Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Treason. That's Erdogan's Opinion on Birth Control.

 (Picture from my files.  Unrelated to the story, except that the woman in it looks mad enough to commit treason.)

The president of Turkey has firm opinions about women's proper place and function, the former being at home and the latter producing many children.  He recently opined that women and men cannot be equal (in the sense of equal rights) and now he tells us how Turkish women should live:

Istanbul: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described efforts to promote birth control as “treason”, saying contraception risked causing a whole generation to dry up, reports said on Monday.

Erdogan made the comments on Sunday, addressing the bride and groom at the wedding ceremony of the son of businessman Mustafa Kefeli who is one of his close allies.

He told the newly-weds that using birth control was a betrayal of Turkey’s ambition to make itself a flourishing nation with an expanding young population.
Erdogan is not only opposed to birth control and abortion but also to C-sections:

“They operated birth-control mechanisms for years in this country. They nearly castrated our citizens, our people going as far as using medical procedures. This is what cesarean section is all about. While they were doing that, it was like committing murder. They fooled people. They said, ‘You are going to die; we are going to save you.’ But their goal was different. … Their objective was to reduce the population of this nation and for this nation to lag behind in the competition of nations. We are disrupting this game. We have to. That is why there is much to do by our families.  I am especially calling on mothers, on our women. You are the primary force to disrupt this game. You have to take a stand.’’
If that opposition looks odd to you, note that a woman having all her children by C-sections is unlikely to have, say, ten children, but is limited to fewer.  Erdogan wants the machine to be able to churn out more babies.  For the government.*

None of this looks good for the human rights of Turkish women, by the way.  And before you describe Erdogan as a weirdo, note that he is a very popular weirdo in that country.
Theodore Roosevelt demanded something very similar from American women of his era:

...in the early twentieth century President Teddy Roosevelt famously mocked the expanding class of working women who were pushing for suffrage. In a 1905 address to the National Conference of Mothers, Roosevelt argued that women’s contributions ought to remain primarily within the private sphere. He claimed that the highest service any American (read: white) woman could provide her country was to bear and raise children. Roosevelt acknowledged that the work was hard but insisted that no true mother would exchange the joys and sorrows of parenting for a life of work. He called a woman who avoided motherhood "a creature [who] merits contempt as hearty as any visited upon the soldier who runs away in battle."