Italian curves

Reading Cristina Odone's article "Ciao to la donna italiana" (30 October), I was annoyed at the comment about Italian feminists "who show off curves". Please try to be more culturally relativist, Ms Odone. In Italy, curves are not something to be ashamed of and attention from the other sex, where polite, is welcome. Italian men, by the way, also show off their lines.

I am a donna italiana, but my mother does not look anything like the woman in your illustration (neither do I). My mother graduated in mathematics from Pisa in the late 1940s and worked all her life, taking only the compulsory five-month paid leave when her children were born. And just a reminder: women obtained the right to graduate from Cambridge in 1948 but some colleges opened to them only in the 1980s, while the first European woman to obtain a degree was Italian.

Cristina Chimisso
London WC1

This article first appeared in the 13 November 1998 issue of the New Statesman, Why gays become politicians