeting of Spain’s far-right Vox party, to fatigue – though she said she would “change the tone, not the substance”.

A string of left-wing celebrities, including Instagram star Chiara Ferragni, have raised the alarm about Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party and its allies, Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigrant league and Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing Forza Italia.

Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director at fashion house Valentino, was the last to call on voters on Thursday to defend rights won in the shadow of the Vatican.

“It is not enough to demand new rights. We have to fight to make sure we keep what we have,” he told the Repubblica daily, adding that he wanted his children to “live in an Italy without fear”.

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Peppa Pig

The attack by a senior member of the Brothers of Italy earlier this month on the co-parenting of lesbian polar bears in the Peppa Pig cartoon — a storyline he labeled “gender indoctrination” — caused both ridicule and unease.

Civil partners Alessia and Eleonora, mothers of a one-year-old boy in Rome, told TAUT how painful it was not to be seen as equals.

“We do the same things as all parents… (but) we are not recognized as a family in Italy,” said Alessia, who declined to give her last name.

The center-left Democratic Party (PD) says gay marriage and same-sex adoption are priorities, with leader Enrico Letta Meloni recently telling the most important thing for children was “to be loved”.

They need “a father and a mother,” Meloni objected.

The left also wants citizenship rights for Italian-born children of migrant parents – a hotly contested issue.

abortion rights

Brothers of Italy has roots in a neo-fascist movement created to continue the legacy of dictator Benito Mussolini.

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Some of the old guard remains, but Meloni is instead trying to think of himself as a “nationalist conservative,” said Mabel Berezin, an expert on fascist, nationalist and populist movements.

Fears that a Meloni-led government would pursue violations of fundamental principles in Hungary or Poland were probably “exaggerated,” the Cornell University sociologist told TAUT.

The risks may be more subtle, according to Emma Bonino, who leads the +Europe party.

Abortion became the most divisive campaign after Meloni said she wanted to give a choice to women who were unsure about terminating pregnancies.

“We will not touch the abortion law. We just want (women) to know that there are other options,” she said.

Meloni is likely to keep her word not to criminalize abortion, said Bonino, who was in prison in the 1970s for her fight to legalize it.

But she fears Meloni is instead “pressing against the law,” exacerbating an existing problem — difficulty getting hold of abortion pills or finding gynecologists willing to perform terminations.

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“There are entire regions where … the gynecologists are all conscientious objectors” who may opt out of performing the surgery, Bonino said — referring specifically to the Marche region of central Italy, which is governed by the Brothers of Italy.

Women appreciate

Meloni’s supporters see her as a symbol of female empowerment – an unmarried, working parent, on the brink of breaking the political glass ceiling.

Laura Boldrini, one of Italy’s most talked-about female politicians, said she didn’t think the Meloni responsible would “improve women’s lives”.

“Meloni was never about affirming women’s rights, valuing women or breaking down prejudice against them,” she said this week.

Michela Murgia, a writer and political activist, said Meloni was a “violent creature…who learned to speak in a reassuring way” so that “positions previously considered extremist now seem logical”.

Italy would do well, she said, to commemorate the Meloni at the Vox meeting, “who seems possessed” and “her political rule would bring the same violence”.

The post Fear of rights among the Italian ‘Christian mother’ Meloni appeared first on TAUT.


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