turkce links to original Turkish article
(Hurriyet Newspaper, 11 March 2015)
'Musait' is used mostly to mean 'appropriate' or
'convenient' or 'suitable'. As with some words, though,
secondary meanings can get you into big trouble...
The Turkish Language Council (TDK) has defined the word
"musait" in its dictionary as follows: "ready to flirt, one who
flirts easily (woman)". The Istanbul Feminist Collective
publicized this definition on its Facebook page, asking "why is
the word 'woman' in parenthesis for this meaning of 'musait'?
Can't a man be 'musait'? We demand that this sexist statement
be removed forthwith."
The reactions on social media have come like an avalanche. The
President of the Turkey Women's Association Federation, Canan
Gulu, said that the TDK must apologize, adding that "to intimate
that we women are under the umbrella of potential "musaits",
knowing that 50% of this nation is made up of women, and for
a state organization to proffer such a view is gravely serious.
Our populace cannot be this sex-obsessed. Such a decision (to
define 'musait' this way), should not come from a sex-obsessed
While TDK remained silent on the matter, the Language Association
removed the word 'woman' from the definition in its dictionary.
Association president Sevgi Ozel said that as a woman she was
very uncomfortable with the definition but she lamented that
"we didn't notice it. Normally, we remove any and all unequal
definitions from our dictionary. We're very careful about this but
for some reason we missed this one."
Until now, sexism lurking silently, deep in the 'M' pages...