Category Archives: divorce

[feminist] “Angel” Melek Karasslan

This is Melek Karasslan. A woman wrote to me today through Facebook, asking me to share this story. As requested, I am not sharing our friend’s name. (I edited for grammar, as English is not her native language)

“A girl died few days ago in Turkey, her name was Melek Karaaslan. She was married when she was 16 years old. She was beaten every day by mother in law, father in law, and her husband. She had her first child while she was 18. But when she was at the end of her pregnancy, her husband kicked her out of her home and she had to give birth to her child outside where it is -30 degrees. Of course, her child died. She took her baby to her husbands house, expecting her husband to [take her back], but she was beaten again. Her father tried to save his daughter from that hell, but Melek’s family and elders told her father that it was a matter of family honour and she had to go back to her husband.

And after this, everything got worse. She locked in bathroom for 3 months, she got weaker every day till dropped to 30 kg from 70 kg. She lost her mind when her brother come to mother in law’s house and found her. She died in a hospital, at 24 years old.

That is a terrible horrible shame for our country.

But if she didn’t get to that hospital [to which she was airlifted from another], we wouldn’t have heard of her at all. That happened in the east side of Turkey. While the west side of Turkey is so modern and respectful to woman, the east is not. Violence against woman in the east is increasing. Our government says that they will do something about this but I don’t believe them.”

I used Google translate to read the story for myself, but it is just the same as our friend wrote. There are no stories/articles about her in English. Please share this story and picture of Melek (which means “Angel” in Turkish), and remember that domestic violence is everywhere in the world. While we often feel that many of the safety nets for battered women are failing, in many places they still do not exist at all. Remember to help the victims of domestic violence in your city, and raise awareness about the victims on the other side of the world.

Turkey can do better than this, and Melek deserved better than this.

[fat] a new diet begins

I’ve joined weight watchers this week. The online food diary from last semester helped me figure out what I should and shouldn’t eat, but somehow weight watchers feels more legitimate?
I have metabolic syndrome, meaning that I have elevated cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, a slow metabolism, elevated blood pressure, and a knack for not ever being able to lose weight. The carrots and hummus diet did nothing. The protein water diet did nothing. So now I’m on to the most legitimate thing I can find online. I weighed in this week at a whopping 220.5 pounds. Standing at just 5 feet and 6 inches tall when I bother to stand straight, my BMI tells me that I’m obese, and that my ideal weight is 125-155. That’s 65.5 pounds to lose. And according to my doctor if I don’t lose it, I’ll be diabetic just like my grandmother. I inherited the huge boobs and bad blood, way to go.

My cortisol levels aren’t terrible right now, but stress and anxiety are words that would best describe the inside of my head. My younger sister has borderline personality disorder, my parents are going through a nasty divorce, and things spiraled out of control over four and a half years ago after my sister was drunk, drugged, and raped by a friend. At the age of 14. Chocolate and beer have been great coping mechanisms, but coupled with stress and a predisposition for diabetes, I backed myself into a cave I’m not sure I can find my way out of.
Cortisol levels screwing up means that my fat doesn’t amass on my arms, legs, belly, and boobs in a somewhat proportional manner. My legs are still as skinny and muscular as when I was swimming and weightlifting at 140 pounds. My arms have a little more fat on them than back when I could bench 95 pounds, which is pretty great for a girl. My boobs now look proportional, now that I’ve had three pounds removed at the age of 16 and they’ve grown back.
My belly looks like I’m pregnant. I bought maternity jeans because they’re the only thing that will fit me besides sweatpants. I don’t get to walk around with a sign that says “I have a thyroid problem. I have severe anxiety. I have a predisposition for diabetes.” I get to appear as the fat blob in my university classes, the girl no one can share clothes with. My weight has begun to affect the way that I can sit and move, and as a former dancer it kills me to feel unable to move easily. It feels as though no matter what I do, what I eat, what I don’t eat, my weight is slowly and surely inching up, and spiraling out of control.
Hopefully the new diet works. Right now my goal is just 209.5, 5% of my weight. And my challenge for the week is to drink all eight glasses of water every day.