Gozde Kansu dismissal: Women shouldn't lose their jobs for bearing the ‘assets’ they were hired for

The Turkish TV presenter said 'sacrificing' her was the easiest option for producers

Share
Related Topics

In June, a brief media hullabaloo followed the Holly Willoughby ‘boobgate,’ when a relatively small number of complaints were registered to BBC show The Voice about Willoughby’s pre-watershed cleavage. Now, Turkish TV presenter Gozde Kansu has allegedly been sacked from her job on the country’s “Veliaht” show, after the ruling political party AKP branded her outfit “extreme” and “unacceptable”.

At the time of the Willoughby debacle, I was surprised to hear some of my own friends agree that her dress was “inappropriate” for children. It was as if her breasts had a life, and a moral currency, entirely of their own and could thus be deemed offensive, in the same way as a presenter’s sexist or racist joke can be. But as her co-host Phillip Schofield pointed out at the time, via a tweet, the same parents would presumably not baulk at taking their children to a beach where there would be much more superfluous flesh on show than in a single plunging neckline.

It seems depressing that while the media is partly dominated by a healthy debate of the issues behind female representation – from the No More Page 3 campaign and the lads’ mags modesty debate to the roles available to female actors and presenters after a certain age – the women who are granted a less controversial public visibility are being harangued for what they wear.

It bears pointing out that both women were wearing dresses that must have been chosen for them by a stylist or wardrobe department and given the green light, directly or indirectly, by a host of directors, producers and co-workers. Then again, these are the sorts of entertainments programs that excel in manipulating contestants and audiences alike, by putting a premium on provocative twists and strong emotions. It seems that even the professional integrity of the presenters is liable to get caught up in this emotional crossfire; Kansu told Turkish news that “Sacrificing” her was the easiest option for producers, because she is just another woman.

It doesn’t seem like a great incentive to enter the industry when older women are pushed out, only for producers to end up in trouble for overexposing the physical assets that younger models have presumably been hired for. However, in an industry where nearly half of the workforce has undertaken unpaid work in order to climb the greasy TV pole and over 50% are freelance, it seems unlikely that a bit of hypocrisy is going to abate the constant flow of eager, young replacements.

Thankfully, Britain is a country where women can wear what they want. Yet once again, these scandals imply that where the female body is concerned, these freedoms have a limit. When women are criticised for wearing revealing clothes – whether it is for propagating rape or misleading children – it is it is not about breasts, it is about ideology. And when someone is losing their job over it – particularly through intervention from the political sphere – it is also about rights.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Tony Abbott: A man most Australian women would like to pat on the back...iron in hand

Caroline Garnar
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performs in California  

Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting

Yomi Adegoke
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there