Thank you to the Turkish men who are wearing miniskirts to fight for women’s rights. You all are a perfect example of what the #HeforShe movement is all about.

We hear it time and time again “Girl found raped and killed because she was wearing a short skirt”. What these horrible, false, and sexist headlines do is wrongly blame the victim for the attack. The reports make it seem as if it was the victim’s fault for being attacked, and that if they had chosen to wear a different outfit then this wouldn’t have happened to them. That is absolute bullshit. I use the terms “their” and “they” because anyone of any gender can be raped or be a rapist. It is not a phenomenon that is limited to women even though the media coverage related to these cases often is.

Let me be clear about my position here: Short skirts DO NOT cause rape. Rapists cause rape, NOT the person who was raped. There is no way to “rationalize” a rape EVER.

No_MiniLately there has been a lot of attention in the media surrounding gender equality. On September 20, 2014 UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson spoke about the HeForShe campaign at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

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In her speech Watson states, ” feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes” (Emma Watson). Furthermore she makes a great point that gender equality is an issue for men too. Men are also equally ” imprisoned by gender stereotypes” (Watson). She urges ” men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too—reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves” ( Watson).

‘For the full transcript of her speech look here:

http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/9/emma-watson-gender-equality-is-your-issue-too

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Ozgecan Aslan isa 20-year-old student in Turkey who was murdered while trying to defend herself from being sexually assaulted by a minibus driver on Wednesday February 11th 2015 (Stampler). Her body was then mutilated and burned in an “attempt to hide DNA evidence” (Stampler). Even though there s evidence that places her murderer at the scene of the crime, there is a high chance that this vile person will be able walk away from this scotfree or with a mild penalty. This is because the Turkish penal codes ” implicitly or explicitly accuses the victim of provoking her attacker” (Asquith).

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On February 21st 2015 men all over Turkey and Azerbaijan protested violence against women in the region by wearing miniskirts. ” On Wednesday, a group of men in Azerbaijan are believed to have started the hashtag  #ozgecanicinminietekgiy, which translates to ‘wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan’. Since then, the hash tag has become viral.” (Stampler). A male participant of this protest wrote on the Facebook page for this movement that, “If a miniskirt is responsible for everything, if [wearing] a miniskirt means immorality and unchastity, if a woman who wears a miniskirt is sending an invitation about what will happen to her, then we [the male protesters] are also sending an invitation!” (Stampler).

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The men who are participating in this protest are a great example of what the #HeforShe movement and feminism is all about: solidarity, support, and equality for all genders. In Watson’s words these men are ” taking up this mantle” of equality. They went out of their ways to stand up for the belief that the women in their country shouldn’t be hurt because of what they wear. They are standing up and saying that every woman should have the same right as they do to walk around during the day no matter how they are dressed and not suffer from harassment or violence.

So thank you men of Turkey. You have given me hope that there still are good people in this world.

TIME

Men throughout Turkey and neighboring Azerbaijan are donning miniskirts to honor Özgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old student who was allegedly murdered after fighting off a sexual assault by a minibus driver.

After Aslan’s burned body was found by a riverbed, the BBC reports, young people in Turkey were galvanized to protest violence against women. And these protests took place both on the streets and on the Internet:

On Wednesday, a group of men in Azerbaijan are believed to have started the hashtag #ozgecanicinminietekgiy, which translates to “wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan.” Since then, the hashtag has become viral.

A related Facebook page for participants explains, “If a miniskirt is responsible…

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