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Alma Sabatini

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Alma Sabatini (Rome, 6 September 1922-Rome, 12 April 1988) was an Italian essayist, linguist, teacher and feminist activist. She was engaged in several human rights battles.

Biography[edit | edit source]

She was born in Rome, (6 September 1922) in a rich family. She lost her father at 7. She graduated in Italian Literature, at La Sapienza University (Rome) in 1945 and she gained some fellowships to perfect her knowledge of English language in United States of America and Liverpool (UK). Then, she taught English Language at primary and secondary schools in Rome, but, in 1979, she decided to retired and to dedicate completely last years of her life to feminist movement. She married Professor Robert Braun after a long time of common law marriage. On April the 12th 1988 she died in Rome, with her husband, in a car crash. The nonreligious funeral rites were celebrated at International Women House in Della Lungara Street, Rome.

Politic and social works[edit | edit source]

Militant in Radical Party in the 1960s, in 1971 Sabatini was one of founders, and the first President, of Liberation Women's Movement (MLD, in Italian language). MLD fought for legalisation of abortion, against sexism and patriarchy. In the middle of the same year, with some other activists, she abandoned the Movement to create a consciousness group and to discuss about sexuality and personal experiences. On March the 8 th 1972, during an authorised demonstration in Campo de' Fiori Square in Rome, Alma had a head injury after a police raid and she was admitted to Emergency Department. during one of consciousness meetings, journalist Gabriella Parca suggested to start a magazine, then known as Effe. Effe was print form 1973; Alma contributed to the magazine for about a year.

In the same period came into contact with the Feminist Movement Collective of Pompeo Magno Street, then become  Roman Feminist Movement; she contributed to dissemination of monthly informative bulletin and participated to initiatives and demonstrations against engaging in prostitution and for legalisation of abortion; in 1973, she adopted the practice of self-denunciation as a sign of sympathy for Gigliola Pierobon, who was tried because she had an abortion. She was acquitted for the charge of abortion and advocates crimes in 1976.

An extensive exchange of correspondence with American feminists like Diana Russell, Marcia Keller, Karen DeCrow and Betty Friedan, gave her the change of visiting several cities of Unites States of America and taking part in conferences, meetings and interviews from 1971 to 1972, as an exponent of Italian feminism.

Contributions of gender issues[edit | edit source]

She published several contributions in magazines (Effe and Quotidiano Donna), where she addresses issues of abortion, maternity, sexuality, equal opportunities, prostitution and marriage.

Her name remained mainly tied to an essay about sexism in the Italian language, Raccomandazioni per un uso non sessista della lingua italiana.

In 1986, on behalf of National Commission for Equal Opportunities between women and men, established among Premiership, she curated the edition of Il sessismo nella lingua italiana, guidelines addressed to schools and scholastic publishing industry to propose elimination of gender stereotypes from Italian language. After a study on terminology used in textbooks and in mass-media, Sabatini highlighted the predominance of masculine gender, used in Italian gender with double worth (the so-called neutral masculine), that deleted the presences of feminine subjects from speeches. She underlined the missed used of institutional words feminine inflected (ministra, sindaca, assessora, ecc) and the consideration allowed to a masculine word, but not to feminine equivalent.

Alma Sabatini asserted: "The theoretical reasons behind this work are that non only the language reflects the society that speak its, but also influences and limits its thinking, imagination, and cultural and social development". Despite the critics received, her work opened a discussion about the need to innovate the Italian language, that recently involved the Accademia della Crusca yet.

Works[edit | edit source]

  • Alma Sabatini, Il sessismo nella lingua italiana (PDF), Marcella Mariani, Edda Billi e Alda Santangelo, Presidenza del Consiglio dei ministri. Dipartimento per l'informazione e l'editoria, 1986. URL consultato l'11 giugno 2015.

References[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Documenti d'archivio del Fondo Alma Sabatini conservato a Roma presso Archivia - Archivi, Biblioteche e Centri di documentazione delle donne. http://www.archiviaabcd.it/
  • Donnità : cronache del Movimento Femminista Romano, Roma, Centro di documentazione del Movimento Femminista Romano, 1976
  • Mi piace vestirmi di rosso, DVD ideato e realizzato da Edda Billi, Marina del Vecchio, Paola Mastrangeli e Giovanna Olivieri 2012

Related items[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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