Little women | Liz Truss’s hair, AstroSamantha’s cycle and the only gender disparity

Let’s start with my great preparation in terms of foreign policy: up to six Sundays ago I had never heard of Liz Truss, who has been the new head of the British Conservatives since Monday, and therefore their new prime minister.

Let’s start with my not at all superficial approach to politics: when I cut out that article about Liz Truss at the end of July, I wanted to see what she looked like, and looking for her archive photos the first thing I noticed was how many hair colors she had changed. I thought: ah, another Hillary Clinton case. If you were alive in the nineties you will remember: the newspapers published pages of photos with Hillary’s hairdo changes; if you were alive in the nineties you will not have noticed: these were changes too imperceptible for the male gaze.

The article was written by Camilla Long, and we can freely translate the title as “Certain insults are used only with women, so it is not surprising to hear that Truss is mad as a horse.” It’s normally the kind of article I’d roll my eyes for (it’s never-women-only, as it is never-only-in-Italy), but Long is one of the smartest British columnists, and so I am. put aside, the theme always comes back.

He returned last week, with the surreal debate on Giorgia Meloni: can a leadership be female and not be a feminist? While the gatekeepers got very hot, I wondered what they were talking about. What does “feminist” mean? Feminist, as far as I know, is someone who believes that women should have the same rights as men. Is there, in 2022, anyone who does not work as an ayatollah and questions this obviousness?

Having won those rights that in the West are quite obvious – that of working, that of voting, that of driving a car, that of not preparing dinner, that of divorcing, and each one adds what they care most about – the unspeakable truth is that it advances. a single issue that creates a chasm of distance between men and women.

A few days ago a video of Samantha Cristoforetti appeared explaining something I did not know (skip this paragraph if you are squeamish, I am gagging as I write it). In space, the astronauts do not carry crates of Evian, but drink their urine filtered and purified with highly perfected chemical systems. Systems that go haywire if, in the urine, there are traces of blood. Which confirms that menstruating is such a handicap that it creates difficulties for you even if you are an astronaut and have all the technology ever invented by humans at your disposal.

The real disparity between men and women is the body. The slogan for which we have been pissing off Meloni for years – the one in which Giorgia is, she is a Christian, she is a mother – relies on that obviousness there: she is a woman who has a body potentially capable of gestation. Of course she can choose not to have children, of course there may be anomalies so she can’t choose to have them instead, but that stuff there is a woman: an adult human mammal that produces eggs.

Having exhausted all the basic requests – the right to vote and everything listed above – the self-styled contemporary feminism has therefore decided to focus on the parody: I, the guy with the beard and the pea, I feel a woman, so I am. Which can also be fine, as intellectual speculation. If you want me to use “her” to talk about you, guy with the beard and the pea, I can make this effort. I can do it for a child who tells me it’s Batman, for an adult who tells me it’s Napoleon, for a guy who tells me it’s a she. Let’s play that I was Neapolitan and you, Asdrubale, were Maria Concetta.

But there are situations in which intellectual speculation, personal sensitivity, the right to perceive oneself as a superhero or a plant or an adult mammal that produces eggs is not valid. There are situations in which only the body counts: sports competitions; the prison cells; the changing rooms.

If the body does not matter, since you are a woman or a man not because of the gametes you have but because of your sensitivity to the mirror, then there is no need to build separate changing rooms. If there are locker rooms that divide the sexes, it is because we (who in the least medicalized of cases produce eggs) do not want to see bigoli in the wind, not even bigoli of people who one day decided to be called Natasha.

Body aside, what I draw from Camilla Long’s article, and in general from the articles published in recent days on Liz Truss, is that she has changed ideas, parties, even position on Brexit. In short: exactly what a political man of this century could have done. And with fewer comments about his hair than Boris Johnson’s, about women-only.

Elodie, singer now protagonist of a film and then interviewed on current events by journalists who at film festivals know that they will get a well-positioned title only if the cast of the films make a political statement, said of Giorgia Meloni “it’s incredible how is violent, as if she is not a woman ». So, in summary, women are the ones we expect them to be maternal from (but without claiming it) and prefer making love to war.

Camilla Long wrote that men with women of power just can’t do it; she went like this with Thatcher too: either they wanted to demolish her or they wanted to seduce her. We don’t do much else either, it seems to me, to make a reason for the fact that women know and can be cruel, ambitious, badly dressed like men. From Medea to Golda Meir, we prefer to say that they are not very women.

Little women | Liz Truss’s hair, AstroSamantha’s cycle and the only gender disparity