Lacy Macauley is by her own definition a ‘radical activist’ based out of Washington, D.C.
She was one of the organizers behind #DisruptJ20, the action meant to disrupt President Donald Trump’s inauguration as well as disrupt the various balls and events attendant to the inauguration. She’s basically been involved in every leftist protest action for years, from G20 and Occupy actions to protests against pipelines.
Macauley went to Turkey last year because the G20 was there. Leftists traditionally protest and have riots at the location of the G20. She also was interested in learning more about a Muslim country and working with refugees. There, according to her blogpost, she met a Muslim man.
He offered a ready smile, engaging kindness, and intelligent conversation. He said all the right things to convince me that he cared about women’s rights and activism. In February, I decided to return to Turkey with the promise of love driving me forward. I couldn’t have known things would turn sour.
Then came our first fight. I had wanted to interview a local woman for an article on Syrian refugees. He did not approve. He knew the woman and did not like her, so he strictly forbade me from speaking with her. After I questioned his rationale, he yelled and stormed out of the room to go smoke a cigarette. I just stood in the middle of the room not knowing what to do. Of course, as a Western woman, no one had ever forbidden me from speaking with anyone else.
She found out strangely enough that not every man or society has the same openness and respect for women that she took for granted in the United States. She found out that he expected her to be dependent on him, to be constantly by his side and that he controlled her every move.
It got worse.
In the following weeks, I was violently pushed, blocked from leaving freely, and repeatedly told not to speak. If I spoke anyway, anger erupted. I endured threats that I would be burnt with cigarettes, flinching as he “faked” with his lit cigarette. I had to duck to avoid having sharp objects thrown at my face. I had water angrily poured over my head.
Unwanted sex? Rape? All the time. He did not stop to determine whether I consented to sex.
He then tried to cut off her connection with the outside world, shutting off her wifi and criticizing her use of social media. He also made her unfriend another Turkish man on Facebook and tried to have her cut off others.
Her experience in the society didn’t get better. She claimed she was arrested for just going to a speech because she was an activist.
Two days later, however, I was jailed by Turkish police for several hours when I tried to simply enter a large public speech in Antalya by the president of Turkey. (They make a habit of jailing reporters and activists, and I didn’t look like I fit their norms. I wrote about this experience with the Turkish police here.) I had an “out of the frying pan and into the fire” sensation.
So did that experience give her any enlightenment as to how wonderful America is? What a real patriarchy is actually like? Or the ways in which Islamic society allows and normalizes such oppression against women?
In a word, no.
She didn’t initially speak of her experiences, she said, because she “did not want to feed into the narrative of Muslim men being aggressive.”
So the truth was less important than anything that might call into question her political agenda points.
She still came back and organized #DisruptJ20. She came out with Antifa (anti Israel organization) just this past weekend in Kentucky.
Despite everything that had showed her thoughts to be misplaced and in error, she still can’t ditch the radicalism.
What a sad way to waste one’s life…