Giorgia Meloni and the Politics of Power Dressing Up with Power
When Giorgia Meloni became an MP in 2013, she was not only Italy’s first female deputy but also its first openly gay woman. Meloni has used her office to highlight the need for greater gender equality at all levels. The Italian Prime Minister’s office had to get its act together so it could manage her.
In this week’s issue, we take on the same topic, in yet another guise, with the Italian Prime Minister herself as the focus. As we saw last week, Meloni has recently begun to play up the gender politics of her office, telling a radio talk show that when she speaks, she feels “in command.” She said that her appearance in the halls of Berlusconi’s government on Saturday was “an invitation” to a small but powerful group of women and that the fact that she’s also gay is “an element that is relevant to me.”
As a political observer, I find all of this “in command” talk quite funny and entertaining. Giorgia Meloni is a politician. She is the only woman in the government of Matteo Renzi and, as we have all seen, she uses her role to promote herself and her party as a “leader.” She is part of a small clique of women who share a vision of Italy as a country where the gender issue is central to everything. For these women, the fact that Giorgia Meloni has the same sexual orientation as Renzi, as has his wife Elisabetta, is only a coincidence. But what matters is her role as a politician.
The question is, why is she doing this? Well, not only is she a woman in power, she is also a politician. Politics was not in the same category of interests when she was elected in 2013