CollectibleDRY 14 – We Are Heroes | On the covers Crystal Renn, Une Jonyaite, Jon Kortajarena and Josephine Skriver, wearing Gucci, Windowsen, Moschino and Chanel.
CollectibleDRY 14 – We Are Heroes | This year has seen more than one celebration of the anniversaries that marked history and changed, in some aspects even unconsciously, our perception of reality and our way of life. The first man to set foot on the Moon, 50 years ago, raised the American flag. In 1989 the Berlin Wall, that ideologically divided the world into two opposing factions, fell. They are (or seem to be) two great achievements towards freedom and democracy. But 1969 also sees the success of masterpieces of the cinema – Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, The Damned -, of literature – Portnoy’s Complaint -, of music – Je t’aime… moi non plus, Space Oddity, Give Peace A Chance -, just to mention a few, which will become the icons of an era.
They are hymns to the individual, to the liberation from conventions and rules, to the explicit and universal declaration of desires and wish to transgress. Everyone claims their own space of free expression. Everyone can become the hero of themselves. Eighty years ago, 1939, one of the most famous fictional superheroes, Batman, was born appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The famous Tim Burton film was released in 1989 and this year – 2019 – the celebrated sequel Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix. Stormy stories with alienated individuals, borderline, and superheroes, who reveal themselves, beyond the mask, fragile and disturbed. Instead, today, in movies, it is the superheroine who is strong, who has a clear mission, both terrestrial and in the role of a super-powered character, like the new Captain Marvel. A clear and decisive choice of Hollywood Majors after the rise of the #MeToo movement.
Women claim a role in society and at this time it is not the movement inspired by the film stars that is filling the streets all over the world. These women, even in countries that seem to our eyes to deprive them of equal rights as compared to the men and where they actually play important roles in society, are marching together and claiming what is still missing. That is what today, after the conquests of the feminist movements of the 60s and 70s, turns out to be an increasingly dramatic request, because it is accepted by the male counterpart with suspicion and unfortunately, even more frequently, with violence. The request to always be able to be a woman, to manage her own identity, external and internal, and own sexuality, in an autonomous way, disconnected from serving the needs and desires of men. “My body, my choice” the women shouted in the 1970s, now they hope in “The Future is Female”, recently brandished as a manifesto. A still relevant dilemma faced by the feminist movement is how to challenge the definition of femininity without compromising the principals of feminism. There is talk about worrying increase of violence, especially in countries where women’s empowerment should be stronger. These data express a sharp contradiction: the need of women to reaffirm their femininity, at any cost, and the respect of unwritten rules, which males have internalized in years of relationship with the other sex. Rules dictated by a civilized society, but which often mediate behaviors that have to do with the sphere of sexuality and uncontrolled emotional-psychological courses. Women as a whole need to acknowledge that they own their own body, not each other’s, and need to stop making decisions based off men, when women are the ones who will actually be affected. But when does it stop being your body that you control and when does it become a threat to feminism and “giving in” to the male gaze? Unfortunately the female models proposed by many pop music stars, who claim their adherence to empowerment movements, often represent in their videos even violent scenes of female submission, or the objectifying exhibition of their bodies as sexual prey, followed by millions of young, even very young girls. Certainly not better are women as social media influencers, often adolescents, who mostly transmit images of stupidity and vulgarity – not vital, it would be magnificent! – but deadly homologated and crushed on a single model of idiocy and insolent superficiality. Of course, there is a global strategy to spread these idiotic stereotypes that threaten the growth of healthy and independent self-esteem in young women. And even in men, forced from an early age to deal with a one dimension femininity with pernicious consequences.
Bullying, physical violence, oppression, frustration. And inability to express themselves and understand what are the real feelings that can lead to the choice to be able to love, and the necessity of the respect towards the own partner.
For young women the conquest of “my body belongs to me” must not become the key for a new form of slavery. It must be the awareness that being born as a woman and being a woman means knowing how to use this power to become a heroine, but not as a victim of violence and abuse, or survivor of those horrors. Superheroic, like so many women who fight every day for their families, at work, in missions where courage and empathy are needed.
But in Italy, where I live, this is also the year of a tragic anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the Piazza Fontana massacre, when a bomb exploded in the Agriculture Bank on 12 December 1969, in Milan. A hell made up of heroes, 17 victims, 100 wounded, the two anarchists unjustly and falsely accused: the artist Pietro Valpreda, and Giuseppe Pinelli, then dropped from a window of the Milan police headquarters. Heroes and Aliens, against their will. Because a state conniving with terrorism for subversive purposes, which, instead of protecting, exposes its citizens to the insult of crime, makes from ordinary people, Martyrs and Heroes for a better society.
“But when they see a really free individual, it’s gonna scare ‘em.”
“Well, it don’t make ‘em runnin’ scared.”
“No, it makes them dangerous.”
Easy Rider, 1969, Jack Nicholson talks to Dennis Hopper
CollectibleDRY 14 has four covers, your copy will be selected at random when ordered.