Feminine Feminists: Cultural Practices in Italy by Giovanna Miceli Jeffries

By Giovanna Miceli Jeffries

Feminine Feminists was first released in 1994. Minnesota Archive variations makes use of electronic know-how to make long-unavailable books once more obtainable, and are released unaltered from the unique collage of Minnesota Press editions.

What does it suggest to be a lady this day in Italy, a rustic with the bottom birthrate on the planet and the heaviest maternal stereotype? Does being a feminist exclude practices of cultural femininity? What are Italian women's cultural productions? those questions are on the middle of this quantity, which seems at how feminism and femininity are embedded in a huge spectrum of Italian cultural practices.

lately, a number of books have brought the yank public to Italian women's voices. This quantity is going past others in its variety of theoretical issues and modes, contemplating cultural practices not just of their well known, fabric visual appeal, but in addition within the disciplines and sorts of wisdom that order info and circumscribe behavior.

The essays, all by means of famous students in Italian reviews, mirror the authors' particular serious pursuits in cinema, type, literary texts, feminist conception, and pop culture, prior and current. a few handle the tradition of way of life, whereas others learn feminism and femininity within the context of philosophy, ethics, or nationwide identification inside of an international tradition. a few start with the conviction that appearing "femininity"—whether in visual appeal or in nurturing practices—can be culturally freeing. Others placed this idea to the serious test.

By situating the matter of femininity in the dialogue of feminism, this quantity takes on higher concerns inside feminist discourse. Its daring exam of the part of femininity in the context of women's reviews bargains readers infrequent perception into Italian women's tradition and into the multicultural chances of feminism.

Contributors: Beverly Allen,

Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum, Renate Holub, Carol Lazzaro-Weis, Maria Marotti, Áine O'Healy, Graziella Parati,

Eugenia Paulicelli, Robin Pickering-Iazzi, Maurizio Viano.

Giovanna Miceli Jeffries is a lecturer within the division of French and Italian on the collage of Wisconsin, Madison.

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Extra resources for Feminine Feminists: Cultural Practices in Italy

Example text

Yet, as I intend to demonstrate in the final section of this essay, the thematics and textual practices elaborated in women's fiction, which had unprecedented popularity among readers of the 1920s and 1930s, solicit a different female subject by creating new terms of identification in their representations of nontraditional gender roles. Let's not digress into a discussion of whether woman is perhaps superior or inferior; let's affirm that she is different. Benito Mussolini (1925) In order to avoid reproducing the binary opposition between female and male culture that Fascist ideologues wished to impose upon Italian cultural production prior to and during the Fascist dictatorship, this section of my essay maps contradictions between women's practices in everyday life and the prescriptive and descriptive drifts in hegemonic discourses of the 1920s and 1930s.

An inevitable clash between two partners, conflict, and male defeat. (368, translation mine) This passage highlights the connection between a male position marked by a jealous defense of traditional gender roles and the presence of a different female subject who transgresses these roles and thus escapes male control. Hence the predominance of the Woman-Mother image in hegemonic discourses of the 1920s and 1930s, implemented to reestablish gender boundaries in the Fascist state, may be ascribed at the psychological level not to female masochistic tendencies but to male anxiety manifested in the absence of the object of desire.

Such an articulation of the problem, along with the method of analysis—using a psychoanalytic model relying upon Freud's notion of the death impulse—locks women into a symbolic system of meaning in which they are representable only in relation to man as object of desire. Though never fully theorized by Freud, the notion of the death impulse, along with the related themes of sexual repression, self-sacrifice, passivity, and masochism—components frequently identified with culturally constructed femininity—provide the vocabulary with which Macciocchi intends to clarify how Fascism was ostensibly able to deflate female opposition, and to coerce women into submission.

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