Trends Of Reproduction Persist Into The 19th Century

844 WordsDec 1, 20154 Pages
Trends of Reproduction Persist into the 19th Century Likewise, Ottoman sultanate’s traditions of reproduction also translated into 19th century Istanbul. Much like the royal concubines before them, after marriage, the role of women in Istanbul was still to give birth to children and raise them to be successful adults. With a fertility decline in Istanbul in the 19th century, it became more significant for women to give birth to her husband’s children. Duben and Behar states that pronatalists in Istanbul associated children with the future in hopes of increasing fertilities. Hence, there is resurgence in the role of Istanbul women as mothers and caregivers. Women were heavily encouraged to give birth to children in order to sustain the future, which is clearly reiterated in the journal Kadınlar Dünyasi: “The purpose of marriage is the future…Family means nation (millet), nation means family.” Additionally, like the concubines, it is through birthing and raising a child that a woman gains power – in this case represented through citizenship. In the journal titled Rights, Reproduction, Sexuality and Citizenship in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, Ruth A. Miller suggests, “motherhood [was] made identical to citizenship.” Miller argues that through birthing and raising a child, a woman confirms that she is a beneficial citizen in the society that is given “not a partial granting of rights but a full granting of rights, not an incomplete acquisition of civic identity but a
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