Accepted paper:

ICTs and 'novel' forms of violating bodies and persons: mobile phones and sexual abuse of minors and women in the Turkish context

Authors:

Berna Yazici (Bogazici University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores an invidious use of ICTs, focusing on how mobile phones have been employed to physically violate particular persons and bodies, in this case of minors and women in the Turkish context.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores an unintended and invidious use of ICTs, focusing on how mobile phones have been employed to physically violate particular persons and bodies, in this case of minors and women in the contemporary Turkish context. It focuses on a new proliferating phenomenon, involving cases of minors and women who find themselves in an ongoing cycle of sexual violence perpetuated by either stranger men or intimate partners. What is striking and new is that this sexual violence builds on and is perpetuated by blackmailer men who threaten minors/women to share mobile phone camera images of their naked bodies, sexual conducts (or rapes) on the Internet. This "strategic" deployment of ICTs as vehicles for sexual violence has direct and severe implications for physical health and psycho-social well being. In its most dramatic and extreme form, these implications have been manifest in the suicides (or suicide attempts) of rape victims. This paper builds on the analysis of specific cases of this new form of sexual violence. Moving from the premise that communication technologies gain meaning and use in relation to the larger socio-cultural contexts and political relations of power, the discussion demonstrates how this invidious use of ICTs has been shaped in the Turkish context by the prevailing forms of gendered power structures and norms. It also shows how ICTs have been transforming and acting on this gendered power field and the particular persons and bodies who find themselves as the subjects of a novel form of gendered violence.

panel P28
ICTs, biopolitics and health: making and unmaking bodies and persons in a world of globalised telecommunications