Because the first statue of a woman in Milan is not just a statue

Because the first statue of a woman in Milan is not just a statue

The work portraying Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso breaks with centuries of streets, squares and monuments dedicated only to men, representing a first step towards equality

Photo Marco Passaro / IPA On 15 September in Milan it was inaugurated the first statue dedicated to a woman. This is Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso, a central figure in the history of the Italian Risorgimento. Patriot, loved and respected by great Italian and foreign intellectuals, Cristina di Belgiojoso was a woman extraordinarily ahead of the times in which she lived. She married at sixteen and separated at twenty, she hosted in her living rooms leading figures from the wars of independence and in 1840 she opened a school for poor children in Locate Triulzi, near Milan. It seems that Alessandro Manzoni greeted the news as follows: “But if we let the children of the peasants study, then who will cultivate our lands? ". And it is right in front of the house of the author of the Betrothed that today tourists and Milanese can admire the statue of Cristina di Belgiojoso, which is located in the central square of Belgiojoso, a few steps from the Teatro la Scala and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

More streets and streets dedicated to women

The work, created by the sculptor Giuseppe Bergomi, is today the only one of 121 statues in the city dedicated to a woman. A statue dedicated to astrophysics Margherita Hack will soon arrive on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of her birth and one dedicated to Anna Kuliscioff, mother of Italian socialism. To date, Milan represents a positive exception with regard to inclusive toponymy. The outgoing administration has in fact declared that it wants to make an effort in this direction and that it wants to dedicate more and more streets and squares to women.

It will be a coincidence or maybe not, given that last year the mayor Beppe Sala firmly replied to those who asked to remove the statue dedicated to Indro Montanelli from the gardens of Porta Venezia, an area known for being open, inclusive and for this reason much loved by the lgbt + community. The answer came in the aftermath of an appeal launched by the I Sentinelli association which recalled how "until the end of his days [Montanelli, ed] proudly claimed the fact that he had bought and married a twelve-year-old Eritrean girl to make him as a sex slave. We believe it is time to say enough of this offense to the city and its democratic and anti-racist values ​​”. In a video posted on his Instagram channel, Sala stated that "we all make mistakes", thus sending back to the sender the request to re-title the gardens and to remove the statue regularly smeared by feminist and anti-racist associations.

What Italy represents us

Today the streets of our cities give us the image of an androcentric Italy in which it is very rare to come across a statue, a street or a square dedicated to a woman, especially a secular woman. Female toponymy, an association that monitors the gender gap of Italian cities, reports that at the national level "the percentage of streets named after women ranges from 3 to 5% (mainly madonnas and saints)".

The purpose of the association is only to raise awareness of the issue of inclusiveness starting from the streets and squares of our cities, but to give women the attention they deserve within the public space. On the Female Toponymy website, anyone can search for the exact percentage of streets, squares and streets dedicated to women in the most important cities in Italy and abroad. Curious as in our country, most of the streets are dedicated to madonnas, saints and blessed, while few to lay women and in particular to Italian and foreign scientists.

The urgent need to rethink toponymy in the light of the great social changes that are also taking place in Italy, was reiterated by Maria Pia Ercolini, president of the female toponymy association, in an interview with Repubblica: "We we believe that the memory on the streets must be that of the women who acted, not those who have suffered, because we continue to re-propose an image of female victims, martyrs, and this is not the goal we have in mind ”.

While the debate on the statues to be demolished still seems very heated, the one on the statues to be erected is less heated and the topic was not even remotely touched during this electoral campaign, despite cities like Rome and Turin being called to vote , Naples, Bologna and Milan itself.

Should the opportunity arise, someone will not miss the opportunity to bring out the notorious culture of cancellation or some other bizarre theory on politically correct. Then there are the facts. And the facts tell us that today equality is a very distant mirage, just take a walk on the street and look at the plaques on the streets and squares. It is often said that the safe roads are made by the women who cross them, but if those roads were also named after the many who have traced the path for all of us, it certainly would not hurt.

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Administrative 2021 Women's Rights Italy lgbt + Milan Politics globalData.fldTopic = " Administrative 2021, Rights, Women, Italy, lgbt +, Milan, Politics "

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