A terrible thing happened to this 20-year-old woman. They're trying to let the whole world know.

There's a serious message behind that skirt.

What can people do when terrible things happen and the law doesn't respond?

Trigger warning: Descriptions of violence against women follow.


They can put on skirts and get out in the streets!


Turkey has a problem. A big problem.

Most recently, this problem claimed the life of 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan.

She was the last person on a minibus traveling across the city of Mersin in southern Turkey on Feb. 11. The young student never made it home. It's believed that the driver attempted to rape her, and when she fought back and used pepper spray, he murdered her. With the help of his father and a friend, he attempted to hide DNA evidence by cutting off her hands and burning her body.

Özgecan's murder is just one among many.

23 Turkish women were killed in incidents of domestic violence in February 2015 alone.

300 women were murdered there last year.

But these killings receive little media or political attention. What's worse, the criminals do not pay.

Turkish men, literally, get away with murder.

Although some laws on the books in Turkey protect women, loopholes allow judges (usually male) to regularly reduce sentences for perpetrators.

Murderers of women are not fully prosecuted for their crimes.

In fact, women are routinely accused of being responsible for the crimes against them. In 2009, after a 17-year-old girl was found stabbed to death and dismembered in a trash can, the Turkish prime minister at the time referred to a Turkish proverb: "If a girl is left unattended by her family, she will run away either to a drummer or a trumpeter."

Ms. Aslan's death rallied crowds of protesters in cities across the country in February.

The hashtag #OzgecanAslan was tweeted more than 3 million times, and an online petition calling for harsh punishment against her attackers gathered almost 1 million signatures.

The lack of legal prosecution is just one part of the problem.

Society does not view Turkish women as equal citizens, as individuals with the same rights as men.

Protesters showed their legs as a statement against the lax prosecution of violent perpetrators — but also against negative cultural attitudes toward women in Turkey.

They also wanted women in Turkey to know that they stand in solidarity with them.

Like domestic violence everywhere, the problem needs to be fought at every level. And no one should look the other way.

Recently, female lawmakers introduced bills that would remove the ability of judges to reduce the sentences of men convicted of violence against women. At first, they were ignored, but now they are being reconsidered.

Clearly, if lawmakers really stand by their commitment to combat violence against women in Turkey, they will pass these laws.

We stand with our women! Share this to show your support for the rights of women to feel safe no matter where they live.

More
Alie Ward

Your dinner plate shouldn't shame you for eating off of it. But that's exactly what a set being sold at Macy's did.

The retailer has since removed the dinnerware from their concept shop, Story, after facing social media backlash for the "toxic message" they were sending.

The plates, made by Pourtions, have circles on them to indicate what a proper portion should look like, along with "helpful — and hilarious — visual cues" to keep people from "overindulging."

There are serval different styles, with one version labeling the largest portion as "mom jeans," the medium portion as "favorite jeans," and the smallest portion as "skinny jeans."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

In today's installment of the perils of being a woman, a 21-year-old woman shared her experience being "slut-shamed" by her nurse practitioner during a visit to urgent care for an STD check.

The woman recently had sex with someone she had only just met, and it was her first time hooking up with someone she had not "developed deep connections with."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared