Turkey’s language body raises eyebrows with sexist definition of ‘available’
ISTANBULThe Turkish Language Institute’s (TDK) definition of the word “available” has raised eyebrows in the country, with the TDK accused of using sexist remarks.
Explaining the meaning of the word “müsait,” a Turkish word of Arabic origin meaning “available,” the TDK said the second meaning of the word was a “(woman) who is available to flirt with and can easily flirt.”
Both the online and printed editions of the dictionary prepared by the TDK have the same definitions.
The TDK’s underlining of “woman” in brackets caught particular attention and triggered a number of women to argue that men can also be “available.” Many took to social media to demand the removal of the gender aspect of the definition.
“Why has ‘woman’ been written in brackets for this meaning of ‘available’? Can’t a man be ‘available’? We demand the removal of this sexist statement immediately,” the Istanbul Feminist Collective wrote on Facebook.
An online petition has been also launched on Change.org against the definition.
“Flirting is a mutual action between individuals. Both men and women can have a character that is ready to flirt or easy to be flirt with. The TDK is adopting a sexist attitude by adding ‘woman’ to the definition in brackets and serving a patriarchal structure, which is the main cause of violence against women and negative discrimination,” the petition stated.