When my friend forwarded me this short article by the BBC, it was touching and pride filled moment; an incredible feminist alliance, standing up in the face of an actual oppression from men, unlike past protests and campaigns that are against futile and unwarranted apparent problems, western women ‘face’ which I wrote about here. Hundreds of brave Turkish women protested on the streets of Istanbul, against the antagonism and violence they face with the dress code that is enforced on them, chanting “We will not obey, be silenced, be afraid. We will win through resistance” after a rise of incidents involving men’s violent conduct towards women wearing more revealing clothing then what is expected of them.
I was sure that other feminists, including the intersectional feminists we all know I am so fond of, would be standing with their sisters, using their voice to back them up and unite for women’s right for fairness. Sadly, for the last 3 days I have been checking feminist sites such as The F Word, Feministing, and my all-time favourite, Everyday Feminism, but none had anything written about it. Instead their front pages are congested with articles such as 3 ways men wanting to ‘focus on her pleasure’ during sex can still be sexist, or how to be a feminist porn director. Important subjects no? Real paramount and pressing issues that women around the world are faced with every day.
Imagine a real inequality issue with gender, like being attacked by a fellow bus passenger, beaten by the man, with no one coming to my aid, just because I was wearing shorts. This is something that is happening in Turkey, like the case of Asena Melisa Saglam, who was attacked for wearing short clothes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Footage showed the man assaulting her, with people watching on, while he preached “Are you not ashamed of dressing like this during Ramadan?”
Likewise, Aysegul Terzi, who was kicked by a man for also wearing shorts and was labelled ‘a devil’ and was even told that women who wear shorts ‘should die’. And Canan kaymakci was harassed and accused of ‘turning men on’ with her ‘provocative’ clothing. The list is endless.
A real “Women’s March”, would be marching the streets collectively, they’re standing up to such discrimination; Western feminists like Linda Sarsour and her Twitter sisters, are oblivious or indifferent to it, as they try to make Western men wear hijabs. It is the women in Turkey who are the real feminists here. Who deserve the voice, coverage and attention which hypocritical Western neo-feminists have, and frankly don’t deserve.