the fascist male

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By EUGENIO BUCCI*

In Brazil there is no fascism per se, but traces of fascism are everywhere

Italy, 1938. “The fascist man is a father, husband and soldier”. This advertising slogan circulates as official propaganda for Mussolini. The phrase appears on posters and other materials promoting the regime.

One of these small posters can be seen in a scene from the movie. a very special day (A Special Day), by Ettore Scola. Carlo Ponti's production, released in 1977, narrates the unlikely meeting between a radio host (Marcello Mastroianni) and a housewife (Sofia Loren), who, on Sunday, May 8, 1938, are alone in an apartment building in Rome .

That day, Hitler and some of his ministers visit the city. All the other people who live in the building, dressed in their best clothes, came out to applaud the Leader and the Duce, who speak in front of the National Monument to Victor Manuel II. The broadcaster does not feel part of the festivities, since, in addition to being an intellectual, he is gay (he is not a father, husband, or soldier). The housewife didn't go to the rally because she has to wash clothes and, little by little, she realizes that fascism only reserves a subordinate role for her. She wants to wish for another life.

Brazil, 2022. Here there is no fascism as such, but traces of fascism are everywhere. Authoritarian misogyny is one such trait. Armed phallocentrism. Hatred of intellectuals is another peculiarity of the same doctrine, as well as repression of the arts, contempt for universities and incessant attacks against the press.

Any citizen who adopts the profession of journalist is subject to harassment and intimidation. If that citizen is a citizen, your risks are redoubled. The mentality installed in power abhors reporters with the same fury that oppresses female freedom. Federal government officials and their supporters hurl insults at women journalists in sexual innuendos.

For them, the female condition is a handicap: in women, desire is illness, weakness and lack of virtue, while in men, desire is vigour, courage and strength. For the fascist male, the woman who desires and is free suffers from some contagious dementia. She must be fought, disqualified, mocked – and burned, as a witch. Nothing terrifies him more than a citizen who thinks for herself and doesn't give in. This is the guy who beats women, if not with his hands then with outrageous words.

Fascist man, what is he? A bad father, an insensitive husband and a cowardly soldier. When he ventures into politics, he is a fraud. Male chauvinist.

* Eugene Bucci He is a professor at the School of Communications and Arts at USP. Author, among other books, of The superindustry of the imaginary (authentic).

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