Women of the west have been taught
to love themselves,
to respect themselves,
to stand up for themselves,
to be independent,
to think freely,
to stand firmly with what they believe in,
and to hold their own.
Independence and free will have been ingrained in their beings.
They are told that they could be anything that they want when they grew up and they believe it.
The role models:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
They prove that “girl power” does exist
and they tell women that they are
As a woman of the west, I believed this
…and then I went to university.
Seriously, what the hell happened?
A strange phenomenon occurs at the bars, the clubs and the parties:
Insecure girls can simply check their inhibitions at the door,
drop their responsibility off at the coat check,
and leave their self-awareness at the bar.
Yes, girls, you can drink to your heart’s content,
you can be stupid, ignorant, and dumb,
and you can dance up on bars;
you can make-out with strangers,
you can go home with different strangers,
and you can even wake up the next day and not have to take ownership for any of it!
Ladies, this is a huge problem.
I have observed this type of conduct in the contexts of western female students (especially those being of American and British cultures).
Today, U.S. president Barrack Obama made a speech calling sexual assault a “college campus epidemic” where 50 percent of sexual assaults in America occur in universities and where 90 percent of all sexual assaults occur when alcohol is involved.
In these same American institutions where there is an “epidemic,” there are flyers advertising the following sentiment:
“My rapist doesn’t know he’s a rapist.”
Here’s where I am throwing up a flag and calling out obstruction–
If you go to the bars, the clubs, and the parties,
if you drink to your heart’s content,
if you’re stupid and make bad decisions,
if you go home with strangers,
you will wake up the next day feeling full of
It’s called cause and effect.
Did you like the fact you had willingly taken 10+ shots with “your girls”?
Did you like that you purchased your own double shots at the bar?
Did you like that you accepted multiple shots from your best friend, your study buddy, or that random guy from down the hall?
Did you like that you had embarrassingly danced on the counter and showed complete strangers your panties?
What about blacking out, did you like that too?
And what about stumbling over to the other side of town after the club closed for the after party?
How about falling down the stairs at a party at an unknown flat?
How did you like being pressured into drinking hard liquor instead of beer?
How’d you like wandering into bed with a stranger that was more intoxicated than yourself?
And how did you like feeling dirty in your worn, soiled clothes from the night before?
Did you like it?
So, you freaked out.
What could you possibly say to attempt to justify your behavior?
You didn’t want to say anything, so you have no excuse but to take it all back.
Do you remember that you were drunk?
Do you remember that you flirted with him?
Do you remember that you were the one that initiated the make-out sessions with him?
Do you remember that you whispered to in his ear, “hey, let’s get out of here.”
Yes, you remember, but you feel
after it’s all said and done.
You feel so badly about yourself that you deny it and take it all back because you know that in “the girl that cried rape,” it’s your word against his and the media has shown that the girl always wins.
The mantra of the media echoes a challenge to your faded conscience:
“It’s not your fault.”
So, you lie and cry.
The law states that those who are incapacitated cannot consent to sex.
^What does “incapacitated” mean?
A gibberish text?
If simply being “incapacitated” is the dividing line of consented sex and rape, why isn’t there intervention?
Why aren’t there police officers or security guards standing outside of bars, clubs, and parties?
Why don’t girls exit from one side and guys must exit on the other?
ATTENTION LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF AND WHERE I CAN SEE THEM.
Phew! No more one-night-stands and no more walks of shame.
What is the real line that cannot be crossed?
In western society, it has become socially normal and culturally acceptable for young persons of the female persuasion to
one: get drunk,
two: make bad decisions,
and three: lie and take it all back.
There is no
and acceptance of one’s own mistakes.
So they can feel better about their actions?
So they can feel better about their “numbers” (which don’t mean anything anyway)?
So they can feel better about
the poor choices,
the stupid decisions,
the “I shouldn’t haves,”
and the (dare I say) SEX?
Oiiiii, I just do not understand.
Isn’t it sad that the western culture of today tolerates and accepts both regret and unaccountability?
Don’t the “girls that cry wolf” realize that they are mocking the real victims of sexual assault and consequently taint society’s perception of women’s credibility as a whole?
No? Forget about yourselves and think of the real victims–
the women that didn’t willingly take a shot from a stranger;
the women that didn’t drink excessively to incapacitation;
the women that didn’t drunkenly climb into bed with a strange guy;
the women that were violently attacked.
When you regret the things that you did when you were under the influence of alcohol and try to erase it all by “crying rape,” you distort the credibility of the real victims in the eyes of the media, police officers and district attorneys and, consequently, you discourage them from speaking up for themselves and for justice.
In “crying rape,” the world’s perspective narrows and sees all females as victims and all men as attackers—
this is completely and utterly false and actually strengthens the argument of gender inequality.
The gray area:
Is there something that stands between rape and a consensual one-night-stand where not every drunken hookup is the result of a violent attack?
This, most certainly, does not imply that girls can go into a situation knowing what is going to happen, and then take it all back the next day.
No, it does not work this way.
Remember when you were children that you were taught that you can be anything that you want to be when you grow up?
Remember that you are strong, independent, and fierce?
Remember that you do not have to be ashamed of your sexuality just as much as you are not forced to hide it?
Remember that you can play with the boys and act like them too?
If you remember this, then why are you running from equality?
If you make a stupid decision, you, and only you, are responsible for your own composure, choices, and conduct–
That’s how it is, period.
You don’t get to arbitrarily take the things that you regret back.
You don’t get to be stupid and then be blameless.
You don’t get to be held unaccountable for your actions.
Doing any of the above only sets you back, as an individual and as a society.
It’s time to stop “crying rape” and playing the “blame game.”
Of course, the world is filled with 7 billion souls with different ideological orientations– where the western and progressing majorities fall mostly somewhere on the traditional measuring continuum of liberal and conservative orientations. By inhabiting one of the biggest cultural hubs of the world, I became very interested in understanding different approaches and methodologies of political life as well as of citizenship. In Istanbul, I have had the pleasure of exploring a cultural experience as well as conducting independent studying and analyses of identities from both psychological and sociological perspectives. It may come as a surprise to some, but psychological dispositions and personality traits may have a much stronger influence on political ideology than any other means regarding factors of intelligence, religion, or even the interpretation of political facts.
The following are various characteristics and personal qualities that greatly affect one’s outlook upon worldview and ideology.
1. Openness to Experience
A person’s openness to new experiences (as well as to “foreignness”) is a personality trait that has been measured by several respected personality tests. People who are more open tend to be more adventurous, thrill-seeking, and novelty-seeking. They also tend to be more likely to change their minds when given new information. While there are certainly thrill-seeking conservatives, people who are open to new experiences are much more likely to be liberal. This may be because liberals tend to favour progression and lean towards changing traditions That which is thrilling and exciting to to some is absolutely irrational and terrifying to others. Conservatives, by contrast, favor predictability and order, which accounts for their desire to maintain traditional, pre-existing beliefs.
As a corollary, people who have had a wide variety of novel experiences are more likely to become liberals. Many conservatives lament the liberalising of university students, but this phenomenon may be due to the fact that university tends to open people up to novel experiences and perspectives. This phenomenon occurs frequently in the west, but has an interesting occurrence in Turkey. The majority of Turkey in old world conservative based on a vast historical background and a focus of preserving the traditions and values of such. The exponential development and growth of Turkey in the past decade (by the conservative AKP) has consequently creating a rising class of young Turks growing with liberal and western sentiments but are being pulled back by their conservative creators.
2. Respect for Authority
People who respect authority tend to value rules, law, and order. Respect for authority is a powerful predictor of conservative political beliefs. Interestingly, an authoritarian personality (one which seeks respect and obedience) is also a predictor of conservative political beliefs. While conservatives are certainly capable of questioning authority, liberals are more likely to prioritise this behaviour as both a political and personal objective.
Religion is a huge source of authority. Turkey is a highly religious nation. Religiousness, piousness, and spirituality are popular tendencies in both liberals and conservatives. However, the divide comes for conservatives are more likely to fully accept religious authority, whereas liberals may question religious authorities and challenge beliefs.
3. Compassion, Empathy, and Equality
A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (2010) found that liberals (as a group) are more likely to value qualities such as compassion, empathy, and equality and, therefore, tend to vote for candidates whose political platforms give these values primary importance. Contrasting this sentiment, conservatives are more likely to value ideals such as justice and individualism. The liberal emphasis on equality may help to explain why liberals are generally more likely to see inequality. Liberals have a strong desire to uproot inequality, which gives them a motive to seek it out. On the other hand, conservatives strongly value individual autonomy and are more likely to attribute success or failure to individual characteristics.
Views on sex greatly impact political ideology. In voting trends, some citizens primarily based on issues of sexual morality and sentiments regarding roles of gender. In western contexts, a liberal might support a candidate solely because he is pro-choice, while a conservative might choose a candidate who opposes gay marriage. These correlations are more extreme in amplified in a progressing, Islamic state (such as Turkey). Like conservatives of the west, they tend to be critical of unusual sexual practices, but the modesty of the women in the public realm as well as their domestic roles in the private, family sector of society are one of the biggest elements of Islamic-influenced culture and social infrastructure. Turkish liberals share the western tendency to view sex as an important path of human expression as well as sentiments of gender equality. Views on gender significantly separate the two approached to critical thinking and of politics for liberals prioritise the abolition of gender traditionalism, while conservatives support traditional gender roles. This often affects voters’ support for political measures that affect women’s equality as well as sexual privacy.
While both liberals and conservatives have supported and started many wars, conservatives are generally viewed as the more hawkish political group for they are keen on prioritising “hard power” (force, coercion). Contrasting this sentiment, liberals tend to put importance of “soft power” that being of diplomatic measures as well as persuasion and libertarians frequently wish to avoid intervening in international affairs entirely. Highly dominant personalities (those who tend to resolve interpersonal conflict by force) are much more likely to become conservatives. Similarly, other dominant personalities also tend to be less tolerant of conflict between groups and consequently are more likely to view another person’s behavior as threatening. This individual trait can affect a person’s perception of the threats posed by different ideologies and beliefs of other individuals, groups, and countries.
I live a highly strenuous and stressful lifestyle.
Paradoxically, I feel both loving and hateful sentiments towards this.
A synopsis of my life:
I am a full-time student with three departments (three majors).
I work two jobs.
I am very passionate about my studies and my work to the point where I spend my “free” time learning, investigating, researching, studying, reading, writing, to gain more and add more to my comprehension and development.
Consequently, it is not work for me; it’s a hobby.
At heart, I will always be an athlete.
I’m a fierce competitor; I’m passionate; I am dedicated; I am aggressive.
I run; I box; I workout; I practice yoga.
I have so much energy but I contain it within (for my true, highly intensive self is a part of me that I keep for me- not as a secret, but for focus, self-control, and motivation).
I am an introvert living abroad in a crazy, fast-paced, extremely social and emotionally charged culture in which I am blatantly foreign to in both mind and speech. My mind works in double-time to process the new information and stimuli while attempting to do so in real time.
I am a full-time sister, daughter, friend.
I take any and all relationships I have very seriously and I do anything and everything (to the best of my ability) for the people I love and care about. If a phone call will make you smile on a bad day, you better fucking believe that I will drop my work or sacrifice sleep to talk to you. I strongly believe that the most important thing in life is to improve the human experience– even something as seemingly minuscule as a moment of happiness (a smile) betters a life; I treasure this and make this my goal.
Even within the paradigm of caring (a seemingly positive attribute), there is stress (and a lot of it). It may seem odd to some, but I feel for others (and so intensely at that). I am very passionate and caring that I actually take on the stress of others and carry their burdens (most of the time without them ever realising it)as if they were mine to bear. I do this, mostly subconsciously, because I invest so much care into people. I feel obligated, as if it were my duty, to take on the pains and stresses of others (whether it is individuals, families, societies –the human race even–) and it is extremely exhausting. As a vividly passionate and methodical human being that has the ability to problem solve abstractly and process information rapidly on multiple levels, this is my design.
So, let me reiterate: It’s a love-hate relationship.
I love being this way for I am passionate;
I am creative and vivid;
I have the ability to see things others cannot.
My mind is a gift and I can use it to help people.
There is a polarised sentiment to this for I also hate being this way.
Having so much energy is very draining.
A highly active mind sometimes feels as if you were your own hostage: you are the one that is tied up and blind-folded, but you are also the one holding the gun against your head.
I am a very complicated person in which I have this extreme sense of duality. My mind races with thoughts that I cannot quiet and this is excrutiatingly exhausting. When I am tired, my focus dims and the unwanted thoughts and pains take over and fog up my head. This results in a very deep, internal depression which spreads through my being like a virus. Once the idea of depression is apparent, it multiplies rapidly and takes ahold and, some strains, distort my thinking so much by clouding my clarity and are extremely to fight.
I use the world internal because I am a strange one for emotion. I am a quiet person, I keep the majority of my thoughts and emotions inside and only share them after I have carefully constructed them into their most concise, precise, condensed form for the higher probability of achieving my ideally intended interpretation and understanding to reduce confusion and unwanted judgements.
I also do not like to show outwardly how I feel, especially when the emotions are very negative.
I do not reveal my problems to people, for I believe that I am Atlas in the sense that if I can handle everyone’s problems, I can sure as hell handle my own.
I get this stubbornness and resilience from my mother;
I get the selflessness and drive from my father.
These past few years, my amount of stress has increased exponentially. The internal method in which I bottle emotion and suppress stress is not healthy (in fact it is one of the extremes that is the worst possible thing to do). Emotion needs to be released and this is why:
Since I was about ten years of age, I experienced weird phenomenons of “fainting.” In stressful situations (early on it was mostly social stimuli combined with hot temperatures), I would black out and collapse. As I grew older, the frequency of these events increased.
Last year, when I attended university in the United Kingdom, they increased dramatically. My plate of stressors mainly included: studying full-time, working full-time, and being involved in an abusive relationship. This became so severe that I was passing out multiple times a week. In turns out that I wasn’t merely “passing out;” I was having seizures.
After frequent hospitalisations, one thousand and a half tests for epilepsy, a bazillion EEG scans, and tests, tests, tests, galore, my bizarre health mystery was solved.
I suffer from PNES, also known as psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. Contrary to epileptic seizures are physiological which are caused by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain, PNES are psychogenic in which they are strictly psychological or emotional in nature. The origins of PNES may be caused by underlying psychological and emotional disturbances, but the symptoms are real. The stress signals are unconsciously converted into a neurological like condition that mirrors epilepsy.
Within this, my body produces too much adrenaline (stress response hormone used in fight-or-flight) and this consequently makes me deal with stress (and relating stimuli) interestingly- usually seizures and occasionally in the form of “panic attacks.”. Stressor stimuli, ranging from daily and seemingly mundane/typical contexts to more complex dilemmas abroad, become amplified for me. If I do not cope with the stress signals appropriately, my body converts the reaction to stress to an electrical charge that mimics the same firings as those in epileptic seizures. It is quite challenging to cope with.
How does one maintain a stressful lifestyle when they have an intense stress-related disorder?
Well, it’s a challenge.
I am determined to maintain my way of life as much as possible. That which pains me the most brings me the most joy. Chaos is my life and maneuvering through it carefully is challenging- this thrills me. Yes, I often get severe depression (especially which the disassociating effects from the frequent seizures) but this comes in waves. I get high-highs and low-lows. I am an organised being and can prioritise my emotional reaction and often postpone them (by pushing them off as much as possible, sometimes to the point where I forget them entirely).
Battling stress has become of full-time job for me.
As an energetic lass and an athlete, exercise and physical activity is my greatest love and escape. When I am stressed, when I need to clear my head, when I want to focus, I put my sneakers on and my headphones in and I take off running. In listening to lectures, news, language studies, and music, I can focus on the one stimulus of the sound as I run the streets of Anatolian Istanbul. Like any student in the 21st century, I am a killer multitasker but I believe that changing the focus from quantity to quality is needed to look at the details and conduct a thorough job. Directing sole attention to one task changes the perspective and allows you to see the detailed and notice things that you would pass over and take for granted if you were not focused or looking carefully. This is the difference between going fast to get many jobs done and doing decent, mediocre work versus slowing things down, putting care and consideration in your work and adding yourself to you work and being creative. In a fast-paced world, it is challenging to slow down but it is necessary for clarity and is worth every sacrifice.
In a similar regard, everyone needs a restful escape too. My dad calls it “healthy mind down time” in which one cleanses the mind. Especially in times of high stress or anxiety, taking a quiet break is healthy. Taking a thirty minute time-out doing a quiet, independent activity is great. I find my escapes in books, I practice and maintain my languages, I release my thoughts through writing, I chill out and watch an episode of M*A*S*H*, I play sudoku (papa Hughes got me hooked), or I close my eyes and listen to music. This also slows down the mind and, by focusing on one task, allows you to re-focus and regain both attention and clarity. With this, one can once again retain the ability to think both logically and rationally. It is not selfish, one needs a break. It is more productive and helpful to take care of yourself in this regard, for when you are healthy and of sound mind, you are bettering yourself and others. It is influential to others and is crucial for sanity purposes. Stress is inevitable in life, but it does not need to control or dictate your outlook on life and consequent demeanor.
Another critical element is sleep. Stress has inflicted me with horrible insomnia, consequently making a perpetual cycle of seemingly never-ending stress that spirals down a deep and dark path only leading downward to negativity and depression. I have been teaching myself how to combat the symptoms of PNES, how to control stress to stop a seizure or get myself out of a panic attack, but the hardest challenge for me has been sleep. I have successfully learned how to focus my attention of a single element, but shutting my mind completely is difficult. I practice meditation and slow down my heart rate and pace of mind, but stress has a tight grip around my brain and I have yet to learn to release myself entirely- I can just loosen the grip now.
Sleep is important, it is the ultimate time of rest where your mind and body can recharge. In today’s mentality (more so in the western world), people are so focused on material life: success (perceived by many to be synonymous with happiness) = money; money = the main focus and goal in life. Due to this, the perception of the twenty-four hours in a day has changed. To some, it seems so short and thus people change their priorities to accommodate their visions for success by sacrificing natural necessities- like sleep. Yes, sleeping schedules, patterns, and rates have changed (dramatically so, especially within the past twenty years), but this damage is not irreversible. Ideally eight hours is prime but, if this is not obtained, never fear: the nap is an amazing thing. There is no shame in napping and the stigma of such is waning for there is truly power within the “power nap.” Taking a timeout to sleep during the day not only boosts energy but it confers both serious cognitive and health advantages as well. Allow me to blow your mind with some awesome benefits to naps: they boost capacity for creative problem solving, verbal memory, perceptual learning, object learning, and statistical learning, naps also help improve upon logical reasoning, increase reaction times, and boost symbol recognition, as well as improve our mood and feelings, and they are even great for our heart health, blood pressure, stress levels, and weight management.
Consider this as a public service announcement.
Stress is inevitable in nature. This fact does not dictate its course for stress does not have to define or control our actions. With the appropriate responses and counter actions, we can preserve our ideal lifestyle and promote the same well-being and stability for others.
For just ten simple seconds, pause and surrender—that is, soften all resistance— and let the water of life carry you.