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We need to say thank you to Gianna Nannini

Her testimony about the harassment she suffered is valuable, but we don't realize it

We need to say thank you to Gianna Nannini Her testimony about the harassment she suffered is valuable, but we don't realize it

Guest on Che tempo che fa to promote her new music project, titled Sei nel l'anima, which was released on March 22nd, Gianna Nannini recounted an unfortunate incident from her youth. Speaking about school and adolescence with Fabio Fazio, she revealed having experienced harassment during music theory lessons at the age of 13, by her teacher. Not only did she disclose this, but she also demonstrated what had been done to her on the presenter. Without hesitation and without (rightfully) feeling even a hint of embarrassment, after the demonstration, she concluded by emphasizing the importance of taking such incidents seriously, as they can significantly impact the mental health of those who endure them. A message that shouldn’t be so groundbreaking, yet still is.

The Myriad Revolutions of Gianna Nannini

Gianna Nannini knows a thing or two about revolutions. Her private life is shrouded in mystery and mystique, from her daughter (named Penelope Jane, born in 2010 through artificial insemination) to her move to London with her partner Carla, who has been by her side for many years, to her relationship with gender and sexuality, on which she has faced invasive speculation throughout her career. Regarding this, she stated: "I was born in 1983, without gender. And I say this immediately to avoid the usual question of whether I love women or men, I have already answered, I have loved women and men," closing one discussion and opening a thousand others, while also discussing gender in a new, fluid manner that the Italian public struggles to digest and perhaps that's precisely why it's so valuable.

The Importance of Testimony

We often fail to realize, too caught up in a million simultaneous impulses, too distracted to contextualize. However, these kinds of declarations, especially those concerning accounts of harassment endured—whether considered "major" or "minor," it doesn't matter, in fact, we should start overcoming these distinctions, relating them all to patriarchy—are extremely useful, even fundamental. They help us understand, empathize, incorporate into public discourse a whole set of concepts to process. They help normalize, let's be clear, not harassment, but the very concept of violation, the power play often behind it. It's no surprise that these things happen, for instance, between teachers and students, in imbalanced relationships, endured and suffered silently so as not to cause disturbance. But disturbance is necessary, they must emerge from the sand, even 60 years later, it doesn't matter, even without naming names. We must speak up, and this is what Gianna Nannini did, stating that these things happened and happen at school, everywhere, continuously, and they must be prevented and confronted with the appropriate seriousness. Turning a blind eye should no longer be acceptable.

Everything We Owe to Victims of Violence Who Choose to Speak Up

Telling isn’t easy, quite the opposite. It can bring feelings of shame, make us feel dirty and in the wrong, scared of the reactions of friends, family, the public. Traumas are complex matter, to be addressed in therapy rather than on a television talk show, at least initially. This is another reason why we must welcome those who do so with gratitude, create a safe space, not taint their statements with doubts and bad faith. Believing a victim and then being disproven is in any case a better (and more useful and innovative) move than siding with a potential perpetrator. Some things will be decided in court, while others will conclude on the small screen. What's important, setting aside legal processes, is to understand the impact these courageous individuals have on us, on the world we live in. How every testimony, small or large, is fundamental, a small stone in the mountain of patriarchal deconstruction and all the violence it carries with it, one step at a time.