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

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: The rules were simple: before the results are announced, don’t mention the S-word

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Howard Jacobson has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for the second time  

In praise of Howard Jacobson

Simon Kelner
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week