Random RA Recommendation: Sultana’s Dream

I am so ashamed to admit that I have never heard of the Bengali Muslim feminist writer, Rokheya Shekhawat Hossein (1880 – 1932) until today. As a Bengali, woman, literature student, and librarian, I feel as if I should have already been familiar with her works. Better late than never. [I asked my mother if she had read any of Rokeya’s works and she said that she has only read Sultana’s Dreams for school. People of Bangladesh know of her because of what she did for women. My mother explained to me how Begum Rokeya made great reforms for women by opening a school for women. My mother also added: “While she is appreciated for what did women, we used to [jokingly] swear at Rokwya when we were stressed with school”. lol].

I read the short story, Sultana’s Dream, which was originally published in The Indian Ladies’ Magazine (Madras, 1905) in English. It is a feminist science fiction story [one of the first of its kind] depicting a feminist Utopian place called Ladyland, where men’s and women’s roles are reversed. Men are indoor while women are outside running the place with great success [i.e. crime rates are down, they only work two hours a day, electric machines help them, etc.]

Here is the story: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/sultana/dream/dream.html


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