We are in a transition from an analogue world, where patriarchs could control our behavior by controlling information and tradition, to a digital world, where we will decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong, thanks to a world of knowledge.
“You shouldn’t load your fears onto me. Until now they’ve always been wrapped around me, squeezing me. I was always doing what was required, always crushed, always shaped by you. You domesticated me. You tamed, trained and bent me by judging me. You educated me. You distanced me from who I am. I was so fearful of being alienated. My fears destroyed me. I lived silently within you, breathing evenly. I breathed in, I breathed out, there was nothing left. Enough. You exhausted me.”
We are covered in scabs from the cuts of the dagger. While we try to veil them, to keep them from view, nothing is resolved, and yet we pretend we’ve overcome everything. We hate nakedness. If someone starts to caress those scabs, we know they’ll bleed again, so we don’t let anyone caress us.
Because if we surrender to someone, if we start to speak out, we know that our Pandora’s Box will spring open…
Isn’t all our play-acting, our hypocritical masquerading, our make-believe that we exist, our judgments and our pitifulness because of this? Or is it because we’re afraid of surrendering to someone?
We’re doomed to drown, because wounds that don’t heal won’t scab. They seem to, but they bleed inwardly and poison us from inside. We believe we’re living our lives but the truth is quite the opposite. What we’re doing is disappearing into the nightmares of the past. But we’re not aware of this at all. Those who revere and uphold values such as the family, morality, love and society are afraid of discovering the putrefied body beneath all this sanctity.
In fact morality has been created as a cover for immorality. People are phony, people are cruel, people are fearful. And we are not the children of our parents but the children of fears. The children of fears and destroyed lives…
We identify ourselves as civilized and yet we choose to justify all of these brutalities as collateral damage caused by economic and social circumstances. Why do we constantly fall into these same cycles? Instead of feeling the joys and sorrows of people based on a real sense of responsibility, we try to justify the idea of kill or be killed in the name of ‘high ideals’. We want to see reality by pretending to be moral. For this reason we ignore the fact that the most terrifying crimes are happening behind the closed curtains of morality.
Most women and men are silent because they fear leaving their comfort zone within the patriarchal system. Those who prefer to be silent, whether consciously or unconsciously, are complicit. Without destroying patriarchy neither women nor men will be free. In order to experience freedom, both men and women must overcome their fears created by patriarchy. Nowadays patriarchy is very weak, like a paper tiger. And yet, it can easily be demolished, just by exposing its corrupted lies. Without regarding religions and ideologies, the system governing all societies is the same, and its name is patriarchy, which is, in other words: The Analogue World. The West too, must face this fact.
As women and men in the digital world, freed from the old restraints of the ideologies and religions of the analogue world, we demand freedom of thought, freedom of expression and free flow of information. Because we know too well that without achieving these demands it is impossible to break down the old analogue ways of thinking and establish a new digital outlook in our institutions. Because we know too well that we cannot build the digital world on the foundations of the analogue. Too much has changed! We know well enough that those, who do not want to give this freedom to us, are those who want us to stay in the neat and tidy constraints of the analogue world.
The very concept and perception of freedom is the fundamental problem for our species, from East to West, from South to the North. The West is still dominated by the data and foundations of the analogue world. The transition from the analogue to the digital world involves both technological development and changes in perspective. Though the West says, “yes” to this transition on technological developments, the East says “no” to the social and psychological changes demanded by the transition.
Now it is time for people everywhere to stand in solidarity and demand freedom of thought, freedom of expression and free flow of information.
When people become the children of information and not the children of fear, when their freedom of expression and living arrangements are left to the individual rather than society, the hope of a world where women and men can live together in love and peace can blossom.
Children using computer © Atikinka | Dreamstime.com
Pandora s box © Natasa Pribicevic | Dreamstime.com
Priest, religion, liturgy: Mitropolit Dnepropetrovsk Ukraine © Vsegda222 | Dreamstime.com
Meltem Arıkan is a Turkish novelist and playwright. Her fourth novel Yeter Tenimi Acıtmayın (Stop Hurting My Flesh) was banned in early 2004 by the Committee to Protect the Minors from Obscene Publications, with the accusation of "Writing about the non-existing incest fact in Turkey, attempting to disturb the Turkish family order with a feminist approach.” The ban was lifted after two months and Arıkan has been awarded with “Freedom of Idea and Statement Prize 2004” by the Turkish Publishers’ Association. She published her 9th novel in 2009. Stop Hurting My Flesh was recently republished in Turkish and will be published in English in 2014.
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