Duvar English

Fatih Erbakan, the son of former Islamist prime minister Necmettin Erbakan and chairman of the New Welfare Party (“Yeniden Refah Partisi”), has been ridiculed for his remarks on renowned French writer Simone de Beauvoir.

Erbakan claimed during a TV program aired on Haber Global on Sept. 10 that Beauvoir is a “bisexual man.” Erbakan made the comments while answering TV presenter Jülide Ateş’s question on why he is against the landmark Istanbul Convention.

Erbakan indicated that many philosophers, including Beauvoir, developed a social gender theory in the early 1900s, which he said he was against.

“One of them is French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, a bisexual man, who also suggested a social gender theory in 1949. Beauvoir says the sex that one is born with does not matter and the person can adopt the roles of the other sex in time,” Erbakan said.

Beauvoir laid the foundation for the modern feminist movement. Also an existentialist philosopher, Beauvoir famously claimed that one is not born, but rather becomes a woman, and that “social discrimination produces in women moral and intellectual effects so profound that they appear to be caused by nature.”

A number of religious and ultra-conservative groups in Turkey are against the Istanbul Convention for its definition of the term “gender.” The convention defines “gender” as “the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men.” Religious groups refute this definition of gender as a “social construct.”