Hidayet Şefkatli Tuksal – Islam, Society and Feminism //  İslam, Toplum ve Feminizm

Hidayet Şefkatli Tuksal – Islam, Society and Feminism // İslam, Toplum ve Feminizm

Hidayet Sefkatli Tuksal
55 years old. Married with three children.
Working as an academisian. I could only be received in the academic scene
15 years after I received my doctoral degree. This banishment cost 15 years of my life. That period was a period of turmoil in Turkey; but as I said, there was a certain amount of freedom. In this environment of freedom, we as a platform, performed protests with Kurds,
secular feminist women’s organizations, leftist women’s organizations and with trade unions, and even with LGBTI groups. Attended in many meetings with them. There we had the chance to get to know a lot of people. I regard this as a great gain in my life. You may of course learn about people
by reading about them in books but getting to know them
and touching them and listening to them, being friends with them teaches a lot. From that moment on, you spare your friend and don’t want any of them to get harmed. We have a patriarchal view of religion that regards the privileges of men as a must in religion And a very patriarchal life, too. Men do not want such interpretations to change. It is because of the fact that, that specific interpretation provides them
with a lot of privileges and rights. For example, today in Turkey,
they complain about divorces. But it is the women’s will to get divorced
they are complaining about. In my opinion, if you are candid about the matter of divorce, then the Religious Affairs Administration
should post a fatwa and state that: according to the classical Islamic law,
when a man divorces a woman by word,
the woman is divorced, but we do not accept that.
They can only get divorced at the court. The Administration should say this and post a fatwa about it. But then it posts a fatwa saying:
“It is possible to get divorced through a phone message.” Isn’t this contradictory to their view against the divorce? No, they are only against women’s will to get divorced. And I’m also thinking about this differently when we discuss it with some of my female friends about it. Some of the muslim women adopt this interpretation as a discourse
but their lives are completely different. And I ask them about the reason why they do not live that way? They say, “But this is something private,
this is about me being a dominant character.” They give themselves the right to violate this but they don’t think other women
should also have the same right. Our relationship with feminists has also been problematic. We tried to attend all of the meetings they held. We tried to learn about their viewpoint. But they were never pleased
with our participation. For example, when we hold workshops,
begin to speak to say something. And everyone freezes at that moment,
they get uneasy about what you might say. And when you say something about the headscarf
well, that’s the end of it. For example, I’ve always thought about this. I also discussed it with my feminist friends. You say such good things for women,
demand such good things for them and you also fight for that. And why aren’t women standing with you? Why aren’t they standing with us?
They are also not standing with me? Why could that be? And we are not talking much about it. Could that be because of the language we speak? Or wanting the most radical of everything? I mean, for instance,
we want to end domestic violence but at the same time we express antipathy
against the family institution. But in Turkey, women most of the time
prefer to live within the family. For them marriage, wearing wedding dresses,
having husbands, are among the life goals. And if you reject all of the life facts of a woman,
why should she give you any credit? Let me put it this way,
the feminists in our country are
from a leftist origin mostly and therefore they regard family as trivial and a place where women are
most oppressed and thus
their stance is antifamily. This weakens the confidence in the feminists in Turkey. And when they say
“Well, these women are obviously like that,”
they are completely left out. The criticism by radical feminism against
the family, about sexuality -women should be sexually free,
they should do whatever they want- this is not an approach
that could be popular in Turkey. It is because the women who live like that
have so much price to pay for. And women do not regard this freedom
as something worth the price paid. But when you establish
everything on one thing: the best woman, the freest woman,
the woman who dates more men, then you get separated in the course of life. And they do not credit what you say. And this western feminism
does something to all local women. Are local women always subject to oppression? Have they always failed to make a strategy? Didn’t they do anything for themselves at all? Such efforts are overlooked by western feminism. I mean, we do not know what our mothers have done,
what our grandmothers have done etc. We do not know about it
and we are not curious to learn about it. It is because we see them as
uneducated, ignorant women
who are oppressed by men. Were they like that? Have they always been like that? Were they so powerless? There is another point here. I always say “Each right that we use in our day, I mean, from attending school life
to participating in working life… There is a great women’s struggle behind it. None of these rights were granted. Everything was gained by women before us,
with great efforts. Please let us just respect this, at least.” and I see that nobody is aware of this history. They don’t know anything about the existence of our past. Women are applaused more
when they become enemies with other women and they may take on more of a collaborator’s role. And there are women who are victimized, of course. They are hopeless about finding a solution in feminism, as they regard it as something western and outsider. When you attempt to find a solution in Islam, as we equate Islam with the Islamic law, you cannot provide solutions from there too. And the solutions you come up with are not valued much.
Why? For example, let’s say there is a solution like this: according to Islamic law,
women do not have to do any housework, they even don’t have to breastfeed their baby. Is there a single woman
that succeeded in putting this into practice?
– No. It is because when you do so,
you become the bad mother,
bad wife, bad daughter in law… You become labeled as the worst of everything. Therefore, things in favor of women
cannot be put into practice. The things that are at the disadvantage of women
are traditionalized and customary. And the way to get out of this is to accept that
there may be and there already are different interpretations of Islam
and to insist on these new interpretations. I observe that there is a change but people are refraining from speaking out
and criticizing the discourse. Islam should not turn into anything authoritarian. Or rather,
the political atmosphere that governs us
should not be authoritarian. When some interpretions are always granted by
privilege and some are always accused of being degenerate, it is true that condemns people to lead hypocritical lives. That is what can be said.

2 thoughts on “Hidayet Şefkatli Tuksal – Islam, Society and Feminism // İslam, Toplum ve Feminizm

  1. Evet İslam dininde erkek kadına üstün ve hakim kılınmıştır sen kabul etsende etmesende bu böyle beğenmiyosan git başka dine mensub ol.

  2. Sende müslüman islam davası olan kadın kafası yok sende feminist nefsini ilahlaştırmış kadın kafası var.

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