Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > #DİRENHAMİLE: Pregnancy, Morality, and Resisting Discourses of Seclusion at the Gezi Park Protests
pdf

Millions joined Turkey’s 2013 Gezi Park protests, which were characterized by demonstrators’ steady creation of visual materials dissenting against the government. A subsection of pregnant protesters, who in June began tagging social media posts with #DİRENHAMİLE (#RESISTPREGNANT), critiqued both the government’s pronatalism and efforts of social conservatives to keep visibly-pregnant women secluded. This visual culture analysis draws upon semiology and discourse analysis methods to examine two paradoxes complicating #DİRENHAMİLE protest images: First, by leveraging pregnancy to critique pronatalism protesters risked reifying ideas about fertility being the primary source of women’s value. Second, their performances in public spaces critiquing seclusion rhetoric relied not upon assertions of individuality but on traditional social codes honoring mothers as childbearers. I work to better understand the impact #DİRENHAMİLE imagery has on challenging discourses aimed at controlling women’s bodies while accounting for the limitations of activism relying upon entrenched conceptualizations of pregnancy to illustrate its arguments.