This article takes as its starting point the so-called 'sex scandals' surrounding Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi during the last years of his premiership (2009-2011), which have filled Italian newspaper columns and legal case files. Political discourses and media interpretations of women's freedom at the time represented genders through the eroticisation of power. The deployment of postfeminist and stereotyped representations of gender relations produced a complex and ambivalent frame for female sexuality and agency which reproduced the hegemonic neoliberal rhetoric that locates freedom and emancipation in the market. This narrative was further inflected by class and race, as it was deployed through the opposed images of white, Italian, respectable, caring women, and cynical young women and migrants using their bodies as a resource in a sexual-economic exchange with men occupying positions of power. Through feminist reflections on work I frame and discuss the use of the notions of choice and freedom in these discourses. Shifting the focus from women's behaviour to the analysis of a peculiar image of masculinity displayed by the then premier, the article highlights how racism, colonial legacies and homophobia are enmeshed in this historically and culturally based gender imagery.

Veline, ordinary women and male savages: Disentangling racism and heteronormativity in contemporary narratives on sexual freedom / Gribaldo, A.. - In: MODERN ITALY. - ISSN 1353-2944. - 23:2(2018), pp. 145-158. [10.1017/mit.2018.5]

Veline, ordinary women and male savages: Disentangling racism and heteronormativity in contemporary narratives on sexual freedom

Gribaldo A.
2018

Abstract

This article takes as its starting point the so-called 'sex scandals' surrounding Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi during the last years of his premiership (2009-2011), which have filled Italian newspaper columns and legal case files. Political discourses and media interpretations of women's freedom at the time represented genders through the eroticisation of power. The deployment of postfeminist and stereotyped representations of gender relations produced a complex and ambivalent frame for female sexuality and agency which reproduced the hegemonic neoliberal rhetoric that locates freedom and emancipation in the market. This narrative was further inflected by class and race, as it was deployed through the opposed images of white, Italian, respectable, caring women, and cynical young women and migrants using their bodies as a resource in a sexual-economic exchange with men occupying positions of power. Through feminist reflections on work I frame and discuss the use of the notions of choice and freedom in these discourses. Shifting the focus from women's behaviour to the analysis of a peculiar image of masculinity displayed by the then premier, the article highlights how racism, colonial legacies and homophobia are enmeshed in this historically and culturally based gender imagery.
23
2
145
158
Veline, ordinary women and male savages: Disentangling racism and heteronormativity in contemporary narratives on sexual freedom / Gribaldo, A.. - In: MODERN ITALY. - ISSN 1353-2944. - 23:2(2018), pp. 145-158. [10.1017/mit.2018.5]
Gribaldo, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1287545
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