The translation process of Amargi Feminist Journal has been a collective work of a voluntary group, who are also Amargi readers. The process started in 2008 when 3 young interns in Amargi Women’s Academy -the feminist organization in İstanbul- came up with an idea of translating some articles from the journal into English so that it could reach out to more people, especially to those who are concerned with women’s situation in Turkey. They thought the journal opened up rich and exciting discussions on the grounds of feminism and these should be carried to international level, as well.
Sema Aslan- Translated by Özde Çakmak
There is an issue of “being a housewife”, and it goes on and on. While writing down a subject again (and as if it’s a new thing) every woman updates acting upon one’s own experience, how to build up a text? While there are lives somewhere being experienced with brand new practises and minds getting afresh with theory, the feeling of sitting here thinking about being a housewife is – with all its mishap, no need to lie, is haunting me. However, I’m facing up to colliding with this intimidation.
In the last years I have met several aspects of being a housewife. Or maybe I’d have wanted to think that there might be several aspects to being a housewife.
First of all, I saw politics in it.
In order for this article not be a personal one at all, that I don’t talk upon/through being a housewife and close this chapter forever and ever, saying for example “So you are also an artist?”, “No i am a housewife!” I’ll watch art community’s ego-centric behaviors smiling with my being a housewife just at that moment there is something not leaving me in peace. As I talk to other women, women, women I realise that thing which does not leave me in peace is “rejection”. At least I even comply with an acceptance whose scale is “I got it there, next sentence please” but it does not happen. I feel like a loony trying to build up a wall with a single stone at every turn. With a stone in hand going from here to there… As a matter of fact, I don’t know where to put down this stone. Sometimes I have an itch to throw and get rid of it. But anyhow I am doomed to mode of “now”, desperate, I say I might love it as well. Then you see I find politics acceptable for being a housewife. While people protecting the park in Gezi were remembered one by one, when the turn came to housewives – those were the days I still grinned and bore it, losing myself I screamed “it’s me!” People in my surroundings look back and smile. If “intoxication of Gezi” crossing from their minds, I don’t know. At various meetings leaving aside everything, first of all, I make a claim to being a housewife and secretly enjoy the amazement on people’s faces etc. But addressing being a housewife as a political issue, to produce a statement and attitude out of this policy is not possible single handedly – at least for me.
Fatma Nevin Vargün
Translated by Özge
The violence against women is continuing in Kurdish region. Even in harsher ways. In the previous days we watched together what a young woman in Ağrı experienced. The men in the family were persistent first to throw her from the window and then to give her quietus by stabbing in ambulance on her way to the hospital. In this article I want to talk about the thought-provoking, rather than the frightening, side of this kind of violent incidents that can be often came across in the media.
Untill a few months ago, I had never thought of being a candidate for the 2009 local elections. I was working on my reporting about the violation of human rights of LGBT individuals within Lambdaistanbul LGBT Solidarity Association (Lambdaistanbul LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği, Lambda). Then, some women friends whose work I myself closely follow from Amargi Women’s Cooperative (Amargi Kadın Kooperatifi) located in the same district with Lambdaistanbul Culture Center asked me, “Belgin, would you ever think of being a candidate for head of this district?” Although firstly rejecting, I then decided to be a candidate for Katip Mustafa Çelebi District after having thought of it calmly at home in the evening. I was sure of myself to be worthy of this position having worked on human rights for years and having experienced and witnessed all difficulties in Beyoğlu as a transsexual woman.
The Women’s Labour and Employment Initiative Platform (Kadın Emeği ve İstihdam Girişimi Platformu, KEİG) presented a report to public on 17 April 2009, “Women’s Labour and Employment in Turkey: Problem Areas and Policy Suggestions”. We think that the statements and the suggestions are very significant and leading. Also with their permission, we publish the report summarizing. You can find the full text in their KEIG’s web site
The economic crisis that started in 2008 in developed countries has since turned into a global depression by influencing developing countries too. The effects of the economic crisis show themselves as a big breakdown in production and a noticeable increase in unemployment. We are in a period in which there are not enough satisfactory clues regarding the improvement of the economy, and the duration and scope of the economic crisis.
In a crisis when the earnings are cut, when they are not enough or cannot be earned at all sleeplessness gets started. The state of not even blinking your eyes within the darkness of the night captures one. There are the problems whose solutions are unknown and there is insecurity. The knot of life takes the shape of a stuffing each day and the malaise spreads through various different areas of life that once seemed disconnected. It ceases to be a personal state of mind and spreads over everyone we are together with. This affection, which attacks to the very basis of our existence becomes timed and collectivized. Within the spaces it hovers in the air in such a way that you can even feel it. Our capacity to deal with the demands of the world, our control over the life diminishes every day.
During the recent economic crises, conservatism of Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi: AKP) on sexuality has shown its limits. Especially with the economic crises AKP feels caught up in a trap thus such politics is not really surprising. The patriarchy as the underlying politics and discourse of conservatism is taken out of its aesthetic packaging of populism and just to protect “masculinity,” it pinpointed the women seeking jobs as the essence of unemployment. Although this is not something new, it is important to talk about it. How are we then going to discuss the neo-liberal politics of AKP? Of course the feminist literature provides us with a broad literature. But then whether this literature is sufficient for us to understand its extent in the society in Turkey is up for grabs… To deepen this discussion, I aim to first talk about how AKP defines the economic crises as the crises of masculinity and then address the ways economic politics of AKP are debated.
Feminist Politics Debates
I see that the class divisions that are the steadiest opposing subject in testing the dance of politics with identities mostly tend to gravitate to an ontological explanation and have to use the methods of the identity.
While feminist activism is moving forward at its fullest rate, we get the opportunity to follow the debated about feminism through our journal Feminist Policy which is started to be released as well as Amargi. Lying feminism on a plate with its manifesting dimensions in terms of matters such as feminist ethics and activism beyond democracy debates has become effective due to its accelerating feminist dialogue process.
Complicity of Violence with Malice: A Brief Article On Prostitution And What The Prostitution Laws Do
The laws that separate the sex workers into two categories as registered and non-registered also produces space for different kinds of violence.
This article examines the legal regulations on prostitution, the practices of the state and, based on the everyday lives of the sex workers, the relationship of registered and un-registered sex workers with the state, along with the violence embedded in such relationships. These relationships formed by absolute and modern power techniques, provides us with the understanding of the state, rather than a uniter and abstract structure, as a form that changes according to the context, to the relationships it develops with different subjects and becoming an embodiment of the ordinary through the institutional actors it relates.Especially by looking at the relationships among the police, the deputies working at the brothels, and the sex workers, this article aims to examine how the objectification through violence establishes a masculine sexuality.
Took One Step Further, Brought Steps Along with Us: Walking…
“Paths of the hell is paved with the rocks of good faith.”
Although the history of our transexual organization experience is not so early, with the development of woman movement, transexual movement has also picked up speed. It was Women General Assembly (Kadın Kurultay) when a transexual has for the first time, brought up his/her problems as part of the women movement. I heard from Nazik Işık that once in a general assembly in which ”Women Movement in Turkey” is the subject matter of academy seminers taking place in Kaos GL, audience overreacted when they recognize that the conferencier is a transexual and against all the interruptions that transexual friend could end up her speech.