Nilgün Eroğlu Üstün

Straining the nerves of a feminist

Nilgün Eroğlu Üstün

Education and Science Workers’ Union – Eğitim Sen, Antalya, from the 1990s onwards 

The head of the union came when our conference started, wished us success and then left. Half of our organisation consists of women. Men wish success and leave as if the problem was not about them. They should listen to what the women say. I realised this when I was in the executive committee. Six male colleagues in the executive committee then said, “You women, come together and do what is necessary.” Every time, I said: “We have taken such and such a decision.” they did not listen. After five or six meetings I started to submit everything in written form. I distributed the texts. I also attached the text to the proceedings of the meeting to document what I wanted to say. I did this to force them to listen to me. I had found this tactic to work with men. As the Women’s Secretary, I called working with six men  “straining the nerves of a feminist”.

To read the full text of Nilgün Eroğlu Üstün’s oral history interview of 2016 (in Turkish) click here.