The female organ everywhere, again

The female organ everywhere, again

How angry he is; what seems to be occupying the lines of his face looks like sheer hate from here. He gestures a tummy with his hand, saying, “You cannot wander the streets with a belly like this,” and he adjusts the negative tone of the sentence so that it does not leave any room for further discussion.

He does not actually refer to Hollywood stars who pose for magazine covers while they are pregnant. With so much rage, with the proclamation “shame, it is a shame,” he clearly means those walking on the streets.

Out of the entire speech, the sound of his voice when he said “some” remains in my ears the most. The “some” when he said, “maybe to get some fresh air.” When he stressed “some,” he is distilling it as if he is granting it. That joy is limited to the evening. By getting into the Mister’s car. Casually and briefly.

Sufi thinker and lawyer Ömer Tuğrul İnançer’s words were at the exact heart of all kinds of media, social and asocial, yesterday, one day after he was the guest on TRT1’s iftar hour program, talking about the public presence of pregnant women.

One side of me considers it a tribulation to write on this subject. I say: “Come on. Are we going to talk about the freedom of pregnant women to go out on the street?” When someone utters the phrase “the freedom of pregnant women to go out,” it seems like a disgrace just to write it. Are we going to talk about this with you; are we going to negotiate with you? “It is really a shame.” Well, this is the shame; it is a shame for us.

There are other shames. While a small excursion is recommended, at the maximum, for those whose Mister owns a car, it leaves no room for those women who need to work in the factories and fields in that condition. For example, those women whose fetuses cannot complete their development in jobs that guarantee silicosis. There are also those who are fired with the slightest excuse because they are pregnant; now, who is going to deal with their breastfeeding breaks and their demand for daycare.

Those who are stabbed, who are murdered while they are pregnant, most of the time by their husbands, by men “who love them.” Those who are killed by a “kin” of theirs while they carry a rape baby, or forced to jump from a nine-story building. To talk about the aesthetics of pregnant woman on the street while the murderers and rapists of women enjoy every bit of the mitigation factor of the male judiciary and, moreover, where most of them walk freely on the same streets… That is the shame.

Sometimes such statements are made intentionally to shift the focus from another important matter, sometimes they are made just to focus on the matter; a women’s issue is opened, just like that. What should she wear, what should she cover, where should she cover, where should she work? How should she give birth, how many children should she have, and by what method? While I am hesitant, being a woman, to talk on behalf of all women, and while I think three times as a woman before I say something on behalf of pregnant women, the constant topic of debate by a huge group of men is women’s bodies.

Well, when this policy touching on our daily lives is also the topic of current politics, and while there is also an attempt to create an image of women in the laws and regulations, it is impossible to be indifferent. I can’t ignore the authors of these words, even if that might be a better political stance. The frequency of these politics over womanhood prevents my anger from receding. While no problem is encountered in living in the same century with cars, let’s say with escalators, with Instagram filters, with build-operate-transfer models, when it comes to the topic of woman, that mentality hasn’t yet been able to arrive in the current century. In addition to this mentality, those who consider themselves free of the mass debate through a sense of elitism that is predicated only on dealing with the matter through the modernism-reactionism dichotomy, both walk all over the woman. How cheap audacity has become.

I just saw now that İnançer is standing behind his words. What did you expect?

Pınar Öğünç is a columnist for daily Radikal in which this piece was published on July 26. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.