The gondoliera — update


As you recall, there has been quite a kerfuffle due to the perceived misstep of Giorgia Boscolo, who has just passed the first tiny step in the long road toward becoming the first woman gondolier, with regard to her behavior toward the press.img_7830-gondolas-1

Several voices have chimed in, making a sort of quartet: Giorgia, her sister Alessia, Aldo Rosso (president of the Ente Gondola) and Roberto Luppi,  head of the bancali, who are the heads of the gondola stations.

There was a brief attempt to climb aboard  the situation by Eleanora Mingati, chief of the legal office of the Listening Center for Social Disadvantage, by claiming that this situation represented “maschilismo” (male chauvinism) by the gondoliers.  

Mr. Rosso met it head-on.   “The person who is making a distinction between male and female, not looking just at the person, is precisely this lady,” he told the Gazzettino.   “The Ente Gondola deserves applause because it admitted Ms. Boscolo to the substitute gondoliers’ school.   That means that she deserved it.”   And no more was heard about that.

Alessia repeated the sequence of events as recounted by Giorgia: “What do you mean, ‘agent’ — I’m just her sister,” she said.   “Giorgia asked me to give her a hand because she couldn’t deal with it all, phone calls, proposals, invitations.   All she asked me to do was answer the phone.   It’s true that I’m helping her — she’s got a husband and two little kids, she can’t handle the situation that’s developed after she was admitted to the school.”  

Giorgia herself  made a series of statements of varying degrees of distress and surprise, and had a meeting with Mr. Rosso and Mr. Luppi.   “I’m not sure where I goofed,” she said, “but all this has fallen on me unexpectedly.   I knew that a woman admitted to the gondoliers’ school would make news, but I never expected all the attention I got.”

The upshot: Mr. Rosso has said that Giorgia can certainly be photographed and interviewed by whomever she likes — it’s her life.   “I merely reminded her that whenever she speaks, she’s speaking only for herself, not the entire category of gondoliers.   Whether she’s paid for it or not, that has nothing to do with us.”img_1060-gondola-2

Mr. Luppi repeated that; she can do whatever she wants, but it’s on her own account, not representing the entire cadre.   “I’d remind her to pay attention to what she says,” he said, “because she’s also  going to be judged on her behavior.   And that doesn’t apply only to her, but to each of the 22 aspiring substitute gondoliers.”

 I have to say I feel a little better, and I feel safe in supposing she feels even better than I do.

 (I acknowledge the reporting of Tullio Cardona)

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