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Turkey's Necropolitical LaboratoryDemocracy, Violence and Resistance$
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Banu Bargu

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474450263

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474450263.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Proper Subjects of Gendered Necropolitics: A Case of Constructed Virginities in Turkey

Proper Subjects of Gendered Necropolitics: A Case of Constructed Virginities in Turkey

(p.118) Six Proper Subjects of Gendered Necropolitics: A Case of Constructed Virginities in Turkey
Turkey's Necropolitical Laboratory

Elif Savaş

Edinburgh University Press

Is virginity the glorified signifier of proper and disciplined female subjectivity or is it the site of resistance and sabotage of the hegemonic gender norms? Focusing on hymen reconstruction operations (hymenoplasty) in Turkey and conceptualising them as medico-political assemblages, this chapter explores how virginity is understood and constructed in Turkey and the kinds of female subjectivity configured through these operations. Framing hymen reconstruction cases and virginity within the problematic of necropolitics helps us understand how the enemies to be expunged from the unfolding gendered regime and ideology in Turkey are defined and how the boundaries of a realm where an authorized female subject – the virgin – can dwell are reconstructed. The chapter focuses on the metaphorical death of the (female) subject as a result of the appropriation of its most defining features, such as autonomy on her own body, which renders her a threatening subject when she is not ‘the virgin.’ Thinking about hymen reconstruction as an example of necropolitical performance, this chapter analyses the possible meanings of the death of virginity within the medico-political assemblages of Turkey.

Keywords:   gendered necropolitics, metaphorical death, necropolitical sabotage, hymenoplasty, hymen, medico-political assemblages, weaponization of virginity, honor-killing, virginity examinations

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