Turkey’s women take to Twitter to mock sexist language
Ece Çelik - ISTANBUL
Users, including some actresses, musicians and even municipalities, took to social media to share their accounts of discrimination, harassment and misogynistic gendered stereotypes that are condescending towards women, upending them and creating an outpouring.
In line with this social media trend with the hashtag #ErkeklerYeriniBilsin, meaning “Let Men Know Their Place,” women tried to create a kind of awareness by replacing the words “women” with “men.”
Hundreds of thousands of tweets ridiculed male opinions rejecting the achievements of women, drawing attention to the challenges of harassment, inequality and discrimination that women across Turkey face.
“He was wearing mini shorts,” one woman tweeted, referring to a rhetoric that women who wear short skirts and shorts are to blame if they are sexually harassed.
“The most beautiful career of a man is fatherhood,” another one tweeted, criticizing the gender roles that give women only a motherhood role in life.
“Everyone gets startled when we change the subject of those expressions used in everyday life. Here, we women, experience the feeling of being startled every day,” said Fidan Ataselim, an official from the We Will Stop Femicides Platform, a women’s rights organization that monitors femicides and violence against women.
“These statements are imposed on women as if they were normal. All these sexist rhetoric and perspectives are what lays the ground for the killing of women,” Ataselim said.
“Now everyone should pay attention to their language and become aware of their sexism,” she noted.
According to the platform, 84 women were murdered by men so far in 2020.
“We’ll end this terrible order by messing around with it,” said Gaye Su Akyol, a singer and one of the initiators of the movement.
“This trend produces both tragicomedy and the kind of humor you want to be with, by ironically constructing sexism and discrimination in the language which is a nightmare for women,” Akyol stressed.
Although Turkish is a gender-neutral language, with pronouns without genders, some idioms and proverbs frequently used in daily life contain sexist expressions.