Gender studies and its professors are attacked and oppressed by patriarchal, masculinist, antifeminist, and anti-LGBTI discourses and institutional practices. This trend is not limited to white- and/or Christian-majority countries, as the literature has documented thus far. Antigender campaigns can easily infiltrate Middle Eastern and/or Muslim-majority contexts in which feminists and queers have long struggled to transform societies, cultures, and states. In Turkey a state-led antigender movement has been unfolding, with burdensome outcomes for women and sexual minorities as well as activists and faculty members. The most recent step taken in the state-led antigender turn was Turkey’s withdrawal from the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention Action by a precipitous presidential decree. Drawing on thirty-three interviews with gender studies scholars, this article documents their ambivalent and perturbing connection with the state. The recent antigender atmosphere may make them feel downtrodden, silenced, and vulnerable in personal and professional domains, while it rejuvenates their resilience, renders their ongoing feminist/queer struggles meaningful and passionate, and cultivates an air of hope and optimism. To fight ostracism by public institutions and to attain their academic rights, the respondents use their empowering feelings, hope, and commitment against patriarchal and homophobic state forces.

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