Another revolutionary move by Hürriyet on International Women’s Day
We just had International Women’s Day.
I always have two different feelings that day.
One side of me is so joyous, because I am a woman. I feel with all my existence the power of being creative, tender, and constructive that stem from being a woman, and the energy of being a woman. I just want to dance, celebrate and express my passion.
Luckily I am a woman! I am grateful for having the virtues of being a woman.
But the other side of me is sad and broken, because it is International Women’s Day. Unfortunately, being a woman in my country is not easy.
Being a woman does not make life easier. On the contrary, it makes life more difficult.
Because women are treated as second-class citizens.
They are humiliated, despised and pushed around.
They get beaten, raped and sexually harassed. Women who dare try to break up with their partners get killed.
Our society excludes women. Women victims hear this: “You should not have been out that late” or “if you wear this, of course you will get kicked and raped.”
In any case, it is always the women’s fault.
The society’s views, political thinking and legal system; none of these are on women’s side.
That is why March 8 should be the day when women come together to raise their voice for their rights.
I believe in women’s power and women’s solidarity. I am pessimistic, but not hopeless.
We must carry on with the struggle.
Project ‘Red Line’
Gender inequality takes different forms in everyday life.
In Turkish, there are so many words that reflect negative bias toward women.
This, my friends, must change now.
Language is the backbone of a society.
We speak how we think, we think how we speak.
Nobody is born with prejudices. We all learn those prejudices as we grow up. Those prejudices are a mirror reflecting our way of thinking.
With every single word that comes out of our mouths, consciously or unconsciously, we reflect our views about women.
Violence starts with the sentences we use, with the words we use in those sentences.
With our sentences we add a psychological dimension to violence against women.
Those words should be removed
That is why our language should become one that has no prejudices toward woman.
We say that any words that make women invisible are unacceptable. Because we know the power of the words even if they are meant “figuratively.”
Vodafone, inspired by this thinking, has developed a brand new digital technology: #Red Light (#Kırmızı Çizgi)
Now we have a technology that uses artificial intelligence and that analyzes Turkish in terms of words and context.
With this technology, we aim to eradicate all sexist mindset and words used by the society.
Led by Hürriyet, we are starting to change our language today with #Kırmızı Çizgi.
As of April 1, this artificial intelligence application will start to be used in the columns of Hürriyet columnists. This app will detect sexist words used in the news reports and cross those words out in red.
Is it not wonderful?
I think this is a revolution.
I would like to thank my newspaper and Vodafone for this.
Women deputy: If we do not say “male deputy,” we should not say “women deputy.”
Women writer: If we do not talk about “men writers,” then we should not have anything like “women writers.” “Women writers” are not a different species.
Women journalist: Have you ever heard of a “male journalist?” They are called “journalists.” Why are we “women journalists” then?