The topic covered in The right world: a crime story in a matriarchal society
The crime novel The right world outlines, against the background of an investigation into femicide, a matriarchal society model that, far from being actually right, proposes to the male the typical instances of today’s feminism.
The virgin woman? Independent of man
But if the world was ‘reversed’, if women had built their own society, some gender differences would still emerge. Here are the concepts of virgin woman, independent of man; of a religion and a society that ask females to stand out by generating life and highlighting their most emotional side.
Nowhere in the world
The novel deliberately has no geographical or nationality references: the names belong to different cultures, the surnames have been avoided not to circumscribe a place of origin. Indeed, in terms of gender equality, even the most advanced countries have potential interest in The right world.
For the female, there’s a profound difference between having conquered a role in the current patriarchal society – by adapting to male models or bringing, at best, an added value – and living instead in a world where women boast a full social and religious identity, with the honor and the burden of safeguarding the species, carrying on the family, preventing wars, guiding scientific, cultural and economic developments. A way of living that doesn’t exist in the world.
Women with daughters make a career
The right world deals with many widely debated topics: women’s work, equal pay, equal opportunity claims, nursery schools, male violence, rape, pedophilia, prostitution, chemical castration, living conditions in underdeveloped societies, international controversies, peace.
And finally, it proposes a society more oriented towards mutual aid and the community form of offspring growth.
Female language, even for people!
Laura De Benedetti in The right world writes with a feminine language, not only in indicating professions but also experimentally using the ‘inclusive feminine’. She demonstrates how this grammatical rule, usually practiced with the male, effectively cancels the non-inclusive gender when you generally speak about men or women, sons or daughters, groups of people. In this way, using feminine language, she proves that men disappear from the background.
This feature becomes particularly relevant in some languages, including Italian, French, German, Spanish, which have the female and the male gender, and the male gender is used as an ‘inclusive neutral’ to indicate groups of people.
In the English language, there is only one gender but the problem still exists because for the most of roles the image is linked to male figures. This happens for example with the word ‘captain’: most people imagine a man. But try to think how could it be to write a story where the word ‘king’ would be neutral, both for male and female, and the word queen doesn’t exist. There’s so much difference!
Some words are used as neutral inclusive in the English language, too, even if they’re male words: policeman, chairman.
In the novel, the language is reversed to demonstrate its effect on seeing the world and thinking. Because words matter. And women are excluded.
In its original text, the novel is written using female language based on the ‘Government recommendations on the non-sexist use of the Italian language‘, created by Alma Sabatini in 1987 for the Prime Minister’s Office of the Italian Government. A document that has never found application.
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