Italy is the latest country to paint a pretty face on fascism

Italy presents the latest example that lipstick and the feminine touch can help cleanse and popularize the outbreak.

Giorgia Meloni, the 45-year-old leader and co-founder of the Brotherhood of Italy party, is set to become the country’s prime minister a month before the centenary of the infamous march in Rome that led to Mussolini’s fascist rule.

But unlike the downfall of Il Duce, Meloni’s rise to power makes no flowery displays of masculinity.

Meloni wears warm pastel colorsrock sneakers is deeply inspired by Lord of the rings (for all the wrong reasons), and a charming smile flashes in front of the camera. She is just a passionate Italian mother, promising Italians, We will not betray your trust. We are ready to raise the level of Italy.”

In her own words: “I’m Georgia, I’m a woman, I’m a mother, I’m Italian, I’m a Christian.”

Giorgia Meloni gives a speech on September 23, 2022 at the Arenile di Bagnoli beachfront site in Naples, southern Italy, during a mass rally that concludes her party’s campaign for the general election on September 25.

Andreas Solaro/Getty Images

It’s also evidence that women can utter far-right rhetoric as loathsome, if not better, than men. Everything comes full circle in Western politics, as the authoritarian playbook of the 20th century gets a brilliantly feminine reboot in 2022.

It should be noted that the neo-fascist Meloni Party was created as the heir of the Italian Social Movement (MSI), which was formed after the dissolution of the National Fascist Party. This was no accident. In her youth, Meloni was a young MSI activist. At the age of nineteen, she praised Mussolini and called him “a good politician, in that everything he did, he did for Italy.” Obviously, this includes aligning his country with the Nazis who committed genocide in World War II.

Yet this small mistake didn’t stop Meloni from borrowing his mantra, “God, Homeland, Family” for her party — nor did it stop her from imitating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about George Soros’ “deep state” and Jewish “globalization,” or promoting her version of The white supremacist “replacement theory” by demonizing immigrants of color and Muslims with the pretense of invading, replacing and weakening Italian civilization.

“I think there is a deliberate plan to erase everything that sets us apart: the culture, the nation, the family is under attack,” Meloni said.

She has also spent a lot of energy attacking LGBTQ+ communities, marriage equality, and abortion rights. According to Meloni, these groups are existential threats to Italy that must be confronted, and one of their goals is to increase birth rates to ensure the demographic salvation of its people.

Giorgia Meloni argues on stage with a peace flag activist during the election rally on September 2, 2022 in Cagliari, Italy.

Emmanuel Peroni / Getty

Does this sound familiar?

If you’ve been paying attention to Fox News or right-wing politicians lately, these talking points may come straight from Tucker Carlson’s monologue, or from a speech given by any number of MAGA politicians. unsurprisingly, Meloni spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2022. No wonder Meloni’s meteoric rise has been lauded by her longtime ally Steve Bannon, Senator Ted Cruz, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — whose ultranationalist and authoritarian regime serves as a blueprint for American conservatives. She sings their exact melody, but in Italian.

Meloni’s rise also coincides with the rise of female far-right politicians in America and Europe gaining political power and media attention despite being doubled down on cruelty, patriotism and patriarchy. It is often a boon to right-wing movements that are thoroughly criticized for being fiercely anti-women, anti-feminist, and chauvinistic. Ruth Bin Ghayat, an expert on authoritarianism, calls it “gender washing,” describing it asadopt politics[ing] A non-threatening image to reduce the power of their extremism.”

An example is France’s Marine Le Pen, who advocated extremist anti-immigration policies through her National Alliance party. Cleverly, Le Pen distanced herself from her father’s overt anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, but otherwise retained the racism, adding some Islamophobia well.

There is also the extremist Israeli politician Ayelet Shaked, who became justice minister in 2015 and whose youthful and beautiful features are often disguised as Awful racism against the Palestinians and bloodthirsty politics. On the other hand, Shaked mocked her critics She appears in a black and white artistic advertisement for a fake “fascist” perfume.

In America, Carrie Lake, the Arizona GOP candidate and former TV news anchor, said on Tucker Carlson’s Show that she was “excited” about Meloni’s victory. Lake promotes Trump’s big lie that the 2020 election was stolen, and recently stands against abortion rights Promoted an anti-Semitic candidateand came out against the LGBTQ+ communities. And of course, referring to Meloni, she said, “This is someone I can relate to.” Representative Marjorie Taylor Green, a QAnon promoter and Jewish space laser conspiracy theorist, also praised Meloni’s victory.

Meloni’s rise also coincides with the rise of female far-right politicians in America and Europe gaining political power and media attention despite being doubled down on cruelty, patriotism and patriarchy.

Yale Professor Jason Stanley, author of How does the outbreak work?she wrote to me about legendary author Toni Morrison’s 1995 letter, “Racism and Fascism,” in which she warned of “collaborators who can purge dispossession.”

Stanley added, “Fascism is a deeply anti-feminist ideology, demanding a world in which women’s choices about their bodies are restricted, and patriarchy defines their primary roles – raising racially pure children, raising children. What better way to sterilize this ideology and mask its threat to women and its use of violence than to present it through a leader? ?”

A woman as a figurehead becomes an immediate shield against any legitimate accusations of misogyny. They also became cultural auditors of the party’s reactionary policies and talking points. In America, for example, white women have historically been “Gardeners continuous chapterAs author Elizabeth Gillespie McCray puts it in her book, Mothers of Mass Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy.

The majority of white women voted for Trump. she was The white women who helped derail the Equal Rights AmendmentCurrently, politicians such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, Rep. Carrie Lake, and Rep. Lauren Boipart are championing an end to abortion rights.

In the twenty-first century, women will not be servants or aunts, but leaders of fascism.

Some critics are emerging from their privileged cocoons in the capital and isolated think tanks and telling us not to feel hysterical or excessively anxious about Italy became fascist again. In response, I would like to take Doc Brown’s DeLorean Back to 2008.

Alaska at the time. Sarah Palin, a former sports broadcaster, introduced herself to America at the Republican National Convention. She said she was just a hockey mom who also participated in the PTA. She followed it up with an infamous quote, “You know they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? lipstick.”

Although she did not ascend to the White House, Palin’s political rise was a harbinger of the extremist Tea Party faction, whose right-wing populism gradually turned into MAGA, which completely consumed the conservative movement. before trump, Palin was the original choice of Steve Bannon The Trojan horse has his own authoritarian right-wing movement.

With history as our guide, we hope people will see that the only difference between a fascist leader and Meloni is the lipstick.

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