In a televised speech on May 30th, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a woman who rejects motherhood is “deficient” and “incomplete.” Before the late 19th century, women lost almost all of their civil rights upon marriage and were typically defined as the property of their husband [1]. With very few rights of their own, their sole role in society was to bear children. Mr. Erdogan seems to be stuck in the 19th century, with the mistaken idea that a woman is only a woman if she has children.

[1] Weitz, Rose. The Politics of Women’s Bodies – Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior. Oxford University Press, 2010.