An all-female Sanremo?
Everyone is talking about it and so we are talking about it too. I am referring to Sanremo of course, with a 62.4 percent share Italy's most beloved song festival overwhelms every other program and takes home 10,757,000 viewers on the first night alone.
For our international readers, The Sanremo Italian Song Festival is an institution, a tradition that has endured on tiptoe since 1977, I’m talking about those ballet tips with papers soaked in special resins that make your fingers bleed, but at the same time give you the joy of dancing, that's exactly what I’m referring to.
For me, that I was born in Bordighera, a town close to Sanremo, is also a sentimental matter. The Festival loves the townies and townies love the Festival, the town is invigorated, the clubs stay open even on Tuesdays ... which for 17-year-old me was an event that transcends omni scibile, which can only find rivals on Christmas Day. Although to hear my grandfather tell it, the only note of importance is that during the week of Sanremo there is no parking. Advantages and disadvantages, tomayto, tomahto.
Having made this small but dutiful introduction, self-referential you might say, let us come to the crux of the first night, which is actually the crux of the others as well: the female elephant in the room.
Well, yes, it seems that Sanremo this year has decided to imprint its conducting on women, women who have been asked, in retrospect I am now convinced, to write a monologue about political and gender issues.
If I'm honest, it seems to me that the format doesn't work very well, these women, not just pretty faces as the Festival is so keen to make clear, are still interchanged from night to night, like a piece of glitzy jewelry in exchange for the most fashionable one. It also seems that Sanremo this year perforce and forcefully wants us to swallow the social cause of the moment, like an already chewed meal regurgitated in the ego-phagus.
Let's start with the first example that has exhumed enraged feminists from all over the world.
Chiara Ferragni, an Italian digital entrepreneur who needs no introduction, sets up her monologue using a ploy already accustomed to actors and artists, a scribal tactic one uses to get in touch with one's vulnerability: the personal letter to one's child "self."
Chiara speaks out fiercely against the objectification of the female body, or at least she tries to, or at least that is her intent, leveraging a feminism, however, veiled, uneducated, embanked relative to her history, her point of view, and unfortunately for us, from those embankments she does not depart.
A rosy feminism, made up of contrived phrases that so much evoke the slogans that can be found on Instagram, which of feminism, let's face it, have little, however, they remind us that that form is still the only feminism digestible by the public, the one that delegates responsibility to the individual person for their own success or failure.
Riding on the American trend of wanting to make every media situation political, "influencers" stand as spokespeople for social messages unsupported by deep study, often not even deep education.
Yet Chiara Ferragni, with a scholastic monologue, manages to break through to the hearts of the populace, and isn't that all that matters?
Is this not the change behavior we want? A change built out of simple things and disseminated through the pillars of entertainment proves to be again simpler and also more effective.
After all, isn't it only the message that matters? Do we really care about the form when the result is then the same?
The answer is really up to you.
In conclusion, I leave you with a maxim from the much-hated-loved Ricky Gervais:
“Well, you say you’re woke but the companies you work for in China — unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?
So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your God and —”
Let’s not include the end of it, but you get the message.
By Miriam Gagino
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