Expatria · Istanbul · Politics · Women

too many things, too many things

we had some firsts since i last wrote…our first hailstorm, our first visits from the Stray Cats on the balcony calling me for food, and our first bomb blasts in istanbul.

the bomb blasts were on sunday night and apparently went off just before we got in our dolmos to get home…i was pretty freaked out. this city is enormous and i am still not sure where exactly the bomb went off, but we weren’t near it. there were two more blasts in turkey that went off at tourist spots, so steve and i scrapped our plans to go to Troy and Ephesus to visit ancient greek ruins. we will save that for a more calm time.

the Stray Cats! the mama’s name has changed to Saucy, because she is very very saucy as she struts down the balcony ledge shaking her furry ass, and now in the evenings she will call me to see if i have any food for her and her babies. she is such a good mama, she always feeds her kittens first and if there is anything left over, she eats that. her partner, or rather, the father of her children, Tommy, is hurt and has been sleeping on our balcony for a couple days now. he was angry and feral when he first came to us, and i was a bit frightened by him. but since we have been feeding him and we let him stay on the porch, he is just looking sad and sort of grateful. i think someone really hurt him, or another cat did. poor Tommy, he just lies out there curled in a little ball sleeping so sweetly and he gets up occasionally to eat something. he looks so sad, i wish i could hold him but steve says never to touch these cats because they could carry lots of diseases…i suppose this is a little thing to help another sentient being that is making me feel really good about my life right now.

that and the lack of hormones in my system have made such a difference in my outlook and personality. that pill i was on fucked me up, but good. it was like a Mr. Hyde pill that brought out all the worst qualities and physical ailments. now i feel good, like steve thought i would if i stopped the pill…men know more than we give them credit for, i am beginning to think. and his patience with my madness is astounding and beautiful.

but then, we are faced with scandals like john mark carr, the pervert who was shipped back to the states because he confessed to the murder of the girl-child beauty queen, jonbenet ramsey, who turns out NOT to be guilty. this whole debacle took place right around the time when a supreme court justice found bush’s wiretapping in the name of homeland security to be illegal…and since carr opened his mouth about the murder, there has been not a peeep about that very important decision regarding the rights and liberties of all americans to not have their phones and messages tapped…

and speaking of private lives, another theory i have heard as to why so many turkish women dye their hair blonde is because turkish (gentle)men prefer blondes. apparently, their ideal women are the eastern european, blonde haired blue eyed. hmmm. what is it about blondes anyway? is it this quest for whiteness that has created a very subtle internalised racism? does this have to do with american influence on cultures worldwide? what is it? i noticed that in terms of the racial variation of the turkish, the women can pass for anything from western european (spanish, italian, greek, french, portuguese, olive skin, light colored eyes) to arab spanning the whole gamut of appearances, while turkish men rarely look anything but arab. why is that? it could be the whole bottle-blonde thing, but i don’t think that explains it to the fullest. this is a mysterious phenomenon and its reasons escape me.

along with the line of thought that promotes half-nudity as women’s liberation. the more i think about it, the more i see that changing fashion trends and what is acceptable behaviour for fashion can many times be linked back to the dress of prostitutes. take the bra strap, for example. 10 years ago a visible bra strap was a serious no-no because only prostitutes show their bra straps. all of a sudden, in the last few years, women wear halter tops with bras underneath, everywhere you go there are tube tops with bra straps, bra straps everywhere…obviously, it is now acceptable for gentlewomen to show their bra straps, not just whores, but it does not look any less trashy.

here in turkey, like in france, there is a debate over the headscarf and women are not allowed to go to school or work government jobs while wearing it. although i do not agree with many of the oppressive qualities of radical islam, one of the things i do agree with is a woman’s right to NOT dress like a hooker. modesty is seriously underrated and in my view, a woman’s liberation is not predicated on her right to demonstrate her bra straps or g-string or cunt to the world through her clothes or lack thereof. this is the backwards thinking. give me a burkah any day if it means that i don’t get leered at, molested, flashed, grabbed, or verbally abused by pigs disguised as men, anywhere in the world.


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