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06 03 19 - 8 March ;
March 8 Anger
Every March 8, I am overwhelmed with anger mixed with sadness because a woman means a mirror where all kinds of hypocrisy reflect in this country.
Shall I speak of pious male employers who employ headscarved chemists, computer programmers, designers in exchange for very low salaries since they cannot find jobs elsewhere because of their headscarves, or shall I talk about the nouveaux riches pilgrim brothers who do not even do this and replace their headscarved hostesses, secretaries and newscasters, one by one, with those who do not wear headscarves on the grounds that “these headscarves ruin the scenery of their hospital, company, TV channel.” These pilgrim brothers have no objection whatsoever to capitalism which has reduced the laborer as well as labor to a mere commercial property?
Or shall I refer to political groups which call themselves “leftists” and supposedly are aware of the fact that they should side with the “weakest” link when inequality is the issue, but refrain from doing so citing “enmity against religion,” when headscarved girls want to use their right to education just like their contemporaries do? What about the liberals who suddenly become libertarians when the matter is about privatization and foreign capital but leave the “freedom to headscarf” solution to the “rise of the religious middle class” and imply that “religious girls in the lower class” have no demands to make in terms of freedom, and in sense say, “money talks, everything else walks.”
Shall I mention the uncles and aunts with secular morality and discourse with plenty of Ottoman vocabulary who say “education comes first foremost,” and complain that the inflation of unworthy tabloids in the mass media is like a bunnygirl/bunnyboy factory which serves as a bad model for youths, and lamentingly ask, “Are these youths supposed to continue the legacy left behind by Ataturk? My dear uncles and aunts, don’t you see that the measurement of “goodness”was changed long ago in this country where teachers like Aytac are subjected to many difficulties just because they wear headscarves outside the school and are considered “bad examples” by the authorized legal office and don’t you also see that you play a part in this?
If your granddaughter wants to become a Cagla Sikel, an entertainment figure, she can do so. I say, “Pray to God, Allah guides His slaves to the path of righteousness, the Sirat al-Mustaqim,” but you will get angry. Then go to bed.
They say “women are dying!”, the unjust treatment is so harsh, but is it a bad thing to point out women’s problems at least once a year? Of course not, but if it is “economic dependence” and “lack of education”-- as you always say -- which lie beneath the violence and honor killings against women, why don’t you deal with the roots of the problem and why do you hesitate so much in supporting the slogan, “right to education,” without any suspicion, hesitation or complaint? If the unjust treatment is so harsh, shouldn’t there be a movement in which the common denominator should be only the “woman”?
You, the women and societies celebrating March 8 in such an exaggerated manner -- and producing “ingenious!” ideas such as “it would have been better if women ruled the world” -- don’t you think that the aspect of being a “woman” is an umbrella as “important”as joining forces against discrimination? No, you don’t. Because your societies and initiatives are based on making policies to separate oneself from other women and to suggest new discriminations and inequalities on the point they separate.
Are you so unwise as to ask “why do you wear a headscarf? in the villages and towns you go to. In fact, you know very well that somebody who wants to wear a headscarf and those “forced to wear headscarves” can attend high schools and universities only on this condition.
The masses who depend on the Justice and Development Party’s “religious” identity at the moment may have taken part in the “Haydi Kýzlar Okula” (Girls to School) campaign but in a democratic system, governments are temporary, participation is inessential and people are rather experienced in avoiding progressivism that humiliates their values. This reflex -- in case of a change -- will definitely be shown again by girls who will become women in the future. Your not including the headscarf issue in the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) shadow report, your openly rejoicing over the ECHR decision against Leyla Sahin may have appeared “smart” to you among the political truths in the “attack Islam” period. However, your preferring temporary priority to moral superiority will also reflect on your face, one day.
Maybe next March 8, maybe some time in the future...
March 8, 2006


Il sito è curato dall'Arch. Vahé Vartanian e dal Dott. Enzo Mainardi;
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