When I was still living in Italy, I joined the Italian branch of the Emily List, the organization that - in the United States - is doing so much to support women in politics. I was pretty excited when I joined that group and still have some good memories of that time. It was through that experience that I realized what was holding back women in Italy and why we were so behind compared to those living in other European countries. That was the time when I personally experienced the ugly truth that women, most of the time, can be women's worst enemies I found myself plunged in a group where co-operation and support were offered only superficially and used to maintain the power of few and the general practice was mostly inspired by a very sad attempt to imitate the worst male habits.
When I moved to the United States, I didn't have any hope left for my own gender. I had no wish to support the equality and the empowerment of women. I felt hurt and betrayed. I was vulnerable during the transition from one country to another and that was everything I "needed" to archive that period of my life as a waste of time and a failure. But we never completely fail and there is no action that we pursue without getting some good from it, some lesson, some inspiration.
This is why, when my dear friend Delia and I decided to found "The Women Collaborative", a group to support "women in transition", I was fired up and ready to go. That experience gave me a chance to heal and to recover 100% of my passion for women rights and for female friendship and support. I was blessed with meeting wonderful women I truly admire many of whom are still in my life and who are an inspiration to me: Emme and Stephanie Ruhle Hubbard as well as many others.
When I was living in Italy, I worked many times for women with "power". I had my share of "issues" with men but I will never forget when a women put me aside just because she didn't like my hair and when another one, during meetings with male colleagues, used always (and I repeat always) to ask me to go and get coffee for everybody. Unfortunately things don't change easily in Italy. The European country where you - asa woman or single or LGBT - have less rights. But where we all wear very nice and "not too much colored" clothes.