Susma Bitsin (Speak Up To End) Platform
To alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 policies, many initiatives have been developed by civil society organisations – NGOs, local governments, or citizens. A team of national researchers from the RESISTIRÉ project has collected and highlighted a set of particularly relevant initiatives in 27 European countries and in Iceland, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. These Better Stories currently cover eight specific domains: gender-based violence, the labour market, the economy, gender-pay and pension gaps, gender care gaps, decision-making and politics, environmental justice, human and fundamental rights.
This Better Story was collected by Kristen Biehl.
The Susma Bitsin (Speak Up To End) platform is a feminist solidarity network founded to combat sexual harassment and discrimination in the film, television and theatre industries.
A platform to fight sexual harassment and discrimination in the film, television and theatre industries
The Susma Bitsin (Speak Up To End) platform is a feminist solidarity network founded to fight sexual harassment and discrimination in the film, television and theatre industries. At the first peak of the MeToo movement in Turkey, after a well-known actor was accused of sexual harassment by a female assistant on set during the shooting of a popular TV series (Yasak Elma), a group of feminist directors and producers working in the Turkish film industry, who called themselves “Purple Producers”, issued a public notice that they would not work with the harasser in their own productions. After the second high-profile disclosure by another actress in a TV series (Elit İşcan), the hashtag #susmabitsin (speak to end it) was created by feminists and quickly became a trending topic. However, this hashtag was also taken to the next level, when women working in the industry created an independent platform called “Susma Bitsin” to fight against sexual harassment and discrimination on film and theatre stages. Within a short period of time, the Susma Bitsin platform has brought together women working and studying in the field of film and theatre under its roof, with the number reaching around 300 women.
A safe space where women can share their experiences of sexual harassment
The Susma Bitsin platform stands in solidarity with women and LGBTIQ+ people working in film, television and theatre, not only in front of the screen but also behind the scenes. She points out that the platform tries to create safe spaces for women to share their experiences of sexual harassment. It also organises closed online meetings for the collective empowerment of women, attends hearings of women who are taking their cases to court and launches online awareness campaigns against mobbing, sexual harassment and assaults that take place in their sectors.
Extending the action to other sectors
Susma Bitsin, while continuing to focus on women facing sexual harassment in film, television and theatre, is creatively adapting its strategies to form feminist alliances with women seeking support, creating spaces for collective empowerment for many of them and encouraging formations such as Susma Bitsin among women’s and LGBTIQ+ groups working in other fields. Many women’s groups, inspired by their alliance with the Susma Bitsin platform, have started to form their own solidarity groups or units against sexual harassment and discrimination in their own institutions or sectors.
Image by Susma Bitsin