From Women's Revolt To Women's Revolution
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Self Defense and Revolutionary Violence

The Women's revolt, which erupted after the massacre of our dear Özgecan1, was a new threshold to leap which Turkey had never experienced before. None of the women's actions before had reached such extent of the social sections, such massiveness of attendances and such geographic diffuseness. The content of the demands also expressed how legitimate the Özgecan revolt was in the society and it was even able to shape the politics. The means of struggle and organizational forms either used or brought into agenda were also new for women's struggle. In this revolt, the mode of movement limited with protesting only was mentally surpassed with the will to snatch rights, which could be seen in "the moments" of actions from time to time, but more generally in the outcry "we will arm if necessary!", and through de-facto legitimate struggle. It also exhibited an unprecedented level of bonding with the social and class based revolutionary dynamics which actually represented a continuum in series of social outbreaks around the many various agendas since the June uprising. All in all, the Özgecan revolt, became the signal rocket of the new period of the women's liberation struggle.
This "threshold to leap" of the movement assigns its subjects, its vanguards with the task to develop the women's political mass movement as a subversive revolutionary dynamic of social struggles, which has an insistent go-getter attitude, with a high ability to get rights and which can take on many different means and methods in the line of de-facto legitimate struggle. It is obvious that political subjects, defining their tasks different than that and who are satisfied with the means and mottoes of the previous periods, cannot drive the development of this movement and advance it. Those who deal with the issue differently, will be busy trying to pull the movement back and will face with being surpassed by the movement itself.

 

New Situation in the Women's Movement

A political mass movement of women, could have developed and did develop through firstly, self-subjectification of women in all parts of social struggle and upholding women's manner and women's intervention in these parts; secondly, bringing issues and contradictions arisen from the position of women as oppressed gender in the society into the agenda of social struggle.
Most of the women's liberation struggles managing to gain strength and gather big masses, firstly detect the most burning social issues of women at a specific time and in a specific region. Then, women join the struggle around the effects of these issues on their lives. And through that, they obtain a collective existence and an identity on this basis. In the end, they move on towards the women's struggle around the issues and contradictions, this time, arisen from the position of women as oppressed gender. The umbilical cords between the proletarian women's movement and revolutionary struggles of periods until '50's, between the women's movement of '60's-'70's and the revolutionary and democratic movements of those years, especially the period of '68, and between the Kurdish women's movement and Kurdish national revolutionary and democratic struggle are the most distinctive examples of this course of joining the struggle. No serious vanguard fighting for the emancipation of women can turn its back on this phenomenon which has occurred many times throughout the history of women's liberation struggle, of course alongside the search for its own unique path.
The other main axis on how women's liberation struggle can develop is actually still needed to be enlightened. So far, the struggle directly connected with the women's liberation issues is unable to take a general strategic line, to take a stance surpassing the defensive opposition against the male domination and to develop around a concrete foundational political programme of a subversive struggle. Here, the main responsibility lays on the shoulders of women's movement starting especially from the feminist ranks to Kurdish national democratic sections and to socialist sections of the movement. The other side of the same truth is the failure to enable these issues and agendas as the topics to deepen the struggle and confrontation between the oppressor and the oppressed, capital and labor, state and people. Moreover, confronting women with the patriarchal bourgeois political power also on these issues and gaining men to democracy struggle by the motto and praxis of "facing with" the gender discrimination has great potential and precious value for the development of social struggle as a whole. The question is the incomprehension of this potential and value. Again, here, the revolutionary movement is the main responsible for failure due to its indifference to these struggles, almost caring not at all.
In the end, the women's movement in Turkey and Kurdistan suffered from a syndrome about its political line. It couldn't save itself from "education is a must" discourse and from the line which prioritizes raising consciousness of society and women. It didn't manage to detach from the effects of bourgeois enlightenment. Even today, when you ask women, including socialist women, who have become political subjects in the social struggles that "what is to be done for the emancipation of women?", a considerable part of them has often given and still gives the answer that is "raising consciousness of women" or a bit more progressively "organizing women". However, when the same question is asked about any other social section or issue, the answer "raising consciousness" will not be on top of the ranks in this list.

Similarly, the main line of the struggles dedicated to women's liberation is within the limit of demanding legal reforms through protests. The problem is not the reform demanding, the problem is not being able to administer the struggles on the route of these single reforms, depending on a concrete political programme aiming at overthrowing the patriarchal order as we mentioned above. The problem is not being able to advance these reforms as steps completing each other on the route to enhance the conditions of women to join the political and social life and struggle.
Therefore, even though women's movement in Turkey is one of most dynamic and vivid sections on many social issues, it couldn't get politicized enough around the women's liberation issues. In other words, it has chosen to make political actions to raise consciousness of more women, instead of raising consciousness and organizing women to make politics with bigger forces, to confront bigger masses with patriarchal order to prepare its destruction, thus to make politics to become a bigger political action force.
There is no contradiction between these two, of course. Raising consciousness, educating, organizing are elements of daily mass work of women that are indispensable, irrecusable and irreplaceable with any other work. But the movement as a whole must not focus on the aim of raising consciousness; the work for consciousness-raising and organizing have to aim at unveiling a political action force able to destroy patriarchy. Yet, in the current situation, there is a narrow-minded approach handling the question as a mentality issue, a comprehension issue. In the last analysis, handling the question as an issue of "consciousness-raising" rather than as a concrete material conflict between different social forces restricts the struggle.

In the end, patriarchy is not "the power in minds" or an abstract mentality, it is not an abstract power. It is a concrete political power and its existence, its matter is embodied in the current bourgeois political structures, apparatuses and their extensions and organizational forms spreading among the society, starting from family. What precedes its ideological-mental-psychological existence is its economical-political existence. The women's movement has been under the ideological hegemony of the feminist movement for a long time, and has been deserted indifferently by the communist and revolutionary forces which contrarily take a belligerent stance in the social-political struggle as a whole. And all sections of it without exception have prioritized consciousness-mental issues as if they have been fighting against a force whose ideological existence is a priori to its economical-political existence. While they have tended to more concrete political targets in single struggles and actions, their actions in total have been towards more ideological targets. Yet, the struggle against patriarchy, like all political struggles, has to aim to affect and change the relation between the ruler and ruled, and at realizing the essence of the mentality change on the material basis. Starting from the feminist movement, one of the most serious shortcomings of the women's liberation struggle is that it acts very "evolutionary" on the political dimension even when it defines the ideological dimensions of duties in a "revolutionary" way.

This situation is understandable for a feminist movement as they don't interpret the social material reality and the integrity of domination relations, oppression relations on an accurate materials basis, but for a communist movement (and for its women half), it can only be explained with the lack of interest and direction, weakness of mental labor, traditionalist restrictions and habits!
In regard of this discussion, why is it important for us to investigate this side of the topic? Because, lessons from a decades-long struggle of concretely today's and concretely Turkey's and North Kurdistan's women's movement make it both possible and a must, a women's mass movement which can carry out politics through more advanced, sharper forms of struggle, including forms based on violence.

Because, we can talk for days and write for pages on the women's self defense, the protection need of women from male violence, the general meaning and importance of self defense. And these same truths were also there ten years ago, forty years ago. They could be there twenty years later. We can only make the discussion of self defense meaningful by following the questions "where are we now and where do we want to go" depending on today's concrete political conditions and the way we want to proceed the women's movement, thus we can clarify its real function, role, extent, forms, etc. on the development course of women's movement. Only by discussing on this basis, we can comprehend the development of self defense as an inevitable, irrecusable task for the women's movement: a task of not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today. We can remove it from the list of "postponed tasks due to other tasks and other issues despite being a current political task and despite the need to shoulder it determinedly". We can appreciate its contemporary meaning within the integrity of social struggle, its actual corresponding "moment" and the current significance it is endowed with.

 

Political Meaning of Femicides


The search, practice and discussion of women's self defense grows on the basis of widespread violence against women and especially femicides which almost reach a slaughter scale.
One reason why this widespread violence occurs today, undoubtedly, is that violence against women has become apparent, more publicly announced and discussed, and taken its place among the topics of social struggle by distinguishing among the "third page" news. And this is a gaining of the struggle of democratic women's movement against the violence towards women.
The women's liberation struggle has forced all society, especially the oppressed sections to take a stance, to question their lives and the system of virtues from this standpoint. Violence against women was counted natural yesterday, but this naturalness has been left off. Through this change, men as half of the society are particularly called for a social confrontation and it becomes a more distinctive axis of the confrontation of the oppressor and oppressed, capital and labor, state and people.
Since this issue becomes more apparent, more concrete, thus more available to fight against and to push back, the questions of struggle against violence against women become more explicit, such as from which concrete demands it can rise, what role the state and laws play to sustain the male violence and also from where it can be pushed back. Tactical possibilities created by this new situation are important.
When the struggle against male violence is handled as a single struggle topic, these sides of the issue stand at the center. As a result, the real increase in the male violence rather than only becoming more "apparent", may be perceived as a quantitative problem.
Yet, exactly beyond the relative increase due to becoming more apparent, the existence of a real increase in femicides creates the vital link in terms of determining the development direction of women's movement.
The women's movement is stronger now than it was a couple of decades ago. It succeeded some favorable legislations to pass. And the social legitimacy of their demands to join the social life and to get political rights has strengthened. Considering all these, how can we read the reality?
Actually, the reasons are known. The basis of the gainings summarized above has routed out a different women's behavior from the past on a social scale. Women from working and toiling classes, thus including the main body of the oppressed women, act more with their own will compared to the past, on the preferences about marriage and divorce. In this sense, they live their sexuality more independently, behave more freely in both choosing and rejecting. Despite every kind of family oppression centrally coming from husband or father, they decide their clothing style, participate in various activities of social life based more on their own choices compared to the general social legitimacy. In short, they take the decisions on their own body and life more freely. Social legitimacy, the consciousness of righteousness are more developed than in the past and they also dare more against death, violence and heavy costs on this basis.
The leading part in this picture belongs to women's liberation struggle and its organizations. Undoubtedly, we can add this the spontaneous economical and ideological effects of increasing urbanization, migration due to political and economical reasons and imperialist globalization, as more indirect factors. When the general social struggle in Turkey, which the women's liberation struggle is also an important component of, evolved into the June uprising in 2013, women's movement also took part in it both as an amplifying force of the June uprising, strengthening it quantitatively and qualitatively, and as a growing force itself with this uprising. Both women's movement and LGBTI's were active components of the uprising. They waged an effective struggle against the patriarchal discourse and actions also during the uprising directly (for instance against the slogans with sexist cursing in it). This also reduced patriarchy inside the democratic movement ideologically and made it lose ranks within the movement.
When looking at the whole picture, it can be seen that it was not just a "mentality change" or a "consciousness gaining" which was acquired, some political ranks were also acquired and the widespread usage of these ranks by women also has resulted in a change in the male behavior on a social scale. While the legitimacy basis of patriarchy narrowed, the progressive sections of the men as half of the society became more ready to adopt this new women's behavior; there came out a "confrontation" topic and practice at the gender front even though it was only a nucleus to begin. The reactionary resistance of patriarchy, on the other hand, starting from the most reactionary sections of the men half of the society, took to a more radical line. In the name of AKP , the fascist, colonialist, patriarchal state,, took the leadership of this reactionary resistance. It protected the perpetrators of male violence with its legislations, legislation sketches and the actions of its law system and aimed to punish the individual or organized resistances of the oppressed women gender. It legitimized this violence through media and ideological apparatuses, and acted as the primary political support of this male reactionism.
Therefore, the patriarchal violence does not only amount to a different quantity in comparison with yesterday, but it has also gained a different quality: it turned into a sort of open war, a reactionary resistance waged by the state, family and individual men against the women gender and its social and political gainings. This war is partially spontaneous and partially organized. Its spontaneity comes from individual members of male gender, from the force to represent their gender shaped by domination mentality and from their habit of natural cooperation within. Its organizational quality comes from the male character of all the bourgeois institutions and organizations, starting from the state itself, and of the written and verbal laws. Right now, it is actually a one-sided war, in other words, it is only the male gender which applies the means of violence of politics and wants to compensate its loss of ranks in every field ranging from social virtues to laws and to suppress the tiniest resistance against its privileges.
This wide ground provides not only a "sectional" struggle against the violence against women, but also possibilities and development directions, some strategic and tactical questions of women's revolution which is in the making and in motion, with its development dynamics, its congestion points, their solution ways, etc. in its own integrity.
Handling the topic of self defense as a "struggle for existence" or a "struggle for right to live" on a narrow ground is, let's say, understandable for a national or cultural community struggling against extinction, but it is way too far away from being enough for the struggle and needs of the oppressed women gender, who has the strength to lead the social revolution to advance it until communism where classes, borders and gender discrimination are abolished. A struggle restricted with merely the right to exist can only be meaningful for classes, strata and communities which have lost their possibilities for power, political leadership strength and social leadership mission, not for the women gender who represents the new society of future with all its strength and brightness.
As a revolution develops, it causes counter-revolution to grow and centralize. It has not been different for women's revolution too and it will not be. This, can also very concretely be seen when looking at the growing reactionary male resistance against the gainings mentioned above. In the face of this situation, the movement also needs to push its limits, to ramp up its political demands and mottoes, organizational means, forms of struggle to another level.
The women's movement has acquired new ranks and the male resistance has become more radical. It is women's movement's turn again for a move and with the Özgecan revolt, the prelusive signals of that big move are introduced.
The women's liberation forces must improve this move. Beyond that is a great social decaying and corruption. We can look either from the perspective of the emancipation of women gender or the emancipation of the working class and all oppressed; concrete back-steps of patriarchal reactionism forced by women's liberation struggle are again not "visible" enough compared to the development of the social struggle, but they are still vitally important. Similarly to the phenomenon that the Turkish chauvinism is not only a physical-practical blockage against the Kurdistan revolution, but also a big barrier against the working class and oppressed of Turkey in terms of ideological decay and deepening the political reactionism; aggravation of men's reactionary resistance up to women's slaughter is also one of the main reactionary-racist-chauvinist confrontation axes for the overall social struggle. From the killers of Özgecan to Hüseyin Üzmez2, it is an important sign of the danger that most of the names who come to mind first when considering the crimes against women are also racist-fascist individuals. Revolutionary women and women's liberation movement must improve the above-mentioned move in order to weaken the women's enemy, racist, chauvinist social supports of AKP and the colonialist fascist state, with the aim both to protect women gender and to open the path for women's struggle, and with the responsibility to acquire a new democratic consciousness and a new dynamic for the development of its action, to open channels, to practice leadership. The development of democratic and socialist movement in Turkey also has to cross through the path in which the patriarchal reactionism is practically pushed back.
Calling the men as half of the workers and laborers to a social confrontation based on the questions of women's liberation; directing them towards accounting for the patriarchal ideology which negates humanity as it negates women as human and legitimizes slavery, torture, crimes against humanity; adding them in the political struggle against patriarchal institutions and state; and reserving them are all vital in the process of confronting the working class and oppressed with the bourgeois-patriarchal order on various issues.
Staying within the limits of being subjected to discrimination and keeping the innocence, within this kind of discourse and action or in such a position while facing with such a picture cannot be tolerated. There is no problem with condemning and disclosing the killing manhood. But the situation must never be seen as if it has only one subject. These women are not being murdered for no reason, they are not being slaughtered like a sheep. These women are not waging a struggle for existence, they are waging a struggle to change the relation between the ruler and ruled, the oppressor and oppressed, and to abolish them. No, these women are really not "innocent" and being not innocent is the best side of this dashed picture. Women, are being killed because they want to decide with whom and how they will live their sexuality. Women, are being killed because they go out to streets at nights to join education, production or social and political life. The dominant subject, which are men, improves its reactionary suppression measures against the oppressed subject, which is women in spontaneous and organized forms, because women are becoming subject.
To sum it up, the data we are most interested in is not the repression of men and the state, it shouldn't be. The reality of male gender sustaining its domination with violence apparatuses and the state is not at all something new! It is not that men stand on the side applying violence due to their nature and women on the other side avoiding this war due to their nature. It is also not that men are the perpetrators due to their nature and women are the discriminated due to their nature. It is that men are more advanced in using the means of violence due to their domination and women are weaker in using the means of violence as well as all the other means of politics due to being oppressed. Men are perpetrators because they are dominant and women are disadvantageous because they are oppressed. Between the two genders, there is a dominative, oppressive political relation which occurs between oppressor and oppressed. Changing this balance is possible and is a must.

 

The Struggle for Individual Sexual Rights is A Struggle for Political Rights

The struggle against the violence against women is of course a fight for humanity, a humanization action. However, just as the demands of the Kurdish national democratic movement are compressed to the level of individual cultural rights, struggles arising around this and other issues of women due to being the oppressed gender have been relegated into the degree of "individual freedom", "human rights", "personal life and existence right" since the beginning. The revolutionary movement has also been part of this approach as a matter of fact. The communist movement regarded the 8-hours workday demand in order to strengthen the conditions for upholding the revolutionary struggle, for workers to gain class consciousness and to join the social and political life. But it didn't exhibit the same approach when it came to the women's liberation topics and demands. It didn't perform a vanguard stance corresponding to its claim and reality that it has a more progressive social transformation programme than the feminist movement and when comprehending "what is personal is also political".
For example, let's consider the right to go out to streets freely without fearing harassment, rape or family pressure. Spontaneous behaviors, actions and sacrifices of each woman in this direction is, in total, the move of the oppressed female gender as a social force to raise a collective gender consciousness and to join political life. This right must be defended on a social and political ground, not on a ground related to personal safety. Of course, "defending on a social ground" is not only writing "this question is actually political". Not being safe on the streets evidently, practically prevents women from joining the social and political life equally. To defend this right "on the social ground", firstly, it is needed to derive the issue as a social issue directly for the society itself. Secondly, it is needed for this right to be gained in practice, to come in action more on a social scale with the countless forms such as resistances, deterrent self-defense and getting the right for self defense on a legal ground. And also it is needed to cause the collective male resistance developing on contrary to this to lose concrete ranks in terms of laws, social legitimacy or application power. In other words, it is needed to materially clear the way ahead for women to behave different than yesterday. This, is the question of women becoming subjects in the revolutionary struggle.
The issues in the context of pushing back bourgeois or feudal traditions, laws and applications and improving the practical decision-making rights of women on their bodies are also equally and similarly political issues.

 

Moving On By Clearing The Own Path


No social oppression order can stand without violence of weapons. And no social revolution can avoid replying the means of violence of the dominant power back with the means of violence, firstly in order to overthrow it and later to defeat the counter-revolutionary actions which are done to bring back the old order.
Women's revolution is also a big social revolution. It will, too, develop through internalizing the forms of struggle based on violence, including the daily routine. Naturally, just because women's revolution develops as a founding component of the social revolution which will overthrow the capitalist order and class society, generalizing the issue of the relation of women with the revolutionary violence cannot be acceptable. In other words, developing and ensuring the women's revolution also with the means of violence must also be embodied in the struggle against the violence and oppression of bourgeois state apparatus and individual men directly against women, as much as in the relation of women with the revolutionary struggle as a whole.
As discussed above, "patriarchy" is not just a question of mentality. It is not immaterial. It is not shapeless. It is not a lack of institutions or organizations. It is concrete, it has substance. Apart from the bourgeois state apparatus and the patriarchal feature of all of its means of violence, reactionary actions of individual men are not separable from these material existence. Moreover, violent actions of individual men from the oppressed classes can also be defined as some sort of civil-armed defense mechanism of the existent patriarchal order based on gender privileges and are equally material. By this way, they become an addend, a reserve to bourgeois private property system, or at least an easily manageable tool and also play an active role in the continuity of the patriarchal order in which of course himself is in the dominant position.
Struggle against this material existence must never stay on just an ideological basis or even on a basis which ideological struggle weighs centrally.
What can ideologically be pursued is only the struggle against the male behavior in the democratic and revolutionary ranks, which have already detached programmatically from the material order of patriarchy or tended to detachment and at least limitedly detached from its ideological hegemony. Even, this ideological-weighted struggle has to create political-organizational existence, find its own mass and social support with its own form of organizations and models. And just like women's liberation struggle, the issue of transformation of men cannot be postponed after revolution.
Clear facts which can be said for all revolutionary struggles, prominent qualities are valid for the women's revolution too, of course with its unique form. How can a national or class based revolutionary struggle grow without trying to pull down the ranks of ruling powers, without pushing back the ideological hegemony of them especially with the force of its own political action, without physically-practically dismantling the physical activities-organizations put before its struggle (a state-oriented gang over that district, police-state institutions in that region, paramilitary in those villages or a single fascist starting to attack in that street etc.), without clearing the area by force? Which revolutionary struggle can develop only through an evolutionary path? Revolutionary struggles, revolutionary organizations, revolutionary programmes open their own paths through revolutionary methods, in a revolutionary mode. If the women's revolution means a political and social revolution tending to change the relation between ruling-oppressor men and ruled-oppressed women rather than an ideological transformation motto, it has to follow this path.
For this reason, approaches evaluating the self-defense tendencies especially condensed after the Özgecan revolt neither as enraged words arisen with a temporary excitement in the face of brutal murders, nor as just tactics that can be applied now and then, could have a chance to grow the women's revolution struggle. Self defense is an advanced form of women's organizing and political action. Concretely; for the women's movement today, women's self defense is a matter of surpassing a threshold or not. Spontaneous women's resistances and actions symbolized in the outcry of "We will arm!" or Nevin Yıldırım's3 case prove a level of women's movement in its political development. Crossing this level requires more. The women's movement must open its own path through de-facto legitimate struggle. For instance, it must form its self defense organizations and defend their legitimacy, struggle for their legalization. For instance, it must embrace examples like Nevin, organize such a mass women's struggle that it can force the judicial system to apply remissions. For instance, it must defend the Rojava revolution as the most progressed rank of women's self defense with an action plan by all means.

 

Risks, Questions and Issues


Perhaps the most serious issue about the struggle methods based on violence, one of its foibles to be abstained most, is to talk about it, but avoid its practice. The most serious risk for women's self defense will also be the inability to unite the word with the action. Since the words about self defense got out from the mouths of women who joined the Özgecan revolt, since it was embraced by the women's movements, as soon as that moment happened, any slowness, any attitude lack of initiative will now play a will-breaking, verbalizing role in carrying out self defense with its various organizational and struggle forms and methods.
We must detach from the understanding of practice which emphasizes the forms of struggle based on violence too much and then postpones it until a total mass uprising with a right-wing perception (and even postpones it when the mass uprising comes until a bigger mass uprising because of lack of preparation), or which stands still because of the idealist, perfectionist discourse pretending to have a radical image. That is why, although the widespread usage of self defense words strengthens its legitimacy basis, the will of the communist vanguard and its vanguard praxis will be decisive not to let it fall into caricaturization due to weak action practice or inaction basis on contrary to verbal abundance.
First of all, there is the risk for vanguard on not meeting with masses. The struggle against the violence against women must follow a line to bond with women's masses, to carry out a systematic mass work among women, all including the struggle and organizational forms of women's self defense content. Secondly, it must keep in touch with the general topics of social struggle.
Third risk is being unable to unite the means with the aim. Of course, if we talk about a real political women's mass movement rather than a homemade fiction, it is inevitable to experience some phenomena of inertness by degrading self defense into a lovable agitation slogan or some phenomena of unjust-revanchist destruction. These kind of risks must never lead a weakness in the consciousness on its legitimacy or a break in the courage. We must walk on the path daring all these and accepting that no serious struggle in any front can develop without facing with these kinds of negative experiences. However, communist women vanguard must keep in mind that she is the one carrying the responsibility of directing the volcanic action of women without being dragged by it, not any other political structure or any ideological circle. No matter how much the movement grows, communist women as the women vanguard of the movement must be aware of that they are the one primarily carrying the responsibility of the justice of the movement, of the level of social accountability. As much as it trails the movement via its path-breaking praxis, vanguard claim must be expressed in the shaping of this movement on its own will, not with other forms.
The first and main legitimacy concern of women's self defense line is for sure, gaining social legitimacy among women and for sure will find male reactionaries in front of itself even after its most legitimate actions. Already, this kind of self defense discussion is brought into agenda because there is no such possibility to tame male reactionaries by convincing. Yet, in reality, giving up on confronting men from proletarian-oppressed sections, who are the main alliance force of women's revolution which will develop over demolishing the bourgeois patriarchal power, with the private property system will not strengthen, but weaken the women's liberation struggle. Regarding this general line, it is not contradictory to target "individual men" with women's self defense. They are the ones who insist on being watchdogs of the order as much as other means of violence of the system and who insist on keeping their gender privileges by violence.
We must emphasize even though it is out of topic, that it is mainly a task of men communists to build a new male behavior in society. Again if we intentionally bend the stick on one side of the issue, the principle social responsibility belongs to men communists in the task of reserving men from oppressed and exploited sections to women's revolution. If women's movement and its vanguards have trouble due to narrowing of their clash with the male violence, the main responsible for this will be men communists with their weakness in carrying out these tasks.

To Walk Ahead of Women's Revolt


As Özgecan revolt showed that, development of women's movement does not automatically bring the result of spontaneous flowing of women masses towards ranks of various political subjects. There is no direct correlation between these two. What is decisive is the vanguard practice of political subjects, their revolutionary will and continuous activity in order to meet with women masses.
The women's movement has gained a quality to progress its critique against the patriarchal capitalist order through more destructive and result-giving forms. The Özgecan revolt, embracing of women's vanguard in Rojava, arrival of self defense topic into the agenda of women's movement in Turkey front after Kurdistan proves the politicization of the movement.
The most progressive women's liberation programme in front of this movement is women's revolution. However, unless this programme meets with the most progressive political actions, organization forms, it will not save itself from being a bunch of plain words. Communist women have reached a theoretical, political and organizational preparation level. They get experiences in women's struggle with their vanguard, inclusive and unifying practices. Well deservedly, they can walk ahead of growing women's revolt, can unite women's revolt with women's revolution. Falling behind to that may cause devaluation of words and claims, loss of meaning and decaying.


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1 Özgecan Aslan, was murdered in Mersin on February 11th, 2015 after resisting against rape. Her body was found burnt the day after the murder. She was a 20 years-old university student. After this horrendous murder, women took to the streets all across Turkey with rage. Many thousands of women demonstrated against the ignorance of government to rape, violence and murders.
2 Hüseyin Üzmez, was sentenced to 13 years of prison time on September 16th 2009, due to "sexual harassment" and "sexually abusing a minor". He was formerly known of assassinating Ahmet Emin Yalman in 1952 who was a newspaper columnist at an Islamic newspaper. He and the verdict given to him was widely protested against by the women's organizations. Police attacked many of the protests, which is a sign of the attitude of the state towards this issue.
3 Nevin Yıldırım, is woman who used her right to self defense by killing the man who raped her with a machine gun. She, then beheaded the rapist man and threw his head to the square of the village to break the silence among the people there. Her trial period took a while with objections and retrial processes. The patriarchal justice system sentenced her to life time prison.

 

 

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From Women's Revolt To Women's Revolution
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Self Defense and Revolutionary Violence

The Women's revolt, which erupted after the massacre of our dear Özgecan1, was a new threshold to leap which Turkey had never experienced before. None of the women's actions before had reached such extent of the social sections, such massiveness of attendances and such geographic diffuseness. The content of the demands also expressed how legitimate the Özgecan revolt was in the society and it was even able to shape the politics. The means of struggle and organizational forms either used or brought into agenda were also new for women's struggle. In this revolt, the mode of movement limited with protesting only was mentally surpassed with the will to snatch rights, which could be seen in "the moments" of actions from time to time, but more generally in the outcry "we will arm if necessary!", and through de-facto legitimate struggle. It also exhibited an unprecedented level of bonding with the social and class based revolutionary dynamics which actually represented a continuum in series of social outbreaks around the many various agendas since the June uprising. All in all, the Özgecan revolt, became the signal rocket of the new period of the women's liberation struggle.
This "threshold to leap" of the movement assigns its subjects, its vanguards with the task to develop the women's political mass movement as a subversive revolutionary dynamic of social struggles, which has an insistent go-getter attitude, with a high ability to get rights and which can take on many different means and methods in the line of de-facto legitimate struggle. It is obvious that political subjects, defining their tasks different than that and who are satisfied with the means and mottoes of the previous periods, cannot drive the development of this movement and advance it. Those who deal with the issue differently, will be busy trying to pull the movement back and will face with being surpassed by the movement itself.

 

New Situation in the Women's Movement

A political mass movement of women, could have developed and did develop through firstly, self-subjectification of women in all parts of social struggle and upholding women's manner and women's intervention in these parts; secondly, bringing issues and contradictions arisen from the position of women as oppressed gender in the society into the agenda of social struggle.
Most of the women's liberation struggles managing to gain strength and gather big masses, firstly detect the most burning social issues of women at a specific time and in a specific region. Then, women join the struggle around the effects of these issues on their lives. And through that, they obtain a collective existence and an identity on this basis. In the end, they move on towards the women's struggle around the issues and contradictions, this time, arisen from the position of women as oppressed gender. The umbilical cords between the proletarian women's movement and revolutionary struggles of periods until '50's, between the women's movement of '60's-'70's and the revolutionary and democratic movements of those years, especially the period of '68, and between the Kurdish women's movement and Kurdish national revolutionary and democratic struggle are the most distinctive examples of this course of joining the struggle. No serious vanguard fighting for the emancipation of women can turn its back on this phenomenon which has occurred many times throughout the history of women's liberation struggle, of course alongside the search for its own unique path.
The other main axis on how women's liberation struggle can develop is actually still needed to be enlightened. So far, the struggle directly connected with the women's liberation issues is unable to take a general strategic line, to take a stance surpassing the defensive opposition against the male domination and to develop around a concrete foundational political programme of a subversive struggle. Here, the main responsibility lays on the shoulders of women's movement starting especially from the feminist ranks to Kurdish national democratic sections and to socialist sections of the movement. The other side of the same truth is the failure to enable these issues and agendas as the topics to deepen the struggle and confrontation between the oppressor and the oppressed, capital and labor, state and people. Moreover, confronting women with the patriarchal bourgeois political power also on these issues and gaining men to democracy struggle by the motto and praxis of "facing with" the gender discrimination has great potential and precious value for the development of social struggle as a whole. The question is the incomprehension of this potential and value. Again, here, the revolutionary movement is the main responsible for failure due to its indifference to these struggles, almost caring not at all.
In the end, the women's movement in Turkey and Kurdistan suffered from a syndrome about its political line. It couldn't save itself from "education is a must" discourse and from the line which prioritizes raising consciousness of society and women. It didn't manage to detach from the effects of bourgeois enlightenment. Even today, when you ask women, including socialist women, who have become political subjects in the social struggles that "what is to be done for the emancipation of women?", a considerable part of them has often given and still gives the answer that is "raising consciousness of women" or a bit more progressively "organizing women". However, when the same question is asked about any other social section or issue, the answer "raising consciousness" will not be on top of the ranks in this list.

Similarly, the main line of the struggles dedicated to women's liberation is within the limit of demanding legal reforms through protests. The problem is not the reform demanding, the problem is not being able to administer the struggles on the route of these single reforms, depending on a concrete political programme aiming at overthrowing the patriarchal order as we mentioned above. The problem is not being able to advance these reforms as steps completing each other on the route to enhance the conditions of women to join the political and social life and struggle.
Therefore, even though women's movement in Turkey is one of most dynamic and vivid sections on many social issues, it couldn't get politicized enough around the women's liberation issues. In other words, it has chosen to make political actions to raise consciousness of more women, instead of raising consciousness and organizing women to make politics with bigger forces, to confront bigger masses with patriarchal order to prepare its destruction, thus to make politics to become a bigger political action force.
There is no contradiction between these two, of course. Raising consciousness, educating, organizing are elements of daily mass work of women that are indispensable, irrecusable and irreplaceable with any other work. But the movement as a whole must not focus on the aim of raising consciousness; the work for consciousness-raising and organizing have to aim at unveiling a political action force able to destroy patriarchy. Yet, in the current situation, there is a narrow-minded approach handling the question as a mentality issue, a comprehension issue. In the last analysis, handling the question as an issue of "consciousness-raising" rather than as a concrete material conflict between different social forces restricts the struggle.

In the end, patriarchy is not "the power in minds" or an abstract mentality, it is not an abstract power. It is a concrete political power and its existence, its matter is embodied in the current bourgeois political structures, apparatuses and their extensions and organizational forms spreading among the society, starting from family. What precedes its ideological-mental-psychological existence is its economical-political existence. The women's movement has been under the ideological hegemony of the feminist movement for a long time, and has been deserted indifferently by the communist and revolutionary forces which contrarily take a belligerent stance in the social-political struggle as a whole. And all sections of it without exception have prioritized consciousness-mental issues as if they have been fighting against a force whose ideological existence is a priori to its economical-political existence. While they have tended to more concrete political targets in single struggles and actions, their actions in total have been towards more ideological targets. Yet, the struggle against patriarchy, like all political struggles, has to aim to affect and change the relation between the ruler and ruled, and at realizing the essence of the mentality change on the material basis. Starting from the feminist movement, one of the most serious shortcomings of the women's liberation struggle is that it acts very "evolutionary" on the political dimension even when it defines the ideological dimensions of duties in a "revolutionary" way.

This situation is understandable for a feminist movement as they don't interpret the social material reality and the integrity of domination relations, oppression relations on an accurate materials basis, but for a communist movement (and for its women half), it can only be explained with the lack of interest and direction, weakness of mental labor, traditionalist restrictions and habits!
In regard of this discussion, why is it important for us to investigate this side of the topic? Because, lessons from a decades-long struggle of concretely today's and concretely Turkey's and North Kurdistan's women's movement make it both possible and a must, a women's mass movement which can carry out politics through more advanced, sharper forms of struggle, including forms based on violence.

Because, we can talk for days and write for pages on the women's self defense, the protection need of women from male violence, the general meaning and importance of self defense. And these same truths were also there ten years ago, forty years ago. They could be there twenty years later. We can only make the discussion of self defense meaningful by following the questions "where are we now and where do we want to go" depending on today's concrete political conditions and the way we want to proceed the women's movement, thus we can clarify its real function, role, extent, forms, etc. on the development course of women's movement. Only by discussing on this basis, we can comprehend the development of self defense as an inevitable, irrecusable task for the women's movement: a task of not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today. We can remove it from the list of "postponed tasks due to other tasks and other issues despite being a current political task and despite the need to shoulder it determinedly". We can appreciate its contemporary meaning within the integrity of social struggle, its actual corresponding "moment" and the current significance it is endowed with.

 

Political Meaning of Femicides


The search, practice and discussion of women's self defense grows on the basis of widespread violence against women and especially femicides which almost reach a slaughter scale.
One reason why this widespread violence occurs today, undoubtedly, is that violence against women has become apparent, more publicly announced and discussed, and taken its place among the topics of social struggle by distinguishing among the "third page" news. And this is a gaining of the struggle of democratic women's movement against the violence towards women.
The women's liberation struggle has forced all society, especially the oppressed sections to take a stance, to question their lives and the system of virtues from this standpoint. Violence against women was counted natural yesterday, but this naturalness has been left off. Through this change, men as half of the society are particularly called for a social confrontation and it becomes a more distinctive axis of the confrontation of the oppressor and oppressed, capital and labor, state and people.
Since this issue becomes more apparent, more concrete, thus more available to fight against and to push back, the questions of struggle against violence against women become more explicit, such as from which concrete demands it can rise, what role the state and laws play to sustain the male violence and also from where it can be pushed back. Tactical possibilities created by this new situation are important.
When the struggle against male violence is handled as a single struggle topic, these sides of the issue stand at the center. As a result, the real increase in the male violence rather than only becoming more "apparent", may be perceived as a quantitative problem.
Yet, exactly beyond the relative increase due to becoming more apparent, the existence of a real increase in femicides creates the vital link in terms of determining the development direction of women's movement.
The women's movement is stronger now than it was a couple of decades ago. It succeeded some favorable legislations to pass. And the social legitimacy of their demands to join the social life and to get political rights has strengthened. Considering all these, how can we read the reality?
Actually, the reasons are known. The basis of the gainings summarized above has routed out a different women's behavior from the past on a social scale. Women from working and toiling classes, thus including the main body of the oppressed women, act more with their own will compared to the past, on the preferences about marriage and divorce. In this sense, they live their sexuality more independently, behave more freely in both choosing and rejecting. Despite every kind of family oppression centrally coming from husband or father, they decide their clothing style, participate in various activities of social life based more on their own choices compared to the general social legitimacy. In short, they take the decisions on their own body and life more freely. Social legitimacy, the consciousness of righteousness are more developed than in the past and they also dare more against death, violence and heavy costs on this basis.
The leading part in this picture belongs to women's liberation struggle and its organizations. Undoubtedly, we can add this the spontaneous economical and ideological effects of increasing urbanization, migration due to political and economical reasons and imperialist globalization, as more indirect factors. When the general social struggle in Turkey, which the women's liberation struggle is also an important component of, evolved into the June uprising in 2013, women's movement also took part in it both as an amplifying force of the June uprising, strengthening it quantitatively and qualitatively, and as a growing force itself with this uprising. Both women's movement and LGBTI's were active components of the uprising. They waged an effective struggle against the patriarchal discourse and actions also during the uprising directly (for instance against the slogans with sexist cursing in it). This also reduced patriarchy inside the democratic movement ideologically and made it lose ranks within the movement.
When looking at the whole picture, it can be seen that it was not just a "mentality change" or a "consciousness gaining" which was acquired, some political ranks were also acquired and the widespread usage of these ranks by women also has resulted in a change in the male behavior on a social scale. While the legitimacy basis of patriarchy narrowed, the progressive sections of the men as half of the society became more ready to adopt this new women's behavior; there came out a "confrontation" topic and practice at the gender front even though it was only a nucleus to begin. The reactionary resistance of patriarchy, on the other hand, starting from the most reactionary sections of the men half of the society, took to a more radical line. In the name of AKP , the fascist, colonialist, patriarchal state,, took the leadership of this reactionary resistance. It protected the perpetrators of male violence with its legislations, legislation sketches and the actions of its law system and aimed to punish the individual or organized resistances of the oppressed women gender. It legitimized this violence through media and ideological apparatuses, and acted as the primary political support of this male reactionism.
Therefore, the patriarchal violence does not only amount to a different quantity in comparison with yesterday, but it has also gained a different quality: it turned into a sort of open war, a reactionary resistance waged by the state, family and individual men against the women gender and its social and political gainings. This war is partially spontaneous and partially organized. Its spontaneity comes from individual members of male gender, from the force to represent their gender shaped by domination mentality and from their habit of natural cooperation within. Its organizational quality comes from the male character of all the bourgeois institutions and organizations, starting from the state itself, and of the written and verbal laws. Right now, it is actually a one-sided war, in other words, it is only the male gender which applies the means of violence of politics and wants to compensate its loss of ranks in every field ranging from social virtues to laws and to suppress the tiniest resistance against its privileges.
This wide ground provides not only a "sectional" struggle against the violence against women, but also possibilities and development directions, some strategic and tactical questions of women's revolution which is in the making and in motion, with its development dynamics, its congestion points, their solution ways, etc. in its own integrity.
Handling the topic of self defense as a "struggle for existence" or a "struggle for right to live" on a narrow ground is, let's say, understandable for a national or cultural community struggling against extinction, but it is way too far away from being enough for the struggle and needs of the oppressed women gender, who has the strength to lead the social revolution to advance it until communism where classes, borders and gender discrimination are abolished. A struggle restricted with merely the right to exist can only be meaningful for classes, strata and communities which have lost their possibilities for power, political leadership strength and social leadership mission, not for the women gender who represents the new society of future with all its strength and brightness.
As a revolution develops, it causes counter-revolution to grow and centralize. It has not been different for women's revolution too and it will not be. This, can also very concretely be seen when looking at the growing reactionary male resistance against the gainings mentioned above. In the face of this situation, the movement also needs to push its limits, to ramp up its political demands and mottoes, organizational means, forms of struggle to another level.
The women's movement has acquired new ranks and the male resistance has become more radical. It is women's movement's turn again for a move and with the Özgecan revolt, the prelusive signals of that big move are introduced.
The women's liberation forces must improve this move. Beyond that is a great social decaying and corruption. We can look either from the perspective of the emancipation of women gender or the emancipation of the working class and all oppressed; concrete back-steps of patriarchal reactionism forced by women's liberation struggle are again not "visible" enough compared to the development of the social struggle, but they are still vitally important. Similarly to the phenomenon that the Turkish chauvinism is not only a physical-practical blockage against the Kurdistan revolution, but also a big barrier against the working class and oppressed of Turkey in terms of ideological decay and deepening the political reactionism; aggravation of men's reactionary resistance up to women's slaughter is also one of the main reactionary-racist-chauvinist confrontation axes for the overall social struggle. From the killers of Özgecan to Hüseyin Üzmez2, it is an important sign of the danger that most of the names who come to mind first when considering the crimes against women are also racist-fascist individuals. Revolutionary women and women's liberation movement must improve the above-mentioned move in order to weaken the women's enemy, racist, chauvinist social supports of AKP and the colonialist fascist state, with the aim both to protect women gender and to open the path for women's struggle, and with the responsibility to acquire a new democratic consciousness and a new dynamic for the development of its action, to open channels, to practice leadership. The development of democratic and socialist movement in Turkey also has to cross through the path in which the patriarchal reactionism is practically pushed back.
Calling the men as half of the workers and laborers to a social confrontation based on the questions of women's liberation; directing them towards accounting for the patriarchal ideology which negates humanity as it negates women as human and legitimizes slavery, torture, crimes against humanity; adding them in the political struggle against patriarchal institutions and state; and reserving them are all vital in the process of confronting the working class and oppressed with the bourgeois-patriarchal order on various issues.
Staying within the limits of being subjected to discrimination and keeping the innocence, within this kind of discourse and action or in such a position while facing with such a picture cannot be tolerated. There is no problem with condemning and disclosing the killing manhood. But the situation must never be seen as if it has only one subject. These women are not being murdered for no reason, they are not being slaughtered like a sheep. These women are not waging a struggle for existence, they are waging a struggle to change the relation between the ruler and ruled, the oppressor and oppressed, and to abolish them. No, these women are really not "innocent" and being not innocent is the best side of this dashed picture. Women, are being killed because they want to decide with whom and how they will live their sexuality. Women, are being killed because they go out to streets at nights to join education, production or social and political life. The dominant subject, which are men, improves its reactionary suppression measures against the oppressed subject, which is women in spontaneous and organized forms, because women are becoming subject.
To sum it up, the data we are most interested in is not the repression of men and the state, it shouldn't be. The reality of male gender sustaining its domination with violence apparatuses and the state is not at all something new! It is not that men stand on the side applying violence due to their nature and women on the other side avoiding this war due to their nature. It is also not that men are the perpetrators due to their nature and women are the discriminated due to their nature. It is that men are more advanced in using the means of violence due to their domination and women are weaker in using the means of violence as well as all the other means of politics due to being oppressed. Men are perpetrators because they are dominant and women are disadvantageous because they are oppressed. Between the two genders, there is a dominative, oppressive political relation which occurs between oppressor and oppressed. Changing this balance is possible and is a must.

 

The Struggle for Individual Sexual Rights is A Struggle for Political Rights

The struggle against the violence against women is of course a fight for humanity, a humanization action. However, just as the demands of the Kurdish national democratic movement are compressed to the level of individual cultural rights, struggles arising around this and other issues of women due to being the oppressed gender have been relegated into the degree of "individual freedom", "human rights", "personal life and existence right" since the beginning. The revolutionary movement has also been part of this approach as a matter of fact. The communist movement regarded the 8-hours workday demand in order to strengthen the conditions for upholding the revolutionary struggle, for workers to gain class consciousness and to join the social and political life. But it didn't exhibit the same approach when it came to the women's liberation topics and demands. It didn't perform a vanguard stance corresponding to its claim and reality that it has a more progressive social transformation programme than the feminist movement and when comprehending "what is personal is also political".
For example, let's consider the right to go out to streets freely without fearing harassment, rape or family pressure. Spontaneous behaviors, actions and sacrifices of each woman in this direction is, in total, the move of the oppressed female gender as a social force to raise a collective gender consciousness and to join political life. This right must be defended on a social and political ground, not on a ground related to personal safety. Of course, "defending on a social ground" is not only writing "this question is actually political". Not being safe on the streets evidently, practically prevents women from joining the social and political life equally. To defend this right "on the social ground", firstly, it is needed to derive the issue as a social issue directly for the society itself. Secondly, it is needed for this right to be gained in practice, to come in action more on a social scale with the countless forms such as resistances, deterrent self-defense and getting the right for self defense on a legal ground. And also it is needed to cause the collective male resistance developing on contrary to this to lose concrete ranks in terms of laws, social legitimacy or application power. In other words, it is needed to materially clear the way ahead for women to behave different than yesterday. This, is the question of women becoming subjects in the revolutionary struggle.
The issues in the context of pushing back bourgeois or feudal traditions, laws and applications and improving the practical decision-making rights of women on their bodies are also equally and similarly political issues.

 

Moving On By Clearing The Own Path


No social oppression order can stand without violence of weapons. And no social revolution can avoid replying the means of violence of the dominant power back with the means of violence, firstly in order to overthrow it and later to defeat the counter-revolutionary actions which are done to bring back the old order.
Women's revolution is also a big social revolution. It will, too, develop through internalizing the forms of struggle based on violence, including the daily routine. Naturally, just because women's revolution develops as a founding component of the social revolution which will overthrow the capitalist order and class society, generalizing the issue of the relation of women with the revolutionary violence cannot be acceptable. In other words, developing and ensuring the women's revolution also with the means of violence must also be embodied in the struggle against the violence and oppression of bourgeois state apparatus and individual men directly against women, as much as in the relation of women with the revolutionary struggle as a whole.
As discussed above, "patriarchy" is not just a question of mentality. It is not immaterial. It is not shapeless. It is not a lack of institutions or organizations. It is concrete, it has substance. Apart from the bourgeois state apparatus and the patriarchal feature of all of its means of violence, reactionary actions of individual men are not separable from these material existence. Moreover, violent actions of individual men from the oppressed classes can also be defined as some sort of civil-armed defense mechanism of the existent patriarchal order based on gender privileges and are equally material. By this way, they become an addend, a reserve to bourgeois private property system, or at least an easily manageable tool and also play an active role in the continuity of the patriarchal order in which of course himself is in the dominant position.
Struggle against this material existence must never stay on just an ideological basis or even on a basis which ideological struggle weighs centrally.
What can ideologically be pursued is only the struggle against the male behavior in the democratic and revolutionary ranks, which have already detached programmatically from the material order of patriarchy or tended to detachment and at least limitedly detached from its ideological hegemony. Even, this ideological-weighted struggle has to create political-organizational existence, find its own mass and social support with its own form of organizations and models. And just like women's liberation struggle, the issue of transformation of men cannot be postponed after revolution.
Clear facts which can be said for all revolutionary struggles, prominent qualities are valid for the women's revolution too, of course with its unique form. How can a national or class based revolutionary struggle grow without trying to pull down the ranks of ruling powers, without pushing back the ideological hegemony of them especially with the force of its own political action, without physically-practically dismantling the physical activities-organizations put before its struggle (a state-oriented gang over that district, police-state institutions in that region, paramilitary in those villages or a single fascist starting to attack in that street etc.), without clearing the area by force? Which revolutionary struggle can develop only through an evolutionary path? Revolutionary struggles, revolutionary organizations, revolutionary programmes open their own paths through revolutionary methods, in a revolutionary mode. If the women's revolution means a political and social revolution tending to change the relation between ruling-oppressor men and ruled-oppressed women rather than an ideological transformation motto, it has to follow this path.
For this reason, approaches evaluating the self-defense tendencies especially condensed after the Özgecan revolt neither as enraged words arisen with a temporary excitement in the face of brutal murders, nor as just tactics that can be applied now and then, could have a chance to grow the women's revolution struggle. Self defense is an advanced form of women's organizing and political action. Concretely; for the women's movement today, women's self defense is a matter of surpassing a threshold or not. Spontaneous women's resistances and actions symbolized in the outcry of "We will arm!" or Nevin Yıldırım's3 case prove a level of women's movement in its political development. Crossing this level requires more. The women's movement must open its own path through de-facto legitimate struggle. For instance, it must form its self defense organizations and defend their legitimacy, struggle for their legalization. For instance, it must embrace examples like Nevin, organize such a mass women's struggle that it can force the judicial system to apply remissions. For instance, it must defend the Rojava revolution as the most progressed rank of women's self defense with an action plan by all means.

 

Risks, Questions and Issues


Perhaps the most serious issue about the struggle methods based on violence, one of its foibles to be abstained most, is to talk about it, but avoid its practice. The most serious risk for women's self defense will also be the inability to unite the word with the action. Since the words about self defense got out from the mouths of women who joined the Özgecan revolt, since it was embraced by the women's movements, as soon as that moment happened, any slowness, any attitude lack of initiative will now play a will-breaking, verbalizing role in carrying out self defense with its various organizational and struggle forms and methods.
We must detach from the understanding of practice which emphasizes the forms of struggle based on violence too much and then postpones it until a total mass uprising with a right-wing perception (and even postpones it when the mass uprising comes until a bigger mass uprising because of lack of preparation), or which stands still because of the idealist, perfectionist discourse pretending to have a radical image. That is why, although the widespread usage of self defense words strengthens its legitimacy basis, the will of the communist vanguard and its vanguard praxis will be decisive not to let it fall into caricaturization due to weak action practice or inaction basis on contrary to verbal abundance.
First of all, there is the risk for vanguard on not meeting with masses. The struggle against the violence against women must follow a line to bond with women's masses, to carry out a systematic mass work among women, all including the struggle and organizational forms of women's self defense content. Secondly, it must keep in touch with the general topics of social struggle.
Third risk is being unable to unite the means with the aim. Of course, if we talk about a real political women's mass movement rather than a homemade fiction, it is inevitable to experience some phenomena of inertness by degrading self defense into a lovable agitation slogan or some phenomena of unjust-revanchist destruction. These kind of risks must never lead a weakness in the consciousness on its legitimacy or a break in the courage. We must walk on the path daring all these and accepting that no serious struggle in any front can develop without facing with these kinds of negative experiences. However, communist women vanguard must keep in mind that she is the one carrying the responsibility of directing the volcanic action of women without being dragged by it, not any other political structure or any ideological circle. No matter how much the movement grows, communist women as the women vanguard of the movement must be aware of that they are the one primarily carrying the responsibility of the justice of the movement, of the level of social accountability. As much as it trails the movement via its path-breaking praxis, vanguard claim must be expressed in the shaping of this movement on its own will, not with other forms.
The first and main legitimacy concern of women's self defense line is for sure, gaining social legitimacy among women and for sure will find male reactionaries in front of itself even after its most legitimate actions. Already, this kind of self defense discussion is brought into agenda because there is no such possibility to tame male reactionaries by convincing. Yet, in reality, giving up on confronting men from proletarian-oppressed sections, who are the main alliance force of women's revolution which will develop over demolishing the bourgeois patriarchal power, with the private property system will not strengthen, but weaken the women's liberation struggle. Regarding this general line, it is not contradictory to target "individual men" with women's self defense. They are the ones who insist on being watchdogs of the order as much as other means of violence of the system and who insist on keeping their gender privileges by violence.
We must emphasize even though it is out of topic, that it is mainly a task of men communists to build a new male behavior in society. Again if we intentionally bend the stick on one side of the issue, the principle social responsibility belongs to men communists in the task of reserving men from oppressed and exploited sections to women's revolution. If women's movement and its vanguards have trouble due to narrowing of their clash with the male violence, the main responsible for this will be men communists with their weakness in carrying out these tasks.

To Walk Ahead of Women's Revolt


As Özgecan revolt showed that, development of women's movement does not automatically bring the result of spontaneous flowing of women masses towards ranks of various political subjects. There is no direct correlation between these two. What is decisive is the vanguard practice of political subjects, their revolutionary will and continuous activity in order to meet with women masses.
The women's movement has gained a quality to progress its critique against the patriarchal capitalist order through more destructive and result-giving forms. The Özgecan revolt, embracing of women's vanguard in Rojava, arrival of self defense topic into the agenda of women's movement in Turkey front after Kurdistan proves the politicization of the movement.
The most progressive women's liberation programme in front of this movement is women's revolution. However, unless this programme meets with the most progressive political actions, organization forms, it will not save itself from being a bunch of plain words. Communist women have reached a theoretical, political and organizational preparation level. They get experiences in women's struggle with their vanguard, inclusive and unifying practices. Well deservedly, they can walk ahead of growing women's revolt, can unite women's revolt with women's revolution. Falling behind to that may cause devaluation of words and claims, loss of meaning and decaying.


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1 Özgecan Aslan, was murdered in Mersin on February 11th, 2015 after resisting against rape. Her body was found burnt the day after the murder. She was a 20 years-old university student. After this horrendous murder, women took to the streets all across Turkey with rage. Many thousands of women demonstrated against the ignorance of government to rape, violence and murders.
2 Hüseyin Üzmez, was sentenced to 13 years of prison time on September 16th 2009, due to "sexual harassment" and "sexually abusing a minor". He was formerly known of assassinating Ahmet Emin Yalman in 1952 who was a newspaper columnist at an Islamic newspaper. He and the verdict given to him was widely protested against by the women's organizations. Police attacked many of the protests, which is a sign of the attitude of the state towards this issue.
3 Nevin Yıldırım, is woman who used her right to self defense by killing the man who raped her with a machine gun. She, then beheaded the rapist man and threw his head to the square of the village to break the silence among the people there. Her trial period took a while with objections and retrial processes. The patriarchal justice system sentenced her to life time prison.