Harem Habibati: Queen Mama III

valide-sultan1You, devetlu, are queen of the harem.

You are the Valide Sultan.

As the absolute sovereign of the harem, everything is regulated by you and implemented according to your design.

Since harem women cannot interact with the public, all contact with the outside world shall be conducted by harem eunuchs.

However, within the harem, your enormous staff is made up of women.

Your kethuda usta (head of administrative affairs) carries out your orders related to state, and your haznedar usta (personal assistant) sees that your orders are carried out within the harem household. Beneath these two women are at least a hundred other workers of varied capacity.

You wonder if that will be enough…?

Your resources are bountiful, now.

In fact, dear ippetlu (‘she of highest dignity‘), your salary as Valide surpasses that of the Sultan’s — an indication of the reverence your son holds for you, as well as a sign of the importance of your position.

Moreover, after the Sultan’s war conquests, he showers you with new lands and castles, making sure you always receive the most valuable real estate before gifting less choice real estate to the men in his administration.

You, in turn, parcel off this real estate to these very men for favors, information, and whatever other needs you and the harem may have.

Such are the means of power over men for a Valide, and her harem. Continue reading

Income Gender Role Reversal

marriage-breadwinnerLove or money?

Historically, a question posed only about women marrying male breadwinners.

But now, this same question applies to men, as well.

Why?

 

Because, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40% of American women are now the breadwinners of the family. And this, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, creates a new strain of marital tension between “an alpha woman and a beta man.”

Continue reading

Harem Habibati: Queen Mama II

You have a new home.

It’s a palace, really.

Topkapi palace.

topkopi-palace-istanbul-turkey

Topkapi Palace / Istanbul, Turkey

This is where you live now, in grand splendor.

And, as mother of the new ruling Sultan, you shall be his confidant, his supreme advisor, his personal herald and protector. Because you, ippetlu, are the most treasured object of his unconditional love & devotion.

You are the Valide Sultan.

Your now-royal son escorts you ceremoniously through gilded palace doors into your new harem home.

It is resplendent.

Continue reading

Flipsyde: Youth Rules

older-woman-in-bikiniShe’s old.

Well, old-er.

But you want to be open-minded. Tolerant. Inclusive.

You don’t want to be the shallow asshole who notices the sagging parts of older women.

You’re not that guy.

You are open to dating women in their 40′s. Even though you could date girls in their 20′s, and revel in their non-sagging attractions. Like lush, young breasts…firm, young bottoms…tight, young -

Okay, stop.

Not going there.

Not en route to pick up your 40-something blind date.

Continue reading

Harem Habibati: Hierarchy of the Imperial Harem

We must keep in mind that equality for women has been struggled for and won to a more advanced degree only by women in the richer countries of America and Europe. But even in the U.S., a woman has yet to be elected President…

– G. Goodwin, “The Private World of Ottoman Women

harem-scene

In ancient Turkish, Persian, Indian and other Asian societies, monogamy was the norm within the lower classes. But among the upper crust and royalty, harems were the rule. Most magnificent of all harems were those of the Ottoman Sultans. Renowned for its immensity and grandeur, the harem of a Sultan was called the Harem-i-Hümayun.

The Imperial Harem.

The harem itself was an institution governed by a strict hierarchy – a hierarchy so extensive and intricately layered, it would take no less than 99 Medieval Monday posts to detail. So, for the sake of brevity, I’ll be presenting the cliff notes!

But before we begin our journey into the fascinating details of harem life – and into the minds and hearts of harem girls – it’s important to understand the labyrinthine arrangement in which these ladies lived.

Those at the top of the hierarchy would not think, feel or have the same experience living in a harem as those at the bottom. And though the Western myth of harems sees undistinguished groups of women lazing nakedly around palace pools, we shall see that in the real harem world, nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s check out why…

Continue reading

The Dubai Life

dr-lamees-hamdanAhlan wa sahlan!” (Welcome!)

This is how Dr. Lamees Hamdan - wife, mother of four, and business entrepreneur - welcomes Oprah Winfrey into her 5-bedroom home in Dubai.

And what a beautiful home it is!

High ceilings…warm cherry wood accents…exquisite Persian rugs…gleaming Syrian antiques…unlike compact Danish homes, Hamdan’s residence is reminiscent of a spacious, Homes & Estates Magazine luxury portfolio showcase.

She’s married to a prominent businessman and is, herself, a successful businesswoman and collector of valuable Middle Eastern works of art. She, like most working women of Dubai, also has “house help” – which includes drivers, and housemaids.

Dr. Hamdan explains to Oprah that most working women in Dubai do not cook. Unlike the large majority of American working women, the working women of Dubai don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner. There is a “central kitchen” in each family where a chef cooks enormous meal portions, to be distributed to the various extended families.

Holy kitchen sweat!

Wonder if I could get the best chef in my family to hop on board this ‘central kitchen’ plan? Continue reading

5 Medieval Facts of Ottomans: The Harem Home

1.  The Ottoman empire reigned supreme from 1299 to 1923.

Ottoman-sultans

It began as a tiny Turkish state, expanding into the largest and longest lasting empire in history, spanning 3 continents encompassing the Caucasus and Northern Africa, most of Western Asia, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, and the Balkans.

map-ottoman-empire

The empire was at the center of interactions between the Eastern & Western worlds for 7 centuries.

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2.  Harems were central to Ottoman lifestyle.

Continue reading

V Day!

Guys!

         V-Day is coming.

                                 Diamonds.

                                                  Please!

diamond-ring-on-woman's-hand

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Or a diamond-encrusted benz would be okay, too. :D

diamond-encrusted-mercedes-benz

Pre-Valentine Lining Sunday