Women leaders and wholesome politics? Hmmm…Giorgia Meloni, Liz Truss
Back to the question we considered a few days ago: Put a woman in charge of a country and does that automatically mean all will be well? (Click here to have a read of my New European piece on the subject.)
No, it aint necessarily so.
As I said before, having a woman in charge of a country doesn’t always mean the automatic application of healing and centring techniques that allow the nation to slow down, breathe mindfully, listen to itself, ‘feel’ what’s going on and focus its energy on holistic growth.
We have previously considered Liz Truss as Britain’s prime minister, come September 5.
Now, let’s look at Giorgia Meloni as Italy’s prime minister after the September 25 general election.
Can there be less healing leaders than Ms Truss and Ms Meloni?
Ms Meloni is a particularly interesting example of a politician who would break the glass ceiling and simultaneously usher in the kind of politics that we hoped Italy had left behind with Mussolini.
If Italy’s September 25 election votes the Brothers of Italy party into office, Ms Meloni, its leader, will make history as the country’s first female prime minister.
The Brothers of Italy party is currently polling narrowly ahead of the centre-left Democrats and could cobble together a broad right-wing coalition with Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.
That will neither be pretty nor healthful. Despite being led by a sister, the Brothers of Italy party pursues a politics sans the healing and centring qualities that might help a nation hear its inner voice.
Ms Meloni has repeatedly insisted the Brothers of Italy are not fascist but the far-right party’s origins lie in the Italian Social Movement.
The Movement was founded on the zeal of supporters of dictator Benito Mussolini and arose from the still-hot ashes of the 1946 World War II defeat.
Ms Meloni uses the emblem adopted by Mussolini’s supporters and has made it a point to keep her party’s office in the building they frequented. She has described Mussolini as “a complex personality” and has written in her autobiography: “We are children of our history. Of our whole history. As is the case with all other nations, the path we have travelled is complex, much more complicated than many want to make known.”
As for the policy positions of the Brothers of Italy, they are against immigration and for a very narrow vision of national identity. Earlier this summer, at a rally for Spain’s far-right Vox party, Ms Meloni trotted out her standard-issue solution to Italy’s perceived inexorable decline: “Yes to secure borders! No to mass immigration! Yes to our civilization! And no to those who want to destroy it!” She is an outspoken critic of the “LGBT lobbies” in the West.
So, to the question we have addressed before: Can we really, with a straight face, talk about women bringing a totally different, healing touch to politics just because they are women?