Defying Male Oppression With Women’s Laughter

In Turkey, women are truly worried about the future. One reason for this is that those who rule the country — rather than solving real problems such as stemming the rise in violence against women, finding solutions for female homicide or generating employment for women — are limiting their political engagement with women to issues regarding their bodies and chastity so as to turn women into puppets obedient to male discourse. Here is what Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinca said in a recent speech: “Chastity is so important. It is not simply a word. It glorifies both men and women. She will be chaste. Man should be chaste too. He should not be unfaithful. He should be bound to his wife. He should love his children. The woman will know what is and what is not haram. She will not laugh in public. She will not be alluring. She will protect her state of chastity.” This is one of many examples that show the extent to which women are being used as political material, and it was an inspiration for my poem below.


by Meltem Arikan

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