Thursday, October 27, 2005

Halide Edip Adivar: Feminist of the Day

Halide Edib Adivar
Novelist, pioneer in the emancipation of women in Turkey, politician
"I was convinced that sometimes the humblest and most anonymous individual could represent the high ideal of a great nation."

Halide Edip Adivar was a pretty incredible woman. Novelist, eduactor, fighter for women's rights and the Nationalist movement in Turkey, but writing was most important to her. To me, the urge to write is central to feminism. We need to document the reality of women's lives, because so much of what is written is so wrong. I haven't read any of Halide Edip Adivar's writing, although now I want to (I keep saying that, I probably never will). And her reality would not have been the reality of all, or most, Turkish women, but it sounds like a important start.

Because she was middle-class educated, and spent time in Europe, it is tempting to compare her to Western feminists of about the same time. I think it's interesting that she divorced her husband, when he took a second wife, I'm not sure how common that was common among western feminists until much later.

Conclusion: I don't know enough about the history of Turkey to know what I think of the Nationalist movement she was involved in. But I don't think it matters, she started "Society for the Elevation of Women", she organised women, in evaluating a feminist that has to be a starting point.

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