June 09, 2012
Her words reminded me of Davide, an Italian friend of mine who is a male stripper and infamous local donnaiolo (womanizer) about five years younger than me and still going strong. He has blond hair and his stage name is Il Vichingo (“The Viking”) and not so long ago he launched Una Scuola di Seduzione per aspiranti Latinlover. “Young Italian men have lost the art of their fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers, Nico,” he explained, “It is una tragedia.”
ForlÃ¬, the small city where I live in the mid-North, is chock-a-block with foreign students because it has one of Italy’s top language universities. So I decided to ask Polly”who is English and recently spent a year there as part of her Exeter University modern-languages degree course”about Italian men.
Polly, who now lives in Paris where she works as a translator and is married to “a Yank” from California, sent me an e-mail to say: “Hmmm, I think Madonna was wrong.” Her take on Italian men is that they suffer from “man-child” syndrome because so often they live with their parents until early middle age and are doted on by their mothers. She based this on her experiences with her Italian ex-boyfriend, Giovanni:
Il mammone (mummy’s boy) called his mother every day without fail (occasionally in tears just for added effect) and cranked up his histrionic tendencies and hypochondria to 1000. In Italy, I found, the slightest malady is usually diagnosed by a doctor. It is the norm.
Like most Italian men, Giovanni maintained an obsession with appearance and “bella figura” that was difficult to tolerate. He wasn”t exactly a prize specimen, weighing the same as me (58 kilos), standing at the same height (5″5″) and wearing the same shoe size (UK 6), yet he would preen for hours, tweezing and squeezing, making sure every strand of hair lay just so. Ultimately, the end result of Italian male vanity is that virtually all men in Italy in their twenties look and dress the same.
He could not cook anything at all, of course, his mamma having ensured that he was unprepared for real life in any practical ways.
I felt a lot better after reading that. I even started to pity Italian men. Feminism is not only killing off the Latin Lover, it is killing off the Italians. These days Italian women, once so famous for having so many bambini, just want to have a good time and a job and therefore see children as a nuisance. As a result, Italy has one of the world’s lowest birthrates. It is up from the 1995 all-time low of 1.18 children per woman to 1.41, but only thanks to immigrants (such as me). And Italy’s population gets older and older.
Carla says: “I can”t understand why a woman would prefer to work in a bar, shop, or factory and go to the discotheque rather than have children.”
But then Carla’s a freak. You can count on one hand the number of women in ForlÃ¬ under the age of 60 with five children, even if you include the North African Muslim immigrants.
As for Polly in Paris, she is expecting her first child. I salute her. Brava Polly, bravissima!