The Sicilian Family – Mine isn’t the same as either Dolce or Gabbana.

The Sicilian Family – Mine isn’t the same as either Dolce or Gabbana.



With the recent hubalahoo in the news about statements made by Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce of DG, I thought that I’d write a couple words.


In a recent news story, the pair of fashion executives were quoted as saying:


Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce have found themselves at the center of a viral social media campaign after the pair criticized in vitro fertilization and nontraditional families in an interview with the Italian magazine Panorama. “I am not convinced by those I call children of chemicals, synthetic children,” Mr. Dolce told the magazine. “Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog.”

“The family is not a fad,” Mr. Gabbana added. “In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”


In the aftermath, some damage control has been attempted but it’s not going so well.  The first rule of holes is to stop digging.


On Monday, Mr. Dolce and Mr. Gabbana tried to stem the backlash. In a statement issued through the company on Monday — the same one he posted on Instagram  — Mr. Gabbana said: “We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it. We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people’s choices.”  (From the article.)



That seemed almost reasonable until:


Mr. Dolce said in a separate statement: “I’m Sicilian and I grew up in a traditional family, made up of a mother, a father and children. I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known. But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration.” (Also from the article.)


I think that it has less to do with him growing up in a traditional Sicilian family and more to do with his traditional Sicilian family being Catholic.  I see a big difference between what is Sicilian (culturally) versus what is Sicilian Catholicism.


Unfortunately, Catholicism has ruled Sicily for hundreds of years and it has left its mark. People find it difficult to see the difference between what is Catholic imposed attitudes to the culture versus the underlying culture that is Sicilian.  Like in the USA and many other places, Christianity is the predominant religion and as a result, has infiltrated and influenced modern culture. However, there are more than just Christians in Sicily. When I was there, I met plenty of non-Christians – Jewish, Muslim, and Pagan to name a few.  Although the non-Christians in Sicily are part of a modern culture that has a virtually overwhelming influences of Christianity, not all are as extreme.


The idea that the family must be unwavering made up a mother, a father, and children (supposedly all strictly heterosexual) is Sicilian-Catholic.  Pull the Catholic out of the equation and you get closer to what I was raised with.  Namely, that the *family* is the most important thing – yet without needing to impose on others how *family* should be defined.


The notions of what constitutes a loving, healthy family are changing.


In “What makes a Sicilian? By Gaetano Cipolla”, there is a wonderful passage about family –

“Allow me to add a few more pieces to the puzzle of the Sicilian soul: The family occupies the most prominent place in the lives of Sicilians. The family is the single most important institution around which revolve the social behaviors of Sicilians. It’s a symbol of the unity of the Sicilian people as a nation, and it is a means of defense against outsiders. For Sicilians, one could really say the family is all.”


Although traditionally the family (thanks to Christianity, etc.) is the usual Father, Mother, Child/Children, there are far more ways of defining family.


How about this for a start –

Family is a group of interdependent people (an intimate social unit) acting together to accomplish the common goals of providing intimacy, affection, community, acceptance, protection, and support in order to maintain and foster healthy lives and households.


How do you define family?






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