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The Lost WaveWomen and Democracy in Postwar Italy$
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Molly Tambor

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199378234

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199378234.001.0001

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The Merlin Law against the Case Chiuse

The Merlin Law against the Case Chiuse

Taking the State out of Sex, Putting the Sex in Citizenship

(p.108) 4 The Merlin Law against the Case Chiuse
The Lost Wave

Molly Tambor

Oxford University Press

Angelina Merlin was a famous anti-fascist and member of the Italian Socialist Party. She was largely responsible for the equal rights statement in Article 3 of the Italian Constitution. The chapter recounts her political biography and narrates the history of her law to deregulate prostitution in Italy and close state-run brothels, known as case chiuse. The chapter also discusses the substantial continuity of support for state regulation of prostitution in public opinion, based in part on traditional notions of masculinity and male privilege. Despite the forces that resisted feminist campaigning and failed to embrace new sexual standards as part of democratic citizenship, the law was passed in 1958.

Keywords:   Angelina Merlin, case chiuse, prostitution, regulationism, Italian Socialist Party, Second Legislature 1953–1958

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