The ‘tiny sparrow’ and her ‘oxen’ declaration
Singer, song-writer and composer Sezen Aksu has unreeled herself, God bless her. I do not agree with those who are severely protesting against her at the moment.
I think her words on the headscarf regulation in schools, the ones she uttered twice from her concert stage, are cute: “Instead of covering us, why don’t you curb your desires, you oxen?”
It’s like a sweet cartoon character: Sweet and naughty. It doesn’t scratch you, it just pokes you. It’s not disrespectful, just cheeky….
Its only troublesome feature is that it pushes the sensitivities of belief rather than decency.
They are careless words that were used without enough pre-assessment, without calculating where their connotations would lead.
I am talking about her sharp tongue, of course. The content is another subject entirely. In that matter, I think differently; in fact I greatly disagree with her.
However, Sezen’s tone did not sound rude or insulting to me. There’s no need for unnecessary touchiness. Besides, it is clear from her written statement that she did not intend a vicious attack against the headscarf or freedom of belief.
What counts as an insult varies from culture to culture. Well, our culture generally cannot be regarded as having been shaped by the high etiquette of palace tutors. It’s well known in our culture that when fathers want to tease their sons they say “son of a donkey,” and that phrase implies, “I may get angry at you, but at the same time you should know that I love you…”
At the end of the day, it is we who have shown our love and favor to Sezen by naming her the “tiny sparrow.” For this reason, I am on the side of regarding the “oxen” as a term of endearment, a small mockery, a coquettish ridicule.
She has not reached her fame with well-behaved stage performances, so I think this kind of naughtiness, this kind of audacity, suits her.
We are talking about Sezen here, right? The person who has made us sing, “Make love to me as much as you want; talk dirty to me”; the person who writes unheard of songs and makes everybody, covered or uncovered, men and women, sing…
She has explained herself as follows: “I totally reject this sexist approach that suggests the transformation into a little woman by covering the head of a schoolgirl at elementary school. This is the issue. What happened onstage is satire, it is a show,” she said.
Let’s say we have interpreted the satire and the show. But what do we do with the rest of this fruit?
Obviously, the incident has been misinterpreted by Sezen…
The change in the regulation does not order children in middle school to cover their heads while going to school. It only lifts the ban on the headscarf while entering school. In other words, it frees families and children. Wearing the headscarf or not is subject to consent; there is no obligation.
Let us by all means reject everything that would transform a child in the elementary school into a little woman, but I think we should not defend anymore the imposition of outfits on the citizen by the force of the state. We’ve had enough of that.
Let the families assess the correct outfit for their children until they reach the age when they can take responsibility for their own decisions.
When they come of age, they can make individual choices of their free will, walk their own way.
What is it to the state who wears what, anyway?
Well, regarding Sezen, be cool. She has her own ways. Don’t worry, she won’t be driven away.
The firm stance she has adopted in the past against all bans is an official assurance of the liberal stance she will take in the future.