Women and Self-Defense

The creation of a free life is possible with the successes of women’s liberation struggles. Free and equal life develops through the emancipation of women. The women’s freedom struggle is difficult however and develops only in the face of great sacrifices and labour. A patient and stubborn march towards freedom reveals the face of the lying, treacherous patriarchal world. However, truths can be reached when walking on the path of freedom. Despite the fact that women’s identities and labour have been ignored, erased and consciously excluded from history, we are now able to understand clearly with our knowledge today that the greatest truth seekers are women.

We need a much greater understanding of the matrilinear period in the history of humanity, which has developed the Goddess Cult. The period of goddesses is a time of the experience of equality, freedom, democracy, ecology, peace, labour, patience, sharing, friendship and solidarity thoughts and feelings in the whole of society. The archaeological excavations of the last hundred years reveal that the Neolithic age was shaped around women in the Mesopotamian lands. In this age, the women led the community with their own minds, labour, first inventions and living arrangements. These women were aware of their realities, aware of being women. Their greatest self-defense was primarily their own existence, their power to define nature. By observing nature and themselves, they had formed a holistic “self-consciousness” concept. The first social organizations, such as clans and tribes, developed with such understanding and consciousness formed with the leadership of women.

Self-defense in these first social organizations was developed by including freedom, equality, justice, nature and friendship, thoughts and feelings in all areas of life. The sociality created by the leadership of the woman was the most powerful defense mechanism. Societal self-defense was operating in a holistic manner on the basis of the defense of all matriarchal values. Since its mental formations were constantly maintained in social life arrangements and relations, it was been institutionalized and structured as a whole system. Possible external and internal threats could be neutralized by systems adorned with an egalitarian, libertarian and shared mindset. Every attack on the society was cooperatively eliminated. Natural disasters, the difficulties of the seasons, were also overcome on this basis. This differed from the understanding of self-defense that is dominant now, which is based on the separation of women, society and the defense of the country. Defending the woman meant defending social values. In the context of social values, ​​women’s values ​​were not taken apart from defending the land. Life was simply maintained in a vivid, enchanted manner on the basis of unity and collective sharing.

Today, an important reason for the fragmentation of defense understandings is the positivist form of thinking that was created by the male dominanted system. This way of thinking which the dominant logic has developed has weakened humanity in all areas of life. Every area of life has been divided and broken up, often separated from and played against each other. It is of utmost importance to understand this male-dominated mind when trying to analyse why self-defense is so weak in women and society. The meaningful dualities of life are put at contrast to each other instead of complementing each other, thereby dissolving each other.

With the development and strengthening of the first sociality, the level of social prosperity also increased. The material values evolved around subsistence-oriented accumulation, and the product was evolving around the founder of sociability, the woman. Old men, who take notice of the riches that have come into being with the creation of essential values, started a struggle against the woman with various tricks, conspiracies and lies to take over this accumulation. There is a history of at least five millenniums of a conspiratory male alliance formed for the purpose of sovereignty, usurping the surplus products from the mother society with tricky and difficult devices. The last two thousand years of history are filled with the male-dominated system’s attempts to institutionalise itself through rhetorics, plannings and ideological constructions. Written, official history is male-dominated history. The history of the increasing distance from the matrilinear society is the time of the deepening of the struggle to seize all the social values by the dominant man.

When history is examined, it is easily observed that the slavery of the woman carries continuity on the basis of the plans of the dominant male mind. Here, the strategy that the dominant man has developed is the assertion of more dominance, more profit at the expense women.

In each era, the class, state, and hierarchy based systems and mentalities that the male mind developed aimed at the spiritual and bodily enslavement of the woman in increasing depth. The most fundamental method of forcing the woman into a defenseless status has been planted into the mentality of the society. When the constructed femininity and masculinity concepts are examined extensively from the perspective of women, the severity of the situation becomes much more apparent. In the capitalist modernist point of view, the woman is shown as being the second-class sex, as a sinful, weak, powerless and irrational entity. Mythological, philosophical, religious creations were constructed around the enslavement of women. The stories like that of the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib are striking examples of this. The construction of dominant masculinity and the slave-woman have today resulted in putting ninety-nine percent of humanity in a state of poverty, misery, hunger, wars, homelessness, unemployment and death. Therefore, written history is also the history of how humanity was removed from self-defense, through the mental and systematic exclusion of women from life.

Statist, ruling hierarchical powers aim to eliminate the basis of society’s self-defense basis by applying violence and rendering the women as weak, passive and unable to think and create in various ways and means. This was the strategy of taking over the society.

We have pointed out that the male dominated system weakens the women’s society by holding a battle in the area of mentality and ideology. By rendering the man as an enemy to his own values, especially his mother, wife, sisters, and rendering the woman unable to defend herself, insecure, and without self-confidence, the society’s structure was degraded. Instead of the meaningful coexistence of woman and man, antagonism between each other has destroyed society’s understanding of self-defense. The male mind has glorified itself by organizing itself as an enemy to the women and society with gradually increasing hostility. The process that goes from separating women from sociality, the free partner-life and to isolating women into houses one by one, has developed parallel to the breakdown of women from the self-defense mentality and system. Keeping the woman shut in the house, in a constant rape culture, is a form of absolute slavery being imposed. The self-defense of society has been ruptured by violence against women, violence against youth, rape, oppression and force. Women were enslaved and afterwards young people were also taken into this chain of domination.

Whilst one side of the development of male-dominated history constitutes an era of great enslavement of the woman with great repression, on the other side it disguises itself in the name of love. False love, the objectification of the woman, was developed as the most basic ideological argument and method of leaving the woman without self-defense. There is a historical backdrop against which to the woman resisted against the state of merely being an existence with a property status in the name of love, with the male dominating her right to life. The history written by the male mind and its pen has declared the existence of women as meaningless and undermined her labor to prevent her awakening. Not satisfied with it, the male mind has distorted the woman’s history, defined women in relation to the male, thus creating the slave woman. The history of civilization is the male history of great emperors, kings and their invasion and war history. There is no place in this official history for women, peoples, communities and cults. The oppressed have been either eliminated or assimilated to become part of the ruling history of the hegemons through the construction of certain psychologies and mentalities. Today, the logic of state and power have created internalized slavery in the woman. With this method, they enslaved the society and made it insensitive, irrelevant and passive vis-a-vis freedom.

Male domination is globalized today. In today’s world, all strategic decisions, especially those made in political, economic and diplomatic areas, are taken by men. Everywhere in the world, especially in the Middle East, the oppressed cannot fight or meet on a common front against the inhumanity of living in violence due to the dominant male’s greed for power and authority. Today, humanity lives in a slaughterhouse. Societies that have been deprived of their right to self-defense are fatalistically waiting for their fate with despair. This surrenderist stance of women, peoples, tribes, clans, which are the basic elements of democratic civilization, is closely linked to the nation-state understanding developed in the last two centuries. Global forces have completely disarmed and marginalized the peoples, tribes and sects in the last century, while excessively arming their system’s powers to a level that permanently threatens the whole of humanity. With the great arms race, global forces are constantly seeking to further increase their sovereignty, through a permanent threat to each other and to democratic elements in society. In this sense, weapons accumulated in the hands of global state powers are a great threat to humanity.

Abdullah Öcalan says, “Cultural genocide is practiced on women. The woman’s value is only measured through sexuality, continuing the lineage, and as an army of free/cheap labour. It has deprived the woman of self-sustained power that could defend herself physically, morally and semantically”. Due to the removal of the woman from the self-defense mentality and its tools and methods, the social structure has come under the control and domination of the male monopoly. Women, peoples, sects, cults who have abandoned their self-defense by force or persuasion to the male, state, or global powers have lost their freedom from the beginning. Those who cannot take charge of their self-defense, their legitimate defense, cannot save themselves from slavery. Women, peoples, tribes, sects, cults and religions have been in constant resistance to the statist, ruling, and dominating understandings in the history of humanity. At present, the great resistance wars of humanity and self-defense continue. Without these resistance and freedom fronts, it would never have been possible for us to breathe as human beings. The Kurds have historically maintained their struggle to exist, to continue their culture due to the mountains and regions of freedom.

Although women’s history is intended to be rendered invisible by the rulers, women have always existed within resistances. Women took the lead in resistance. In their cultural traditions, beliefs, women have often been the most persistent elements of such struggles. In tribal wars, in cultural structures, in mystic traditions, in sect organizations, the bearers and the guardians of practices and values have often been women. In essence, these organizations can also be called self-defense organizationalities. A conscientious, careful and sophisticated look at history will show that the main inspiration for men, who were seen as leaders, have often been women. Women have played guiding, and empowering roles. The fact that women’s spirituality, inner world, and instincts are so rich and strong, has led them too become leaders in mystic thoughts, enabling them to assume leading roles in organizing resistance power.

The capitalist modernist forces spread the nation-state model all over the world, breaking social dynamics along the way. The nation-state essentially means the theft of self-defense from the oppressed. This monopolist, fascist, colonialist understanding itself is already the greatest enemy of differences. Every nation-state enslaves the women and assimilates societies, peoples, different beliefs and ethnic groups into its monolithic identity to develop sovereignty over them. It has come to mean that our colourful world is gradually becoming grey and dark.

The status of the Kurdish people and their country as an transnational, inter-state colony has been developed over the last two hundred years within the context of nation-state projects. For the Kurdish people, it is no coincidence that they are the largest people without their own state. The sovereign, ruling male-dominant civilisation is relentlessly attacking the Kurdish people, whose context still carries traces of female cultures. Women and marginalized communities such as the Kurds living in this geography have a strong cultural memory. In the last two centuries a fundamental reason for the fragmentation of Kurdistan’s geography and beyond is due to its strategic structure, it is not due to the richness of its underground and overground resources. The actual reason why the geography of Kurdistan is targeted is because the country holds the historical memory of humanity and women. The memory of the women, humanity’s cultural heritage is wanted to be destroyed.

The essence of the third world war in the Middle East constitutes the”plundering and destroying of women and cultures.” The capitalist modernist powers’ hostility to women, their enslaving politics for women, have been turned into the most concrete matter of the Kurdish people’s struggle for life-or-death. For few other communities, the issue of women’s freedom has been turned into a matter of existence-nonexistence in this way. At the root of this is lies the socialization of the Kurdish people in the Neolithic period and the fact that their culture was originally centered around women’s culture. The resistance of the Kurdish people and women in Mesopotamia means the defense of human values ​​and the main origin culture of humanity. For this reason, women were active during the armed struggles carried out by the Kurdish people. Women here have resisted shoulder to shoulder with men. Our recent history also includes the resistance of Sason’s Rındexan, Koçgiri’s Zarife and Dersim’s Bese, who are all examples for the resisting woman.

Besê Erzîncan

Komun Academy