Maple Leaf Mamma by Michelle Tarnopolsky

Where feminist motherhood meets expat life in Italy

Do we really still need to celebrate Festa della Donna?

Unlike in North America, where marking March 8 is a newer phenomenon, in Italy there’s a longstanding tradition of celebrating International Women’s Day. One of the loveliest customs is the widespread practice of giving women mimosa flowers. When I […]

Mar, 01 · in Feminism,Italy

The taboo of using the word feminism in Italy

Sometimes you need to pretend to be someone else to do things you’re afraid of. This week I stepped into the (sexy, high-heeled) shoes of a blogger I’ve mentioned here a few times before: M. […]

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Feb, 22 · in Feminism,Italy

The personal is the political is the personal: gender equality at home

I am currently lapping up Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender, which tears down study after study ‘proving’ men and women are hardwired to be different, and I recently finished the chapter about domestic life. She concludes with […]

Jan, 30

Let’s try this again

And…I’m back. But this time I’m not doing anything stupid like promising to write regularly. I do have a new plan for getting back on here though. I blog in my head every day. But […]

Jan, 20

Halloween costumes and picking battles

Peanut and I were in England for a few days in August to visit family, and since most things cost less than in Italy, I stocked up on various things. So many aspects of the […]

Oct, 31

Mother Art Monday: Residency in Motherhood by Lenka Clayton

I suspect Lenka Clayton will understand why it’s taken me about twenty months since I first discovered her work to write about her Artist Residency in Motherhood, filled as these months have been with making ends […]

Oct, 27

Putting my mask on first: attending a writer’s retreat in Tuscany

“A mother must put on her oxygen mask first, in order to be able to help her children” – I see this instruction on airplanes as an appropriate metaphor for feminist mothering. Mothers, empowered, are […]

Sep, 30

Celebrating forty and returning to blogging

Tonight I’m kicking off two months of celebrating my fortieth birthday. I’m reuniting with a dear friend after three years, for one night only, and we’re celebrating 40 together since she’s a week older than […]

Sep, 12

My son’s involved dad and a salute to men like him

We already celebrated Father’s Day in Italy on March 19. I got Andrea some flowers and took him out for dinner. And I got the distinct impression he was in meagre company. Italy still has […]

Jun, 15

Keeping record: Peanut at aged three and three quarters

I had a scare recently. I couldn’t open the CD containing my “Development Notes” on Peanut, the only place I had saved it. The notes run from six months to two and a half years. […]

May, 07

Mother Art Monday: The Visitation by Mariotto Albertinelli

I shudder to think what I would do without my women friends. They totally keep me sane. I’ll never forget the time about ten years ago when, as happens to young expats in Florence, one […]

Mar, 31

Italian love graffiti: call for submissions

No one does cheesy graffiti quite like Italians do. And don’t we love them for it? A few months ago I started a little pet project called Italian Love Graffiti, a tumblr blog that celebrates […]

Mar, 29

An interview with CBC Books for Canada Blogs series

CBC Books interviewed me for their Canada Blogs series! Read the interview here and check out the other great blogs featured in the series listed at the bottom of the page. I especially appreciated being […]

Mar, 21

Mother Art Monday: Family Matters at the CCC Strozzina

A few Twitter-savvy women pals and I decided to #drinkaboutmuseums last Friday night by following up a visit to the Strozzina Centre for Contemporary Culture with some drinks out. With a name like Family Matters I was […]

Mar, 17

Playing with gender norms and bucking the school smock trend

When Peanut started public preschool last September, Andrea went out to buy his first grembiule with my instructions to get one in any colour but blue or pink. He was unsuccessful. While school kids in Italy […]

Mar, 11

IWD in Italy: issues, artists, friends

I must say on this Women’s Day in Italy I am feeling a really exciting wave of change. Since I moved back 6 years ago, there has been a marked increase in public talk about […]

Mar, 08

Cécile Kyenge and racism in Italy

The election of Congo-born Cécile Kyenge as integration minister back in April 2013 has put a global spotlight on Italy’s race problem and revealed some deeply conflicting feelings among Italians about immigration. Though international observers […]

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Mar, 04