chapter  3
'An Extraordinary Thing': the National Fascist Federation of Massaie Rurali
Pages 24

Somewhat ironically, the hosting of the 'Farmwomen's International Trophy', the UMC's moment of crowning glory, was also ultimately associated with its downfall. It brought the organization's work to the attention of the fascist hierarchs and this led to what was effectively a take-over. Initially this meant incorporation into the fascist farmworkers' union 1 at the beginning of 1933. When this was first announced at the union's Confederal Congress, in 1933, those present greeted the initiative with some amusement. One delegate, Severini, during a debate on the union's budget, referred to the new section as 'an extraordinary thing' and joked, with crude double-entendre, that: 'It is true that some have called them "the well-endowed massaie rurali". However, this is not how we should be considering this question which, at first sight, encourages laughter and even our appetites [Hilarity of the delegates].' Doubtless many union organizers shared his astonishment and patronizing attitude but, as even this speaker went on to admit, the new section had the potential to bring the union 'considerable political benefits'.2