Freedom: The YPJ and a New Beauty Standard

“Freedom: The YPJ and a New Beauty Standard” is an article written by Hawzhin Azeez, which is now only available via the Wayback Machine.

Much has been written about the impact of the YPJ and the Rojava Revolution, especially with regards to gender liberation. One area which has generated little to no attention though is the revolutionary, anti-capitalist notion of beauty as advocated by the writings of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan and developed further by the Kurdish Women’s Movement.

Since bursting onto the international scene the Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) in Rojava (Western Kurdistan) have been widely analyzed by international media, regional experts, and critics. The YPJ has had widespread media visibility, but at the same time has been largely sensationalized, often tacitly or implicitly repeating racist or sexist cliché’s towards Kurdish women and the Middle East. The sensationalization of the YPJ has contributed to them being sexualized and fetishized, with her ideological revolutionary objective often coming secondary to the promotion of “exotic” orientalist notions of Middle Eastern femininity.

Read it here.