Jineoloji; a concept that has cemented itself within the semantic and structural world of humanity and which carries the unique ability to address the needs of our age. The single determining factor of this ability rests solely on its power to influence life and society at its level of understanding. The 21st century is at a stage where it is creating its own conceptual, theoretical and institutional powers; just as the 19th century gave rise to class consciousness and the 20th century was defined by the social and political developments which took place within the power struggle of nation states, the 21st century has the potential to address the power relations between the sexes and to bring about a women’s revolution. Jineoloji, being the field of social science where the women’s revolution draws its understanding from, is a new science that has entered literature.
As a concept, Jineoloji entered the agenda for the first time in 2008 with Abdullah Ocalan’s book, The Sociology of Freedom. Jineoloji; jin, meaning woman, loji, meaning science and with the meeting of the words meaning the science of women, is a Kurdish concept. In this sense, Jineoloji, at its core, is the science of women but where the words woman and science are redefined and rooted in the “Democratic, Ecological and Women’s Freedom” paradigm. It is claimed that the basic paradigm that determines our spiritual and intellectual worlds within the information structures of capitalist modernity is the mechanical paradigm on which the state rests on. In 1999, during the Imrali process and the intensifying focus on the revolution of consciousness, Abdullah Ocalan stated that the underlying problem was the state substructure and presented the “Democratic, Ecological and Women’s Freedom” paradigm as an alternative. He states that the “Democratic, Ecological and Women’s Freedom” paradigm is not new but very deep-rooted and carries the accumulation and the complete works of human history. He argues that this fact has been ignored throughout history, leading to the exclusion of women. He also states that science is detached from everyday life under the domination of the statist system and that we must establish its connection with life and society to achieve a wholesome and productive understanding of equality, especially one where science is developed around women. He claims that this would be the first step towards true sociology.
It’s worth noting that the word jin means ‘life’ in several languages which arises the need to carry out a deeper, etymological research. Jineoloji points to the reality that science is detached from life and society and it comes in as a criticism against the positivist perspective which assaults the wholeness and integrity of life, arguing for the importance of establishing a connection with science, i.e. loji, and becoming social and widening its scope of meaning. In this sense, Jineoloji is not conceptually limited to be a women’s science but also the science of life, the science of social life, the science of free and equal life as well as meeting comprehensive definitions of the sciences which expose the information structures on which democratic modernity is based on.
As Abdullah Ocalan points out, women should not be seen as merely the opposite sex but as “the essence of sociology” and from this basis, there needs to be an analysis of all systems of exploitation and domination, with the aim of dismantling power relations. Jineoloji is the opposition against all ideologies and systems of knowledge that have developed within sexist societies and with the belief that crimes against women are also crimes against society, it aims to struggle against sex and gender-based violence. Abdullah Ocalan further points out that a power-centred life obstructs and stifles social life and progress.
On this axis, Jineoloji stands to be the field in which the scientific, philosophical, artistic and operational potential of women are expressed. It takes on the responsibility of organising and developing sociology and social knowledge by grasping freedoms that have been captured momentarily and translating them into real life, knitting systematic webs of knowledge and encouraging mobilisation. At the same time, Jineoloji is a science which helps us realise our existing potential and provides way for these powers to materialise into a way of life. It is responsible for understanding and processing the meaning of all struggles that were developed for the sake of freedom; for understanding all thought and knowledge theories, including life itself and the tremendous life experiences of the women around the world. It is obliged to understand all social and ecological experiences as well as the analysis within those experiences. On this basis, Jineoloji is the voice which expresses the hundreds of years of accumulated knowledge within women’s freedom movements as well as the individual and social potential of women, their identity and gender relations.
The accumulation of knowledge that Jineoloji rests on
Abdullah Ocalan has made important contributions towards the women’s freedom struggle both theoretically and practically by further developing on the sociology of freedom methodology and the art of interpretation which have become important methods on which the epistemological framework of Jineoloji is built on. The physical background of the new scientific method is based on quantum physics; its philosophical background is inspired by nature’s self-sufficiency and pull towards freedom; its sociological background is focused on the metaphysics of human nature as well as moral and political collectivism while its historical background is based on a holistic approach towards universal history. These different formations of the scientific method support its emancipation of knowledge and matter in a way that ensures the accumulation of meaning, moment by moment, as well as contributing to a diversity in meaning. These moments, which express universal accumulation, are symbolic of universal history in its entirety and points to the reality that it is alive, fluid, flexible, cumulative and whole. Individuals are containers of meaning and in each moment, we act, we write history. In this sense, developing an awareness of life and freedom is one of the main tasks of Jineoloji. It is a holistic scientific method which aims to overcome binary thinking; whether it’s the separation of the subject-object or the imbalance between emotional and analytical intelligence, it fights against absolutism.
On this basis, Jineoloji is a new science but at the same time, it is deeply rooted in a long epistemological tradition. It derives its power from as far back as the first women’s revolution, the Neolithic Revolution which gave rise to community, and it aims to redevelop social structures and define life from the standpoint of women. Jineoloji advocates for the importance of comprehending the level of slavery committed by state civilisation in the lives of women, and therefore society, with all its forms and contents. All kinds of slavery and exploitation that have developed in this way are considered to be summaries of all forms of social slavery. In this sense, Jineoloji accepts all freedom and equality struggles that have fought against social slavery as being a part of its ‘memory’. At the same time, it argues that the fact that all freedom struggles have been unsuccessful in their struggle against capitalist modernity reveals the connection they have with the inability to fully analyse the level of slavery that women are subjected to, and it points to the importance of realising and analysing this pattern. It advocates for the importance of a woman-centred struggle against slave mentality and to organise in a way that makes it possible to create an alternative system rather than settling for rights that are granted within the existing system. In this sense, the theoretical background of Jineoloji rests on thousands of years of accumulated experience within freedom and liberation struggles and it aims to continue to reveal the importance of the life force of women, which was the dominant power of developing societies starting from seven million years ago in the East African Rift through the Northern line and which spread to the rest of the world over the Taurus and Zagros curve. Women were celebrated in all spheres of life and their labour and knowledge held determinative powers in society. The first steps that were taken during the Neolithic revolution to form community was driven by the spiritual and intellectual powers of women who formed scientific techniques necessary to reveal the potential of revolutionary solutions.
In the Middle East, where social life is deeply rooted in moralistic reasoning, Jineoloji is a science which grows on its own roots. Unlike Hegel, who states that contradiction is between master and slave, and Marx, who states that it is between the boss and worker, Abdullah Ocalan argues that the main contradiction exists between men and women.
On this axis, he states that the resolution to the conflict between the enslaved woman and the powerful, deviant man lies within the basic momentum which drives the formation of the mentality behind the structure of the 21st century and the ability to resolve social problems. Here he discusses women as a summary of the system. This points to the importance of defining women and revealing the truth of women according to their measure of freedom, as well as the definition of woman in relation to how she is shaped within a system of exploitation that is based on a hierarchical and statist society.
Jineoloji aims to revive and preserve what was identified as 104 ME during the Neolithic period and which consisted of disciplines such as science, technology, culture, art and philosophy.
The Middle East is the birthplace of goddess mythology and culture as well as the first place where this culture collapsed upon denial, murder and the alienation of women. This destruction is what caused the downfall of women, leading to society’s first social problem. Jineoloji is a science which seeks to amend this and thus the relations between men and women. It aims to do this via well-established freedom-equality responses and to dismantle the sexist, traditional and man-made constructions built around ideas of sex and gender. It claims to be able to achieve this through scientific analysis and it aims to search for ongoing ways and methods to reintroduce men and women to their real nature and true liberation.
The patriarchy has destroyed or taken ownership of all forms of material and spiritual organisation that was once formed around women within the social sphere. It manufactured religions, mythologies, philosophies and channelled science in the service of the state and those in positions of authority. Everything that was developed around women within social life, especially what was sacred and celebratory, was either denounced or appropriated. For this reason, the dominant male ignored and devalued the existence of women for five thousand years. The mythologies, religions and philosophies which express anti-female sentiment were never approached from a positivist perspective, instead, the scientific world attempted to make the identity, existence, struggle and rebellion of women unreconcilable through bogus scientific claims. For this reason, the social sciences, sociology in particular, did not consider it worthwhile to examine and study women as subject. For this to be achieved,
Although certain academic fields have conducted research on women, there has never been a holistic approach developed for the purpose of studying women as an entity. For this to happen, we must approach the scientific field with a synthesis of analytical and emotional intelligence. Acknowledging women as a scientific entity is one of the main goals of Jineoloji.
Jineoloji is a science which comes as a criticism against the social sciences which have failed to create a discipline that focuses on the female sex. As the creators of life and the organisers of the first community on Earth, Jineoloji questions why women do not have prominence within the social sciences and determines the reasons with careful examination and research, concluding that the social sciences, to date, has failed to study the role of women in building cohesive communities due to the dominant male and his patriarchal system.
Jineoloji, which claims to be a science that reflects the spirit of its time, argues that the 21st century is the era of women and an era for a women’s revolution.
It is responsible for exploring the possibilities of a second women’s revolution in the Middle East by disseminating social knowledge that is rooted in the mother-goddess culture and which goes on to encapsulate all women’s struggles that have been experienced individually and collectively since this culture was defeated. These are feminist movements, women of resistance, female guerrilla units, national liberation struggles and women’s organisations as well as women in social opposition movements. It combines the values of freedom and resistance created by the women of the world but along with this, Jineoloji has its foundations in the Kurdish Freedom Revolution which is responsible for giving rise to the female revolutionary archetype. Tell Halaf, in Kurdish Tel Xalaf, is where the first community in the world was formed and where the first women’s revolution was triggered. During the women’s revolution in Rojava, the Tell Halaf culture was reborn and offered the world an alternative civilisation.
Stating that science needs a paradigm shift and placing women in the centre of this new paradigm, Abdullah Ocalan highlights how the current reality of the Middle East has created a Kurdish Freedom Movement and in turn, this movement has given the women’s movement a base to operate from. Being a revolution within a revolution, Jineoloji is a science which addresses the stages in which the women’s movement develops.
To capture and institutionalise the experience that is taking place under heavy war conditions is among the primary duties of Jineoloji. As it filters through the Rojava Revolution, it accumulates and develops into social knowledge and meaning through a female perspective. Jineoloji develops through the power and labour of all those who fight against crimes that are committed against women and those who resist the international powers that are seeking to commit ethnic genocide. It creates a female centric narrative and strengthens debate in both the legal and social spheres of life.
Jineoloji; it begins with giving life meaning, creating science and coming up with deep rooted and effective solutions.
It seeks to provide a way out in life where we might be presented with dead-ends and isn’t limited to solely providing solutions. In this sense, it aims to hold a dynamic where science intertwines with life and society. Jineoloji holds science, which it perceives to have been hijacked by patriarchy, to criticism and deciphers every one of its aspects while critically addressing the existence of women, reigniting the female perspective on religion, art and philosophy. It is important to note that it is not a science which only deals with women as a sex and gender, it argues that the reconnection of science to life should also point to the reconnection of science to women; the leaders of the first community and revolution on Earth. Science should therefore be shaped around women both historically and contemporarily.
Jineoloji takes a step towards institutionalisation in the space where the women’s revolution began.
Jineoloji states that the establishment of a connection between scientific knowledge with nature, life and society can be achieved through strong organisation. Through this means, it aims to achieve a holistic perspective against the current understanding of life that is based on positivist science, liberalism and Newtonian physics. which all aim to separate and divide everything from each other. Jineoloji, which is based on quantum physics argues that everything is interconnected, and it strives to understand the living structure of nature. It rejects the current mechanical paradigm on which science rests on by combining social organisation and scientific knowledge and addressing social and ecological destructions and finding meaningful solutions.
On this axis, Jineoloji is a science which has developed in the heart of one of the greatest guerrilla resistances of our age, the Kurdish movement in the mountains of Kurdistan which continues to resist capitalist modernity.
Having been organised as a unit first and later a committee, Jineoloji held its first conference in the mountains of Kurdistan in 2015 and later organised as an academy. It began in Kurdistan and more specifically in an area in Rojava where the first women’s resistance had taken place, as well as many other parts of the world where it worked to collect information on women and carry out sociological research and analysis, establishing organisations and research centres. In addition, it established the Jinwar Project; a women’s village in Rojava, as well as magazines and internet portals. It focuses on the importance of acting with determination in ways in which the truth and stories of women are preserved and disseminated in all areas of life, especially in economics, ethical aesthetics and demography. Thousands of people were trained in academies and left with positive experiences and various skills. In this sense, Jineoloji has the responsibility to introduce free life with information about women, especially female existence, nature, politics, ethical and aesthetic understanding, economy and literature. It is faced with the task of having to establish information structures based on democratic modernity.
As a result, although discussions about the purpose and scope of Jineoloji continues, certain steps have been taken in terms of conceptual theory and institutionalisation in light of all the determinations that have been made so far. As Abdullah Ocalan points out, understanding the magic formula of “Jin Jiyan Azadi”, in English Women Life Freedom, requires research on women’s life and freedom, understanding the etymological structure of these words, revealing female epistemology, examining and forming its ontological and methodological structure. It faces the responsibility of having to conduct research on the knowledge structure of democratic modernity and exploring issues related to all aspects of life such as illuminating the nature of women and their social potential. It’s about revealing the slavery in their past and the freedom of their future.