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The Black and White Trend: Deeprooted Truths


Violence and suppression upon women aren’t a new or latest thing. But this was all back in old times, right? It would be totally fair for us to expect fair and equal treatment in the ‘advanced’ 21st century. Well, women suffer the exact same way, the exact same extent as they did before…


Aanchal Bansal

CA Finalist

In recent times, amongst the cooking and reading trends of the lockdown, a newer trend emerged. The new ‘post a black and white picture of yourself and write challenge accepted’ trend. This went viral among women, for whom the trend was intended.

Days went by with all of us seeing such black and white pictures on our Instagram stories and feeds. Later during the time, while this was ‘trending’, out came some posts about people trying to inform citizens about WHY they’re posting such pictures. How it was all part of a bigger, greater motive.

Violence and suppression upon women aren’t a new or latest thing. It is something that dates back to even a pre-British rule era if we speak specifically of India. And not only in India, but women have been oppressed throughout the world. If we are to talk about even a country like the United States of America, back in 1848, the first wave of feminism hit the US when certain female members were not allowed to be seated in an anti-slavery convention merely because they were women.

Women had to fight their way to achieving the right to vote back in France, popularly known as women’s suffrage.

But this was all back in old times, right? It would be totally fair for us to expect fair and equal treatment in the ‘advanced’ 21st century. Well, allow me to burst a bubble for you. Women suffer the exact same way, the exact same extent as they did before. There are still people out there who think women are inferior, or not as smart. Jobs still don’t pay women wages equal to a man for the same work, and women are still seen as people who ‘sacrifice’ because it’s their duty.

And if all this wasn’t enough, women are being killed. Yes, that’s what the whole black and white trend is about. Every day, Turkish women wake up to black and white picture of young Turkish women who have either been brutally murdered or have gone missing. On a rough estimate, approximately 409 women have been murdered, usually by their male partners. Not only this but 387 children have been sexually abused as per a 2017 compilation of data by the group ‘we will stop femicide.’

Talking on a more recent update, in 2019, 474 women were murdered, mostly by partners and relatives. The figures for 2020, affected by Coronavirus lockdowns, are expected to be even higher.

Why this became a global movement is because how women are being treated there is inhuman. I came across this case of a beautiful 27-year-old woman, Pinar Gültekin, who had been first strangled to death by her ex-boyfriend, and further, when the man failed to burn the corpse in a nearby forest, he put it in a bin and filled it with concrete. Thanks to the CCTV footage, that the man was arrested. Imagine if it’s this disturbing for you to read, how disturbing it would be for women actually waking up to this going on around them.

Imagine waking up every single day to such disturbing news, and then constantly living in the fear of a growing ‘femicide’.

Not only this but when these women try to protest and voice their opinions, they’re actually illegally detained and beaten by the policemen. Talk about justice.

This whole Instagram trend was curated to raise awareness about this hellish treatment going on in Turkey. Social media is the most powerful weapon in today’s world. Things go viral in seconds. These women needed an outlet to let the world know that they’re suffering, to let their rage out, to feel like their voice matters.

Exactly like with the coronavirus, those women out there, don’t know who might be the next to go black and white.

External References: www.dw.com; www.theguardian.com

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