Inspiring Thursday: Michela Murgia
Il rispetto per le persone comincia dalle parole che usi per definirle. Per questo non staremo zitte. Mai più.
Respect for people starts from the words used to defined them. For this reason, we will not shut up. Never again.
Michela Murgia is an Italian writer and activist, born in Sardinia in 1972. Most of her writing shows a recurrent interest in women’s issues.
Murgia represents one of the most prominent personalities of the intellectual, social, and also political scenario of contemporary Italy. Characterized by a path that is far from linear, Murgia can aspire to define herself as a woman activist with a successful career and strong of excellent public recognition. She writes a blog and is an active figure in social media, as well as she contributes to a wide variety of magazines and newspapers.
Her 2009-novel “Accabadora” received public acclaim and earned her the prestigious Campiello Prize in 2010, the Molinello Award for First Fiction, the Mondello International Literary Prize, and other awards. The novel has been translated into French, German, Catalan, and English.
As a writer publicly engaged in the struggle against female objectification and women’s exclusion from power, culture, and politics in Italian society, in 2011 Murgia tackled most of these topics in a non-fictional text, “Ave Mary”. This essay investigates how, over the last 20 centuries, Catholic culture has systematically belittled the role of women in society by offering them an unachievable female model in the figure of the Virgin Mary, whose celestial perfection creates a sense of frustration and lack of self-esteem in every woman attempting to aspire to it. With Loredana Lipperini, Murgia tackled the tragic topic of violence against women in contemporary Italian Society in their book “‘L’ho uccisa perché l’amavo.’ Falso!” (“‘I killed her because I loved her.’ False!”) (2013).
In the regional Sardinian elections of February 2014, she stood as a candidate as part of the center-left/autonomous coalition with the party Sardegna Possibile (“Possible Sardinia”), which aimed to achieve Sardinian independence via the ballot. Murgia came third in the polls, gaining 10% of the vote.
Di tutte le cose che le donne possono fare nel mondo, parlare è ancora considerata la piú sovversiva.
Of all the things women can do in the world, talking is still considered the most subversive.
In her activity as a public figure Murgia has always posed as an activist especially in the field of gender equality and anti-fascism, maintaining her positions not only in her works but also thanks to her participation in Italian political life, television programs and debates. One of the themes very dear to Michela Murgia is the fight against discrimination starting from the language that is used by the media and ordinary people, considering language as an effective tool of change and revolution. This theme is addressed in the book “Stai zitta” (“Shut up”), pubblished in early March 2021. The book contains a reflection on sexist language used to define women, inclusing nine discriminatory phares that women face everyday in their lives.
The book also led to an ongoing social media campaign against sexist and discriminatory language, sustained by Italian newspaper La Repubblica, which is involving women to fight against sexism in Italian society. The campaign sustain the fact that for every inequality of rights that women suffer because of male chauvism, there is a verbal implant that supports and justifies it.
Written by WAVE intern Diva Adelaide Edosini