Violence and inequality created by a ‘male’ society

Violence and inequality created by a ‘male’ society

When figures concerning femicides are revealed, the same debate always comes up: Have they increased or have they not increased? 

Some say they have increased. Others say they have not increased, that it was only “selectivity in perception.” 

As in many other matters, because it is difficult to find proper data, this discussion does not lead anywhere. 

Actually, it does not matter whether femicides have increased or not. What we already have is more than enough.

What significance do figures have if even one single woman is murdered in a country because she is a woman? 

If in one year, not 300 but 200 women are being murdered in Turkey, what would it change? Or if it were 1,500? Or, let’s say 100? 

If the figure was 100, are we not going to say, “In this country, women are not killed because they are women?” 

In a country where 65,000 women take refuge in violence prevention and monitoring centers, are we going to pretend that there was no issue of violence against women? 

Or if the figure was 500 instead of 300, would the issue seem bigger? 

The answer to all is “no,” and everybody is aware of this.

If there was no awareness, 140,000 security personnel would not have been trained to fight violence against women. If there was no awareness, there would not have been separate security departments formed in 81 provinces to fight violence against women.  

The issue is a major one and everybody is aware of this. They all see it, but do they care? This is the essence of the problem. 

When we look at the replies given to a survey conducted by International Antalya University asking “What do you think Turkey’s biggest problems are?” in the eyes of the public, we see that the issue of violence against women was second from last on a 10-item list, after the Russian and refugee crises and foreign policy. In other words, society cares about what’s happening in our neighboring countries more than what is happening within their own house. Come to think of it, when four out of 10 women in Turkey are subject to violence, yes, it is inside their own houses.

The rate of those who regard violence against women as the county’s top issue is 0.4 percent. In other words, in a country of 78 million, 3 million people at the most think a woman’s right to a humane life is more important than the economy. 

As a matter of fact, for the economy they care so much that women have to join the workforce if it is to prosper. 

We know that violence against women cannot be explained by agitation, jealousy, sudden outbursts of anger, alcohol or sickness; we know they are only a series of excuses. 

We know that the patriarchal order in this country is built upon child brides, forced marriages, a lack of education for women and the unemployment of women. 

We know that the tribal ideology walks all over women and treats them as commodities.

We know that men start life ahead 1-0, equipped with “honor;” whereas women start behind 1-0 with the “shame” they carry. 

We know all of this breeds, nurtures and grows violence against women.

All men from every segment benefit from the blessings of this patriarchal order. So much so that when they commit the major crime of murder, most of the time they find the “male” mentality of the justice system supporting them. 

Even those men who are absolutely far from violence and even those who support the women’s movement are not complaining about the “gifts” of this male order. For instance, how many men protest the lower wage of a woman in his workplace who does the same job he does? 

Without changing the social mentality femicides will not come to an end, not if 3,000 women are killed in a year instead of 300, not if the number of shelters is 1,000 instead of 100, not even if women torch themselves instead of unfurling banners.  

And they will not be considered one of the most important issues in the country. 

Well, it is not so easy to confront the violence and inequality a society has itself created; it takes guts.