An hypnotic aura permeates Istanbul, inexplicably seducing me, its melancholy…
Feminism in Turkey is outdated, out of touch with diverse types of ambition, non-traditional careers, and complex interests of women. To be a powerful woman with integrity means being free to choose, which translates to a committment to your principles, despite their lack of conspicuous commercial value. “According to Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, authors of ManifestA, feminism can change with every generation and individual. Third-wave feminism is a concept that allows women to define feminism for themselves by incorporating their own identities into the belief system of what feminism is, and what it can become through one’s own perspective.”
Opting out of a career to focus on raising a family takes tremendous effort, planning, and personal sacrifice at times. It’s difficult to raise strong, empathic, and aware children in an age of intense distraction. Who better to raise new generations of men and women who have respect for all living things and their planet, than educated, engaged, feminist mothers and even fathers forgoing a traditional career.
When women are shamed for the gratification they feel pursuing domestic passions like maintaining traditional cuisines and raising children, cultural and emotional substance is lost. Entire generations will potentially lose the benefits of these historical rhythms of life, and society’s rigid gender norms will persist. In conversations with women, and also from local female columnists I’ve heard this statement “When you’re married and don’t have a “career”, you are forgoing your independence.” Why must this be so? Marriage is a partnership. Both women and men are entitled to half of the other’s income and assets. It’s a straightforward affair, legally at least, and every decision that has the potential to affect either party must be discussed and agreed upon by both parties. Of course there are acknowledged divisions of labor, but both men and women have the capacity to make independent and interdependent decisions in these spheres as well. I’m missing the part where independence is lost. There are multiple ways to contribute to society and find meaning in life without a “job”. Perhaps those who speak of the lack of independence when not working, are actually misdiagnosing a legitimate problem which is the loss of self-confidence due to an identity conflict, and this is painting them into a prison of their mind’s design.