Introduction: The topic we are about to discuss is not easy and it does not appear to have much appeal. Indeed, as is often the case, the number of people attending debates on these issues is small. The interest for gender identity appears in the mid twentieth century. Simone de Beauvoir stated that “One is born male or female, one becomes a man or a woman”. This implies that the passage from one state to the other consists of a long and often difficult cultural and educational process accompanying subjects from one’s birth onwards.
At that time sexist stereotypes had not been eliminated, indeed they had not yet been damaged and they denoted characteristics which were out-of-date and anachronistic and in most cases males prevailed over females on the basis of the so-called patriarchy. In truth, it must be said that when women began to work outside the home, thus redeeming themselves from subjection, they had already slowly conquered through a new autonomy, a new identity, enriched by the capacity to take upon themselves responsabilities, take decisions, assert themselves on the workplace, prerogatives which in the past had belonged solely to men.
In the meantime the feminist movement had given a strong impulse to the emancipation of women bearing in mind, in particular, the assimilation to the male characteristics, i.e. the “privileged gender”. In other words, this movement sought to achieve equality in terms of rights, setting aside those peculiarities which made females a different subject. The difference in thought was concentrated on the different subjectivity.
Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.