Women’s portrayal in Turkish Dizis

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Samiramis
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Women’s portrayal in Turkish Dizis

Post by Samiramis » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:28 am

We have had a lot of discussions about the portrayal of women and women‘s issues in dizis recently. I thought we could benefit from a thread where we can discuss all these things. The good, the bad and everything in between.


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Daha o gün anlamıştım Feride, ben ömrümce seninle sınanacaktım .Yakub'un Yusuf'la İbrahim'in İsak'la Habil'in Kabil'le sınandığı gibi . Sen koca bir yalnızlığı bense sensizliği bardak bardak içecektim.

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Sultan Banu
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Post by Sultan Banu » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:39 am

Oh interesting..

Imo the last three years in dizis have been a fiasco for female characters. Not that dizis were a always a progressive or realistic showcase of female lives, but it really got too much. The actresses know this themselves and only after their shows ended say it wasn't really good lmao... *coughs *Irem*coughs*
Not only did shows well with abuse stories, but the heroines never were allowed to be independent and show there is a way out and it is not in anothers mans arms. Nare forgot all the abuse past and present, like okay Stockholm Kizi it is then..
Another point is when they show women at first bamf and independent, they slowly melt into damsels in distress [default_facepalm-smiley-emoticon.gif] No names, Sühan in Cesur ve Güzel..

You have also some gems, which tend to flop though [default_rolleyes.gif]
I heard positive things about Sevgili Gecmis, Kuzey Yildizi in its first eps anyway issued boundaries and respect for women. Halka tried to have more female presence, Azize had well written female characters, Dila in Kuzgun, 8Gün etc

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Post by DefLeppard » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:56 am

This is cool...

Without giving much of the characters & their TRP success or failures....female role play are the most cliche with over the top of "have it all" syndrome - family, lover, kids, friends, career et al.

And with monies riding on the projects, the nuances are compromised and later absolved from grey.

Hence all female characters look & behave alike...more like Dolly the Sheep. ;-)

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Post by belalugosi » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:50 pm

Oh no, it's my obnoxious feminist bat signal, now I'm never leaving this thread :P

In some respects I think shows have improved, in others worsened. For reasons you guys have pointed out - the career women/tough girls who are damselified by love, or who somehow never talk about their career again after they've fallen in love at episode 20. Or characters who begin as damsels and we get to watch them be rescued from things by the same guy over and over, like he's Joe from "You" and just follows them around waiting for them to get into trouble so he can look good.

However, if you watch shows from before 2010 when the Turkish dizi boom really hit, there are uhhh, a few shows where marital rape or actual rape leading to marriage between the leads is excused away. Like, it was really bad. Cansu Dere was in at least two of them which is why I think her career is so different now, the early ones traumatized her :P But those shows would never fly nowadays and I'm very thankful. So we have sort of made a progress.

That said, we've talked endlessly about how female suffering is almost fetishized in some shows. SAK was obviously really bad about this, especially as time went on, and I would see the excuse that it's portraying social issues, but the way those scenes were filmed, and the abundance of them, made that claim really suspect to me. The scenes in the first 3-5 episodes were shocking and well-done but they kept upping the ante for some reason even though it was unnecessary. I don't think it was supposed to be sexually gratifying, but I do think it was supposed to titillate in the same way an episode of the Maury show or some trashy reality TV show does.

A half-dozen copycats sprang up where all you saw was the female lead getting slapped, dragged, screamed at by men. There is actually a school of thought in filmmaking that rape or domestic violence doesn't need to be shown on screen at all because it is so prevalent and because it reinforces images of female subjugation in people's minds; their feeling is it should only be discussed post-event. I fully see the point, but I don't necessarily agree with that, because I think it can be done in a way that makes sense and doesn't feel exploitative - the rape scene in Atiye was one of these. Not only did that one make sense for the moment, it was also the only time I've seen a rape scene in diziler that was how most sexual assaults actually are: performed by the victim's boyfriend, a trusted person who may appear nice half the time and doesn't think of what they did as a crime. But the show emphasizes this was a violation and you see why their entire relationship has been warped ever since.

There is a fear of ambiguity in how female victims react. There's still a lot of ignorance about who is a victim and who had it coming in the world. Nefes had to continually resist Vedat's abuse to be sympathetic, but in reality most women in Nefes's position would sometimes acclimate or want to believe he could change, until he didn't. SAK's first season had its pros but it didn't realistically depict a typical domestic violence situation, it depicted a long-term hostage situation. (Of course, Nefes was a child bride, so her relationship was supposed to be different from the start, to be fair.)

I actually think some degree of aggressive behavior from men is normalized in general in Turkish shows. The yanking around by the arms or holding a person in place is a big thing that always sets me off because in the real world this is actually a red flag for abuse, documented by psychiatrists and therapists, it's just because the male lead is a fictional character he somehow never progresses to actual abuser. Just once I want the female lead to be like "hey, if you ever do that again I will absolutely never speak to you again, I am not a ragdoll".

Sevgili Gecmis actually had really great female characters (I am still in love with Azra) but alas :'( No matter how much I complain, though, there are always actresses and writers who *want* to write 3-dimensional, flawed, enjoyable female characters with agency. It's the same issue in Hollywood, though, young actresses need to stay working and sometimes you take what you can get and what you get is dictated by producers, who are dictated to by what makes money.

My favorite female lead of all time is still Aysel from Kayip Sehir, a show that freaked the network out so much they sabotaged it. Baraj could actually be very similar if producers allow it to happen.

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Post by Samiramis » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:49 pm

Sultan Banu wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:39 am
Not only did shows well with abuse stories, but the heroines never were allowed to be independent and show there is a way out and it is not in anothers mans arms. Nare forgot all the abuse past and present, like okay Stockholm Kizi it is then..
Honestly that's one of the things that rubs me off the most. I still think that shows or scenes like these aren't inherently bad. Mainstream TV plays a huge part in people's lifes and can change people's opinions in very effective ways. If it's framed right and the issues are dealt with responsibly I think it has the power to encourage survivors to seek help and raise awareness. But unfortunately they almost always ruin it by focusing instead on the kahraman who saves the victim which sends a really messed up message imo. It becomes all about how manly and brave the male lead is. SAK is particularily guilty of this. For all its faults, I think Fatmagülün Sucu Ne was one one of the few dizis that actually did the issue of rape justice by making Fatmagül report them to the police, get psychological help and move on.
Sultan Banu wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:39 am
*coughs *Irem*coughs*
I'm curious, what did Irem say? I only saw a video where she complained about the script after the new writer came.
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Daha o gün anlamıştım Feride, ben ömrümce seninle sınanacaktım .Yakub'un Yusuf'la İbrahim'in İsak'la Habil'in Kabil'le sınandığı gibi . Sen koca bir yalnızlığı bense sensizliği bardak bardak içecektim.

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Post by Rosamund » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:47 am

What an interesting thread! I love reading you guys!


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