"Women are not the equal of men" says President of Turkey

That’s bad enough on its own.

That statement becomes even more ugly when you consider where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan uttered those words:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again waded into controversy on Monday when he told a mostly female audience at a summit on justice for women that women are not equal to men.

That’s right. At a summit on justice for women, those selfsame women have just been told by their President that they are not equal to men.  Surely the President has a strong argument (backed by Olympic-sized swimming pools of evidence) in support of his belief, no? An argument so strong that his critics have no choice but to concede defeat.

Not so much:

“You cannot put women and men on an equal footing,” he said. “It is against nature. They were created differently. Their nature is different. Their constitution is different.”

The good ole argument from nature as justification for denying women equality.  No one in the history of…well…ever, has heard that one (<—snarcasm).  In his eyes,  women can never hope to be the social, political, or economic equals of men.  Because, biology.  But he does think there is something women are good at.  A role that women excel at and which they are born for:

Erdogan, a devout Muslim, said women’s role in society is clear:

“Our religion has defined a position for women: Motherhood. Some people can understand this, while others can’t,” he said. “You cannot explain this to feminists because they don’t accept the concept of motherhood.”

All you women who want to chart the course of your own lives? All you women who want to be mothers and have a career?  Tough luck according to President Erdogan. You are bound by biology and the religion of Islam to be nothing more than mothers.

 ::remembers that Turkey is supposed to be a secular democracy::

I’m sure the women of Turkey have nothing to worry about. I’m sure the President was just voicing his beliefs, and his religious beliefs have no role in crafting public policy. Right?

"Women are not the equal of men" says President of Turkey