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July 4, 2024 34 mins

Behind the heavily-guarded walls of the palace, the Ottoman Empire's harem was a world all its own. In the second part of this special two-part episode, Ben, Noel and Max delve into the dangerous world of deceit, espionage and intrigue that defined the lives of people from across the empire, often taken by force from their homes to serve the Sultan.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Ridiculous History is a production of iHeartRadio. Welcome back to

(00:27):
the show Ridiculous Historians. Thank you, as always so much
for tuning in. This is part two of the Ridiculous
History of Ottoman Empire. Harems and uh, this is the
part where we do a disclaimer. Our our go to
Guy Max the Sultan. Williams, our super producer, has returned

(00:48):
from Adventures Abroad. You are here, I'm Ben Bowling, you're
Nold Brown kis I Yeah, we've got We've got a
disclaimer here because this episode in particular talks about out
some very disturbing things that were normalized practices, but they
are part of history and should not be forgotten.

Speaker 2 (01:08):
And I think we actually offer a couple of warnings
within the episode itself, So if this is not something
you want to hear about, you should have every opportunity
to hit that thirty second. I don't think we talk
about it for more than you know, to two or
three minutes. Yeah, it is about genital mutilation.

Speaker 1 (01:24):
Yeah there, just to put it out there, and then
also you got to promise here as the research associate
for this episode, I think I did an okay job
not just talking at length about my dumb little novel.

Speaker 3 (01:39):
Are you kidding? I think you mentioned it once and
then you like walked it back. But I'm excited.

Speaker 2 (01:44):
I read the first couple of paragraphs at least, I mean,
and I thought it was beautifully written. Frankly, I got
to be honest that when I was editing part one
of this series, I was like, Okay, where's the novel?

Speaker 3 (01:56):
And you didn't talk about the novel?

Speaker 2 (01:57):
And I was, well, but you linked to it in
the dock and did he talk about it at some
point a little bit us. It's really good, Ben, that's
really poetically written. And it was like you're describing a
sort of era that's like this, but you're you've got
new things that are in there, like new creatures and
new terms, and you're it's It made me think of
like Anthony Burgess and clockwork orians. The way you were

(02:20):
immediately creating this cool lexicon. I thought it was really smart.
I'm excited to read more.

Speaker 1 (02:24):
Gosh, that makes my day. No, seriously, thank you, man.
That might be the nicest thing you've ever said to me.

Speaker 3 (02:31):
Well, I've got more where that came from. Let's jump
right in, folks.

Speaker 1 (02:41):
And there's also a very why. One thing people sometimes
I think forget about the Ottoman Empire is that there
was a lot of diversity because it was a big operation,
and so the Harem is a microcosm of that. The
Harem has people drawn from the Caucus, from Africa, the Balkans,
so there are a lot of unique cultures coming into

(03:06):
mixing together here. And the Sultan did have legal wives,
but he wasn't always romantically interested in them. The concubines
the mistresses might just be there for romance and reproduction.
He might have wives that he barely talks to because
they're just there to cement and alliance. They're like paperwork

(03:28):
for him, which sounds you speaking to sounding callous and
gold And you know, in many cases the wives were
probably not super jazzed to hang with the sultan either.
They just went to live in a really nice cage.

Speaker 3 (03:43):
And getting back to the machinations.

Speaker 2 (03:45):
Within the machinations, we know the politics of game of
thronesy type stuff involves a male air often, you know,
that is sort of the name of the game. And
we also know that for the longest time in history,
you know, let's think of old Henry the Eighth right,
the idea of like, if you couldn't produce a male
air for me, then you were of no use to

(04:07):
me and I will have you be headed. But it
turned out that it was the male contribution to that
union that is actually what generated the male air. So
it is Henry's fault the whole time. But this all,
this emphasis placed on generating a male air. You know,
people have lost their lives over this for generations without
because of this lack.

Speaker 3 (04:27):
Of understanding behind the science of it.

Speaker 2 (04:29):
It's all it's very looking back on it with hindsight
in that perspective, it looks just it seems utterly ridiculous.

Speaker 1 (04:37):
Yeah, one hundred percent.

Speaker 2 (04:38):
Sorry to that point though, the mothers often would you know,
be a little more deferential to their own sons because
they were kind of grooming them to maybe be the
next sultan. Right, so there could be more political maneuvers
within maneuvers.

Speaker 1 (04:54):
Right, I'm gonna tell you man, there's some Sith lord
aspects to it, right, like, oh yeah, I'm raising you
is my apprentice together the empire so far beneath the
control of whatever we're saying instead of Sith exact. So
this also we also know look slavery is terrible. There

(05:16):
are as a function of the expanding human population, which
has been going like gangbusters for a while. They're more
slaves alive now than at any other single point of history.
But and check out our stuff. They want you new
episodes on this. But slavery is not always the same
type of social mechanism. It's always horrible, but it differs

(05:40):
depending on geography and time. So in the Ottoman Empire,
slavery is kind of complicated.

Speaker 3 (05:47):
Like the.

Speaker 1 (05:49):
Janissaries, they're this elite fighting squad and they were originally
formed through slavery. The Ottoman Empire would go around and
the Balkans and other Christian areas and they would force
people to give up their children, their Christian children. They
would make those kids who are slaves, these child slaves,

(06:10):
convert to Islam and then be drafted into this slave
army of the.

Speaker 2 (06:15):
Otto child soldiers, right, I mean, that's absolutely a thing
we've seen in more recent history too, like in parts
of Africa.

Speaker 3 (06:22):
Right.

Speaker 2 (06:22):
Like there was a film I believe called the Oh gosh,
it was Kerrie Fukunaga's first film, Beasts of No Nation.
I want to say it was all about child soldiers
in all rwandas. I can't exactly remember the details, but
it is painfully part of very recent history. If not,
I mean certainly likely to still be going on in

(06:43):
some parts of the worlds.

Speaker 1 (06:45):
Yeah, very much. Here's what happened in the Janisaries, though,
just like the Templars, they became a powerful political force
all their own. In fact, they became the first modern
standing army in all of Europe. So eventually the Janis series,
despite being slaves, were more powerful than members of the public.

(07:06):
And then slaves pressed into service at the Harem also
did have as we were talking about this the entirety
of this episode, they had this limited agency to pursue
power that would not be accessible to the majority of
the empire. And usually when you go to in a

(07:26):
weird way, man, these poor kids who had to go
to the Harem were kind of going to private school.
They learned sport, behavior, mathematics, dancing, literacy that they would
they would may not have been taught.

Speaker 2 (07:40):
That's why it's also complicated because on the one hand, yes,
you cannot leave. It's like the Hotel California, you know,
time vibes, but like you, you're getting the best of
the best in terms of education, in terms of access
to culture, in terms of access to political power.

Speaker 3 (08:00):
You know, like, you really are in.

Speaker 2 (08:02):
This very isolated yet privileged position, but yet can we
really call it privileged if you were forced into it?
But yet compared to the alternative of what life outside
of those walls might have been like, and the survival
rates and the potential of starvation or whatever, you know,

(08:24):
all real things to weigh when thinking about what was
best for the individual, Right, I don't know.

Speaker 1 (08:30):
Yeah, I think this well said. I would say the
key thing is, yeah, one person might prefer the safe,
secluded existence. One person might prefer the normal path of
public life. But the key is they need to be
given a choice to do so, you know what I mean,
not just walked into a place when there's cold, And

(08:52):
I think that's one of the most difficult things. Also, look,
if you were good at the lessons you were being taught,
you might not end you might technically be a concubine,
or you might just end up being a common servant,
and they might say, hey, the Sultan doesn't seem romantically
interested in you, but you were super good at accounting.
Do you want to manage some of the money for

(09:14):
the harem, and then people would jump at that because
now it's.

Speaker 2 (09:17):
A civil position, that's right, Yeah, which protected you know,
you got yourself a government job at this point. I mean,
god knows that's going ahead in the future, but we
know in the past that comes with some protections.

Speaker 1 (09:37):
So what we're saying is, again, not every woman in
the harem interacted with the sultan at all as a
matter of fact, because you know, it's one guy. Again,
there's so many people in the harem. If he took
someone to bed, once they became newly elevated, they technically
became a more official part of the household and they

(09:57):
got invited to live in the good part of the harem,
like harem premium.

Speaker 3 (10:03):
Downstairs type situation.

Speaker 1 (10:05):
Yeah, just so, And that's where you live with the
sultan's wives and relatives. And this is where we see
some of the mean girl stuff coming in or some
of the acrimonious behavior, because the wives and the relatives
are often not thrilled about the new girl moving.

Speaker 2 (10:21):
In, but in the presence of the sultan, they got
to put on a happy face. But when the Sultan's
not around, there might be some pretty gnarly mean girl
type sniping and bullying and burn book.

Speaker 4 (10:33):
Type and sometimes people not even ye point, sorry I'm
talking about the burn book, but you know, you go
as far as like literal murder of you know, your
sexual or political or just someone who you perceive is
getting more of the Sultan's attention than you rival, right, right.

Speaker 1 (10:51):
And then also you know, it's an ugly thing to acknowledge.
But while we don't have a specific example here, it
is statistically inevitable that some of these people having their
agency removed may have chosen to take their own lives.
And it's just it's a reality of the terrible things

(11:12):
that can happen when people are forced into an unnatural
life that they did not agree to live. And this, okay,
so look we see there are a lot of moving parts.
And obviously we are not members of the Ottoman Empire.
I don't know, sleeping.

Speaker 3 (11:26):
Dog Ben, you're secretly a member of the.

Speaker 1 (11:31):
Okay, on record, you notice how I never you never
see Max and the Sultan in the same place.

Speaker 3 (11:38):
Max does have very sultanly vibes.

Speaker 1 (11:41):
He's always telling me that.

Speaker 2 (11:43):
Sweeping his hands you know here for this one.

Speaker 1 (11:48):
Uh So we are also not native Turkish speakers, So
apologies in advance for any any mispronunciations here, but no,
we thought would be cool right to talk about some
of the positions you could attain in the in the Harem,
so Odalisk is our starting point, right for a lot

(12:09):
of people that you want to become what's called the
ghost Day the Favorite. But it's like playing King of
the Hill because the ghost Day one year might not
be the Ghost Day the next year.

Speaker 2 (12:22):
Of course, Yeah yeah, I mean this isn't the same
eras it's more of a I think Victorian England kind
of version of this type of political maneuvering. But there's
a really excellent Yugoslanthemus film called The Favorite that is
just an excellent example of this type of court intrigue
and the types of things that happen when you have rivals,

(12:44):
and its very much is a harem type situation. But
it's an absolutely remarkable, exciting, sexy, funny, fucked up film
and I highly recommend anybody checking it out if this
type of thing is of interest to you. Next, we
have the Ikbal or the Fortunate, which is a favorite

(13:04):
concubine that gives birth to that covened male air. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (13:09):
Now they might be on the way to run in
things and then via the male air right, via the
male air, yes, like the regents.

Speaker 4 (13:17):
Right.

Speaker 1 (13:18):
So then there's a group these you could maybe call
these the mean girls, the Cadin, the favorite women of
the Sultan. They have privileges like specific servants, specific units
that only work for them. They have their own separate apartments.

(13:40):
They are in terms of privilege, they're very close to wives.
There's still a notch down, but they're on the way.
And of course if they give birth to a male air,
it's game on. One of the best examples of a
slave girl who goes from the position of odalisk to
running stuff is a Ukrainian slave girl named rock Salana.

(14:05):
She overcame great odds. People tried to kill her repeatedly,
but she ultimately ascended to the position of the most
powerful empress of the Ottoman Empire.

Speaker 2 (14:17):
It was possible famously committed to song by the excellent
eighties post punk band The Police. Yeah read the lyrics
and their hit rock Soalana you don't have to put
on the red light.

Speaker 1 (14:30):
Yeah. She was the chief consort of Ottoman Sultan Suliman
the Magnificent. She remains one of the most powerful, powerful
female political figures in the entire history of the Ottoman Empire.

Speaker 3 (14:47):
Was she ascend through the harem? Yeah?

Speaker 1 (14:49):
She started as totally yeah, and she became She is
perhaps the most iconic member of that period of time.
We described the reign of women the salt to day
to way.

Speaker 3 (15:00):
There you go call back and yeah, I'm sorry, I
didn't mean to interrupt. I just the idea of them
becoming a literal empress.

Speaker 2 (15:10):
Yeah, that that is sort of the end goal of
this type of political climbing, of this maneuver. This is
sort of like the best possible outcome. And I'm sorry,
I can't. I can't help but think that maybe the
police were aware of this figure in Rosan Rock Salana.

Speaker 3 (15:27):
I don't know.

Speaker 2 (15:28):
Maybe not sting contains multitudes. It's a great song, It stuck.
It really is a killer song. I love the way
the downbeat or the drum. It's like a reggae beat
where the kick drum is where the snare would normally fall.
Sorry not to get nerdy about it, but it's if
you really listen to it. For the verses, it's kind
of hard to count. It's a little bit of a
tricky rhythmic kind of polyrhythmic thing.

Speaker 1 (15:48):
And there's a I don't know, there's some poetry to
its absolute body line.

Speaker 3 (15:56):
What's ben? What's the police drummer's name?

Speaker 2 (15:58):
Stuart Copeland's right, Yeah, Sun excellent Pobaly rhythmic genius, that
guy love him.

Speaker 1 (16:03):
And speaking of geniuses, if you become an impress, a
favored wife, then your next step what do you do
after that?

Speaker 3 (16:12):
Right?

Speaker 1 (16:13):
Where do you go? Now?

Speaker 3 (16:14):
Where do you go? Yeah?

Speaker 1 (16:15):
You become the valid or valid sultan?

Speaker 3 (16:19):
Uh.

Speaker 1 (16:19):
This is usually the wife or concubine of the sultan's
father who has risen to an exalted position in the Harem.
And everything is so secret. This lady is plugged it.
She's basically the director of the cia for the Harem.
She knows everything that happens, She green lights everything. Nothing
moves without her knowledge or permission. And if you are

(16:42):
a young slave girl brought into the harem, you immediately
need to kiss this woman's butt because you might die.

Speaker 2 (16:50):
Is that almost like the Master of Whispers in the
Game of Thrones?

Speaker 3 (16:55):
Yeah?

Speaker 2 (16:56):
Yeah, But again, now we're gonna we're gonna get into
what that character was as well, which is sort of
a combination of two of these things.

Speaker 1 (17:03):
Wait, virus. That's his name, right, Yeah, yeah, of course
his little birds.

Speaker 3 (17:07):
But he was a unit.

Speaker 1 (17:08):
I don't think that's his name. I'm thinking I've got
the role now, you know. Yeah, that was it.

Speaker 3 (17:12):
That's where that was his name of the bald guy.

Speaker 1 (17:14):
Yeah, I know, I see it.

Speaker 3 (17:16):
It's a Varis.

Speaker 1 (17:18):
It's Varius. Sorry, George, George r R. Martin, don't r.

Speaker 2 (17:26):
R stand for by the way, I've always wondered and
never cared enough to look it up.

Speaker 3 (17:29):
I mean, you know, I'm gonna keep not knowing. I
want to go on like the mystery. Also, George, don't
don't look it up and hack it. I see you
thinking about it. Don't look it up better than not know.

Speaker 1 (17:38):
George, don't use me as an excuse to stop writing
Winds of Winter. Man. I'm sorry, it's happening. I'm keeping the.

Speaker 3 (17:46):
Faith some pages. We know it exists, at least in part.
You know, we'll see what happens.

Speaker 1 (17:52):
I've had some very strident conversations with their Pallor and
Vogelbaum about this, which are maybe not fit for the
air on a family show.

Speaker 2 (18:01):
But she's a little bit of a George hater, isn't
she No, she doesn't like Stephen Kane that sense. That's right,
which is fair at times, you know, but unfair at
other times.

Speaker 1 (18:11):
I guess, man, I've had some nice interactions with him
on Twitter. He's super into dad jokes.

Speaker 3 (18:15):
Now, of course he is.

Speaker 2 (18:16):
He's the ultimate dad now that it was this ever
since he quit Ben's drinking and cocaine, I think he
became a little bit more of a dad like human.

Speaker 1 (18:25):
Probably this uh, this type of sultan, this this ultimate
position of ascension. This lady will play a heavy role
in her son's decisions as a member of the imperial court,
and she kind of functions like a silent politician or diplomat,
as you said, Master whispers. There is proof, historical proof

(18:50):
that in the court of the Ottoman Empire there was
a window that the sultan would sit by, and the
women of the harem would sit behind the window and
they would listen to the discussions being made in court.
And there are instances where the women would whisper to
the sultan and say, oh, no, that's a bad move, Nah,

(19:13):
don't ooh.

Speaker 3 (19:14):
I like them they're good.

Speaker 2 (19:15):
Well, as we know in business and in politics and
in whatever creativity, a lot of times just about being
in the room and being cool, being a cool hang,
you know, and being able to like express an opinion
without coming off as being like trying too hard, you know,
and like nobody likes to try hard. Nobody likes someone

(19:35):
that's clearly jockeying to improve their lot in life. But
if you're around and you're holding space with like some
powerful people, and you become, you know, part of the crew,
and you say something that could well lead to serious
world shattering changes, you know.

Speaker 1 (19:52):
Yeah, And you see this in people's jobs today. One
of the biggest most important things is just being in
the room.

Speaker 2 (20:00):
Yes, and not paying a just being like I said,
being a good hang, you know.

Speaker 1 (20:06):
And from the viewpoint of western eyes, we see there's
this orientalism, there's this other exoticism of the women in
the Harem. But they were actually in many cases they
were more powerful and influential than the guys who were
writing about them in such condescending ways.

Speaker 3 (20:27):
That's maybe part of it too.

Speaker 2 (20:29):
There might have been a little bit of sour grapes,
you know, on the part of the the curators of history.
But again we say that the power aspect, the access
to education, the access to all the finest of things.
But at the end of the day, it's so complicated
because it is still all the product of a decision
that has been removed from somebody. Speaking of removing things, right, people,

(20:52):
I think it's time to talk about units.

Speaker 1 (21:01):
Here is our second disclaimer, folks, this this is an
unpleasant thing. We've been talking about agency and choice. Eunuchs
are not not given choice or agency over what happens
to them, often at a very young age. Let's put
it this way. Imagine you are the sultan. You're hoarding

(21:24):
your wives, some of whom you never talk to. You're
holding your concubine, some of whom you've never even met,
and servants. You're holding it the way smou hoards gold
spout the dragon. You got one big issue. You're thinking
to these people as your property because you're you know,
you're running a slave empire. And so you say, I

(21:44):
don't want a bunch of I need security, but I
can't have a bunch of random dudes around my ladies.

Speaker 2 (21:51):
So yeah, you know, and women can occupy the administrative
roles sure and keep things, you know, running smoothly. On
the ground, but they don't possess the you know, the
masculine type properties that we need to create the secure situation.

Speaker 3 (22:08):
What if there were a third thing? Now, what if
we could create a third thing?

Speaker 1 (22:13):
What if we can loophole this Because a lot of
a lot of times, powerful people in theocracies spend a
great deal of energy figuring out loopholes, so they can
still say they're obeying the rules of their belief system,
but in a way that benefits them. So in the
Ottoman Empire, are then right, they just come, I love it.

(22:36):
I'm so into it in particular as you know. But
the so in the Ottoman Empire, the Sultan finds himself,
like he said, in a bit of pickle, and he says,
I also Islam also forbids me from my perspective of
having dudes around my female chattel and my wives. So
what if there's a third way? The third way? The

(22:58):
eunuchs slaves in charge charge of a lot of aspects
of the harem. They watch and they serve the female
members of the harem.

Speaker 3 (23:07):
They are.

Speaker 1 (23:09):
They're called eunuchs because they are born male, but they
are mutilated to varying degrees that would remove either their
ability to reproduce or their ability to engage in penetrative sex.

Speaker 2 (23:27):
Yeah, and there were different varieties of eunuch as well.
And the one term that I learned from that Escopus
article is sandali or clean shaven, which is this It
actually can be used to refer to also shaving of
I believe, hair on genitals, but in this case it's
referred to a clean razor cut of the sex organ,

(23:48):
the male sex organ, oftentimes with some sort of wooden
rod that's sort of stuck in up to a point
to guide where the cut happens, you know, because it's
barbaric and then charterized with boiling oil, and many did
not survive right this this you know, we know medical

(24:11):
science is not there wasn't exactly sterilized environments. You know,
this could very well lead to a horrific infection that
would would take the lives of those.

Speaker 1 (24:21):
You hear it described by Varus in Game of Thrones.
There's another type would be the removal of the scrotum.
But still these are all very very terrible things because
they were meant and it's just an enormous waste too,
because it was all meant to leverage a what the

(24:44):
Sultan saw as a religious loophole. So now after this
traumatic mutilation and attack, these individuals, in the Sultan's eyes,
you're not considered men. But they're half man and half woman,
so they can enter the hair and they won't be
you know, there won't be a fox and the.

Speaker 3 (25:05):
Right.

Speaker 2 (25:05):
And we may have mentioned this, but just to double
down real quick, this often happens when they're before puberty.

Speaker 3 (25:13):
Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2 (25:14):
Reading about this, just in more graphic detail than we
are going into here to hopefully spare you of, that
really makes me kind of clinch up in unpleasant ways.

Speaker 1 (25:25):
Yeah, because it's it's one of the worst, most unimaginable,
abhorrent forms of child abuse, right on top of the
on top of the slavery.

Speaker 2 (25:35):
And for the most weird form of sexual assault too
if you think about it. But it's one that not
only would stick with you psychologically for the rest of
your life, but actually physically, you know.

Speaker 1 (25:46):
I mean, and these these kids, when this stuff happens
to them, they're already having a terrible time in life
because there they've often been captured and stolen from their
homes in a busy throughout the African continent, in the
jungles of Sudan. In Egypt, they're attacked or assaulted or

(26:08):
castrated during this trip and sold in the Mediterranean slave markets.
And from all of this, they too can have a
path to power in Harem, which is just mind boggling.
It breaks our social expectations in the West because they

(26:28):
serve as trusted messengers. They are, you know, like the
the higher ranking eunuchs, especially the position of the kissler Aga,
the head of the eunuchs.

Speaker 2 (26:41):
The chief White Unuch, I believe is another maybe a
translated version, but they have.

Speaker 1 (26:46):
The two, the white Unich and the Black Unich.

Speaker 3 (26:49):
That's right.

Speaker 2 (26:49):
But we had referred earlier to the idea of that
one particular woman whose name.

Speaker 3 (26:54):
Escapes me, rock I think it was maybe it was.

Speaker 2 (26:57):
There was another one that you said was that it
was the mother maybe who became the head of the
valid correct.

Speaker 3 (27:04):
So that is sort of what the chief.

Speaker 2 (27:05):
White Unich was as well, this idea of the being
in charge of the palace bureaucracy and also being in
charge of the Palace School, which was a school specifically
for white Unis, and also just being an information.

Speaker 3 (27:20):
Filter.

Speaker 2 (27:21):
You know, you are a absolute gatekeeper, being able to
kind of like, you know, guide this information and knowing
everything about everyone.

Speaker 1 (27:30):
Yeah, so the kissler Aga is the Black Unich. The
copy aga is sometimes called the Chief White Unich. So
think of it as like, like you said, the head
of administrative that would be our White Unich and kind
of the head of security that would be our Black Union.
Got it, And you know, they have this amazing level

(27:52):
of power. They can spider along, they know how to
play with play the parkour buacracy. So you if you
are a new child enslaved and brought to the Harem,
you have to kiss their butts too, And if they
don't like each other, you've got to be very careful
because either one of them could also have you killed.

Speaker 3 (28:16):
It's it's crazy, Yeah, no, it's it's it's it's wild boy.

Speaker 2 (28:21):
We've really spun quite the yarn here that story. It's
it's it's all true. And we've mentioned the fact that
there is some complexity to the idea of like was
it better in the Harem or outside of the air,
And we kind of have an interesting answer to that
when the Ottoman Empire fell, right, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1 (28:45):
Because contemporary sources do seem to indicate that the mystery,
the purposeful mystery and secrecy of the Harem led to
a lot of embellishment, led to a lot of tall
tales because in the absences, in the absence of transparency,
speculation thrives. And when, like you say, when the Ottoman

(29:09):
Empire fell in nineteen oh nine.

Speaker 2 (29:12):
Much more recently than I would have thought, Yeah, yeah,
for the first time, the gates of the Harem were
opened to the world.

Speaker 1 (29:20):
Women were set free. They could go back to their families,
their relatives, their fathers and brothers, et cetera. And interestingly enough,
according to proven historical records, there were members of the Harem.
There were women who did not want to go back
outside of the cage because they said, you know, I

(29:42):
was poor before, you know, why do I want to
go back there. It's like that guy who wants to
go back in the matrix.

Speaker 2 (29:50):
Under and you can there are two ways of looking
at that. One is that, sure, being rich maybe is
better than being poor, you know, objectively, if you're just
looking at pure mathematics.

Speaker 3 (30:03):
But you could also look.

Speaker 2 (30:04):
At it as a form of indoctrination and like Cultwood
and Dockheims. Yeah, so I just I feel like it's well,
it is an an answer to the question of was
it now Really it's not was it better? You know,
because we don't really know exactly. I'm sure there were
abusive practices, you know that. It's depicted in this like

(30:24):
positive light in many and many accounts. But it's also
I mean, there's there's a darkness to the whole affair.

Speaker 1 (30:31):
After nineteen twenty six, the Turkish Republic, the successor of
the Ottoman Empire, made polygamy illegal, and so the seclusion
of women became less popular. And obviously the current ruler
of Turkey or to God, does not have to our knowledge,
an opulent empire or an opulent harem. You know who

(30:54):
I think might have a crazy harem hidden away somewhere.
Vladimir Putin. He just seems like the type of.

Speaker 2 (31:02):
He does he does, and he seems like the type
that wouldn't want to share it with anybody.

Speaker 1 (31:08):
And thank you for taking this wild ride with us, folks. Uh,
This again is endlessly fascinating period of history. No, I
think there may be some more Automan Empire episodes in
the future. What do you say we get out of
the harem and get to some of the other stuff.

Speaker 3 (31:24):
I think, man, so to those episodes.

Speaker 1 (31:29):
So we've gotta give Yeah, we've got a big, big
thanks of course, uh to our to our producer, mister
Max Williams, and immediately to our special guest producer, Ben
the Sleeping Dog Hacket. I'm curious, is give, asked Bet? Ben?
Can you tell us how you got that that moniker?

Speaker 5 (31:50):
Oh yeah, well it's it's kind of funny. It's it's
it's this thing. It's this record I'm working on. I
made a bunch of music while that's like real quiet,
because my I made it while my dog was sleeping.

Speaker 1 (32:05):
I didn't want to wake him up.

Speaker 5 (32:06):
That's how I made an album of songs called Songs
for Sleeping Dogs and so's I can't wait to hear it.

Speaker 1 (32:13):
Yeah, save thanks also, of course to Christopher Hasiotis. Thanks
to A. J. Bahamas Jacobs who reached out to us.
We'll just see that photo Brandy took out that it
was good.

Speaker 3 (32:25):
Yeah, super good.

Speaker 2 (32:26):
Yeah, it's great, And I'm actually New York City bound
just after this episode, so I'm gonna try my head
up mister Bahamas as well. Huge shout to Jonathan Strickland
the quizt.

Speaker 1 (32:38):
A happy birthday, Jonathan No Joe, Yeah, happy late days. Happy,
but you know how we are with holidays on this show,
so happy belated birthday.

Speaker 3 (32:49):
Better better late than never. But also I.

Speaker 2 (32:51):
Think Strict should be making an appearance on this show
or the very least stuff that I want you to
know in the very near future. But he's been having
a lot of stuff going on his plate, so we've
been trying to not inundate him. But we are gonna
have to get him back very very soon.

Speaker 1 (33:06):
Let's just say it for the people fell ridiculous historians.
The Quistors new writer is insane, right, And I'm like,
you are not the Sultan of podcasts.

Speaker 2 (33:16):
Making us get a bigger clock, which we thought was
already like so much funny could possibly Yeah, I mean
it's it's absurd.

Speaker 1 (33:24):
If we didn't buy that stupid clock, we would be
a video podcast.

Speaker 3 (33:27):
We're working towards the larger clock.

Speaker 2 (33:30):
We're saving up forever, but once we it's worth it
to us. Though, guys, it's worth to us to get
the h though, is so much more chill with his rider.
All he wants is like a bagel, a good bagel
like spread.

Speaker 3 (33:43):
You know, we can get a little sneering grass.

Speaker 1 (33:45):
Yeah yeah, Big big Things. Also, of course, do Eves
Jeffcoat on theme. Check out the podcast Big Big Things
to Chris Vrassiotis gave Lucier and Big Big Thanks to
Noel Barcelona.

Speaker 3 (33:57):
Brow Thanks Ben Ben Bowling. Bowling nailed it. We'll see
you next time, folks.

Speaker 2 (34:11):
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