The GEARING Roles Consortium held a competition on the theme of ‘Resistances to Gender Equality

“Backlash and resistance to gender equality take common forms including: denial of the problem, disavowal of responsibility, inaction, appeasement, co-option and repression. Resistance may be individual or collective, formal or informal.”  – Flood, M., Dragiewicz, M., & Pease, B. (2020). Resistance and backlash to gender equality. Australian Journal of Social Issues

These are our winners!!!!

Our Masters Winner Beste İrem Köse

Beste İrem Köse has B.A. degree in the Sociology program at Boğaziçi University and is now doing an M.A. in the Cultural Studies at Sabancı University. Her research interests include social movements, gender, and sexuality. She is writing her M.A. thesis on HIV activism in Turkey, which lies at the intersection of these areas. As a feminist, she is genuinely interested in contributing to the feminist movement within and beyond academia. Right after she saw the call for the Resistances Essay Competition, she was excited to share her thoughts and observations on the resistances to gender equality. Particularly as anti-gender mobilizations are on the rise and shape her daily experiences as a woman living in Turkey.

With regards to her winning paper Beste said:

“My research paper named “Mapping Anti-Gender Mobilizations in Eastern Europe and Turkey” focuses on the anti-gender movements organized in Turkey and Eastern Europe. As I observed significant parallels within two geographical contexts, I analyzed them through a comparative lens. I argued in this paper that anti-gender mobilizations in Turkey and Eastern Europe are not only a part of right-wing populism, yet, they are not organized around a unifying strategy either. It rather brings together distinct strategies against “gender ideology” across the political spectrum on the basis of familialism. However, feminism and LGBTI+ activism carry the potential to overcome such a vision.”

Our image Winner: Şebnem Aydın

Şebnem was born in 1975 in Bandırma. She has a university education in Teaching painting at Bursa Uludağ University. Throughout her life she has tried to express herself in many areas of visual expression language. I work in the field of video, painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics and illustration. In addition to working on art education with children, I have been drawing children’s books since 2010.

With regards to her entry Şebnem said:

My drawing emerged as a protest to an event that took place in Istanbul in 2019 at the Istanbul Anatolian 2nd Labour Court. On this date a judge criticised a woman’s skirt length which he argued was higher than the regulated 15cm above her knees. He demanded that she be photographed in order to refer her to the bar association for review. The female lawyer did not allow this. The judge, who could not get support from the lawyers in the hall, ensured that this issue was recorded in the court’s minutes. After these reactions, the judge was punished. This has added to the oppression experienced by women in Turkey, even with regards to their skirt length.

Our Bachelor’s winner: Marina Delgado

Marina Delgado is a final year student in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, specialising in philosophy. Her interest in social issues is deeply ingrained in her studies as well as in her work in literature, a field she has developed as a writer for the university magazine. As an aspiring academic, she wishes to tackle through my work and actions the biases in research and hopefully reach a more just and equal academic environment one step at a time.

In my essay, I use the example of gender equality quotas to demonstrate how deeply the resistance against equality policies is emotional, and therefore, I show how much work we have in front of us, not necessarily to give rational arguments for gender equality —something that is easily done— but to point out the irrational aspect of sexism that is inherently placed in our social structure.

Our PhD winner: Irene Pérez Tirado

Irene is a pre-doctoral researcher in the Human Rights Programme: ethical, social and political challenges at the University of Deusto (UD). She holds a degree in Journalism (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, UCM), Political Science and Sociology (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, UNED) and a Master in Human Rights, Interculturality and Development (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, UPO).

From 2015 to 2017, she worked on several applied research projects developed in the Social Innovation area (UD). Currently, in addition to finishing her doctoral thesis, she is also participating in the Regional Manifestos Project team (UD) and the ARES Project – Analyzing antifeminism (UD). She is also a member of the technical team of the Ada Byron Award for Women Technologists (UD). She maintains professional links with the Communication and Culture team of FLACSO, Argentina (UNESCO). She has publications in high-impact indexed journals and has participated in various international seminars and conferences related to her area of study.

With regards to her paper Irene says:

This study is part of a larger research project (doctoral thesis) in progress called Feminism, media discourse, and social perception. Resistances to the feminist emergence. Irene has been working on her Ph.D. since 2018 where her main lines of research are critical discourse analysis, media and gender studies.

In particular, this short research paper analyzes the resistance and objections to the advances of feminism through the examination of opinion pieces in the daily press in the Basque Country. Resistances represent an important force of obstruction in mainstreaming the gender perspective and seeking to preserve the prevailing order in a society instead of questioning it. Therefore, it is important to detect, analyze and try to dismantle them.

The motivation for this work is based on the consideration that one way to contribute to the advancement of feminism is to be aware of these reactive forces of opposition to such aims of equality. In this case, the media, who hold the discursive power and, therefore, the capacity to shape our collective imagination, pronounce those resistances. For this reason, it is important to identify and analyze these dynamics in order to understand how feminism and anti-feminism have always gone hand in hand throughout history.

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