Nothing can be thought of independent of the zeitgeist. Our definitions of femininity vs. masculinity, our perception of the female body vs. the male body is determined by our paradigms.
I am the granddaughter and a daughter of a family raised during the Kemalist Revolution: a revolution believing in the equality between men and women as equal citizens with equal rights! For my mother and my grandmothers, female body was not to be veiled, hidden, suppressed, made invisible but a representation of the female identity, an identity in its own terms, determining its own choices, choosing its goals in this life journey.
I do not see female identity as contingent on men, or the female body as an object of male gaze. I am opposed to the view that wants to protect the female body from the male gaze and attention making it invisible. Male is not the gaze nor my body is the object. Male and female identities as represented in our bodies are equal identities.
To me, the female body is one of the representations, reflections of the female identity. Rendering the female body invisible is equal to rendering the female identity invisible, imprisoning it only to the private realm of the ‘master’ who is the only male gaze entitled to see it. Our bodies do not have masters. Our bodies –independent of our genders – which are reflections of our identities- are free, independent determined by the subject who owns them.
Female body is beautiful. I am opposed to every view, every practice, every paradigm, every school of thought believing in its otherness, inferiority, sinfulness, dirtiness, evilness (or “specialness”) wanting to veil it, cover it, hide it, suppress it, render it invisible.
I want a future for myself and for the young generation of women in Turkey where women will be proud of their identities as reflected also in their bodies, feeling proud and not ashamed of their bodies.
I love seeing the different colors and styles of women’s hair, the unique features of their faces, their beautiful smiles, their expressions of happiness, sadness, grief and joy – all emotions that make them human- and what they like doing with their bodies in all its diverse aesthetic forms. And on the other hand, I feel terrified by any project aiming to cover the beauty, aesthetics, diversity, individuality, creativity, sensuality and independence of the female body.
Our bodies are beautiful, unique and only and only our own.
2011 © Mahan Doğrusöz