The real message has sadly been lost
Trigger warning: Contains information about domestic violence
View this post on Instagram
By now, you may have noticed your Instagram feed awash with women sharing black and white pictures of themselves. While you might have spotted the trend and fobbed it off as nothing but another vanity bandwagon, the true meaning behind this ‘women supporting women’ trend is far from folly.
Jennifer Anniston, Khloe Kardashian, and even Cindy Crawford have all posted a black and white picture. But although the hashtag has made its way onto many A-lister’s profiles, the message behind it has been sadly lost. The DM’s tagging you in the challenge read: “Post a photo in black and white, alone, write ‘challenge accepted’ and add the hashtags. Help spread the love and ask other awesome women to do the same on DMs”, but like with many social media trends, the origin is now largely unknown, like a global game of Chinese whispers.
Of course, this is no one’s fault, we’ve all fallen victim to a social media lure without knowing all the facts. But as we’ve learned in recent months it’s important for us to do our research and fully understand social media fads such as this female empowering one, as it draws a clear line between activism and performativity.
The American University Turkish Cultural Club shared the true meaning behind the challenge on their Instagram stories, with it then being shared by others across the platform in a bid to get the lost message across.
In their story, they explained how the challenge began as a way for Turkish women to raise their voices against domestic abuse and violence, and for women outside of Turkey to stand in solidarity with their sisters.
View this post on Instagram
“Turkey is one of the top countries when it comes to femicides. Just on 2019 we have had almost 500 RECORDED femicides. Sadly many of them remain unrecorded and we have no real number as to how many women are murdered here every year.”
Referring to the reason behind the black and white filter on the pictures, they said:
“Turkish people wake up every day to see a black and white photo of a woman who has been murdered on their Instagram feed, on their newspapers, on their TV screens.”
What’s more than this post explaining the origins of the challenge, many other pages have shared information regarding the Turkish government’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul convention. As outlined by IC Change The Istanbul treaty is:
“The most comprehensive legal framework that exists to tackle violence against women and girls, covering domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation (FGM), so-called honour-based violence, and forced marriage.”
WHAT’S HAPPENING TO TURKISH WOMEN !!! pic.twitter.com/X2a9oR1q2O
— ° 𝓪𝓻𝔀𝓪²⁸ ° #FREEPALESTINE (@1991LOUU) July 28, 2020
Turkish women feel that their lives are now in immediate danger more than ever without legislation written in law to protect them. With 500 recorded deaths via femicide last year, the number of women who face sexual and physical abuse from their partners are shocking as high. In 2009, a study found that a staggering 42% of Turkish women from the ages of 15-60 had suffered some form of abuse from a male, with figures only set to rise.
So, now if you are nominated for the challenge you might like to take the opportunity to share the meaning behind it, showing that we are standing in solidarity with our Turkish sisters.