The Slave Dealer, Deli Mehmet, But Not The Act Of Sex Essay

1045 Words Nov 16th, 2015 null Page
Throughout history, parents sold their children to slave dealers to pay debts, but Mamluks and Ottomans slaves voluntarily sent their children into slavery with the hopes of better opportunities. During this time, many Ottoman Egyptian slave dealers would travel to Istanbul bringing young girls back to Cairo. Toledano expresses that Shemsigul’s parents sold her into slavery due to the poor living conditions that existed in the Circassian lower class in hopes that she would become a part of the Ottoman elite (83:1).
Shemsigul’s grievances relate to her sexual relationship and pregnancy with the slave dealer, Deli Mehmet, but not the act of sex itself. At that time, Mehmet would have been considered her master, and she would have been expected to do as her master asked, regardless of desire, therefore, rape by her slave dealer would not have been considered illegal (88:3). After becoming pregnant and losing her virginity, though, her chances of moving up the ranks in any harem or obtaining a marriage through the concubine were significantly diminished since it was illegal for an owner to sell a woman who gave birth to his child (87:3). Her worth as a slave was no longer equal to the value it was before her pregnancy. She was also treated poorly by Deli Mehmet and his wife due to the pregnancy, with several abortion attempts and severe beatings during the pregnancy (89:3). Even with the mistreatment, Shemsigul may have desired to stay with Deli Mehmet because of her rank she…

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