How urban planning and architecture can contrast 'womanism' and 'mancracy' and dress women's bodies with new spaces. Gender-friendly

“I inherited Hannah Arendt's chair,” she says shyly, as if she were pronouncing the name of a complete stranger. She is Italian, born in 1975, Chiara Bottici </ strong> lives and works in New York, where she teaches philosophy at the New School for Social Research.

And it somewhat embodies the feminist redemption of all of us who love the studies of one who, thanks to the intersection between anti-Semitism, imperialism and mass politics, has contributed to restoring a more complex, articulated vision of totalitarianism and always current.

In a handful of years, the teacher and researcher, essayist and writer, American by adoption, has become one of the most authoritative voices of feminist philosophy: "I have learned from my literary production like to share two titles: 'No submission. Feminism as a critique of the social order', and 'Feminist mythology'. An essay and a story that tell stories of women", but not for women only.

Her approach to feminist theories is 'radical and territorial' and, in these times, it is important to underline this because the impact of her thoughts on urban planning, architecture and interior designhelps to imagine a world fit for 'gender equality'.

Everything revolves around the body moving in space: “What type of environment facilitates movement? And again: who and what decides how we move? Politics, because it makes the laws that regulate travel trajectories. Urban planning because it traces the routes. Architecture because it defines places and their liveability. This is why it is important that it is not only and always the same bodies that dictate the rules and decide how to organize the spaces", and this is why the battle for the defense of women's quotas, also known as 'discrimination positive', is a fundamental step towards achieving the objectives of the entire community. Of all of us.

And staying united, as the tireless Michela Murgia loved to remind us until the end of his days, should be a mantra. But that's it.

Feminism is not 'a' part, it is 'the' part of the whole”, therefore you cannot do politics, urban planning, architecture and even journalism and then add feminism. No, you can't.

“Be careful not to fall into 'womanism': feminism does not mean claiming the role of women in positions of power, the same ones presided over by men”, such as that of Prime Minister, “with the risk of legitimize the same oppressive chauvinist structure.

Feminism means questioning sexism and gender discrimination at the root: therefore claiming freedom not for one woman, but for everyone.

What value can my freedom have if, while I am sitting comfortably at home, other women die to allow me to maintain my privileges?”, in this sense the philosophy of Chiara Bottici is not only radical but also territorial, because it enters into conversation with the local resources available to each body.

“In Italy, for example, feminist theory leads back to the anarcha-feminist debate”, that is, a feminism without 'arché', a feminism without hierarchies.

“From here, the reflection on intersectionality. Example: the identity of a woman who finds herself at the point of intersection between multiple levels of discrimination (black, poor, homosexual), does not depend on the sum of the 'different levels' of marginalization", the discriminations do not add up, "discriminations support each other”.

And expanding even just numerically the presence everywhere of people united in marginalization can make the register of conversation evolve.

As she explains it to us with the simplicity that distinguishes her. “Rewriting history and with it the vision of the world, culture and society in general. Is it just my feeling that the bibliographies of the manuals are a single large male summary? Is it possible that over the centuries there have been no female intellectuals?”, she reflects aloud.

“When I then discovered that the Chicago University Press had published 60 titles by women philosophers of the Renaissance, including some Italian ones, never published in Italy, I understood that the school system Universal had a problem. And it wasn't 'cancel culture'.

That Tullia D'Aragona is better than Pico della Mirandola and Christine de Pizan than Machiavelli is not an assumption, but an evidence known to very few. And I could go on.

Who knows the verses of Juana Inés de la Cruz, a seventeenth-century Mexican religious woman and poet? We need to change our point of view on what we have been taught, and train our curiosity to have a more rounded vision of what has happened up to now", the authors were there and also their books: "Caterina from Siena and Tullia of Aragon together with Plato and Aristotle".

The point is that Italian school programs were drawn up when women still did not have the right to vote, "in my opinion, Italian school education remains incredibly patriarchal.

Profound reforms are urgently needed to try to bring closer a vision of society that can no longer be exclusively 'uomocratic'. Why do I prefer to talk about 'uomocracy' and not patriarchy?

Because patriarchy is the government of the patriarch.

It is a term that denotes that within a family it is the fathers who exercise command and today, in a historical phase in which the traditional model is questioned, the figure of the master father is no longer the rule.

So how can we explain that, although patriarchy in the strict sense has been overcome, at school we mainly study books, theories and poems written by only one sex, among the many possible ones? Because the idea of man still counts as a specific sex”, Simone de Beauvoir, an important (female) exponent of existentialism, reminds us.

“Man understood as an individual counts both as a universal genus and as a living species at the top of the chain of being. And the project, with its constructions, can only restore to everyone the privileges it has always recognized. Transforming the analysis paradigm from punctual to fluid is fundamental to promote a new way of planning, drawing and seeing the world. As? Making the concept of transindividuality one's own", closes Chiara Bottici, "and accepting that we are not definitive individuals, but in progress".

Because it is through mutation that the evolution of a species occurs. Let's not forget: let's unite and change the world.