Dear Selma Hanım,
When I first read about you over on Nomad's blog and in the "news" I imagined you must look something like this:
Then I did a little research, and I discovered you look like this:
Which means you have a much kinder and more reasonable face than I originally thought.
But seriously, when you go around censoring kissing on TV can you blame me for thinking you would look like some pious and pale Victorian battleaxe with a stick up her bottom?
Let me quote from the Zaman article I linked to above, and let my readers see which picture of you gets painted in their heads:
"Just last Friday, Family and Women’s Affairs Minister Selma Aliye Kavaf said she was very irritated by the “erotic” scenes in the series..."
So you find kissing on TV irritating, do you? Irritating? So that means you (an appointed government official) get to dictate what people may and may not watch on TV based on what irritates you?
Here's my idea. How about make me the Minister of Family and Women's Affairs for a day and let me ban everything on TV that irritates me. Here's my list:
*The sudden and startling volume increases when a program cuts to commercial.
*Cuts to commercial at exactly the wrong time.
*Perfectly good foreign programs spoiled by poorly-acted dubbing. First, I want to ban all dubbing with a woman listlessly going "Eeeeeehhhhh" while the woman on TV is clearly screaming bloody murder. Next, I want to get rid of all dubbing where children's voices are done by women speaking in a nasal falsetto with teddy-bear speech impediments.
*All talk/news/magazine programs that are just three or more people all shouting over each other the whole time, and two of those people (one of whom is usually the moderator) saying nothing but "Bi' şey söyleyebilir miyim?Bi' şey söyleyebilir miyim?"
*Sensodyne commercials with the "real-life" dentists talking about sensitive teeth. Those make me want to go out and punch a dentist, which is arguably more dangerous than kissing.
*Children's TV stations that have 30-minute commercial segments for every 15 minutes of programming. Because of these, LE desperately wants Coco Puffs (way worse for kids than kissing), a Mouse-Trap type game that's much too advanced for him, and a pink tent with fairies on it (I don't mind, but I'm sure the Traditional Family Values camp might find something worrying about this).
*Children's stations that mostly show Japanese cartoon characters kicking the shit out of each other. When LE watches people kissing on TV, do you know what he does? He kisses me. When LE watches people and animals kicking the shit out of each other, you know what he does? He kicks me. Which is the negative example? The former, according to you, Selma Hanım.
What with the blurry cigarettes and no kissing and my list of things that irritate the hell out of me, there'd be nothing left to watch on TV at all.
Here's what I can't figure out. With all the problems affecting women and families, how is it you have so much time on your hands to watch kissing on TV, get irritated by it, then go through the whole rigmarole of banning it? I'm talking about problems like domestic violence. Honor killings. Lack of family planning education. Child labor. Poverty. The hordes of free-range street kids. Public education and the state of the schools. Pre-natal care. Childhood nutrition. I'm sure I've missed some things, but I think you can see where I'm going here. All of these things should be way more irritating for you than kissing on TV, especially because you're the Minister of FAMILY and WOMEN'S Affairs. I lose sleep over some of these problems, myself. Maybe it's from watching too much kissing?
But apparently you're losing sleep over stuff too. In the above-mentioned Zaman article, you went on to note:
"...that such scenes were a factor in encouraging people to become sexually active at very young ages. A recent report prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that people become sexually active in Turkey as early as 13. “I am very disturbed about such scenes,” Kavaf said."
Wow. As young as 13? How many of those 13 year olds are girls forced into marriage by their families? And out of the total number of kids having sex in Turkey, how many of them are 13? I somehow doubt it's a large enough percentage to warrant this sort of action. Sex ed in school might be helpful, but somehow I suspect that's not next on your To Do list.
But it's the kissing on TV that disturbs you. Truly you are a woman who's got her priorities straight.
Selma Hanım, I hope your reasonable appearance isn't as misleading as it would seem. Don't be a Victorian battleaxe and let us have our TV tongue-kissing back. You have this position of power. Maybe you should think about making your mark on this earth by doing something that matters.
With all due respect,
P.S. You know how there are all those anti-AKP folks with the slippery slope theories about AKP's insidious plan to make Turkey an Islamic Republic? Well, things like this are totally not helping AKP's attempts to act like they're dispelling these "myths."