A Short History Turkish Feminism

Nükhet Sirman

Akademik Ünvan: Prof. Dr.
Bağlı olduğunuz Kurum: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi
Yıl: 1989

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The aim of this paper is to try to identify if possible something called 'Turkish feminism'. I say "if possible" because at present it still is very difficult to talk about a specifically Turkish feminism. The very nature of feminism itself poses an important problem for women who attempt to question their conditions of existence when the latter are shaped by cultural and social forces that are not explicitly Western. Black women in Britain as well as the United States have already voiced their dissatisfaction with what Amos and Parmar (1984) have called 'imperial feminism'. These women have challenged the ethnocentric conceptions of the family and sexuality with which white women have worked to create a universalistic feminism. The shortcomings of Western feminism with regard to women in the Middle East have also been voiced by Kandiyoti (1987) and Lazreg (1988).

The difficulty of delimiting a specifically Turkish feminism is compounded by the fact that Turkish feminists themselves at the moment seem to take over concepts from Western feminism without subjecting them to serious questioning. Finally, if it is possible to argue that Turkish feminism was born in 1982, the movement to have attained a coherent stands.

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