This was one of my favorite descriptions for myself: “I am a ‘man’ because that is what it reads on my ID”.
I wasn’t feeling uncomfortable with saying this loud and clear and the listeners weren’t getting surprised either. Years passed, a lot of water passed beneath the bridge after September 12 [coup]. This time, the same sentence has caused strange looks, smiles and tentative disdains.
I didn’t forget it but I’ve found other things to identify myself in time.
No room for violence!
I haven’t held a grudge or fought against anybody. In fact, even when we caught the fascist who drew a gun and shot targeting was being beaten by my political friends, I didn’t even raise my hand.
Once, we were on the offensive. I was being expected to do something, I recall that I lifted my foot but couldn’t kick him and the fascists ran away. But violence doesn’t merely mean hitting or beating! Frowning is violence too as well as shouting, which I do a lot.
I’ve found the solution; I am saying “desperate person shouts”. Then I feel sorry.
It occurred to me as I am writing…I’d hit my girlfriend many times who tore and threw my ex-girlfriend’s photos. Shame on me. I apologize after all these passing years.
Does she remember it? Is it something to forget? She indeed didn’t forget but pretend as she did. Maybe –I wish- she was angry at herself for being jealous…Then we’ve maintained our friendship and that incident didn’t consume our relation…Obviously, we are both sorry.
This is nothing but clumsiness…
If you cannot express your concerns and if her mind is on some other thing, you raise your voice, frown down and the words start to change.
If that person is a bit small, if especially a woman and think you can overpower, you raise your hand to slap or punch. Does the blow not being dealt mean that you don’t inflict violence?
War is violence too
“Children killed in state course”, says Ece Ayhan in a poem. Isn’t that a violence too? Human rights monument being kept in a blockade in Ankara is a violence too.
But you know what the worst is? Words of a male TV host [Beyazıt Öztürk] who acknowledged the teacher to be right who said “May children don’t die” but then defends himself by force of state.
A form of violence is taking place, a teacher is expressing her sorrow, state interferes and penalizes that teacher. And the host going live multiplies the violence.
Only 11 of the last 300 years passed in peace. Feeling justified, states have invaded other territories and killed people for years.
In addition to our soldiers on whose heads sacks were put over, our kidnapped diplomats, even MPs, and many bureaucrats held hostage, many others lost their lives due to our foreign policy from which we expect “zero issue”. Don’t these count as male violence of male administrators of male violence?
What I am supposed to do? Shall I tear this and write a new one? Shall I prefer a more emotional and poetic article that is full of stories?
No, let me swear mouthful, resorting to desperateness. Let us shout with one voice: No to violence! Peace right now!
As I’ve completed writing this piece to my mind…
I don't know if you will say that it is a coincidence or the ups and downs of life, but it is true.
My first girlfriend called me; though we do not see each other very often, we still love and show concern for each other:
"I will ask you something. Are you available?"
Always available for you...
"Did condoms exist when we were together?"
...I paused for a moment, I was surprised, where did that come from now? Yes, of course, they existed; they were maybe hard to find and maybe a bit expensive...
"Then, why didn't we use any? I had so many abortions..."
...it has only one answer. We were ignorant. Yes, we were university graduates and we were literate (she had award-winning stories, I had my movies), we were following life but we were ignorant. (I am aware that I have to be ashamed even when talking about 30 years ago) It was the first time that I saw a woman naked, we were unaware.
"Well, have you ever used any?"
Later on... yes, I have used them later on.
She started to cry. Feeling a justified sorrow for knowing that I cannot make her put her head on my shoulder and continue crying while cuddling, my knees knocked together, I wanted to say "Don't cry", I had my words stick in my throat.
That was another violence. Wasn't the trauma that she went through -the unconsciousness, the ignorance which has confronted me years later- violence?
...everyday, almost one woman is murdered by her close relatives, be that her partner, her husband or her father.
...the murderer that raped a three-year old child to death was murdered by other inmates in prison.
...the state detains and convicts unnecessarily everyone who stands in opposition to itself.
...in the face of child abuse and rape incidents that occur at courses and places where religious education is provided -most of which are illegal-, the state closes its ears and eyes.
The last word...
I made my wife read it so that we could discuss it... so that we could correct any possible mistakes (misspellings, ambiguities, inabilities to explain and/or statements that exceed their intent)
When talking about the article in general, she said, "I told you to put her letters away, but you didn't. That was a violence, that was indeed pure male violence."
Saying "I wish my hand had been broken, I am sorry" is not enough for her to tear and throw these letters to dustbin, still not enough...
There is still some time until my son reads it, for reasons of age... He should definitely read it, too. He should know his father... He will also know the society in the meantime. (KA/APA/TK/SD)
52 MEN 52 WEEKS
"This campaign has been produced as part of Sivil Düşün EU Programme, with the support of European Union. The contents of this campaign are the sole responsibility of IPS Communication Foundation/ bianet and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.
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