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Women play a complex role in Robert Orsi's The Madonna on 115th Street, in some points exercising power and at other things exercising less power than men. In Italian Harlem when describing a "domus," the woman at the centre is the one actually being clarified. Even a domus, according to Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie, "constitute[s] a formidable reservoir of electricity and counter-power that could hold out with some amount of success against the external powers surrounding it." Italian girls in Harlem had no direct power from the external world, however they could utilize their sphere of influence to render their mark. The power that girls in Italian Harlem have is given to them by the matriarchal society modeled by the church. "Italian Harlem was a private matriarchy. Married woman with kids were the source of authority and power from the domus and in the romantic private matters of peoples lives; they had been the hidden centre of the domus-centered culture, the fountainhead of the bloodstream that bound together members of the domus and attached it to the remainder of the community." Mothers will be the gatekeepers into an Italian home. They are in charge of everybody's wellbeing and the domus. Only in rare circumstances do Italian moms have little power over family life. To exercise this ability over the family, the mothers had to require the male family to carry out orders. Furthermore, the girls dominated the public pictures of their families dictating exactly what their children wore and that which they invested their time with. Obviously problems are going to arise when one person maintains control over everyone's household life. Throughout "temporary breakdown[s] of family life in times of illness and unemployment," the girl had to take to a greater function as a protector. The.