Men like Jacopo really read like a fantasy. Someone who was on Lidia Poet’s side right away, without her having to explain anything or prove a point about her capabilities, is a situation that feels too good to be true. He was the ideal sidekick to Lidia Poet, just like her brother came to be later on. “The Law According to Lidia Poet” was very careful to avoid the word “feminist,” but we are going to use it liberally in this article. Of course, we are not going to say that Jacopo was a feminist; we would never call a man that. Men can be allies at best, but never feminists, because to be the latter, they would have to let go of their privileges to the extent that they reach the same societal bracket as women, which we can safely say that Jacopo wouldn’t be willing to do. But he was an ally to Lidia and a useful one at that.
We have always felt that a sexist romantic partner is far more disappointing than a sexist family member because while the latter is thrust upon women, the former is chosen, and that makes it hurt all the more. We have said this before, and we will say it again: men like Jacopo are so rare that the existing ones are nothing short of a fantasy. Lidia Poet had been disbarred from practicing law, and at a time when the world was basking in the glory of having put a “woman in her place,” Jacopo was probably the only one who made light of the situation by affording her some dignity. He wrote in his newspaper that she was “fighting against the windmills.” He was not under any illusion that the world was just or fair; he just knew that it was tough, and that is what he said in his article. He had gauged that a woman like Lidia did not need or want sympathy; she just needed people not to stand in her way. Lidia is able to freely speak with Jacopo because his every sentence is not tempered by his views about what a woman should or should not do, which is unlike anyone she has ever met before. There was Andrea, of course, but she couldn’t spend time with him the way she could with Jacopo, and in him, she probably found her first true friend.
Come to think of it, Jacopo had always been attracted to women “with a mind of their own.” We hate that term from the bottom of our hearts because it implies that women have a choice to go against the grain, which they don’t in most cases. Additionally, why doesn’t the term apply to men, who are more likely to subscribe to societal rules and diktats since they are in favor of them anyway? But coming back to the topic, Jacopo likes Lidia Poet because he, too, has a “mind of his own.” He was briefly an anarchist, someone who stood against any form of authority in society. He had gained familiarity with the philosophy due to his association with Nicole, whom he considered the great love of his life. This is important because his knowledge of anarchy being through a woman must have meant that he understood the nuance of it went beyond politics and he must have seen that society put men in a position of authority over women.
Jacopo understood the unfairness of it, first through Nicole and then through Lidia Poet. Maybe that is why he was on her side immediately because this wasn’t his first introduction to what women are capable of. Not only does he help her with her investigations, but he also stands by her during her moments of turmoil. When Lidia admitted to him that her stubbornness could lead her to become shortsighted, he was probably the first man she had allowed to see a weakness of hers. Lidia couldn’t afford to do that with anybody else who would have used it to just push her into a life of domesticity. He proves himself an ally once again when he advises her on Margherita’s case. Just like Enrico, he tells her to be mindful of the egos of the jury, who are all men. He understands that Lidia was personally connected to the case and saw herself in Margherita; therefore, it was becoming harder for her to remain clear-headed without anger clouding her words. Jacopo, with some help from Enrico, brings that objectivity to her when they tell her how she could reframe her draft to make it more palatable for the court’s men. As sexist as that might have been, it was the only way to make sure that she was heard and not dismissed right away.
Jacopo’s single fault had been that he had used his knowledge of Lidia’s emotions against her; she had let him know by probably being vulnerable for the first time. She was lonely, but it was brought about by a society governed by men like him. He said that to avoid more of her questions, but it was a low blow, nonetheless. But he makes up for it by apologizing to her and admitting his mistake without making any excuses. That is all that Lidia needed to forgive him, and she established a boundary with him that day that he should never again make her feel that way, which we don’t doubt Jacopo respected.
Jacopo was a good and strong man who knew how to respect people, irrespective of their gender or background. In some ways, he was as much of a free spirit as Lidia Poet was, and that bound them together in a beautiful friendship of sorts. His past as an anarchist also helped, but at the end of the day, we have no doubt that his character is a beautifully written fantasy that will serve as a source of comfort for Lidia and allow her to feel a rejuvenating vulnerability once in a while.