A Person Called Feminist


Gülnur Elçik

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.

In terms of executing this feminist dialogue process, considering that accepting feminism as a step not at the point of ending our ambitions and sensitiveness and etc. but for our awareness and desire to end them may break our determination that each reaction we put forward may have politic quality, I hope that thinking about the methods used in the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ dialogues of the feminist policy will be more efficient.


Taking postmodernist ways of understanding into account, I submit that language is so important for telling accurately what we try to tell or for preventing what we tell from being understood in the way we never want at all. However, the language does not only make each politic word be like texts produced by the graphic designer, transform proceedings into texts which most discussed by feminists and convert daily policy into forcing specialist knowledge in the passion of fetishism design, but worse than this, leaves the daily agenda back this information. Therefore, a woman whom we have been informed has been subject to violence might not make our agenda busy as much as the should-be-place of the comma in proceedings. Actually, the whole matter is not limited to the request for the reinforcement of the solidarity among us as being individual feminists. From one perspective, it also has the question how to communicate when it is necessary to stick with any woman who doesn’t identify herself politically or who has taken its share from common-average fascism.

From this point, we reach second problem: as a reaction of sterility of academy which is exhibited from time to time in terms of converting its knowledge into activism and making this information useful in daily life, politics of the street and widely speaking their knowledge of activism is becoming academic (!). Creating a feminist where ‘any who tells the code can enter’ as a product of this process also thwarts the debates pertaining to the scope of feminist policy. On the other hand, I think that those who gives a room in their minds and hearts for a feminism which produces policies not only for itself; and rather than, includes the policies of ‘meeting’ a woman should break their minds on different feminist activation patterns for those who are not expert on professional ways of communication.

From other point, the course of imbalance structure produced through reinforcement of patriarchy and capitalism each other required us to recall other questions: Do we consent to being equal with men at some place at the depth of the opportunities of life which is gradually shrunk, to sexist work division re-produced for being equal and minimum equality? Do we consent the freedom discourses which become identified with comfortable life in visual market where the consumption habits of women have become more visible and dense subjects? More important than all, what policy do we follow on the matter that man hegemony power relations from local policy network are handed over the seats to be empty provided that discourses of freedom, equality and justice are make heard by ambiguous universal concerned one far from the demand of being citizenship? (In fact, I think we have started to give the answer to this question implicitly).

While debating these questions, it is necessary to note that it is easier to own the distance which is arbitrarily positioned in the period when the feminists are not regarded as the participators of the policy. Well how will feminism whose existence cannot be neglected at the level of ruling party adjust its distance with it? At this point, of course, we need to think by knowing that we need to consider that behaving as if there were no ‘leaders’ may mean keeping the existing hierarchical structure.

The persons with whom the women are in relation in feminist movement, movements and institutions form the other point of accord and discord points. The sentences of Gülnur Acar Savran summarize the risk which is at the ground of the debates and which is in fact valid for almost all the policies: ‘It is always possible to arrive at identity policy from a point of feminist policy… Reducing feminist policy to a series of coalitions in order to exist with our differences… A common feminist policy without freezing and fetishising differences / divisions among the women as identity… is possible through viewpoint that determine (these identities) to be the product of social process’’


Starting the debate, I would like to state that I believe that the ground of being women which refers to the experiences of being woman provides a real ground for a debate at initial level among non-encouraging several sections and groups at the point where the actual policy intersects in terms of the opportunity to being informed about sharing the daily experiences and therefore the invisible and hidden states of the information.

In this matter, particularly, I believe the difficulty which is bought by the necessity of some certain identities tagged with identity policies to start from this point for their efforts to get rid of these moulds assuming that essential condition of identity policies occurring in the structure of particularism operate as homogenizing signal. I would like to further explain this comment with the determination revealed by Laclau for ‘the groups struggling for identity in hostile environment’: ‘If (this group) tries to defend its identity as it was at that moment, since the place of the group within the society is identified by alienating system forced by the hegemonic groups, the group will forever imprison itself to marginalized and ghettoized existence.’. From this explanation, I think that the way for the identities which are expanded on the repetitious victim-mild opinion continuously and justified over the big-sized titles to exceed this kind of expression is within the cracks created by ‘carrying the identities to other areas’.

On the other hand, I see that that the class divisions that are the steadiest opposing subject in testing whether the movement becomes invalid with identity policies mostly tend to gravitate to an ontological explanation and have to use the methods of the identity. At this point, the question whether the structures which do not execute identity policy displays homogeneity not along the policies but over the identity are coincidental or not is very important. In addition, the determination revealed by Savran for the social movements challenges the limits of ‘off-class’ criticisms relevant to the identities which act particularly within these movements. Although the workers constitute majority of these actions in terms of sociological components, these are off-working class actions in terms of the problems they make the item of agenda and the requests they suggest… This does not mean that the demands suggested are off-class on single basis. We understand that not using an understanding governing as ‘the economy which reduces several oppression and hegemony patterns to a derivation of pure capital relation if the father of all as stable method is also important in terms of not being drifted with the excuses made up by the actual policy for the types of women’s being exploited. On the other hand, this situation also reveals the problem about the possibility that class position which is pointed out by belonging points within the society is not ‘worth of politics’.

We can say that the debates on whether feminism governs as identity policy or not is also the debate on who should take place in ‘historical block’ of feminism. It should be accepted that the variation which is specific to our day in the historical block mostly leads to coalitions which occur around interest-unity. However, when we insist on a feminist – politic approach which is apposing the coalitions which are required by some social conflicts not carrying the women to a common feminist policy, each societal conflict may start to be summarized in the dimension to mean the ‘essence’ of feminist policy and the evidence which tells feminist policy mad decrease. Thus, radicalism can govern over the distance to the core rather than the level of the opposing party.


First of all, I think that the criticism of essentialism along the expression of ‘marbled feminism’ summarized as policies which do not affect any identity discourses and infinite coalitions in the writing of Savran is another way of her own essentialism. Consequently, I believe the grounds of the question of summarizing the policy of platform as ‘feminist’ only assuming that a policy which does not occur with the assertion of being feminist at any time is executed by only women is affected being indexed to use the concept of ‘women solidarity’ in cases where the women with whom solidarity is worker and the anxieties about the previous experiments of Islam, as well. For example, I believe that although in Novamed Resistance, a solidarity policy could be achieved without needing to question the tendencies (most probably, their conservative tendencies) of the worker women, most whom were not in compliance with the praxis of feminist and with whom the feminist act with solidarity and one of the most acquisitions could be achieved, one of the reasons why a unified feminist reaction against the problem of head cover cannot be revealed through this point. Of course, there are two rejections in other scope: First is the being covered as the product of encouraged masculinity basically and the second is the claim by referring the proceeding of BSÇ that religious and secular controlling patterns of the patriarchy are nor symmetric…

Essentially, the status which summarizes the initial point of the answer to be given for these questions is that ‘the prohibition of head cover’ has occurred in an environment where not the problem of head cover but the problem of being with head cover is the item of agenda. Since that the effort of the understanding of the women politically one another who do not come together in their daily lives together as being with the head cover and without head cover is required to start under these titles is the result of the prohibition, it would be unjust to deal with the feminist debated on being with head cover and without head cover in indifferent way from the times when it is mentioned- particularly in a proceeding.

Keeping mind that not state-supported-secularism in the secular-global world but living and controlling ways of the piety carrying more local dynamics, I think that it is important that the modern world which declares its off-religion hegemony eliminates all the holy archetypes and (not) bring totally different symbols instead of them. In this case, here, we can say that the secular and religious environments for which they are held responsible for the patterns welcome them at the same level of reaction. For example, for the reason of finding that the rule of covering the breast brought by the secular part for women and the rule of covering the head which is brought forward by religious part for women can be discussed as problem at the same level or for the explanation why the act of being jealousy which displays itself as love-sympathy in relevance to being covered levels in the secular part does not attract our attention, we can start from here. However, I think the difference between these hierarchies will occur due to our desire to uncover our breast… Here, I think that the men who do not practice the rules of being covered in Islam also takes their shares from feminist policy as much as the women with head cover because the aim for each woman from any section is determined to not being covered particularly in feminist policy and therefore the measurements is determined as ‘men’ and (in fact) due to the aim of the women being uncovered as much as the men. On the other hand, as long as feminist policy doesn’t concentrate the problem on the issue not about being covered but on the matter being forced to be covered; it may misjudge to make contributions to body politics by making the policy of giving freedom of ‘the hair drifted in the wind’ from another point. In addition, for example, the reason why the rejection decision I will when I, being the daughter of ‘secular for 6 generations’, decide to cover my head will be symmetric with the rejection decision to be taken when decided to uncover the head can be explained through state support of the secular oppression historically.

However, in spite of the handicaps overlapped between secularism and piety, we experience that oppression patterns which are specific to religious part become more solidified and reinforced with the effects of the legends created through religion. While secular oppression needs not to reveal itself when there is no encouragement by the state, the religious settings become difficult settings for the section preferring to get dressed in uncovered way to enter into. This problem is worth of thinking when considering that action limits of the woman are drawn with home. However, at the base, I believe that the fact of feminist politics evaluating the piety only through being covered makes it difficult to understand that the girls without head cover at the factory may be more religious, or the mass of transsexual which uses quite religious expressions and does not work as sex workers and fasts during the Ramadans or Kurdish policy whose religious vein has gradually become reinforced.

When I read the determination of Savran that ‘important things could be done if the dialogue has the quality of transforming’ with the following sentences, I understand what is meant by the transformation is the expectation of ‘confession’. For example, evaluating the text written against Üzmez not to include any criticism for religious conservatism or AKP’s historical concreteness and expecting word from the women with head cover constantly, therefore, makes them the center of the problems and uses the questioning methods of reel politics for the reality’. As happens in the example where there is no need to utter the word of ‘class’ in order to grasp the class division, what is the reason of having the only opportunity to see the criticism here? Why is the person of the text written against ‘Üzmez Baba’ who is clichéd to be criticized not regarded to be an invitation including such relations?

One of the points which I would like to add lastly is that it can be understood very easily that being side by side is not to say ‘if you are here, I am absent – to remember the debates during the prohibition of head cover –‘, which is not another expression in the proceeding of BSÇ which should be read together wit the expression of ‘being side by side with awareness’. The basic factor here is the aim of reinforcing the speaking areas beyond being with head cover or without head cover (that it is necessary to show this difference in order go beyond) of the women who are included in the areas created through body politics operated in different change routes with surprisingly implied partnership of the secular and profane part. Thus, BSÇ is in fact may be an invitation for thinking without obsessing with being with head cover – being without head cover and gradually islamophobic – Islamic phobic partialities as an outline. BSÇ has been born as a reaction to continuity and interruption determinations in a narrow area and as an effort to see the real differences and real conflicts out of the camps of actual politics against the positioning of being with head cover and without head cover as a political subject.

Though it is not within an activism which can be thought as model of political organization, I would like to utilize the determinations of Özgür Sevgi Göral in on the risk of employing the principle of working in small groups in relation to risk of which BSÇ is a part:

‘The output from these problems for feminist movement is hidden in the problems how we fill the category of ‘we women’ we use very frequently in the texts and announcements. We can be stronger at the amount which we try to include the experiences of being oppressed and resisting of different women and not only the women who have the same anxieties as ours while saying we women… We need politically a category of universal ‘we women’ which doesn’t melt all the differences in the general appearance and gives the uniqueness what it deserves in order to do this.’

Consequently, are not we all socialist, green, religious or feminist as much as there is opportunity in this global world where we are surrounded with all types of consumption?


From Amargi- Issue 12

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