Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wait, WHAT?!

Ah good old Italian pessimism. I was sure that I had done my very best to purge you from my system, but alas a sliver of you seems always to lurk in my subconscience. Yes, I defend Italy a whole Hell of a lot, far far more than my fellow citizens do, and yet that ItalianPessimismTM still caused me to entirely miss the point of this rather good article about gender inequality around the world, and how it is not related to the presence or absence of a democracy.

It details a very interesting study, and goes on to make some inferences relating to war and global violence based on those studies, but all I saw what this graphic representation of the physical security of women worldwide.

Wait, WHAT?! Can you spot what made my eyes pop out of my head?

Italy is amongst the highest scoring countries in the world? Really? REALLY?! I went back to the article, and it seems as though they also included things like women's political participation. Once again, WHAT? ITALY? Are you serious?! (One of?) The only country(ies?) in Europe that has never had a female President or Prime Minister? Where boys clubs are everywhere from politics to medicine to physics to, well, everywhere? Italy scored better than the US? Canada? Ireland? Fucking Finland??!!

Where the whole "maybe you shouldn't have dressed like a slut" is a counter-argument to rape that I hear often? Where I constantly hear that rape is underreported because that other boys club, the cops, are notorious for ridiculing vitctims? Really?! ITALY is one of the safest countries on the planet for women??!! Seriously, I have gone back to that graph ten times already, absolutely sure that I must have read it wrong.

Wow. Yet instead of being impressed, that makes me extremely depressed for the rest of the world. If what we got is some kind of golden standard, how bad is it elsewhere? And not only in countries scoring in the dark green, I am fully aware it is terrible in places like Saudi Arabia, Uganda and India. But Canada, Australia, Germany, what gives?! 

So you tell me, is it that Italian Pessimism that doesn't allow me to feel good about how safe women are in my country with respect to the world? Or is it really that, if this is the best there is, the global situation is far, far more dire than I could have imagined?

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