‘Be quiet as a woman’ was not a sexist insult, Turkish Deputy PM says
AFP PhotoTurkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has defended telling a female member of parliament to “be quiet, as a woman” was not a sexist insult.
“Would I address her as ‘madam’ if I intended to insult by asking her to be quiet as a woman?” Arınç said on private broadcaster NTV on Aug. 3.
Arınç had taken the floor during a heated parliamentary session on July 29 when a proposal by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to establish an inquiry commission on the recent terror attacks was being discussed. At one point, he was heard scolding the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) Nursel Aydoğan for interrupting his speech. “Madam, be quiet, as a woman, be quiet,” he said.
“I didn’t mean that women cannot or should not speak. But some people thought so,” Arınç said on Aug. 3.
“Women are compassionate and respectful. ‘OK, the men are talking loudly here, but you should be quiet as a woman,’ I told her.”
Arınç also slammed female HDP and CHP deputies, as well as social media critics, for accusing him of sexism.
“It’s not as important as even the buzzing of a fly, because they are wrong and I am right. If I knew that I was wrong, I would immediately apologize,” he added.
The hashtag “as a woman, we will not be quiet” (#BirKadınOlarakSusmayacağız, in Turkish) had begun trending in Turkey moments after Arınç’s remarks in parliament.