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Actress and Director Asia Argento. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Elective recognition

Italian columnist accused of hypocrisy after writing about victim-blaming of Asia Argento

By WITW Staff on October 27, 2017

An Italian columnist has come under scrutiny after writing a column on feminism in Italy as it pertains to Asia Argento having publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. Guia Soncini writes in an Op-Ed published Thursday by The New York Times that she’s not convinced that the victim-blaming endured by Asia Argento in her home country is a result of Italy being “male-run” and “sexist.” In fact, Soncini argues, “the bulk of the Italian press has been on Ms. Argento’s side” — in spite of the fact that there are “zero national newspapers edited by women and zero female columnists in its main national papers.” The worst vitriol directed toward Argento, she explains, has come on social media — and “primarily … from women.”

As to why that may be, Soncini suggests that “in Italy those who call themselves feminists … will fight for your rights — as long as we’re friends.” As evidence, Soncini points to a myriad of comments from women on social media who say they don’t believe Argento’s account because they don’t like her. Many Italian women, she concludes, prefer “the patriarchy you know” over “a triumphant feminism in which none of your acquaintances are involved.”

Translations of tweets provided by Storify user NellaTanaDelConiglio, however, appear to show that Soncini may also be describing her own reaction to the Weinstein scandal. In one tweet written two weeks ago, Soncini wrote, “I dream of a single-line article on Weinstein: Maybe that guy is a sleazebag, but you all hit on him, as long as it was to your advantage.” In another tweet, she mocked actresses and other women who had begun speaking out about sexual assault by writing: “Let’s try for a moment to put ourselves in the fragile state of mind of those who need to remark “hey, somebody hit on me too.” In other tweets sent out by the Italian columnist, she criticized Gwyneth Paltrow for continuing to work with Weinstein despite her claim that she was sexually assaulted by him. As NellaTanaDelConiglio points out, even Asia Argento, after initially sharing the story on Twitter, is now calling on Soncini to explain her apparent victim-blaming attitude.

Read the full Op-Ed at The New York Times and get more on the reaction at Storify.


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