This is Seda, one of the funniest, coolest, most beautiful Turkish women I know.
The Deputy Prime Minister of her country, Bulent Arinc, recently said during an Eid el-Fitr meeting (which marked the end of the Muslim period of fasting, Ramadan) that a woman “should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times.“ He went on to say “A man should be moral but women should be moral as well, they should know what is decent and what is not decent,” (TheGuardian.com):
To me, hearing someone make a statement like that is equivalent to hearing someone say “Don’t laugh”, “Don’t smile”, or “Don’t be happy”. I wonder, why would a person want someone else to suppress their happiness? Even more so, I wonder, why would a man want another human being to hide their happiness just because she’s a woman?
I wonder, if he knew the difficulties of being a woman in today’s man-run world, would he say such things?
If he knew what it was like to live in a country where your leaders make public statements regarding when and how you should show physical happiness, would he say such things?
If he was a father or husband whose stress, hardships and everyday emotional burdens could be blown out like a match upon hearing the joyous laughter of his wife or daughter when arriving home, would he say such things?
…if he knew how bold, sincere and intoxicating my friend Seda’s laugh was, would he say such things?