Mafia, the writer Arrighi: “No longer a ‘male’ phenomenon, the central role of women”

“The arrest of Rosalia Messina Denaro, sister of the most powerful boss of Cosa Nostra, induces a reflection on the role of women in mafia organizations and on how this role has changed over the years”. Thus to Adnkronos Gianluca Arrighi, criminal lawyer and writer of noir books, reasoning after yesterday’s arrest of Matteo’s sister Messina Denaro.

“In the collective imagination, the so-called ‘mafia women’ have always been portrayed as slaves, victims or rebels. In reality, this is no longer the case and, perhaps, it never was – comments the writer – Just think of what he said the repentant Leonardo Messina, when he expressly clarified how the role of women in Cosa Nostra is fundamental. Organized crime, in all its forms, is no longer a purely ‘male’ phenomenon, where women are formally excluded from power and roles of command. The female figure was deliberately marked by invisibility by the mafia”.

“The stereotype of the woman as unreliable and submissive and barred from entering the organization – continues the writer – continues to be conveyed by the mafia to the outside world for mere convenience. In reality, by now, mafia women manage assets, mediation finance, racketeering, drug trafficking and sometimes even rise to the role of clan boss. Without ever underestimating the essential role of the mothers of Cosa Nostra in the mafia education of their children. Being known and recognized as ‘the wife’, ‘the sister’ or ‘the the daughter’ of the boss represents for the women of the mafia a position only apparently subordinate to the man: in reality she constitutes their strength and independence”.