All violence incidents in my recollection from my childhood are either in innocence of mother throwing her slippers, in heroism of saving my sibling or in relief of “that teacher beats everyone”.
But I remember very well my high-school years of testosterone attack on one hand and the worries about the university entrance exam on the other.
While state of masculinity in high school sways from “I hit one too” to “I’d break his bones if they didn’t hold me” on one hand, on the other it generates an inner voice screaming “look, a woman!”
I got lucky and moral pressure of my puritan teacher family balanced the situation by mixing with my worries about university and I got rid of my inner voice turning me into an assailant.
In fact, I was never oppressed during my high school years. I was never beaten in the streets.
I didn’t fear djinns or fairies. I never ran from an attack of a bigger or braver person.
I never became haughty on people younger or weaker than me. I didn’t insult people by believing that I was smarter and superior. I didn’t have relatives who mocked me as “girl of the house” when I helped domestic work.
I didn’t like cars, I didn’t hope to become stronger by putting a machine in place of my weak body. I didn’t come across bullies that much, and when I did, I either beat them or watched them running away with fear.
Therefore, I never became harassing against someone of opposite sex. I didn’t look at the thighs of girls whose skirts were lifted by the wind. I didn’t hide behind the curtain and whistled to the women walking on the street.
I didn’t intimidate someone by gathering friends just because he looked at the girl I was dating with. I didn’t believe that the neighbor’s daughter was very curious about my penis, or that even she hardly contained herself not to shout “come to my house when my parents are gone and do me”. I didn’t envy my friends who were telling that they masturbated by thinking of teacher’s low-cut dress.
I never believed that widow women were hysterical or virgin girls were horny.
I didn’t try to find a way to watch erotic movies at midnight.
There was not a single moment that I believe women were weak and in need of men.
I never swore or emulated to swear. I didn’t say “faggot” after my coeval fellows just because they were a bit more fragile and naïve.
I didn’t listen to elder boys’ stories of brothel. As I didn’t listen with excitement to someone telling how he got his end away with his neighbor’s wife, of course wasn’t convinced that another man who was caught while getting his end away with some other neighbor’s wife, was stabbed in his leg.
I did not listen to the stories of my classmates from the village about how they got intimate with a donkey or a dog. I did not find it normal to accuse the referees of being faggots, the women with a harsh character of being lesbians or the men with long hair of being like women. I did not develop a passion for guns, I did not regard it as my right to shoot traitors or the people I do not like.
I am not familiar with the memories of big brothers who returned from come back from military service without being beaten up by soldiers about how they got laid with the daughters of military officers in the lodgements. During my 28-day military service, I was also not among the ones who were woken up each morning with shouts and counted seven times a day.
Even in my short military service, I was not denigrated even for once and I certainly did not witness how long-term private soldiers were denigrated, subjected to swear words or beaten up. The curse word which is used as a comma did never come out of my mouth throughout my military service.
I was not among those five thousand men who bursted into screams of joy just because they saw a civilian while wandering around after being woken up at the break of dawn for the oath-taking ceremony in the middle of my short military service experience.
I was never afraid of those people, whose self-confidence boosted when they started wearing a uniform and carrying a bayonet in their waistbands. The training military officers also disdained neither us nor women by saying, “We have not given guns to your hands, but even though a war breaks out, we will recruit nurses before you.”
I actually did some of the things which I have listed above and stated that I did not do. I witnessed some of them. Some others were directly experienced by myself. And I have compiled another part of them from the shared memory of manhood.
I am not sure whether there exists a man who has not done any of them. To be honest, I do not think that doing none of the things I have listed above would make a big difference. All in all, they all come together as a shared mentality of men and fill our minds. That is why, we carry even those states of manhood that we have not experienced in our minds as some sort of memory prosthesis.
When it comes to memory, there always exists an angle between the reality and the story. The real stories and the states found worth telling are most of the time not the same. Personal narratives are certainly not exempt from this, either. I live as a man and look at the reality from the window of manhood. If I compile my records from my memory of manhood, I am telling the story in a state of manhood as well.
If you ask my official opinion, I have figured out this issue of manhood. I am already an educated man. I do not discriminate against people due to their genders. My mind is open when it comes to the issue of gender. I devote a sincere effort to avoid the masculine language. I check and balance my states of manhood.
But the truth is that I have a memory loss which can be found in people who have come into the world as men and believe that they have completely come to terms with it over time.
In this way, I can create a prosthetic consciousness which ambiguates the distance between the man I am today and the man I used to be and convince myself that I have completely come to terms with manhood.
In his article that he wrote for these series, Yekta Kopan wrote, “A man's mind deleted those moments when he is "defeated by" other men.” If I get inspiration from there, I can say that the mind of a man who thinks that he has completely come to terms with manhood deletes those moments when he is defeated by the states of manhood. (RK/HK/EMİN/TK/SD)
52 MEN 52 WEEKS
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