There are women who submit themselves to any instrument of torture voluntarily, if this allows them to get to the Western concept of female beauty as set by our society. We start very early, imitating the women of our family, mother, aunts, sisters, childhood friends and like little monkeys we copy what we see these other women to do. Fortunately, even the cosmetics have evolved technologically and today, for example, you remove unwanted hair (considered “ugly”, tacky) with methods that are not as painful as in the past. However, if we humans were covered with hair, there had to be a reason why nature in that sense is  wiser than us and has the ability of preventing the future. Today we find ourselves with a generation of teenagers totally hairless regardless of sex, and up to that, we can only be full of patience.

Women, grow up inspired by models absolutely insane, impossible to reach for most of the real woman, and since that the appearance has become many times more important than being, this concern for our body is not limited to only one aspect of it, but it includes the whole lot: height, weight, hair, color of our eyes, and very widely in how we dress, which no longer reflects the need to adapt to the ambient temperature in which we need to be or to different social situations of everyday life (school, university, work, social events, etc. etc.).    

All this produces needs fueled heavily by the market, by the so called public opinion, by the  social, to be perfectly in line with the model “accepted” by society, creating a series of problems of emotional balance to those in pre-adolescence period, to the adolescent, and unfortunately even women already developed and mature but not accepted – mainly for themselves – for whom they are because they would like to be like the models of the moment.
Leaving aside the extreme cases (anorexia, bulimia, obesity, amenorrhea, etc.) where the statistics confirm that also in Italy diseases from eating disorders for over 15 years are growing,  and in many cases even among the very young – 8 12 years – we find ourselves with women eternally on diet, with which no one can really enjoy a dinner out with friends, or with women who no longer remember their original hair color.

The body is ours, and it is the only one we have. We should love him and treat him like a precious thing, not forcing him to constantly stress but trying to strengthen it and keep it and develop it in the best possible way. Breathe pure area, do not fill it with smoke or substances that we do not know where they come from, eating the right, just to keep it and to enjoy life.

But who decided that we should all be a size 42 (England 10, USA 8, Japan 9/11, Germany 36), and suffer the punishments of hell (without disturbing Dante, for heaven’s sake!) just to be able to put those clothes to look like fashionable! We should feel free to acquire the form suited to our age, without feeling guilty because our bosom has lowered and the hair is not as thick as before, and accept that all changes due to our hormone production are aesthetically the meaning of a concept of different Beauty.

So far, we are on the aesthetic aspect but is better to be conscious that has a very strong impact on the way of living of women. If you have not had the good fortune to study, to learn, to learn to understand, if you have not fully understood that life is ours, and no one else, it becomes much more difficult and dangerous.

We adapt to a model required by the overwhelmingly male world in which life develops, in principle it is the father, the brothers, heads of families, then go directly to sweethearts, lovers and husbands and / or companions and women are constantly seeking the approval of their looks, doing everything to please them. And here we come into a slippery slope that can also result in a change of our character, of who we really are, producing a sense of frustration, inadequacy, hopelessness, lack of security, which is primarily a source of constant unhappiness.

Nowadays, the cosmetic surgeons perform miracles, and if you want to do it and make you feel better, good for you! But surgery to lose the definition of the lines of our face, for fully-transform us,  it is not only harmful to your health but can also be it for your psyche; look in the mirror must be a sad thing if we do not really recognize ourselves … Or, like many teenagers today, that anxiously hope to be 15 to be taken by mom and dad to expansion the sine of two sizes!

And being our body only ours, it is our right to decide what to do with it. We must decide whether a pregnancy can and should be brought to an end, or if an operation is performed or not, or chemotherapy accepted or not, to the extreme that, if our brain does not work anymore, we should have the freedom of decision on euthanasia.

In this whole scenario personally,  I strongly believe that there are intelligent and stupid women, just as for men: some are stupid and some are clever, it doesn’t depend of the genre.

Unfortunately, we still live in a society where the majority of decision-making positions are in male hands, where if you go to apply for a bank loan they can ask you if you have a husband or a father, and so on. And being the case that the majority of people thinks in this way, I have to admit that most of the violence is inflicted on women, to woman’s bodies. And you have to remember that most of the torturers of the military dictatorships in South America were men, and the same happened in the Nazi death camps, apart from a few exceptions like the infamous Beast of Buchenwald, or Lindie England, in Iraq, where some American soldier tortured their prisoners, exactly as her male colleagues.

This breakthrough is certainly not part of the aspirations to which feminists thought, nor can it be the aim of any reasonable human being, let alone that of a woman that inherently carries with her the ability to give life to another human being! Not to mention that up to date, it is the woman who gives birth, however she conceives with a man.

In “Stefano Rodotà says Foucault and the new forms of power” at one point talking about power and law says: Informed consent, which covers the power over life and that translates into the right to refuse medical power in its exclusivity, marks deeply the discussing of these years and is also found in one of the most significant passages of the Italian Constitution, here as elsewhere extraordinarily farsighted. Consider Article 32 on the right to health, then the law that includes in itself the whole life, because now, as defined by the World Health universally accepted, for health is to be understood the physical, mental and social, and not merely the absence of disease. Article 32 ends with these words: ‘The law can not under any circumstances violate the limits imposed by respect for the human person”.

Article 32 of the Italian Constitution:
The Republic protects health as a fundamental right of the individual and collective interest, and guarantees free medical care to the indigent.
No one can be forced to a specific medical treatment unless required by law. The law can not under any circumstances violate the limits imposed by respect for the individual.


Book reported by Graziella Falaguasta (and was not her only contribution!): Feminisms to tell: a journey through the struggles and hopes … Antonella Cammarota