Did it take Amadeus to realize that Italian TV treats women as objects?

The feeling I have had since social media exists is that every controversy goes through a life cycle as intense as it is short, I would say comparable to the duration of a butterfly on Earth. More or less every day there is a new one hashtag which exhausts its argumentative potential within a few hours, excluding any lucky cases that manage to survive at the end of the day. The history of the 70th edition of the Sanremo festival and of Amadeus case seems to belong to this second category of trending topic, who continue to feed by always adding a few more pieces. It is not strange that the famous event promptly arouse food for thought, even if rather excited, but what is happening a few weeks after its inception seems interesting to me for a reason that seems to me to be out of sight to almost everyone. In fact, it seems that anyone who has spoken out against the choice of the presenter not to be satisfied with the classic double of valleys, following literally the historical words of Lucio Battisti, both as suddenly fallen into the reality of our television, realizing only now that it is packed with women who, to put it with an expression in vogue recently, "are stepping back", but also forgetting that of figures strong female and not secondary at all there are many. All of this spawned a messy, noisy, brawl-style cloud between gods characters Looney Tunes, between statements pro-Amadeus, counter-festival, waivers of shareholdings and interesting discussions on the role of ombrelline. Yet, in my opinion, it is not so difficult to clarify and ask very simply if, perhaps, the reason why the declarations of Amedeo Umberto Rita Sebastiani are so polarizing is because the problem is precisely the object of the controversy, without necessarily appealing to the gallows and lawyers of the devil.

Let's analyze the question from a broader point of view: the figure of the little valley, of the escort who has the task of being a pure ornament to the television frame, has always existed, and so far I don't think there are any doubts. In fact, television is a place composed primarily of images – otherwise we would be talking about radio – and Sanremo, with all its annual pomp and ability to catalyze always and in any case so much attention, is the quintessence of this audiovisual agglomeration that , like it or not, it represents a moment of collective cohesion. Its structure, even if it can change in the regulation or in the scenography, remains always almost identical, changing if anything from a paradigmatic point of view, since every artistic director, every presenter or presenter and every singer then makes the difference, decreeing the success or the failure of the edition. In this huge cauldron of hosted, controversies, orchestras that throw the sheets, people who threaten suicide from the Ariston pigeon house and so on, there is a fundamental figure, and that of the decoration, that is, of two or more women in sight in that particular period that they will take care of reading the names of the competitors and taking part in some curtains. Amadeus's choice to have not two but even ten of them strikes straight to the uncovered nerve of the present, that is, the clash between past and modernity that is taking place since the woman no longer plays purely subordinate and secondary roles to men. Setting aside the hoes that he gave himself on the feet with his subsequent declarations, it is precisely the formula he has chosen to present that already alone is enough to make him the target of criticism: we are in 2020, there really is a need to build a harem around you of "beautiful" women – somewhat superfluous clarification, given that it is precisely in being beautiful that the role of a valley consists – exchanging them every evening as if they were accessories to be alternated? The question, even if it is polemical, seems to me to be legitimate and in step with today's debate, not at all pretentious.

Laura Chimenti, Francesca Sofia Novello, Antonella Clerici, Amadeus, Emma D’Aquino and Diletta Leotta

In 2010, the writer Lorella Zanardo published a book and a documentary entitled The body of women, an interesting investigation into the way in which the female body, almost estranged from the people to whom it belongs, was represented and humiliated in our television. In ten years, the TV has cleaned up enough of a series of images in style Flavia Vento under a table that is being kindly encouraged by Teo Mammuccari to do his duty, and for this we can thank the greater awareness that is spreading about what is fun, ironic and colored by what is simply vulgar and offensive. Still, there are still many broadcasts today that use women as a mere tinsel, but it does not seem to me that anyone has ever been particularly outraged if historical programs such as Strip the news they still use pseudo-night club sticks with tissue paper hanging for study or if quizzes like The legacy make use of four "professors" who accompany Flavio Insinna playing a role as intellectuals when it seems obvious that they have been chosen more for their appearance – and for the fact of being women – than for their skills.

Just recently, the reboot of an old program of Mediaset's Zero Years program, that is La Pupa and the Nerdy, which has been duly updated with the words "and viceversa"To indicate that in the modern version and attentive to current issues there will not be only i cliche the ignorant pupa and the virgin nerd chess champion but also girls with thick glasses and good-natured with the third grade. Too bad that of "inverted" pairs, in which the cultured and meticulous woman as only the nerd can be from time to time uses words like "patriarchy", there are only two, underlining another point of the issue of women accessory of the TV. Returning to the great Sanremo tradition, just in 2016 Carlo Conti had opted for a "vallette and vice versa" version, accompanying its management with the evanescent presence of Gabriel Garko. In fact, the actor should have embodied the overturning of a stereotype, playing with the role of handsome without too many intellectual pretensions, with the result of emphasizing even more how well rooted the idea and that role is for women, just like with the "velini" experiment by Strip. In fact, the Garko episode cannot certainly counterbalance the issue of women and TV, given that it is a unique case and will be remembered only as an exception that confirms the rule.

Madalina Ghenea, Gabriel Garko, Virginia Raffaele and Carlo Conti

But it is not always so obvious that whoever launches into certain battles is doing it for love of cause and not for a simple fashion, which feeds even more the short circuit of the present for which a theme like this becomes so central. In fact, another television episode has recently highlighted a thorny aspect of this ferment on the female theme, and it is the story of the ex gieffino Except Venetian who was disqualified from the home of GFVip for using decidedly unsuitable phrases to talk about another competitor. All right, we agree, a similar punishment was obvious, but not even 1% of attention was given to what Adriana Volpe said about contracts issue television and maternity, and therefore on the legitimate equality in working terms that belongs to men and women, in any field. We are faced with another paradox: on the one hand a presenter who does not realize the weight of his artistic choices and the reactions that they can arouse on the female audience, almost as if to emphasize similar things is a spite towards him; on the other a broadcast in which the flag of respect for women is waved but only if it is an episode that lends itself to keeping us glued to the TV, so much who cares about serious things like discrimination on the world of work.

Adriana Volpe

So it is clear that we are walking on a tightrope and that falling on one side or another is very easy and sudden, I would say almost inevitable, but it is also evident that we are redefining a common language and way of thinking, we don't have to necessarily transform any controversy into an arena full of lions and severed heads, although this is often a very tempting prospect. Progress does not mean censorship or moralism, just as freedom of morals and superficiality are not incompatible in positive terms: in essence, I don't think we should intervene as a good-cost police by abolishing any form of human decoration; just as I don't even think that shrugging or going out with the usual exhortations "Nothing ever suits you" is the right way. If what happened around Sanremo, Amadeus, the ten women called in question and the respective companions they walk behind aroused so much debate, it will also mean something, and maybe that something is simply that times have changed and the ornamental woman it is obsolete. At the same time, TV is also an image, the image can also be just beauty in itself – a beautiful body, a beautiful face, a beautiful voice to watch and listen to or simply contemplate – not necessarily equipped with fundamental contents or roles . Maybe we could rewrite this aesthetic by including not only a collection of young women but also by bringing up beautiful men, without censoring or depriving us of anything – nor by doing it in the form of a Garko-style speck – but making the show we want equal in all respects enjoy everyone, regardless of our gender and sexual preferences. Italian television does not lack important and high-level female figures – indeed, perhaps at the moment they are even in the majority compared to colleagues – just as there is no shortage of attractive and charming men who can even speak little, which we are waiting to reshuffle the cards and make everyone happy?