And our Imbecile of the Week is …
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc who decreed that women should not laugh in public … a statement that set of howls of derision!
In a speech this week about “moral corruption” in Turkey, the numpty said:
Chastity is so important. She will not laugh in public.
Mr Bull in a Ring’s kaka prompted an almighty backlash from women on social media in Turkey, with thousands posting photos of themselves laughing and smiling on Twitter and Instagram.
There have been more than 300,000 tweets using the term “kahkaha” – the Turkish word for “laughter” – on the hashtags “Resist Laughter” (#direnkahkaha) and “Resist Woman” (#direnkadin).
Many suggested the government should focus on issues like rape, domestic violence and the marriage of girls at a young age – rather than women laughing in public.
Said writer and political commentator Ece Temelkuran, who has almost one million followers on Twitter:
It was an extremely outrageous and conservative statement.
She was among the first to tweet an image of herself smiling – and encouraged other women to do the same.
My whole timeline was full of women laughing – which was extraordinary, and kind of beautiful.
On Instagram it was a similar story.
Said 23-year-old Hazal Naz Besleyici who posted a photo of herself with a broad grin in response to the comments.
I’m free and whether I laugh or not is my decision. They should not interfere in our life.
Many men in Turkey have joined in the criticism of the deputy prime minister.
Tweeted Fatih Portakal, a famous Turkish TV presenter.
Oh God, let this be just a joke. If women can’t laugh in public, then men should not cry in public.
This was reference to the Deputy PM’s reputed propensity to shed a tear when listening to speeches by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan himself prompted a similar reaction in Turkey two years ago when he referred to abortion as “murder”. Many women posted photos of their stomachs to social media, with the words:
My body, my decision.
The first round of the presidential election is due on August 10, and among the hundreds of thousands of comments and images about women laughing, was a tweet from one of the contenders challenging Erdogan for the job, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. Clearly seeing an opportunity to seize the mood, he wrote:
More than anything else, our country needs women to smile and to hear everybody’s laughter.
In his speech, the Deputy PM also called on men not to be “womanisers” and blamed TV shows for encouraging teenagers to become “sex addicts”. While the general tide of opinion on social media was damning in response, he did get some support.
One man tweeted to say Arinc was simply trying to uphold “moral values” that form “part of Turkish culture”.
Hat tip: Angela K and Agent Cormac