Cilem Dogan has been in the news in Turkey since turning herself in after murdering her husband last July. Led away by police in handcuffs, the young woman gave two thumbs up to reporters and shouted, “Why should women always die!” In a country where the murder of women has skyrocketed in recent years, Dogan’s gesture became a singular act of defiance and inspired others to speak out. In March, another woman who turned herself in, after stabbing her husband to death, shouted a similar message: “Why should only men kill! He would have killed me if I hadn’t killed him.”
When discussing domestic violence, equating men and women who kill is to misunderstand the issue. Male killers often say they acted out of anger because their wife wanted a divorce, refused to have sex or failed to serve them dinner. In other words, the women met their deaths for defying the social roles they are expected to follow. In these cases, the murders committed are individual acts.