“I will not defend myself from the tyranny of Danishness”

I own the right to live in Denmark, without having to explain or defend who I am

I have said yes to writing this piece in order to say no.

No to answering the most ubiquitous question – do I feel Danish. I do not acknowledge the question’s premise. I refuse to validate it. Because if I do I am only reproducing the fallacious discussion about “us and them”. Two groups that time after time are presented as being representative of something real. And they are not.

I am not a representative of anything. I refuse to be reduced to a role model, an assimilated Turk, a Dane with a foreign ethnic background, a descendant, a second-generation immigrant, a coconut, or Dane. I own the right to be here in Denmark without having to explain or defend who I am. But I especially own the right to myself and my feelings. And my feelings do not want to be drawn into the theatre that is currently being played out in these emotionally-pornographic times.

The way I see it, some of us have been turned into extras in an absurd play, which sees the media and politicians state one tired cliché after another. The ending is always the same: idiotic. And pointless. I refuse to be reduced to an idiotic cliché. And I refuse to be co-opted in this play that is running on constant repeat. Enough is enough. And now I am saying no.

No to when politicians and the media ask me the same ridiculous questions, such as: Do you feel Danish? Do you love Denmark? Do you feel at home in Denmark? Do you believe in Santa?

I don’t give a fuck about these questions! I do not acknowledge them. And I will never allow myself to be put in a position where I have to defend myself from the tyranny of the elite or the masses.

The “do-you-feel Danish” question reminds me of when a close relative stormed into my teenage bedroom and beat me up, while they explained that I was a Turkish girl and should behave accordingly. No. No. No.

I will not allow Martin Henriksen – or anyone else for that matter – to humiliate me because I don’t have feelings that fit into their outrageous and emotionally-laden concept of nationality. They cannot tell me who I need to be, in order to be something.

Wallah, I swear on the Koran that if they challenge me I will strike back with a resounding ‘no’. M

This op-ed was first published in Politiken newspaper

Read more:

“I get treated better when I speak English”


By Ayse Dudu Tepe


Facebook comments