Turkish publishing sector is masculine, supports sexual harassment and patriarchal. If you disclose the harassment, rape or any kind of violence here, you face some consequences.
What can a queer feminist activist face as a consequence?
– She is insulted: People swore directly to her via social media.
– Her words are twisted: It is said that she wrote the article to promote herself.
– She hears silence: People who said they were with her during and after the writing of the article were dead silent after the article got published.
– She is left alone (ostracized): People who gave her motivation, who were psyched to contribute left her alone afterwards.
– She is labelled: The most common description of her is “fascist feminist”. Oh, and there is the “dumb feminist”.
Now, I want you to picture this: Turkey’s academia, writers, journalists are in agony. Our beautiful, and lonely Turkey, where culture and intellect are already being forced to die off by the political power.
In the “harassment analysis” chapter of my article I keep referring to, I had drawn a table with the hypothesis that schematizing the phases of being harassed in the publishing industry (the industries may of course be varied) and its probable outcomes in order to visualize it might be useful. A reminder of that table will of use here too:
Experiencing what I tried to demonstrate in the table was interesting, and in fact pushed me to think about what my table lacked. Turns out I had used very few “being harassed again” boxes, very optimistically. But lucky me; because after the article was published the re-harassment took place so many times that each phase I counted above multiplied, ruining my table.
It is how it is, you build up your courage, either face your traumas or prepare to face your traumas in writing, you leave a publishing house, you slap the editor/publisher/poet/production director that reaches to touch your leg, and go out to the street feeling so proud. Let me give you a secret: Do this in Turkey, and that pride will be deflated in a minute. Because here, in Turkey where patriarchy is dense and overfed with political rhetoric multiple times a day; your pride is defying anything “male” there is (a person, a position, an institution this may be) and you, already with your life style, (your outfit with cleavage, flirtatious attitude, freedom seeking approach, sex life etc.) in capitals, DESERVED being harassed. I am aware that this sometimes may be the case for the U.S. too, and you may suggest that it is due to social gender norms beyond nations. And you would be right to some degree. Yet, when one grows up with the problematic boundaries of the Islam religion to the bone, they need to bring new perspectives into all norms and roles.
The increasing oppression of the political power over women (three children minimum, no abortions, no relationships without marriage, be the woman of your house, do not laugh, do not show your belly if you are pregnant) the fact that punishment for the murder of women is not dissuasive, and that rapes to children are being covered up keep crushing us. When this is the case, what is expected of the writer, academician, and journalist women? Sticking together maybe? Or supporting one another and being the voice of a victim alongside her? Together and firm, stand against both the government, and the cisgender natrans heterosexual men in intelligentsia?
If you are a female intellectual activist from Turkey, your answer to the questions above will be “Yeah, I wish”.
Because (Aside from cisgender natrans male intellectuals from Turkey):
– Most of intellectual women from Turkey feed on the current patriarchal order, are a part of the system and are masculinized, therefore will not stand with the subaltern.
– Intellectual women from Turkey lack drastic amounts of feminist theory.
– Poet, when a female author is disrespected by a male, which unfortunately occurs often, taps his back supports, saying “nicely done, she is torn”.
– The prizing mechanism operates solely with the jury composed of the men and women that establish patriarchy, and for the authors “only they like”. This is also the case in literary dynamics such as criticisms, column distribution in journals and newspapers, and interviews…
– Intellectual men do not accept criticisms, women certainly do not. A critic will excommunicate you.
I am not sure if we can spread feminism to women who set their network well, established their interests, built the strategic map of their careers directly on patriarchy, do not want to see the harassment taking place, have not had the “click” yet, or do not want the click, do not need the click, ignore and keep quiet about the harassments they witnessed; who are inclined to ease what happened by making gossip material out what they see or are told, meaning women who embraced the “manly” act. As a feminist who gave up hope from men, and ostracized from the community, I will continue saying, with capitals, this: Within the publishing industry, there is harassment, there is rape, and there is all kind of violence.
I am here, we are here, and we do not accept being harassed and bullied. Get used to it.