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Let's Not Forget The Harm Women Inflict On Each Other

Our Naples-based psychiatrist looks back on the abuse some of her female patients were subjected to — at the hands of those who should understand most of all.

A photograph of a woman standing in front of a mirror, leaning her hand against it.

Woman standing in front of mirror.

Danny G/Unsplash
Mariateresa Fichele

A female judge has ruled out premeditation in the case of a man who, before killing a woman, had for several days been searching “how to kill” on the internet.

A female lawyer decides to defend a man who has killed a woman.

And beyond what I read in the newspaper, I think about my own patients.

Cristina ... who accused her husband for domestic violence, but ended up in tears after meeting with social services. They were supposed to help her, but instead the female workers told her that because she had waited through years of abuse before reporting it, they might take away her children from her.

Immacolata ... who bore her husband’s unfaithfulness for years and finally found the courage to leave him, but was then beaten and verbally abused by his mother and sisters.

Francesca ... whose ex-husband was convinced by his new girlfriend to cut ties with their children.

Nunzia ... who went to a clinic because she was indecisive on whether or not to have an abortion, and hoped to speak to a psychologist or social service worker with whom she could talk. Instead, she found only a female gynecologist who handed her a card and pointed to the nearest hospital after saying “next time use protection and think about what you’re doing.”

And myself... a psychiatrist, who asks herself why some men hate women, but mostly wants to know why some women hate women.


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food / travel

Pasta v. Fascists: How Italy's Staple Dish Became A Symbol Of Resistance

Pasta may not be considered controversial today, but it played an important role during Italy's fascist years, particularly in one family's celebration of community and liberation.

Photo of the Cervi family.

Photo of the Cervi family, whose seven children were shot by the Fascists on December 28, 1943, at the Reggio Emilia shooting range.

@comunisti_alla_ribalta via Instagram
Jacopo Fontaneto

ROME — Eighty years ago — on July 25, 1943 — the vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism, leading to Benito Mussolini's arrest, set off widespread celebrations. In Campegine, a small village in the Emilian province, the Cervi family celebrated in their own way: they brought 380 kilograms of pasta in milk cans to the town square and offered it to all the inhabitants of the village.

The pasta was strictly plain: macaroni dressed with butter and cheese, seen as more of a "festive dish" in that period of deprivation. As soon as the Cervi brothers learned about the arrest of Mussolini, they procured flour, borrowed butter and cheese from the dairy, and prepared kilos and kilos of pasta. They then loaded it onto a cart to distribute it to their fellow villagers. Pastasciutta (dry pasta) specifically regards dishes with noodles that are plated "dry", not in broth. That would disqualify soup, risotto, ravioli...

Even though pastasciutta is the most stereotypical type of pasta today, it had a complicated relationship with the government during Italy's fascist years.

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