Standing against the Taliban

Standing against the Taliban hatred of women is not a choice. Not a luxury. Not an social media time-passing. It is our duty as women, as humans, as citizens under the law, as a human race.
We cannot watch 19 million girls and women being wiped out from the face of earth simply because a few powerful persons, mostly men, decided to give power to a terrorist group to do so and do so with impunity.
We cannot celebrate education today and we cannot advocate for skills in EU in 2023 when our sisters education and skills are being shredded into pieces.
Yes Afghan women will continue resisting, they will open underground schools and they will teach girls at home. Yes some of them will go to hidden or private universities. Yes some will access grants and online courses. But how many? How many out of 19 million? And why do they need to do it in secrecy , under threats of bullets and lynching, in fear of being caught and persecuted?
It is not good enough to say “we feel sorry for Afghan women”. We call the European women and European institutions to act in unity to reject the Taliban in all its forms and in “all its diversity”. To make a clear condition that Afghan women’s rights are NOT conditional and to remember that some Taliban is walking among us today too! It is not only the Afghan problem.
#RejectTaliban #Kickouttaliban #stoptaliban #listentowomen #educationday #letherlearn #letherspeak #standupforwomensrights #afghanistan #afghanwomen #womensrightsarehumanrights
Photo Mikael Moiner 

A new piece for “Nordic Model Now”

During the latest Göteborg Film Festival I watched a feature film by the Swedish directress Ninja Thyberg which made both furious and sad. I am very proud that Nordic Model Now hosted this very long piece about it which I just felt compelled to write.

It is not at all about the film as such (which I appreciated) but about the content and its message.

I want to thank Vanessa McCulloch who was editing the first draft of this piece.

The deception of “Pleasure”

Ninja Thyberg’s film “Pleasure” depicts a quite simple story: a 19-year old girl from Sweden travels to Los Angeles in order to become a porn star. She starts with more traditional performances but realizes that if she wants a break-through she must do more extreme scenes; so, she agrees to BDSM and double anal, with apparent indifference. The only time she feels violated is during a shoot where the male actors are very aggressive and she reacts showing emotional distress. Continue reading

New piece for Feminist Current: “Exposing youth to porn is dangerous, but the harms of pornography don’t end there”

In June, the government of New Zealand launched a public advertising campaign to warn about the consequences of pornography on minor consumers.

The ad shows a male and a female porn actor walking up to a house, naked, to inform the shocked mother who opens the door that her young son is consuming pornography from all the available electronic devices in the house. They tell her this is harmful for the boy as, “he does not know how relationships actually work,” and because, in porn, they don’t talk about consent. The female porn actress, “Sue,” tells the mother she and her partner “usually perform for adults, but your son’s just a kid.” The male actor, “Derrick,” stresses that he “would never act like that in real life.” The distressed mother is prompted to talk to her son “about the difference between what you see online and real-life relationships.” Continue reading

Women, reject your menstrual pain

I have been sitting on this article for many years: it has taken this long for me to finally feel ready to metabolize such a delicate subject as the loss of my ability to be a mother. And even if I’m still feeling resistant to the idea of retracing my calvary, I have decided to do it to settle an intimate debt of sisterhood to all women, who I want to honor at any cost.

We’re talking about a disease that’s very common but virtually unknown. Not only to us laypeople, unfortunately, but to doctors themselves. Not only to general practitioners—if only that were so—but also to specialists, or rather gynecologists, both male and female, who should, really should, know everything about this disease that strikes 176 million women on this planet. One hundred and seventy-six million women. Conservative figures refer to 10% of the female population. Continue reading

May the force be with you. And power with us.

With this new piece I inaugurate a collaboration with the precious blog Le Donne Visibili (The Visible Women): from now on I am their “fourth official editor”! I start it with something about women empowerment dedicated to the Swedish #metoo.

For many women feminism means in some way denying a gender diversity perspective, as if it stood for some kind of weakness; some women tend to categorize themselves using a masculine measurement and this was important when patriarchal culture was holding its professional doors shut to women. The situation is slightly changing and here in Sweden, for example, the number of women working as plumbers or electricians is increasing, and you can see these sometimes tiny but very cool Lisbeth Salanders going around with a piercing and a hammer. Continue reading

The #metoo revolution, without Italy

[Some sad reflections about the flop of the #metoo in Italy. Originally published in Italy (in Italian) by “Le Donne Visibili”, “La Poesia e lo Spirito” and “Popoff”. Illustrated by Eliana Como. Translation edited by Cinzia Guerriero and Niko Despopoulos]

A feeling like a point of no return.
Like in H.C. Andersen’s tale – The Emperor’s New Clothes – at one point a scream was enough: so too were the first women in the Hollywood Star System who had the courage to let out and come clean of shame, anger, frustration, fear and uncertainty. From there, a few days later, the first post with #metoo hashtag starts to spread around and in a couple of nights it becomes an avalanche. Figures are updated by the hour to count thousands and thousands western women who have found the strength to tell their story from the multitude. Whether it concerned a harassment on a bus or a rape, so many hands rose, and the river became a flood, an event that was impossible to ignore. Thanks to the social networks, Western women finally met, though without having ever set eyes on each other, and in the sisterly and warm wave of saying “me too” formed a sort of alliance, with the strength that women have when they get too tired to slip anything else thru. Continue reading

New piece: “The lost generation of porn kids”

I am really excited that my piece about the essay Visuell drog published by Southside Stories Förlag is now available in English as well, thanks to Popoff Quotidiano that just published it!

The Lost Generation of Porn Kids
Everything we do not know about online pornography told in a fundamental essay published in Sweden

A book titled “Visual drug – on kids, youth & onlineporn” (“Visuell drog – Om barn, unga och nätporr”, Kalla Kulor Förlag, 2016) was recently published in Sweden, and it would be worth translating it into other languages. The writers are two powerhouses: Maria Ahlin – the young president of Freethem, an organization preventing demand for prostitution – and Ulrica Stigberg – a priest stationed at Fryshuset, Stockholm’s most important and vital youth center. Continue reading

March 8, 2017 – Watch your tongue: that bitch ain’t dirty.

Sitting in the row in front of me a handsome man in his forties. Fingers tattooed with black letters, silver rings on each, bracelets and dark earrings, leather wrist band, clear blue eyes under golden lashes, hair shaved at the sides and a long ponytail of blond and curly hair that almost reaches his butt, short boots, black jeans and a gray jacket with a dark shirt underneath. And a clerical collar. His name is Markus, he is a street priest: his assigned parish is the streets, at night, and his mission is to help the underprivileged and the exploited. Especially prostitutes. In Sweden, the Protestant Church often works like this, hands on in the dirt, like Christ with the lepers.
Continue reading

Who’s Afraid of Sweden?

Sweden has recently been in the news after Donald Trump referred to as fact a Fox News report based on the statements of a certain Nils Bildt, a Swedish mythomaniac who passed off as news the usual anti-immigration and anti-Islam propaganda spread by the “Sverigedemokraterna” (Swedish Democrats) party, a nationalist-inspired political faction founded by some neo-Nazi groups.
The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to reply by publishing a significant and exhaustive press release in English, “Facts about migration and crime in Sweden,” which demolishes some of the most widespread false opinions/news currently circulating, based on facts and statistics extracted through official channels, primarily Police Force data.
Continue reading