Our mothers didn’t raise us to sit backstage

Our mothers didn’t raise us to sit backstage

I am a woman who’s fed up with women’s issues in this country. 

Enough is enough.

What is your problem with women in this country?

We live in a country where every day we face a different issue.

One day we drown in sadness after hearing how a man received good conduct abatement after stabbing his wife 27 times because she wanted a divorce.

The man received abatement because he was dressed appropriately, had a tie on and was obedient in court.

We are furious over this.

In another case, on another day, we hear that a court gave the harshest punishment to the perpetrator in a similar case. We then shed tears of joy.

On another day, we hear Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan demanding the harshest punishments for those carrying out femicides in Turkey, making us hopeful about the future.

With the committees established in the Turkish Parliament, there was even some hope that the unjust abatements would be rejected and solutions would be sought for such cases.

But with another move, made under the same parliament’s roof, we’ve gone back to square one again.

And our latest anger is over women being banned from going up on stages.

We are yet again facing a mentality that views women as beings that are pushed to sit behind, in the backseats.

The star of the story, this time, is Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman.

A theater company on March 28 carried out a performance in memory of the March 18, 1915 Gallipoli victory, a battle that marked a turnaround against the Allied Forces in favor of the Turks during World War I, which eventually led to the birth of the Turkish Republic.

But Kahraman had allegedly ordered the company not to allow female actors on stage for the play, which led to an outcry especially among opposition parties.

This is unbelievable.

It is tragic, saddening and depressing.

The attempts to block women from going up on stage had begun during the rehearsals.

How does one not lose their mind in the face of this?

On what basis can one remove the scene in which a mother hugs her son before he heads off to his military duty?

But it was indeed removed.

How can you explain how the scenes in which women carry bullets to the battlefront were understood as “risky.” How could you even say that?

According to a report by the daily BirGün, Kahraman even made sure the women wouldn’t be on stage. He had reportedly said: “The girls will stand behind, no? Good.”

A lot of people wrote on this issue, and so am I.

It should be heard once more that our mothers did not raise us so that we stand backstage or sit in the backseats.

Whatever you do, however you try to block us from progressing, you will not be able to erase us, women, from every field in life.

This was possible, perhaps, in the past, but not now.

The biggest obstacle ahead of you in this manner is life and you do not have the power to get in the way of that.

With the power you have, you may be able to achieve temporary victories. You can’t even defend those victories. You can’t even say “Yes, I did not want women on stage and I prevented them.”

How will you explain why you waged a war against women? You may have waged a war on women, but what makes you think you will win today? You will only have a say in the departments you are running and can prevent the women working under you from going up on stage.

Let me write this once again, and I know that many more women will scream this at the top of their lungs with me: Our mothers didn’t raise us to sit backstage

İsmail Kahraman, women, woman, women's rights, gender, gender gap, gender equality, Turkey, theatre, stage