BLIND SPOT >To my imaginary daughter

BELGİN AKALTAN - belgin.akaltan@hdn.com.tr

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I don’t have a daughter but if I had one, she would probably be very much like this person... Hürriyet photo

I don’t have a daughter but if I had one, she would probably be very much like this person... Hürriyet photo

Dear Aslı,

Darling, it looks as if tough times are ahead. I know you are very young, and you hate listening to your mom, but listen… This is best for both of us…

This government, darling, the wise men out there in Ankara, the elderly, the supposedly conservative democrats, the ones that say they value the family the most; darling, they are totally against you.

They are against your young body; they are against you as an individual. They are against your freedom, your feelings, your desires, your healthy upbringing, your ability to express yourself, your ability to object. Also, your strength, your potential and your preferences… None of these matter to them, my dearest. What matters to them is your level of obedience…

I hate to say this, but this is essential for opening your eyes and your peers’ eyes.

They are only interested in your vagina, my dear. And how you use it.

When they look at you, they only see your body. They see your legs, your arms, if they could peek under your armpits, they would. If you’re wearing shorts, you are absolutely the worst.

After your vagina, it is your hymen which they focus on next. I’m offended and tearful having to convey all of this to you, but my dear Aslı, this is the reality of this country at this moment. Those big-bellied, old men who act under the pretense of conservative values are sloths with blinded sexualities; they have oppressed themselves so much that now all they can think of is sex.

Darling, no religion can ever be so brutal, so oppressive and so condescending over one gender. It is their macho minds that make all this up.

Your vagina and your hymen, your sexuality, your body, your hair and what you do with them should not be the center of attention to this extent. Dearest, it’s in the minds of these misfits that these natural parts of your body have been made so monstrous. Not only you, it is much older women like me and the like; we also suffer our share of this pointless backwardness and oppression.

I hate to talk like this, but you should know your enemy.

Any kind of contact with the opposite sex seems to be a big deal for them. Darling, I wish we could have you live in a country where the happy sex life of the woman is more important than the ever so vital hymen… I wish I could teach all young and old people of this country that it does not matter who you choose, when you choose, where you choose to have your first sexual experience… Darling, it is your 1,000th sexual experience that is so much more important than your first. Who you are with at that stage, how you feel, how happy you are; these are just as much if not more important than what you choose to do in your younger years…

I wish we could have made this country a place where your body parts are not more important than your ideas… We seem to have failed in this – well, it might not be a total failure – but there is a distinct void for the moment on that front. But I still have hope; I have hope when I look at your brother and his friends…

To be fair to all parties, actually, the climate is suitable for these misrepresented ideas to blossom; it is not only because the conservatives are in power… You have to be beware, darling.

I gave a lot of thought to the fact that a certain “conservative nature” refuses to provide a free environment for young people to get to know each other. I am wondering what would happen if all girls of your age just pretended to be lesbians. I think that would make the guys very happy. Think about this option, darling. It could be a safer route in this environment. The police and the governor would not bother you…

You can easily rent an apartment, sit in the park side by side with your lover, walk out of the Kadıköy ferry in any outfit you want to and act any way you want to as long as you are with a woman. Then this country would be perfect for you. Since being friends with the opposite gender is against the dominant conservative character of this country, then pretend to be a lesbian, dear.

I want you to live in a country where you can make your own decisions. Where men do not dictate you what to wear, where to live… I definitely believe that our next discussion will be whether or not women should be “allowed” to drive.

If the only way to enjoy a free sex life for you, in this country, dear, is to pretend to be a lesbian, well, with all due respect to lesbians…

My dear girl, get out of here…

Darling, listen to your mother. I don’t know if you would want to go to the United States or Sweden or Egypt, but I’d love to come and visit you wherever you are… I love my country, my people and my city Istanbul, and I also love living here…

But I have difficulty understanding and putting up with this mentality. Not for myself so much anymore, but for young people, especially young girls…

We will be here, darling. We will try to guard and protect and fight for our values against these attacks; as much as we can… You go, my sweetie; you get out of here… Go…



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