Being a Woman

We all here now and then about how women are discriminated, how they are viewed as second class citizens all around the globe. We are all aware of the fact that there is a reality about sexism. That women are abused, that women don’t earn the wage they deserve, and that they get hurt.

Some of us care about it; want to change something and act accordingly. Others, ignore the issue, and act as if it doesn’t exist – just because it’s not happening to them or the people they know.

But last day, I heard something. Something so terrible that I don’t believe any human being can ignore the severity of the issue…

“Are Women Considered As Human Beings?” Yes, unfortunately you read it correct. This name was given to a conference in Saudi Arabia, just a year ago. Hundreds of people came together, and debated on this agenda item. And guess what they had as a conclusion to the question. At the end of the conference in Riyad, they have decided that women are mammals, yet not “human”.

It is even hard to process the information, isn’t it? Even though I still have a hard time to accept that this conference was real, I only have one thing to say. Please question the humanity of your manhood, before even attempting to debate on whether women are human or not.

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Symphony of Thoughts

I have always believed that, if you are speaking big, you have to endure its consequences. If you say “The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of the people.” then you should act in accordance to your statement. Not only in political debates, or in front of people that you want to impress; you have to believe it from your heart and apply it to every corner of your life.

If you appreciate, or at least respect, difference you really have to internalise it. You can’t be an anti-racist and then discriminate women. You can’t identify yourself as a feminist and then abuse others because of their culture. You can’t say that you respect to all kinds of belief, and then humiliate the LGBTQ community.

It may sound extreme, but yes, if you say that you find diversity beautiful, you have respect all kinds of different opinions, even the ones that contradict with yours. Don’t forget; if you insist to imply your thoughts to matter what, you are no different than a dictator. No different than Hitler, no different than Mussolini…

So from now on, before labelling yourself as a human rights activist, respecting to all kinds of difference among the human kind, you better take the responsibility of the words you speak. And instead of fighting with every different ideology you hear, try to enjoy the symphony of thoughts that floats around the globe.

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Can One Really Change the Paradigm of the World?

I came to the point where I started to analyse the answer to the question which I used to answer “Yes!” without even a doubt. I guess this is how the realization of growing up first occurs on people.

The question is “Can one really change the paradigm of the world?”

I used to say “Yes, yes, yes and yes!” from the deepest corner of my heart, without giving the right of questioning to anyone around me. Poor me. I was inexperienced, maybe even stupid. But to tell the truth, I was happier than.

Because I did’t know what “inferior” or “superior” meant. I didn’t know what “majority” or “minority” meant. I didn’t know what “communism” or “capitalism” meant. The world was black and white for me. People were either good or bad. And there was only one rule. And that golden rule was that good people always win.

Unfortunately, that little innocent girl was right. As soon as I stepped out of my glass fan, I noticed the fundamental paradigm of the world, existing since the beginning of mankind.

World have always been harsh and mean. Not because of unfortunate coincidences or misunderstandings. Not because of randomly occurring events or catastrophes. The world have always been like this because of the humankind living on it.

Even if we insist on ignoring this fact, unfortunately it is true. Humans are selfish creatures, capable of doing every single thing when it concerns their “sake”. And these selfish people have planned this system so well that no one can ever change it. As Marx and Engels indicated in “The Communist Manifesto”, from the Medieval Europe, to French Revolution, from the Industrial Revolution to the 21st century world, the world have always been  ruled under the same paradigm, only under different covers. The bourgeois always ruled the proletariat.

Therefore, my new answer to the question is “No.” I’m not being pessimistic, but this time I’m sure about my answer. Because even if it was painful, at the end I have understood. No man, no group, no ideology can change the paradigm of the world, as long as  homo-sapiens are the dominant species on the planet.

Should Teens Be Involved In Politics?

In today’s globalised world where teenagers get involved with “adult” issues earlier and earlier day by day, one of the most debated issues is whether teenagers should be involved in politics or not. While some believe that every individual, no matter what age group they belong to, should be interested in global issues that concern everyone, others believe that it is very unnecessary for teenagers who aren’t even capable of shaping their own life should bother to think about politics.

Didn’t we used to say that one’s character and perspective on life gets shaped in their early ages of childhood? Then how can we expect one to take actions in order to make the world a better place if we isolate him or her from the rest of the world for the first 18 years of their life?

Actually the definition of politics is very self-explanatory. “Politics: the process of making decisions applying to all members of each group.” It clearly suggests that if an individual is a member of a group, he or she should be involved in the process of decision making concerning themselves and the society they live in.

I don’t say teens should actively participate in a political organization or identify themselves with a specific ideology. In fact, I truly believe that teenage years is a time period where the identity and ideology of an individual gets shaped, and therefore one shouldn’t have strict ideas on any issue. However, as every other educated individual regardless of their age group, teens should  also be aware of what’s happening all around the world.

They should read the news,without having the right to ignore the ongoing issues. No matter if they will major in comparative literature, art history or international relations and politics, every teen should be somehow involved in politics. Because politics doesn’t only mean deception and corruption; it is the science of the society if it is practiced in a healthy environment.

Actually the biggest role at this point falls on the parents. “My son’s/daughter’s psychology will be affected negatively; he/she is too young to think about these things.” isn’t an acceptable explanation. If parents think about the future of their own children and the sake of the humanity, they should let them face with the harsh realities of the globe and support them with objective evaluations, without manipulation.

Because at the end of the day, these children, who are unfortunately referred as “too young” to be involved in politics, will be the ones who shape the future of our world.

Istiklal

Just like veins connecting the organs in the human body, streets have always connected people to one another.  The history of İstiklal is as old as İstanbul, starting from the Byzantine Empire to Ottoman Empire, being the heart of the city, with its multi-cultural composition. Being a home to the Saint Antoine Church, to Neve Shalom Synagogue to Galata Mevlaviyanesi and to Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage)…

From the antique buildings to small cafes and restaurants, art houses and cinemas, tramway sounds, street vendors, theaters and book shops, with a combination of the new and old, composed of different cultures and traditions.

Who knows which people have walked through this street, thinking of which emotions? Which authors and singers got inspired from and this atmosphere, reflecting these to their masterpieces? What stories have lived in here, what experiences?

İstiklal has a distinct place in my heart. It means doing Literature projects in the streets, taking artsy photos, talking to the people of İstanbul, from the highest-socio economic class citizen luxury shopping to the chestnut seller freezing in cold, seeing the realities of my hometown. İstiklal means drinking a cup of hot chocolate in winter, freezing cold, observing the rush and the beauty of the city İstanbul.

İstiklal means occupation for Gezi Parkı, walks for freedom, protests, breaking restrictions, making people hear your voice. İstiklal means cooperation for independence and freedom, showing that there is still a sense of hope and chance for the sake of humanity.

And right now İstiklal means, fear, horror and death. It means terror, bombings and the loss of innocent lives, being the center of the ruthless terrorist attacks, making me question the “humanity” of the human kind.

And now I sit here, thinking about what’s happening all around the world, considering the recent unfortunate events in Belgium, the Middle East and my hometown İstanbul. And I hope this magnificent street can once again unite our people and the human kind, gathering them for collaboration for better tomorrow’s and a livable world, putting an end to these inhumane actions and creating a better future.

Humanity of the Human Kind

Mankind. They’re the most complicated creatures on earth, created with an excellence that no one has been able to explain until now. They come together and live as a part of a society according to their common interests.

But is the main focus of these individuals forming the society is only their own benefits regardless of the others? Are instinctual passions really stronger than reasonable interests as Sigmund Freud said?

Even though I don’t want to believe, after all these I have seen, I guess humans are really savages that are capable of doing everything to obtain their desires in life. If today people are changing their ideologies for profit, backstabbing their loved ones for their own good, lie and deceive other’s for their interests but most importantly wish something bad for an innocent person, I am very sorry to say the the “humanity” of the humankind has come to an end.