“No Gender” School: scared people seek safety in sexism

The gender theory had its moment of scandal and success last year with its purpose to teach children about gender identity. It brought scandal and indignation among the close-minded people in Italy, it caused more fear and hatred than agreement or curiosity, the only supporters coming from LGBT communities. And even the little support it gained didn’t come from good reasoning but from the mere wish to stand against old prejudice.

What it clumsily attempted to do was to teach children that it’s okay to be “feminine” if you’re a boy or “masculine” if you’re a girl, it is okay to be how you want to and dress and act as you like. The intent was to stop the discrimination derived from old sexist prejudice over appearance and behaviour.

But it was expressed in an impulsive and to some level aggressive manner with an unclear proposal that sounded complicated and useless. It was handled poorly and the only real effect was to irate the common people with their common closed minds.

Some felt threatened by this attempt at social evolution and rushed for shelter back under those old bigot concepts. The old worn out teaching A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this” (Deuteronomy 22:5). It is ridiculous nowadays to believe in such pattern, and yet the fear of progress brings back tradition and prejudice.

Continue reading

Viola di Mare: Italian LGBT movie

 

 Surprise surprise! We have an original Italian lesbian movie! Viola di mare (Purple sea) is a love story between two women in sexist times, in a land (Sicily) where is hard to be different.

 Sara and Angela are childhood friends, but it’s when Sara comes back after years away that they actually fall in love. That is when the sparkle finally gives birth to a fire and they cannot run from those feelings.

 But people don’t forgive being weird, women have to marry men and carry children, that is their worth, that is their only purpose. And so one of them has to change, one of them has to look like a man, so that they can be together.

 Angela dies, a delicate boy taking her place in Sara’s arms.

 Viola di mare is a story of no easy love, it’s a story of happiness and pain, grief and hiding. It’s the story of a lesbian couple from the south in the 19th Century.

 It’s not among my favourite LGBT movies, but it’s a nice one. There aren’t many Italian LGBT movies and this is among the good ones. 

This is Italy: Home-Ed

Home-education in Italy? It’s finally a thing!

Italy can be very slow to accept some things considered perfectly normal in other occidental countries. Home-education is one of those things.

We have one of the most beautiful Constitutions of the world, yet we do not know it. In the Italian Constitution it is written that the State establishes public schools for those kids whose families cannot directly provide education. Home-education is a right, public school is created in case it cannot be provided by the family.

Yet, people still ask if it is legal. They don’t know what you’re talking about if you tell them you are home-schooled, if you say you’re a self-taught student they will probably think you are rich and have private teachers and don’t need to go to public school.

But the number of families that choose home-education is increasing, there are almost a thousand now.

The newspapers are starting to talk about it, although not yet as a common occurrence but as something new that is only seeing the light recently.

Home-education is anything but new. It is the way human race has learnt for centuries: public schools are the news, the oddity in History. Home-ed is how we learn, from father to daughter, from trained man to apprentice. We learnt from experience before we learnt from books.

Public school has been a great conquest, the opportunity for everyone to receive some level of basic knowledge is not something to take for granted. But the shadow of the past, when ignorance made a lot of people slave to others, makes people wary of different kinds of education. 

Yet some people, especially now that Italian public school has so many flaws, are starting to see how sometimes home-education can give their children more than what public school could, concentrating on the individuals they are instead of offering them general knowledge. 

 

Check this website if you want to get a peek at a home-ed family in Italy: Scuola “Iqbal e Malala”

This is Italy: lateness

Want to know something about Italian people? They are always late.

Trust some of them to be late at their own damn wedding. In a lot of regions lateness is to be expected.

People who don’t know me are usually surprise when I always show up on time. In Romagna especially that’s an oddity. It really gets on my nerves, I find it so unrespectful when in formal environments people arrive late.

But they do it in good faith. They really don’t mean to upset you, they’re used to “take it easy” and “relax”.

There’s a slang word used here in Romagna as in other Italian regions too, “sciallo“, it kinda means “relaxed”, but in a lazy way. “Stai sciallo” means “relax, take it easy, calm down”. People here are in no hurry, they don’t rush their days, they take it easy. Most of the time too easy.

This is Italy: Medieval Fencing

When people say “Medieval Fencing” they don’t always know that they’re referring to Italian Medieval fencing. 

The most famous master of Medieval fencing was Italian, Fiore De Liberi (1350-1420 more or less) born in Premariacco (now Cividale del Friuli). 

He wrote a book about Medieval fencing, “Flos Duellatorum“, that is still studied today. 

How to travel on regional trains in Italy

As promised, here comes the video. I hope it’ll be of some help.

I checked the website of Trenitalia before making the video and I found out that the English version of it is very much not accurate. The Italian version gives a lot of useful informations, the English one mostly just tells about high speed trains and offers the chance to call a number to ask for more info.

Thank you for watching and leave a comment if you have questions or experiences to share!

A summary of the important things said in the video:

1) Which ticket should I buy?
 You can buy a First Class ticket or a Second Class ticket, the first one is more expensive. 

2) Where can I buy it?
 You can buy your ticket online or at the station: at the ticket office or at the self-service machines. Online tickets don’t need to be punched, but if you buy a ticket at the ticket office or at the self-service machines you have to punch it before boarding the train. 

3) What happens if I don’t buy a ticket? 
 You can buy your ticket on the train paying the full price of the ticket and a surcharge of 5€. If you travel without ticket you can be charged with a fine from 50€ to 200€. 

4) What happens if I’m sitting in the wrong class? 
 If you’re travelling in First Class with a Second Class ticket you can either move to another carriage or change your ticket. To change your ticket to a First Class one you have to pay the difference between First Class ticket and Second Class ticket and a surcharge of 8€

5) Do the surcharges always apply? 
 No, they don’t apply in case: 
– you’re a blind person; 
– you have to buy a ticket on board because the ticket office was closed and the self-service machines were broken (or there wasn’t even one); 
– you couldn’t punch your ticket because the punching machines were broken (in that case you won’t be charged with any fine); 
– you’re only changing class because Second Class is full (in that case you only pay the difference between the two tickets). 

6) What if the conductor doesn’t speak English?
 Ask other passengers for help, you may find someone who can translate for you. Remember that you don’t have to pay for anything they didn’t tell you the price of.

Travelling on trains in Italy – just a note

I’ve been gone for a while, but now I’m back and a new video is coming!

Today I witnessed a very embarassing scene on the train home. Embarassing for me ’cause I’m Italian. This Canadian family was travelling in the wrong class (their ticket was for second class and our carriage was first class – really there’s not that much of a difference anyway) and the conductor told them so, I couldn’t hear exactly what he said at first but he was telling them they were on the wrong wagon. He tried to explain that if they wanted to stay in the first class they had to pay the difference between first class ticket and second class ticket. Problem? He was speaking Italian, he couldn’t speak English.

However the lady understood he was asking them to pay more to stay on the carriage (though I don’t think she immediately understood that they could have simply changed wagon) and she was agreeing to pay the difference. Now, the conductor should have told them how much that would cost BEFORE pressing the ticket, of course he didn’t. Or maybe he did, in Italian.

What happened is that the lady only learned the final price after the ticket was made and had to pay it. She tried to explain that the price was too high, she tried to tell him that in Canadian dollars it was even more money, but of course he wouldn’t understand, ’cause he didn’t speak a word of English. So that’s when I came in. The lady asked other passengers for help with the translation and I went to see what was happening (having followed the exchange without really hearing what was being said). I then explained him what she was saying but he wouldn’t budge. The family offered to get off the train instead of paying and I actually thought it was going to end there so I got back to my seat.

Instead, when I went looking for a toilet, I found the family still on the train, still trying to get their problem across to the conductor. There was another Italian girl too, who was trying to translate for the woman, even if doing kind of a poor job at it. So I tried once again to talk the conductor out of making them pay, but he still didn’t give. In the end I had to explain to the lady that they would have to pay ’cause the ticket had already been done and pressed.

What I want to get out of this episode is a short video about how to travel on regional trains in Italy. High speed trains are easy, regionals are not. The conductor today was very wrong, he shouldn’t have been working as ticket collector if he couldn’t speak English, he should at least have found a way to make the price known before he pressed the ticket. That didn’t happen and the family had no choice but to pay because otherwise they should have gone to the police and wasted a lot of time. But thinking about it now, maybe they didn’t even know they could have gone to the police, that it was their right to.

So I’ll be making this video about how to travel on regional trains, how to deal with ignorant conductors and how to stand up for yourself even if the other person doesn’t speak your language. I hope it’ll be of some help.

See you soon!