The following is a little known story about a self-described “radical activist” women from Washington D.C. who fell in love with a Muslim man and moved with him to Turkey believing they would live happily ever after, only to find herself trapped in a never ending nightmare of brutality, rape and subjugation.
Lacy Macauley, who describes herself as a radical feminists and activist speaking out against male dominance and “patriarchy”. She fell in love with a Turkish man who she thought shared her feminists values, only to find that once she moved with him to Turkey, the reality was quiet the opposite.
Maybe I reached too high, and had too far to fall. It has been two months since my return to the US. Intimate partner violence, or domestic abuse, was something I never imagined that I would stumble into. But misogyny and patriarchy run deep, especially in Turkey, and I found myself in a bad situation.
Well Lacy, if you would have examined facts without a leftist bias, then you would have already known that Islamic countries are certainly not famous for women’s rights or feminist views. Ironically, Lacy does not state a supposed reason why misogyny and patriarchy runs so deep in Turkey, and many Middle Eastern countries, but readers can infer the connections for themselves.
I am a radical activist based in Washington DC. I fell in love with an energetic, charismatic activist I met in November when I was present to write about resistance to the G20 Summit, a global event in Antalya, Turkey. After I came home to the US, we talked every day. He was lovely and charming, I thought at the time. He offered a ready smile, engaging kindness, and intelligent conversation. He said all the right things to convince me that he cared about women’s rights and activism. In February, I decided to return to Turkey with the promise of love driving me forward. I couldn’t have known things would turn sour.
In fact, with a little bit of research into the restrictions that women have to deal with in most Islamic countries, Lacy would have known full well what she was committing to while staying in Turkey.
Lacey’s “love story” started out fine, for the first few weeks at least, until she wanted to interview a local woman that her boyfriend did not approve of.
Then came our first fight. I had wanted to interview a local woman for an article on Syrian refugees. He did not approve. He knew the woman and did not like her, so he strictly forbade me from speaking with her. After I questioned his rationale, he yelled and stormed out of the room to go smoke a cigarette. I just stood in the middle of the room not knowing what to do. Of course, as a Western woman, no one had ever forbidden me from speaking with anyone else. It was a strange feeling: Don’t I have a mouth to speak? Why can I not use it as I wish?
This is elementary feminism. No man has the power to silence a woman, just because he is a man. How far backwards things would slide in the coming weeks.
Things deteriorated rapidly. His insecurity and childishness got worse. In the following weeks, I was violently pushed, blocked from leaving freely, and repeatedly told not to speak. If I spoke anyway, anger erupted. I endured threats that I would be burnt with cigarettes, flinching as he “faked” with his lit cigarette. I had to duck to avoid having sharp objects thrown at my face. I had water angrily poured over my head.
Violence and suppression of Lacy’s rights were just the beginning, as her lover seemed to have no concept of the word “consensual”. Lacy describes her experiences with him as “rape”.
Unwanted sex? Rape? All the time. He did not stop to determine whether I consented to sex. Several times, he turned off my wifi and lied about it, a modern-day form of gaslighting. He verbally criticized me for using social media, my main link to the rest of my life back in the US, and tried to discourage me from using it. He forced me to unfriend one Turkish man on Facebook, and wanted me to unfriend many more.
All the while, he drank heavily every day. I tried to pretend that everything was okay, that these challenges were minor, that I just needed to grin and bear it and try to get my work done. I told myself that this would not be permanent, that I just need to endure. Even though things got progressively worse, each time I looked to the horizon. I put silver linings on all of the clouds.
But, like any good leftist activist, she refused to see the reality of the situation she had gotten herself into, apparently convinced that every country in the Middle East is just as accepting and tolerant as Western countries.
Finally, Lacy realized that nothing was going to change for the better. In fact, her relationship with this Turkish man was only getting worse. She made the mistake of threatening to call the police on him and reporting domestic abuse, not realizing that she would not be taken seriously by Turkish law enforcement, and her boyfriend rightly explained that he would simply talk his way out of it.
I finally caught up with him and told him once and for all to return my bag so that I could go back to our room, in his friend’s apartment, and collect my things so that I could leave him. He refused to tell me his friend’s home address, phone number, or even last name so that I could contact the friend and access my luggage. Then he threatened to steal all of my luggage and bring it back with him across the country, all the way from Istanbul to Antalya.
When I threatened to call the police, he gave me the most evil eye and told me that domestic abuse was not taken seriously in Turkey. He said, accurately, that we would likely both wind up in jail if I did that, and he would simply talk his way out of the situation. After all, I had no bruises or broken bones, and with his silver (forked) tongue he could easily talk his way out of the situation. How dare he discuss these injustices now, I thought, injustices that he had learned from his feminist friends, in order to perpetrate his own male violence against me. But I knew that he was right.
Fortunately for Lacy she was eventually able to escape the country, but not before her Turkish boyfriend repeatedly stole her belongings and threatened her in order to force her to stay with him. She also noted how she saw very few women on the streets alone, and rarely were they out after dark.
You can read the rest of Lacy’s eye-opening experience on her achieved blog here. Ironically, at the end she states that her story was not accepted on a blog for Personal Domestic Violence Stories due to “political content”, which is her reason for posting on a personal blog. Perhaps she should’ve realized that some of these leftist “women’s rights” groups only care about abuse when it fits their narrative, and her story about horrific abuse at the hands of a Turkish man while living in Turkey would likely be deemed too “racist”.
Although Lacy will undoubtedly continue her “radical” activism, convinced that reality can not possibly be different from her liberal beliefs, the story outlines how naive perceptions of the world and different cultures, assuming all countries are tolerant and liberated like the West, can lead to a horrific experience. Lucy was lucky that she escaped her captor, but many other women are not so fortunate.
However, by researching facts about women’s rights in Islamic countries, rather than succumbing to emotional rhetoric, these types of experiences can be prevented.