ANF ​​​​The male-dominated system is based on rape culture

Viyan Leyla from the Party for Women’s Freedom in Kurdistan (Partîya Azadîya Jin a Kurdistan, PJAK) spoke on the feminist TV station Jin TV in the program “Xwebûn” about rape culture and its effects in Kurdistan. The politician outlined the evolution of this patriarchal method of oppression and explained why the concept of “rape” is not limited to only physical abuse. She also showed ways of social resistance and the importance of self-defense for women:

“The way we deal with rape is fundamentally different from how state systems deal with it. In state systems, rape is seen only as an attack on the woman’s body. In other words, this system defines rape as an assault against a woman against her will or an assault that violates her virginity. We consider this definition incorrect and inadequate. As a women’s liberation movement, we see the entire male-dominated mentality and the resulting thought and action patterns as rape. We define the five thousand year old patriarchy as a rape system. The definition of the word “rape” as “forcible possession” is also inadequate. The meaning of this term is much wider. “Possession by force” is certainly one aspect of this. But also the violent appropriation, exploitation and plundering of social values ​​and subjugation of the will through special warfare must also be considered rape.

All values ​​created by women are taken by force

All this is, in a certain sense, also done to the woman’s body when she is raped. But the attack is not limited to the body. Women are attacked and raped in every aspect of the male dominated system: language, culture, country, mind, brain and body are raped. All values ​​created by women are forcibly taken and exchanged with the interests of the sovereign system. What values ​​does this system set? Apathy, slavery and inequality. From these points of view, it is incomplete and flawed to define rape only in the classical sense. In summary, we define the appropriation of all moral, ethical and aesthetic values ​​in society as rape.

Rape in mythology

We often come across the theme of rape in the mythological stories prevalent in the Sumerian priestly states. For example, we see this culture of rape in the myth of Inanna and Enki. Enki, a strong and cunning male god, makes the first unjust claim by making himself the ‘104 Me’ through cunning and cunning[1] of the goddess Inanna, protector of society. Inanna is fighting a very serious battle to regain her powers. Other rapes by the cunning god Enki on the goddesses are also described in the mythological stories. According to the myth, the first physical rape was also committed by Enki on the goddess Ereshkigal, the winter sister of the goddess Inanna. The mythology of Tiamat and Marduk can also be seen in this context. After the physical rapes come the cultural and systemic rapes. This point in history is also referred to as the first sexual break. The essence of the word “state” rests on this culture of rape. Civilization developed through this culture and has survived to this day.

What does the term “rape culture” mean?

The term culture refers to the totality of a society’s material and intellectual values. Seen from this point of view, it may seem a little strange to talk about a rape culture. But capitalist modernity erodes the concepts and gives them new meanings. Because she wants to create a new mentality, a system, by changing perception. The culture created by the capitalist system consists of sexism, nationalism and religious fanaticism. Destruction of diversity and wealth in society created a unified system. Everything was taken from the woman and she was relegated to slavery. For this she does everything necessary. Institutionalization also takes place at the private level.

Kurdistan is particularly hard hit by the patriarchy

Kurdistan is particularly affected by the dominant male mentality. Rape culture, in other words the culture of violent possession, has permeated every aspect of life. An example: although the official language of Kurdistan is Kurdish, this language is ignored and Turkish is made mandatory instead. Schools are the official institution for this. Even though you are Kurdish, you take an oath every day [aan de Turkse Republiek] and deny being Kurds. Instead, you give away your existence to be a Turk. Could there be a more ominous culture of appropriation, theft and rape? YİBO* has played a very special role in Kurdistan in this regard. The policy of cultural assimilation and subjugation was enforced through various institutions.

The institution of the family made women taboo in society through the notion of ‘honour’ that arose from the religious context. In the case of a physical assault on a woman, killing her was seen as a way to save honor, even if the woman was not at fault. The killing of the woman was thus legitimized. They are also products of rape culture.

The army of the Turkish state should also be seen as a rape institution. Turkish soldiers commit all kinds of rape as part of a special warfare in Kurdistan. It’s not just about physical rape. They are specially trained to play with all the moral values ​​of Kurdish society. In Kurdistan, not a day goes by when soldiers, policemen or village guards do not extort, loot and rape. Although these acts are criminal, the perpetrators remain unpunished and are protected by the state, as these acts are politically desirable. In Mêrdîn, a Kurdish woman was raped by 200 soldiers and police officers, in Şirnex, a disabled girl was raped. Ipek Er and Gülistan Doku can also be mentioned as victims of this rape culture. The purpose of all this is to attack the Kurdish community in the person of the Kurdish woman. Mothers play an important role in this. It is important to remember that the executioner never falls in love with his victim. Kurdish women must be very sensitive and careful.

The attitude of the Kurdish community

There is also a demographic rape. In South Kurdistan [Koerdische regio van Irak] and Rojava [Noord-Syrië] this happens every day. It is not enough that the perpetrators occupy Afrin and Serêkaniyê. They want to seize property that does not belong to them by destroying and robbing natural resources. This is also rape. Because rape is always present when someone wants to take something by force that does not belong to him.

Judging by the level of the attacks, we can say that the reflexes, on the contrary, are weak. While severe reactions occur from time to time, this does not become a permanent condition. When attacks on children and women come to light, society must be swept up in a wave of rage. For example, the rapist Musa Orhan can devote himself to his ordinary everyday life. Even if there are reactions, it does not lead to an attitude and criminal sanctions that would deter him and like-minded people.

It makes no sense to expect anything from the state in this case. After all, it is the state that has made it possible. The perpetrators act on behalf of the state. Garibe Gezer tried to make his voice heard from the dungeon. But because very few people heard her voice, Garibe is no longer with us today.

Society must defend itself against the ever-growing culture of rape. In that regard, she should not expect anything from anyone. If this does not happen, decay will reign in society. Societies dominated by decadence and corruption begin to disappear. To avoid this, there must be social resistance and sensitivity at the highest level.

The importance of self-defense

Self-defense should be the main criterion for women. All creatures in nature ensure their existence on the basis of self-defense. Every living thing has a different defense mechanism. But the women’s self-defense was taken away from them by the men. This makes femicide very easy to carry out. When a woman defends herself against an attack, she is condemned by society and the state, her self-defense is never accepted. They are afraid that women will be able to defend themselves. We ourselves see the most concrete example of this. This is why they attack the women’s liberation movement so violently. Because it is a structure that has proven that women can defend themselves in every way. They come up with all kinds of attacks to prevent the development of this positive example for women.

Self-organization of Yazidi women as an example

Women especially should realize that no woman is doomed to live with a man. Women always have the opportunity to live a free and alternative life. To do this, women must reject the existing system. They must fight against the male-dominated system based on their own philosophy of life. There will be no change without a radical further development of the women’s liberation struggle. The self-organization of the Yazidi women is impressive and of great importance. A women’s organization that develops its own self-defense force against genocide, femicide and rape culture is seen in society and must behave accordingly. We must not forget that the patriarchal state system developed on the basis of power, appropriation and plunder. This has developed into rape culture. I call on all women to unite in the honorable fight we are waging against this.

*YİBO, Yatılı Bölge Ortaokulu, were boarding schools in the countryside, run by the Turkish state, especially in the Kurdish areas, but also for other ethnic or religious minorities for assimilation according to the state doctrine of the Turkish Republic.

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