Woman in Red Experiences an Officer John Pike Moment: Evening Open ThreadPosted: June 4, 2013
Well, over in Turkey, they are having their own Occupy protest lately…we have talked about it a few times here on the blog. Now the Occupy Turkish Spring has its Ofc. Pike moment.
A Turkish riot policeman uses tear gas as people protest against the destruction of trees in a park brought about by a pedestrian project, in Taksim Square in central Istanbul, May 28, 2013.
In her red cotton summer dress, necklace and white bag slung over her shoulder she might have been floating across the lawn at a garden party; but before her crouches a masked policeman firing teargas spray that sends her long hair billowing upwards.Endlessly shared on social media and replicated as a cartoon on posters and stickers, the image of the woman in red has become the leitmotif for female protesters during days of violent anti-government demonstrations in Istanbul.
“That photo encapsulates the essence of this protest,” says maths student Esra at Besiktas, near the Bosphorus strait and one of the centers of this week’s protests. “The violence of the police against peaceful protesters, people just trying to protect themselves and what they value.”
In one graphic copy plastered on walls the woman appears much bigger than the policeman. “The more you spray the bigger we get”, reads the slogan next to it.
The Turkish Prime Minister is calling these protesters terrorist, the same way we heard the Right going after Occupy here in the states.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan branded the protesters on Monday extremists “living arm in arm with terrorism”, a description that seems to sit ill with the image of the woman in red.There were others dressed in more combative gear and sporting face masks as they threw stones, but the large number of very young women in Besiktas and on Taksim Square where the protests began on Friday evening is notable.
With swimming goggles and flimsy surgical masks against the teargas, light tasseled scarves hanging around their necks, Esra, Hasine and Secil stand apprehensively in the Besiktas district on Monday evening, joined by ever growing numbers of youngsters as dusk falls and the mood grows more somber.
They belong, as perhaps does the woman in red, to the ranks of young, articulate women who believe they have something to lose in Erdogan’s Turkey. They feel threatened by his promotion of the Islamic headscarf, symbol of female piety.
What more anti-woman rhetoric? Check out some of the things PM Erdogan is pushing…
Many of the women point to new abortion laws as a sign that Erdogan, who has advised Turkish women to each have three children, wants to roll back women’s rights and push them into traditional, pious roles.“I respect women who wear the headscarf, that is their right, but also want my rights to be protected,” says Esra. “I’m not a leftist or an anti-capitalist. want to be a business woman and live in a free Turkey.”
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the secular republic formed in 1923 from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, encouraged women to wear Western clothes rather than headscarves and promoted the image of the professional woman. Ironically, Erdogan is seen these days as, for better or worse, the most dominant Turkish leader since Ataturk.
Erdogan was first swept to power in 2002 and remains unrivaled in popularity, drawing on strong support in the conservative Anatolian heartland.
The weekend demonstrations in dozens of cities suggest however his popularity may be dwindling, at least among middle classes who swung behind him in the early years of political and economic reform that cut back the power of the army and introduced some rights amendments.
You can read more at the link…
One more little story for you, from my Asshole Senator Saxby: GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss Blames Military Sexual Assault On ‘The Hormone Level Created By Nature’
During a Senate hearing Tuesday, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) admitted that the military must do more to stop the rising rates of sexual assault in its ranks, but he warned that it could be difficult to curtail given “the hormone level created by nature” of the young enlisted men.
“The young folks that are coming into each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23,” Chambliss told military leaders at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. “Gee whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur. So we’ve got to be very careful how we address it on our side.”
Eh, what? No mention of how nature “protects” women from these sexual assaults….huh. /snark.
My one question is, these dickwads who were the military sexual assault liaison officers arrested for sexual assault and/or running prostitution rings were not young male hormone driven sex fiends? Right? Shithead Chambliss.
This is an open thread.