Friday, July 27, 2007

Women, always women...


This billboard caused a public outcry in the Netherlands. Not because of religious reasons, but for Dutch, this kind of advertisement is an insult to our national IQ and how we see women. And keep in mind, the Netherlands is the only country in the world which has a Union for Prostitutes...so beware, you can be sued by them for various reasons...)) To keep them as friends, make a donation through their web site..))
Lately there was a similar outcry in Turkey about billboards with women in bikini. And that the AK party wants to introduce sharia in Turkey...
Now you see that we Dutch are far more conservative than the Turks..))

Anyway, below some well dressed women on billboards...in Lebanon, made by a fellow Dutch blogger over there.

I go for the Blue car...


She....she scares me..))


No time to look carefully, since it's put near a highway...

27 comments:

Nihat said...

Hans, I didn't understand why the outcry was for then... Female figure is no longer a lust object for the Dutch. The billboard depicts a pretty good female figure. There is a public outcry caused by it. So, the lustful Dutch are unsatisfied with it, want more or something else altogether?.. What was the outcry for really?

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Dear Nihat,
A Dutch company put this billboard in the central city of Utrecht in the Netherlands.
We have a coalition now between the socialists of the PvdA, and the long term rulers of the CDA - Cristian democrats,- but also with the small progressive Christian party of the CU, the latter protested that 'women' are exposed as a lust object.
I agree with them, since sales are not going through someone's libido.
Alcohol restrictions are more restricted in North Europe than in TR. But still, the Turkish secularist use this as a weapon against Ak party.
Again, Ak is doing well on natioal level but terrible on local level.
Kindest

Nihat said...

Now, I am quite surprised to hear that the outcry had to do with both religion and women as a lust object. I had thought you were saying it was for neither. Anyways...

Regarding regulation of alcohol and drinking establishments, AKP (or any responsible party) could have posed it as a secular question, and answered it on a case-by-case basis as it should be. Like, are you selling/serving alcohol to underage people? Are you causing disturbances to your neighborhood? Et cetera. If yes, you're closed for this long and fined this much on the first offense. On the second offense, penalties go up; on the third, you lose your license for good. Or this is a residential or school neigborhood, so you can only operate during these hours. You are attracting too much traffic and unruly drunkards to this residential area, so you have to close down or move to some place else, or get your patrons under control. Actually, I bet there were municipal regulations like these before AKP came to the fore. Were they not enforced despite violations and complaints? I cannot know for sure. But I understand from what I hear, AKP municipalities (may have) attempted to introduce such enforcement as though from out of principles specific to their religious views, and maybe not on a case-by-case basis. Like pressuring, with thuggish threats at times and places, establishments on neigborhoods with several decades of alcohol serving histories. What I heard may not be all true or far, but AKP may have felt between a rock and a hard place, i.e., their rhetoric and political-religious base. But hey, that's how mixing religion and politics starts to cause problems. You don't get serenity or freedom of choice when too many people believe or are led to believe all morality lies in religion and only in religion, and secularism equals immorality.

Hans said...

Nihat,
Alcohol regulations in NW Europe are more strict than in TR.
Its almost 3am, I have to be by my in laws in 8 hrs...
Laters
Kindest

Nihat said...

Okay Hans. Have fun with in-laws.

But a comparison of snapshots of two regions won't shed any light on the relative place and position of secularism in those two reigons. The dynamics, rationale and motives behind those snapsahot are important. That's what I am saying.

Good night or good day, depending on when you open this up.

Hans said...

Nihat, the small christian party brough this up.
But most people don't like these kind of backwardsa advertising.
Unlike Turkey, we went in the 60ties through an emancipation movement. Gender equality is natural, and by law enforced.
Most ads (political ones) in Turkey would face sanctions of the Advertisment Ethical code commision, as I worked in advertisment there as well..))

Nihat said...

Hans, I realize you have quite wise in-laws (no pun intended) from your recountings at Emre's place. Lucky man.

About the bilboard thing, I guess I now understand what you wanted to say. All fine...

Hans said...

Nihat, yes, they are well travelled and open minded. And sincery in their opinion. I remember that they were very concerned in the beginning about...me, if I could fit in the Turkish society..))
But they are my family, and always open to new ideas. We had a wonderful chat. And it was striking how curious they are about a 'foreigner' his opinion.
At least, they agreed with me that the DSP leader Sezer is the guy who can bring CHP back..))
I am finalizing my article about Cross Cultural communication..))
I changed the settings, everybody can post without moderation, didnt ask Yasemin tough...hope she will agree. But as you can see on a post of earlier this month, I got an Armenian Internet terrorist on my neck..((

Nihat said...

I didn't notice the terrorist on your neck. The world is such a cynical place full of many one-dimensional people. I presume the guy just couldn't stomach your being friendly with Turks, irrespective of whether you are critical about them or Turkey on many matters. So many of them on the Internet... no surprises there.

Glad that comment moderation is off. I guess, one can always choose to warn/ignore the occasional nutjob, or deny access to him if insistent.

Hans said...

Dear Nihat,
In fact it is a strange fact: I wrote 20 columns, and got a lot of Greek Ortodox on my neck (I agree that I made a mistake by stating that Greek Ortodox can not marry a Catholic) And got both Turkish and Greek Cypriots on my neck when I wrote about Cyprus. Also, when I wrote 'democide' instead of Genocide, I got the fury of some Armenians.
At least, while during an 'Ouzo' session in Athens some months ago, we all agreed that attacking (young) Turkish people about what happened or not happened between 1890 -1923 is not justified. Had some conversations with Armenians as well, and understand their suffering. But its not a reason for internet terror and personal attacks, neither - and more important - political propaganda. The Dashjaks are still out there, and with the Turkish MHP, the both have one thing in common: neo nationalism. And for sure, that will not bring peace.
I only hope that Hranc Dink death will bring reconcilation. And finally enlight the world wad happened.

Hans said...

...the strange fact was and is: never got a Turk in my neck, altough I was and am critical..))

Nihat said...

Re: "the strange fact was and is: never got a Turk in my neck, altough I was and am critical."

I always believed our national education had been tradionally measured, respectable, and true to Ataturk's nation-state ideal with its motto "peace at home, peace in the world." I am not going to glorify this, there certainly are some white-washings and things like that (who doesn't have that though?). But it used to churn out thoughtful and open-minded people (look at grandma-in-law and younger in-laws, right?); I am no longer as certain of the more recent products unfortunately.

Hans said...

Dear Nihat,
The main reason that Turks didn't complain was that they didnt have a reason to complain..))
Second: many Turkish people are shy to talk on internet freely. Often due to a lack of knowledge of a foreign language. And when obtained, still to shy to use it.
50% of the Turkish academica (Msc) don't speak a foreign language and 60% of them never went abroad...
Now, I am curious where you are located..))
Kindest

Nihat said...

I am not sure about what you say here makes sense.

So, you didn't give Turks reason to complain; your criticism were well-reasoned? And your criticisms of other groups were not? So you gave them reason?

I really can't follow you, Hans. You keep jumping from the absolute to the relative, from there back to the absolute.

You have on the Internet awful lot of Turks writing in English mostly, fluently and effectively (English is what I know, hence what I care to follow; there might as well be activity in other languages). I saw you being harrassed at American Turk's place, for example. But it was not an act of getting on your neck per se, but a reasoned harrassment, if not entirely fair or right. Location matters little imo. (Not to conceal where I am; I'm smack in the middle of the US of A.)

Hans said...

Are you smack or stuck in the middle of the USA..))

Turkish people have reason to complain, like the Dutch also have.
But, for different reasons. And in fact, we all can complain. This makes Phytagoras a idiot..))

But its all about the populistic factor, which I don't take anymore.
The USA and Turkey are quite the same in this, and can go hand in hand walking the road.
My problem is, knowing and living in both countries for almost 10 years: Europeans are different.
In fact I am saying: Turkish journalist still don't know what a liberal means in USA, in compare those who call tem selve liberal in the Netherlands, the UK or Germany..
Location matters. Also, if you travel, your eyes will see things you never saw before.
Ever walked in Gizeh or the beautiful offer piramids of Teotihuacan? Been there. And doesnt make sense to write my name with a message 'we Dutch are the most cultivated on earth'...((
In other words: I am a human, a Catholic, married with a Turk, a Muslem one. But we dont brag about our history. We talk about what we can do together. In contrary with a newspaper as Hurriyet, which wants to fuel anger, hate, rascism etc...(((
He, I have to help out a police officer of Izmir rearding his application forms for UN. He was based in Kosovo...
Kindest

Nihat said...

Yeah, I have a close friend here, he is very independent-minded and intelligent. So, I respect him dearly. Yet he hates liberals (American kind though), sometimes I feel he is being irrational. Early on, in our conversations, he used to always give me sour look and make a face when I referred to a Turkish politician or party as left, center-left, social democrat, or liberal (I know how rare an animal liberal was and is in Turkey; so please, no more lectures).

One's life experience (what has been seen) of course matters.

I think you're right about the similarities between the USA and Turkey. Though I don't think this is a bad thing necessarily. Especially regarding religion-secularism debate, I happen to think the US model is a lot more promising than the present French model. (Isn't Mustafa Akyol giving you an earful on that account?) But, of course, no stable solution will be reached by approaching the question in the abstract, from the angle of this or that model.

Hans said...

Nihat,
USA politics are full with releigion rhetoric.
Thenordic countries and the Netherlands have almost the same system on all levels.
I think that our way of a secular driven country is a bench mark.

Nihat said...

Hans, can you clarify?

The American religiosity is undeniable. Yet they have strong secular traditions. With a simple constitutional article, they managed to keep church and state separate, and most of the people happy.

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

On the other hand, we have our laicite, said to be based on the French model (with a Jacobin) attitude. This is admittedly in crisis.

Now, what the model prevalent in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands? What is your way of a secular driven country? You say, it's a benchmark. You also make it clear that you don't like Turkish practice (if not principles). As it also appears, you don't like the American way. So, I really would like to understand what this Nordic/Dutch way.

Hans said...

Nihat,
In September 2000, I asked the parents of mmy by then girl friend who were living in San Antonion TX, to drive to Austin.
On the Governors building, and in fact everywhere is written: In God we Turst...
Ever saw a dollar coin without that..))
The difference is that we put in practice what the Americans are saying that they put IT in practice.
The difference is that Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands have a head of State, which is highly symbolic, but so important for the imago of the country.
Ever watched the ceremony of the Nobel Price..))
The Constitional monarchy we have, is important. I put the point in my column of March 1 2007 iin TDN and Turkey's Weekly: My queen and my Country.
Type my name in Google and you will see it...

Nihat said...

I think, I had read that column of yours.

I don't think your perspective is helpful or meaningful in the Turkish context. We can't go back, and reinstitute monarchy. The poor people of the world who don't enjoy the presence and guidance of a monarch, will try to make do.

Nihat said...

And the constitutional republic is important, too. I don't have a column to put this in, but do I have to.

How does any of this answer the present questions Turkey is facing?

Nihat said...

Also, although there is a lot of Americans not happy with religion's increasing influence in politics, that "in God we trust" saying plastered on big buildings and on ther money is, practically speaking, a non-issue in America. With or without it, there is secularism here, different than what you seem to like and what Turkey has.

Hans said...

Nihat,
I never stated that Turkey has to switch to a monarchy. But it works in Nordic countries, and will never works in the ME.

The most important issue for Turkey is reconcilation in general, and get rid of the 'paranoide mentatility'.

Turks can do much better but it looks like they are still shooting itself in their feets all the time.
Stability therefore is so important now.

mirdifderya said...

I am not getting involved with the comments above but I know one thing from being ex-hotelier and my husband always say: 'Sex sales':)

You can even find naked beach in Turkey or get suntan topless but you can't even do that in Italy, at the end all religious acts..

Hans said...

Derya,
The first time I visited Italy was as a baby in 1962...))
There are nude beaches every where, even beaches 'for women' only..))
I am Made in Italy..))
South Italy is like Bodrum...
women are hassled all the time, even my sister of 49 last year..))
Kindest

mirdifderya said...

Sorry I didn't know, Some italian friend of mine told me that, I guess they don't know too:)

if you are made in Italy:)you are half italian then, lucky Ozlem:)

My husband is half German, half English, my kids are: half German,English, Cypriot, Turkish,Uzbek then:)

Hans said...

sounds that they will learn a lot of languages..)))