Public service ad prepared by the Ministry of Family and Social Policies ends with the sentence “There is no violence against women in our culture”. At the start of the ad, above middle age couples from various parts of the country appear before camera in their best moods.
People from regions of Black Sea, Aegean and Eastern Anatolia are forming a panorama of country with their traditional clothes and accents. Men speak with words canonizing women.
In short, the public service ad prepared by the ministry presents a discourse that reverses the truth as the truth itself. It is not marketing the fact but how it should be.
We could be fine with such a white lie if we could see even a tiny piece of good-intention but this is a denial speech rather than a white lie.
The Ministry of Justice is just adding a new one to its systematical baseless and groundless denial speeches like “Muslims don’t massacre” or “Turkish soldier doesn’t rape”.
Violence against women is a fact that is sometimes internalized by women themselves, imprinted in our culture and fortified with religious references.
Principally, this fact needs to be evaluated separately from a world of perception that promotes violence.
Extolling masculinity constitutes the starting point of the twisted mindset that leads to violence against women, and sometimes we see that men have a privileged status by means of a hierarch of values.
Girls mix first grout of the culture of violence against women by settling for their position of being secondary, being forced to settle for it and finally by complying with it.
Role of religions in violence against women
The more interesting thing is that men being raised in these conditions are weaker mentally and in terms of physical abilities compared to women.
The fields where men, who are much less skilled compared to women, can exist are highly limited. For instance, in daily life, men who fall behind women in the natural course of life have found a chance to actualize a womanless world apprehension in field of military in which bodily muscle is determining.
By the same token, in the monotheistic religions, where a transition from a belief in gods and goddesses in mythology to an abstract notion of god/Allah has occurred, woman has suffered a significant loss of position. The prophets Moses, Jesus and Mohammed aside, the lack of a feminine prophet also immediately catches one's eyes.
Likewise, we do not come across the name of a woman among Solomon, Abraham, Pavlus, Petrus, Yohanna, Omar Ali, Abu-Bakr, Hassan or Hussain.
Here, the figure of Virgin Mary cannot be considered a woman in real terms since, as it is known, she has the surrealistic ability to become pregnant by smelling a flower.
At the present time, just as the woman is not allowed to go up to the altar of a church, she is also prohibited from lining up at the mosque.
Moreover, according to the narrative of creation which is recounted in Torah and has also been embraced by Christianity and Islam, our mother Eva was created from the rib of the Prophet Adam. She yielded to the temptation of the Devil and allured Adam, causing the human race to be banished from heaven.
In short, according to the narrative of three holy books, ‘women, who are prone to sin, are to blame for the miserable lives that we live.’ Even this narrative in itself can give an idea about the role played by religion in violence against women.
The ones who were blamed for witchcraft and sorcery and burnt alive in the darkness of the Middle Ages were women. As for Islam, it also targets women with the punishment of stoning to death. While the retaliation principle of Sharia law cuts the hand of the thief and the head of the murderer, when it comes to women, it has embraced torture and a way of death with the involvement of community.
When Muslims fulfil the holy obligation of Hajj, they stone the Devil; in the civilian life, they only stone women.
In practices that are generally intertwined with religious references and shape the social lives of people with the definition of “custom” as well, the place of women is belittled while manhood is glorified as much as possible.
This glorification, naturally, results in an unhealthy self-confidence, which, in turn, reproduces misogyny as a paradoxical spiral and, hence, violence against women. Violence of this type, which takes its source from education in family, cannot be overcome through academic education.
Feminism is the medicine of us all
Since the system of values which produces violence against women is shaped with a social presupposition, anti-values have to be oriented towards forming a new presupposition. It requires, above all, a struggle with denialism, lies and deception.
In this sense, feminist women are relentlessly continuing their climbs to raise the purple flags in their hands all the higher in the sky.
It seems that the aim of this climb is not to re-idolize the deities and goddesses of polytheistic beliefs such as Hera, Aphrodite or Anahit against a bigoted understanding of religion, but to glorify the humanity by emancipating women.
That is why, the feminist movement is to be seen not solely as a women’s movement, but as a movement of humanity as a whole. (PE/ŞA/APA/TK/SD)
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"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.