There has never been a more uncertain time than tomorrow.
This popular belief sums up the current situation we are in very well.
Some say that the quarantine will benefit us, despite the desease.
Tomorrow we will step out of our houses and we’ll give much more importance to actions that had always been taken for granted, we will give more value to certain moments, experiences and gazes.
Believing this after finding out about the unfortunate news that is going around seems like a paradox.
Numerous groups on telegram have been exposed for having shared revenge porn and pedo-pornographic content; intimate pictures of girlfriends, mothers, daughters, sisters. Women violated just to be traded around like figurines.
It is estimated that around thirty-thousand messages are sent per day ,men asking for and offering pictures, phone numbers of ex-girlfriends, requests to “make life impossible” for people that not long ago they confessed their love for. As if this isn’t enough, it was all accompanied by filthy and deplorable comments on the female figure itself, comparing it to slaughter meat and an object “to be raped”.
It seemes surreal to believe this actually happened, especially recalling the law approved by the Italian government a year ago that declared that the punishment to revenge porn would be incarceration for one to six years in addition to a fine that could go from 5’000 to 15’000 Euros. It is especially unbelievable that some people still blame the victims for what has been done to them, calling them shabby names.
It is unbelievable that the majority of people only react by saying “not all men are like that”.
It is unbelievable that even today, after everything we have been through, there are still people that someone would dare play with others’ lives.
A gruesome game with a terrible impact.
We should remember the story of Carolina Picchio, whose life someone had fun ruining, and who one apparently ordinary night of January 2013, decided to take her own life by jumping off her balcony. Young Carolina was only 14 years old but the pain she had to bear was so harsh that she felt like it would swallow her whole, until it finally did.
This is also the pain that made Tiziana Cantone make the same choice in 2016.
Two unknown women but with the same fate: a life ruined because of a simple video.
Two women that our society could not save, whom on the contrary they condemned.
These are examples of two faces, two names, two stories that can represent what the victims of the telegram groups are going through.
This is what makes the hope to give our lives a new meaning disappear. In front of such horror, we are robbed of every wish we had made for a better future ever since we were forced to stay in our homes.
We naively think that everyone is united in wanting to save lives, now more than ever. However, in the wonderfully advanced society we live in, we must live alongside monsters in ties that trade figurines of bodies of girls, women, mothers as if they were worth nothing; as if they were theirs by right.
In any case, it is true that “not all men are like that” but the ones who stay in silence, who pretended not to have seen anything, the ones who knew these groups existed and did nothing: they also contribute to rape culture. Their thoughts were probably: “It’s not something I can stop, why should I even try?”.
For Carolina, for Tiziana and for all those women who couldn’t leave their house for a walk or a coffee with friends, those who are not longer with us… for all those who still are with us but are no longer the same: We should try for them.
Angelica Nicole Ricca
Translated by Khadija Taufiq