Within a short period of time, these parallel Twitter campaigns took hold in two undeniably different countries: The United States and Turkey. #YesAllWomen emerged after the brutal killings of six UC Santa Barbara students in May 2014. #Sendeanlat (you tell your story too) spread throughout Turkey following the assault and murder of Ozgecan Aslan in February 2015. Both served as platforms for women to share their stories and experiences of sexism, including harassment and gender-based violence.
These parallel campaigns show that there is a transnational conversation to be had about women’s experiences. Women around the world have stories to tell, to each other and to society.
We will contribute to this dialogue through a 39-minute, entirely bilingual documentary highlighting the common ground in women’s experiences in the US and Turkey. Though these two countries are longtime political allies, opportunities for exchange between everyday citizens – let alone women– are rare, and assumptions abound on both sides. This is the first documentary bridging Turkish and American feminism and the first to address these Twitter parallels. It is an important addition to the conversation around women’s rights in an increasingly global and social-media oriented world.
Using these social movements as an entry point, we will interview academics, activists, and everyday people from LA to Ankara. Through these exchanges we will explore larger questions about women in society, touching on women’s morality, human rights, and gendered experiences of the world.
Just as the Twitter campaigns exposed common experiences with ‘everyday sexism,’ we will underscore that women throughout Turkey and the US have similar experiences with patriarchy — that when we say “yes all women,” we do mean all women, regardless of language or location. Our goal is to highlight such common experiences, share women’s stories, and spark a truly international dialogue on women today.