Simona Siri is an Italian freelance journalist based in New York. She is regular contributor to Vanity Fair Italy and the newspaper La Stampa.
Having a misogynist running the country has repercussions. And no, I am not talking about the United States and President Trump. I am talking about my own country, Italy, where having the notoriously sexist Silvio Berlusconi in power for more than 20 years, on and off, is showing its effects — largely in the very different and disturbing way the #MeToo movement has played out in Italy. Very few women have come forward, and men have faced few consequences. More alarming is the fact that in Italy no politician has been implicated — nor any high-profile writer, CEO, doctor, TV personality or journalist.
Right now, the climate in the two countries could not seem farther apart. In the United States, there is a widespread sense that the country is experiencing a fundamental shift in terms of power dynamics between men and women in the workplace. In Italy, the #QuellaVoltaChe movement (the equivalent of #MeToo — it means “that time that”) generated 20,000 tweets in the first week and a lot of discussion online. Then it quietly was buried among the topics that no one really wants to address.