Jineolojî comes from the Kurdish word “Jin”, meaning woman, and the Greek -logos. Pointing out the link between the words “jin” and “jiyan” (life), the term refers to a “science of women” that will guide a new life. It is the culmination of the political thought and praxis of the Kurdish Women’s Movement, setting women’s autonomy and liberation side by side with their national liberation. Jineolojî’s current perspective constitutes one of the founding stones of “Democratic Modernity”, that is, an anti-statist, anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal social organization being put into practice both ideologically and institutionally by the Kurdish Liberation Struggle. Jineolojî argues, like many other feminist analyses, that the dehumanization, subordination, and exploitation of women are intrinsic to hegemonic order based on capitalist colonial modernity. It also aligns with critiques denouncing the positivist, androcentric, and anthropocentric character of Western scientific knowledge that abets the mental and material colonization of women through dichotomies and hierarchies. These hierarchies include femininity-masculinity, human-nature, and object-subject, as well as systematically exclude women’s experiences, ways of knowing and knowledge production. Instead, jineolojî proposes the creation of a new epistemology and methodology that come from Kurdish women’s own words, stories, experiences, and life. This female-centered paradigm is for women to analyze their own reality through methods based on their own mind, body, intelligence, and emotions.
Jineolojî intends to decipher the historical roots of patriarchy and simultaneously uncover women's historical place in society to help reconstruct a free women’s identity. By making a critical reinterpretation of history, mythology, religion, and philosophy, jineolojî seeks to expose the instances in which women were dispossessed of their creations and knowledge structures. They thus became the “first colony” while institutionalized forms of a “dominant male” were being established through the emergence of monotheistic religions, hierarchical societies, the state, and capitalism. Through the same historical excavation, Jineolojî also uncovers the achievements of women and the society created around their labor, knowledge, and ethics. Especially looking back at the Neolithic social organization of Mesopotamia, woven around a mother-goddesses cult of a strong bond between nature-women-life, jineolojî aims to recover other kinds of knowledge and the communal values that are extant in the practices of women in the Middle East, allowing for the re-imagination of another society beyond patriarchy. Like Abdullah Öcalan, the intellectual leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), proposed in his “Sociology of Freedom”, jineolojî frames a theorization based on equality, justice, and freedom through the voices of women who are marginalized and excluded from capitalist modernity.
The unveiling of women’s history becomes the tool to reach “Xwebûn”, meaning, to become her true self and construct an identity in freewill beyond male-defined femininities. This entails a “total divorce” and implies women’s mental, material, and emotional detachment from the colonialist, capitalist, and patriarchal state system. Further, the concept of “killing the dominant male”, propounds the annihilation of toxic masculinity and the patriarchal mindset within one’s personality, be it man or woman, and society in general. Only then could a new kind of masculinity emerge, allowing for “hevjiana azad”, a free coexistence without gender oppression that in turn would lead to a communal life grounded on the ideas of ethics of freedom and care for life. Further, this new paradigm intends to establish a women’s standpoint in ethics-aesthetics, economy, demography, ecology, history, health, education, and politics. These areas touch all aspects of life in search of concrete answers to social problems that translate into transformative political action. Such perspectives would help create women’s autonomous spaces and institutions that form part of the idea of women’s self-defense.
On the other hand, jineolojî holds that to uproot patriarchy, collective wisdom should be created to unite fragmented feminist struggles and bring together diverse experiences of women. Dialogue among various knowledges is viewed as a challenge to the Western-centric definitions of gender, equality, emancipation, democracy, the state, etc., as well as the basis for discussion aimed at an organized social change nourished by diversity and praxis.
Ultimately, Jineolojî is a theorization that emphasizes not only the connection between capitalist, statist, and gender oppression but also, and more importantly, social emancipation in which women’s liberation and the creation of a new common sense based on liberty takes on a pivotal role. Its primary aspiration is to decolonize women’s mental worlds through an epistemology rooted in Kurdish women’s historical practices that gives rise to an alternative thinking of alternatives. Women’s ways of knowing aspire to destabilize the epistemic privilege of Western science by proposing an ecology of knowledge. This ecology is meant for a collective construction of transformative practices aimed at creating a radically distinct society from the capitalist, colonial, and patriarchal one.
References and further Readings:
Jineolojî Committee Europe. (2018), Jineolojî. Neuss: Mesopotamian Publishers.
Öcalan, Abdullah (2013), Liberating Life: Woman’s Revolution. Neuss: Mesopotamian Publishers.
Ceren Akyos, received her BA in Sociology from Galatasaray University and her MA in 4 Cities Euromasters Urban Studies program. She is currently working on her PhD thesis “The Kurdish Liberation Struggle Building Up Place-Based Alternatives For an Anti-Hegemonic Resistance” at CES, University of Coimbra.
Como citarAkyos, Ceren (2019), "Jineoloji", Dicionário Alice. Consultado a 10.07.20, em https://alice.ces.uc.pt/dictionary/index.php?id=23838&pag=23918&entry=24311&id_lingua=1. ISBN: 978-989-8847-08-9