Author: Asli Sancar
Publisher: The Light, Inc. (2007)
Pages: 191 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
Guided by the accounts of such female travelers as Lady Montagu, Julia Pardoe, and Lucy Garnett, all of whom lived in Ottoman lands for significant periods of time, this beautifully illustrated book explores—and hopes to overturn—the 19th-century stereotypes of Ottoman women. Both Eastern and Western accounts of Turkish society during that time made much of the harem, with Orientalist writers describing Turkish women as exotic, indolent, and depraved, while some Europeans usually described them as noble and elegant. Then, with the advent of the first women’s movement in the West, the harem began to be criticized as an institution that trapped women and enforced their submission to men. All of these ideas were refuted by Montagu, Pardoe, and Garnett, who argued that Ottoman women were perhaps the freest in the world; this book backs up that claim with historical research showing that women frequently prevailed in cases against their husbands and other male relatives in the Ottoman courts.
Table of Contents:
* Ottoman women through Western eyes* Ottoman women in the household harem* Ottoman women as slaves in the harem* Ottoman women in the imperial harem* Ottoman women in court records* Ottoman women in the metaphysical mirror.
Sancar is a writer and lecturer on women’s issues. Born and raised in the US, she has lived in Istanbul for nearly a quarter of a century since her marriage to a Turk and has been studying the role of women in the Ottoman Empire for about 10 years. She is a frequent lecturer on the subject and has published two books and numerous articles about women and the family. Sancar is a practicing Muslim and often speaks publicly on her decision to wear the headscarf. Coming from such a unique perspective (an American Christian convert to Islam), the author is well-grounded to investigate the dichotomies of two cultures