Italic Institute of America
Untitled Document
 
Subscribe to our blog
Subscribe
 
Holocaust Report
NEW
HOLOCAUST
REPORT!
 
Christopher Columbus
WHO WAS
COLUMBUS?
 
Columbus House Banner
COLUMBUS DAY SUPPLIES
 
This Month in History
 
Galleria Italica Galleria Italica Videos
 
Bella Musica, Italians in Jazz book ORDER NOW!  
 
ATLANTICA MAGAZINE ARCHIVES (1930-1934)
 
OUR CLASSICAL ROOTS
Ara Pacis Site
 
Zinni IIA Honorees
 
Exhibit A: Examples of Media Bias
 
Film Study 2015 NEW FILM STUDY!
 
Organized Crime
 

Opinion

Women's Rights in Italy

Chiara Volpato is to be commended for condemning Umberto Bossi, the noxiously xenophobic leader of the Northern League Party (New York Times Op-Ed, Aug. 27, 2009). And she quite correctly castigates the Vatican for its undue interference in the Italian body politic.

But Ms. Volpato’s screed against Italy’s “famously patriarchal culture” has the whiff of hyperbole. Yes, the glass ceiling in “il bel paese” needs more full-fledged cracks and fewer hairline fissures. But Silvio Berlusconi’s silly flirtations are not the issue. Nor is anti-feminism a national character flaw.

Italy’s low birthrate — like Spain’s, Japan’s and Germany’s — is a choice. The reproductive rights of women in China are well-nigh nonexistent. Women in Saudi Arabia live in a state akin to apartheid.

Ironically, in “The Emancipation of Women in Ancient Rome,” Roger Vigneron and Jean-François Gerkens explain how the Italians of antiquity forged a polity where “the rule of juridical equality was the duty to be pursued.” According to the authors, the Romans believed men and women to be inherently equal.

Rosario A. Iaconis
Vice Chairman
Italic Institute of America
Mineola, N.Y., Aug. 27, 2009
(published in the New York Times, Aug. 29, 2009)

 
 
Copyright © 2007 Italic Institute of America, P.O. Box 818, Floral Park, NY 11001     Last updated February 2017