Chapter

Gender, Reforms, and Modernity

Mushirul Hasan

in Between Modernity and Nationalism

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780198063322
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080502 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198063322.003.0003
Gender, Reforms, and Modernity

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This chapter focuses on Halide’s commitment to gender justice, an engagement deepened by a new ideological framework which developed in line with the period’s emerging nationalism. Halide wrote prolifically on women’s liberation from the shackles of unjust religious, cultural, social expressions and practices. While Islam was a meaningful part of her make-up and she believed that gender egalitarianism in the Quran and the traditions (ahadith,) would lead to equality of sexes, she preferred arguing outside the Islamic discursive framework so that her women-friendly thesis influenced the Republic’s official history during the 1930s. Halide maintained that women were an organic part of society; she is Nature’s means of producing life and preventing its stagnation. Her novel The Clown and his Daughter (published in Turkish as Sinekli Bakkal) received the Republican People’s Party’s prize for the best novel in 1942, and became an all-time best seller in Turkish literature.

Keywords: Halide Edip; women’s liberation; Islam; gender egalitarianism; gender justice; Sinekli Bakkal; Turkish literature

Chapter.  13131 words. 

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