We would like to find a word... something that does not currently exist... although the concept expressed by this word does exist.
But if it has no name, how can we refer to this concept, talk about it and define it?... Perhaps the word does not exist because no one ever talks about the concept.
But somehow, we feel an ever more pressing need to talk about it. Where can we find that word that some of us find so lacking in both the Italian and international lexicon?
Perhaps we could use a term such as NEO/WOMANISM..? or maybe just WOMANISM, by considerably extending its original meaning
By doing this we could, rather than carelessly neutralising its sense, try and make it more current, declaring a wider alliance between women despite our differences. An alliance that is seeking to go beyond barriers of race and culture.
An alliance (as the term was originally used) also capable of including men: in this case, however, (regardless of race) men decided to reject sexist antagonism and form a genuine common front
Why do we like womanism? Because it is a wonderful word; but also because it evokes the whole range of interaction between social oppression and gender discrimination, placing it at the centre of feminism.
A linguistic stretch? Maybe...but we are free to dream.
To dream that this term, with its lovely sound and all the symbolism that it embodies, could stretch itself a little, twist and transform itself to the point of becoming a sort of feminine companion to the equally positive term of HUMANISM.
For example, we could dream of seeing it defined as follows, in an updated dictionary:
, a term coined in the 1980s by writer and theorist Alice Walker
to define "American third-worldist feminism", in contrast to "white Western feminism", in addition to the condition of coloured feminists, simultaneously active against gender and race discrimination. 2
, term subsequently adopted by the 21st century cultural movement tending to re-evaluate the figure of women and specifically feminine values, in contrast with their historical denigration by the socially predominant patriarchal culture. 3
, the tendency to valorise the role of women in order to achieve respect and collaboration between genders, the rebalancing of relations between nations and a sustainable cohabitation between humanity and the planetary ecosystem. 4
, by extension, the interest for any expression of the female figure and all the associated mythological and symbolic meanings.
To all the women and all the men in the world,
for a shared reflection from a group of Italian women, on 8 March 2012
Who we are