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TOPIC: feminism


Murder Of Giulia Cecchetin: Why Italy Is Finally Saying 'Basta' To Violence Against Women

Cecchettin was allegedly stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend in northern Italy, a murder case that has quickly turned into a political movement. The supposed motive is chilling in what it says about the current state of male-dominated society.

Updated Nov. 27, 2023 at 3:40 p.m.


ROME — On November 11, Giulia Cecchettin and her ex-boyfriend Filippo Turetta went missing after meeting for dinner. For a week, Italians followed the case in hopes that the story would end with two lovers returning home after going on an adventure — but women knew better.

As the days went by, more details of their relationship started to come to light. Filippo had been a jealous, possessive boyfriend, he had not dealt with Giulia's decision to break up very well, and he constantly hounded her to get back together.

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When Giulia's body was found at the bottom of a lake in the northern region of Veneto, with 20 stab wounds, Italians were not surprised, but they were fed up. Vigils, demonstrations and protests spread throughout the country: Giulia Cecchettin's death, Italy's 105th case of femicide for the year 2023, finally opened a breach of pain and anger into public opinion. But why this case, why now?

It was Elena Cecchettin, Giulia's sister, who played a vital role. At the end of a torchlight procession, the 24-year-old university student took the floor and did something people weren't expecting: she turned private grief into a political movement. Elena distanced herself from the role of the victim and took on the responsibility for a future change.

"Filippo is not a monster; a monster is an exception, someone external to society, someone society should not take responsibility for. But here that responsibility exists," she said confidently, leaving everyone breathless.

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This Happened—November 16: Bhutto Breaks Through In Pakistan

Updated Nov. 16, 2023 at 12:30 p.m.

It was 35 years ago today when voters elected Benazir Bhutto to be the youngest ever and first female Prime Minister of Pakistan.

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The Pope's Synod — Both A Bust And Breakthrough For Women And LGBTQ+

The synod had promised to bring forth revolutionary ides for both members of the LGBTQ and women within the Church. But looking at the first session's conclusion reveals that hopes for change may have come too early.

VATICAN CITY — Opinions are split following the month-long Synod called by Pope Francis to confront the future of the Catholic Church, but perhaps the greatest hopes dashed are among the LGBTQ+ community — and it starts with the acronym itself.

The disappointment noted in the LGBTQ+ world for the absence of the acronym in the "Summary Report of the first Session." In its place there is only a vague, more palatable reference to homosexuality. On the other hand, Catholic women were divided in their reaction to the month-long Vatican meeting, with some arguing that the ongoing talks was the first step to increased rights, stating that "a taboo has been broken."

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Vladimir Luxuria, an Italian transgender activist, shared her disappointment over the fact that in the final document voted on by the majority at the Bishops' Synod, the acronym has disappeared, replaced with a very general reference to homosexuality.

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Giorgia Meloni's Ugly Break-Up And The Future Of Right-Wing Feminism

Last week, Italy was caught in the uproar of Giorgia Meloni's break-up, a swirl of TV scandal and political controversy. But now that the dust is settled, what does this mean for a single mother standing strong, though alone, on the political right.


ROMEGiorgia Meloni, Italy's controversial first female Prime Minister, took to her social media on Friday to announce her break-up from television journalist Andrea Giambruno. This comes after Meloni's winning right-wing campaign last year revolved around the family unit, even if she and Giambruno (father to their 7-year-old daughter) had never been married.

First, we must explain the events leading to last week's break-up: Giambruno had found himself at the center of a scandal after an Italian television program aired inappropriate comments which had been recorded on hot microphones and off-air microphones. The TV personality was caught asking female colleagues for threesomes, telling them he would be "touching himself" during conversations, and other other instances of workplace harassment.

This was not the first time Giambruno had revealed himself as a source of sexist embarrassment, after incurring outrage over the summer for declaring that if women didn't get drunk they could avoid being victims of sexual violence.

But last week's controversy was the last straw for Meloni, and with a swift move, she defied the conventions of her own political family, becoming a right-wing single woman — and single mother.

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Ru Sang

How China Fell In Love With Syria's First Lady

Asma al-Assad fits China's traditional, nationalist, and sexist stereotype of the 'perfect woman'. Her image has also helped distract from her husband's oppressive regime.

BEIJING — It was September 21 when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma al-Assad arrived in Beijing on a special Air China plane and began their six-day state visit to China.

Photos of the couple getting out of the plane and walking on the red carpet became an instant hit on Chinese social media. Their brief presence during the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Games quickly became viral and a top search on Weibo.

Asma was widely praised for both her appearance and temperament. As they visited Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, local media reported that a woman tourist touched Asma's face and paid her a compliment. Asma also did an exclusive interview with Phoenix Satellite TV and visited Beijing Foreign Studies University with her children to participate in a symposium — she was warmly welcomed and her presence was highly appreciated by teachers and students alike.

During their visit, keywords such as "First Lady", "Desert Rose" and "Diana Of The Orient" trended on China's mainstream social media platforms. Asma, who has dual British and Syrian nationality, was called a "hero" who "resists American hegemony".

If you believe some social media users, Asma is unaware of the real situation of the Syrian civil war, as she is an angel of "wisdom, beauty and kindness" and "the person who has the most fans in China."

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This Happened

This Happened — October 10: Iran Allows Women At Football Match

Some 3,500 women were the first since the Islamic Revolution to be allowed to attend a football match in Iran for a World Cup qualifier in Tehran on this day in 2019.

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Katarzyna Skiba

In Mexico And Poland, Women Candidates Defy National Cultures Of Misogyny — And Win

Mexico is on the cusp of getting its first woman president. And in Poland, the upcoming elections will see the highest-ever number of women running for office. Two landmarks for nations where the patriarchy has long reigned supreme.


This election cycle has been a historic one for women in Poland and Mexico. Though the latter recently welcomed a landmark decision on abortion rights, both countries have had a grim past when it comes to women’s rights — including high levels of femicide in the case of Mexico and strict abortion restrictions in Poland.

Still, both countries are on track to hold elections that could prove historic for women, with Mexico expected to inaugurate its first woman President, and Poland nominating a record number of female candidates to parliamentary positions.

In the face of controversy and political challenges, women in these countries are determined to have their voices heard.

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In The News

Worldcrunch Magazine #53 — Incelosphere

October 9 - October 15, 2023

Here's the latest edition of Worldcrunch Magazine, a selection of our best articles of the week from top international journalists, produced exclusively in English for Worldcrunch readers.


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This Happened

This Happened — October 2: Josephine Baker's Debut

Josephine Baker's debut in Paris on this day in 1925, was a pivotal moment in her career and played a significant role in her rise to international stardom.

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Patrycja Wieczorkiewicz

Feminists Infiltrate The “Incelosphere” — Where Toxic Content Warps Modern Masculinity

An increasing number of male teens and young adults who've experienced feelings of rejection wind up in what's been dubbed the “incelosphere,” a place where they can find mutual understanding in a world they think is against them. Two women Polish journalists spent two years on the online servers these “beta males” are flocking to in ever greater numbers.

In her book For The Love Of Men: From Toxic To A More Mindful Masculinity, Canadian feminist writer Liz Plank explained that the struggle of women can never be one without confronting the crisis of manhood.

Plank is part of the forward-thinking feminist researchers and authors who've dedicated a significant amount of their work to the problems of men and masculinity, always sure to arouse suspicion. In reality, from a young age, we are forced into one of two oppressive patterns – masculinity and femininity – which in turn shape our behavior and our choices.

Thanks to the feminist movement, women now enter roles once reserved for men more frequently and eagerly than ever before, and teach their daughters that they can be whoever they want to be.

What has not changed nearly as much is our perception of masculinity.

The dominant image is still that of the strong, resourceful, male who pushes forward, takes risks and copes with adversities on his own. But today, they also must be sensitive, attentive, and empathetic as well (just not too much). Parents are still afraid of raising “weak” sons.

These are the roots of the so-called “masculinity crisis”. Usually, this phenomenon is reduced to some version of "men cannot keep up with emancipated women”. In reality, however, we as a society are the ones who cannot keep up with the need of dismantling toxic patterns of masculinity and creating new, healthy ones.

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Barbara Leda Kenny

Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Women in Italy are living longer than ever. But severe economic and social inequality and loneliness mean that they urgently need a new model for community living – one that replaces the "one person, one house, one caregiver" narrative we have grown accustomed to.

ROMENina Ercolani is the oldest person in Italy. She is 112 years old. According to newspaper interviews, she enjoys eating sweets and yogurt. Mrs. Nina is not alone: over the past three years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of centenarians in Italy. With over 20,000 people who've surpassed the age of 100, Italy is in fact the country with the highest number of centenarians in Europe.

Life expectancy at the national level is already high. Experts say it can be even higher for those who cultivate their own gardens, live away from major sources of pollution, and preferably in small towns near the sea. Years of sunsets and tomatoes with a view of the sea – it used to be a romantic fantasy but is now becoming increasingly plausible.

Centenarians occupy the forefront of a transformation taking place in a country where living a long life means being among the oldest of the old. Italy is the second oldest country in the world, and it ranks first in the number of people over eighty. In simple terms, this means that Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones: those over 65 make up almost one in four, while children (under 14) account for just over one in 10. The elderly population will continue to grow in the coming years, as the baby boomer generation, born between 1961 and 1976, is the country's largest age group.

But there is one important data set to consider when discussing our demographics: in general, women make up a slight majority of the population, but from the age of sixty onwards, the gap progressively widens. Every single Italian over 110 years old is a woman.

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Hannah Luhmann

After Rammstein Singer's Sexual Assault Probe Is Dropped, Germany Faces Cold Reality

The German public prosecutor's office has dropped its sexual assault investigation against Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann. The singer could not be proven to have committed any criminal misconduct. You may be angry about that, but that's how the rule of law works.


BERLIN — The hairs on your neck stand up when you read the news: The public prosecutor's office has dropped the investigation against Till Lindemann, lead singer in the popular German band Rammstein.

Several victims have reported to the media, including Die Welt, that they were deliberately brought to singer Lindemann at Rammstein concerts for sexual acts, often without knowing the real reason for these meetings. The band's drummer himself later said "things" happened "that I personally don't think are okay."

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