Women in history: from Anna Kulishkova to Velia Matteotti, the main heroes of the twentieth century

Thousands of years of misogyny have erased women from history.. When he wasn’t wiping her out, he was relegating her to marginal roles or, worse, reducing her to being the mistress of famous people.

The time has come to call a spade a spade and wine by wine, bringing out of the shadows those who deserve to be in the full light.. Recent studies have focused on the importance in the Medici family wives of Cosimo the Elder and Lorenzo the Magnificent and also about the decisive role played by the mother of Cosimo, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany. Without their relationship and without the education given to their children, Medici history would have taken a different turn. One step back and you’ll be immersed in the Middle Ages to discover about forty women writers in Latin, Greek, Romance languages, German, Arabic, Hebrew. who are not afraid of comparisons with writers who have been included in anthologies and are still studied by girls and boys from all over the world.

But if you really want to get back to the top and establish the truth of the historical narrative, you’ll have to focus on the early twentieth century., the century of the strong man, the flourishing of mass parties led by people who have only political faith in their heads and hearts, alien to any sentimentality, devoted to their mission and that’s all. This is wrong.

When Italy turned to the regime, between the second half of 1924 and the beginning of 1925, there are at least four women who influence the actions and choices of the main characters at the time. Along with Mussolini, Turati, Gramsci and Matteotti you will find, and never marginalized, Margarita Sarfatti, Anna Kulishoff, Julia Schucht and Velia Ruffo.

From Pizza Margherita we have already said: art historian, promoter of futurism and the Venice Biennale, adviser and lover of the Duce.

Anna Kulishoff she is Turati’s companion and “mind”. A far-sighted man with extraordinary life experience behind him, he drafted the first laws on the protection of orphans and on divorce, he was the first realistic reader of fascism. In his darkest hour, he perfectly understands the fate of Italy and proposes solutions that will not be accepted by Aventine. Only after January 3, 1925, the day after Mussolini’s speech in Montecitorio, did they agree with her.

Julia gave Gramsci a son, she is in Moscow and Antonio thinks only about her. His heart is in turmoil, overwhelmed by the first love of his life. The secretary of Pcd’I, whose life was led in one direction – politics, politics and only politics, after the kidnapping of Matteotti, instead almost completely occupied her head and heart. Those who don’t believe should read the letters: beautiful, poetic, a hymn of love. ‘Without you I’m a question mark in infinity‘. Gramsci writes, not a poet.

Velia is Giacomo’s widow, a shadow of the night after the death of her husband.. The two loved each other deeply, she was always on his side, even if politically she shared nothing with him. Her presence is irreplaceable: she is the one who gives him strength, supports him in the most difficult situations, and convinces him not to retreat. He will go so far as to write to him: “You are not allowed any cowardice, even if it costs you your life.” Velia herself will go to Mussolini in a dramatic meeting to ask for the return of Giacomo’s corpse.

I stop here and know that I could mention dozens of other women who changed the history of the world.. The sentimental dimension forms a significant part of the choices made. To eradicate it by turning people into automata is worse than blasphemy in the church. And even greater blasphemy and even a crime is erasing women from history, reducing this history to a purely male epic.. What needs to be done is a quick fix, starting with the manuals.

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