It advocates for imagining a feminist utopia which provides a critique of gender itself. However, for a 21st century reader, at first glance the story may seem as recreating structures of domination and inequality but it focuses majorly on how the adversities of patriarchal oppression impacted the lives of Muslim women in the late 19th century. Also Read: 6 Indian Muslim Feminists In History. I believe that patriarchy screwed up everyone’s life. Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, Sultana’s Dream, The Indian Ladies Magazine. Rokeya too points to the social construction of gender and, with characteristic irony, dismantles the gender binary. and shut up the women in the zenana” (Sultana’s Dream, 1905). Rokeya’s husband, Khan Bahadur Sakhawat Hussain was an Urdu speaking, western educated, and ‘liberal’ minded deputy magistrate of Bhagalpur. Rokeya’s witty and cutting indictment of Indian society, and the men who rule it, also depicts an alternative, feminist science—one which better serves society. In her fictional Ladyland, a feminist revolution, led by the scientific achievements and political cunning of the Lady Principal of an all-women university, has already overthrown the men who ruled the nation. In this utopian world, women rule and men are content with their places in the kitchen. Likewise, the UN’s campaign for gender equality invites everyone to be involved in the progress under the slogan called “He For She” (Watson, 2014). Text by Begum Rokheya Sakhawat Hossain and illustrations by Durga Bai for ‘Sultana's Dream.’ Original Edition ©️Tara Books Pvt Ltd, Chennai, India

He encouraged Rokeya to write in Bengali which will help her to connect with the common people and she later published Motichur in 1905 and Sultana’s Dream in 1908. They examine not only the problems that are chosen to be solved, but how hypotheses are formed and what counts as evidence. December 14, 2019 00:00:00. Sultana's Dream - Roquia Sakhawat Hussain; Characters: ... anonymously, without notice. Sultana’s Dream hardly questions the discrimination perpetuated through gender binaries. In the story, women are shown as more rational and scientific than men, wherein Sara (the protagonist’s imaginary friend) is a scientific researcher who considers women as superior to men. Infographic: Why Should Feminists Care About Media Literacy? 7, No. The is the vision Begum Rokeya enkindled in her Sultana’s Dream more than a century before towards liberating women from a situation when they had “…no hand or voice in the management of our [their] social affairs. Like Rokeya, today the 21st century globe realises men and women are indispensable parts of global economy and equal beneficiaries. Although Rokeya Sakhawat Begum’s work Sultana’s Dream is a feminist attempt at imagining a feminist utopia, named ‘Ladyland’, the story in itself draws a lot of inspiration from her own life experiences as a Muslim girl child born to an upper class Muslim family. The writing style depicts emotions of anger, fear and constant urge to challenge male authority. It was the beginning of a life devoted to the emancipation of women through Rokeya’s radical work as an author, activist, and teacher.

Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Therefore, as a feminist utopia, Sultana’s Dream offers no space for male domination and oppression. Begum Rokeya’s feminist utopia Sultana’s Dream is science fiction, but it is science fic… And these are just a few books that I mentioned in a long list of many, many fantasy and science […]. And in 1916, she founded the Muslim Women’s society, which fought for women’s education and employment. A symbolic process of positioning women and their metamorphosis from the margin to the centre theorises a postcolonial and deconstructive vision. “Sultana’s Dream” is also Rokeya’s denunciation of imperialism’s long standing relationship with science. and shut up the women in the zenana” (Sultana’s Dream… She as the earliest feminist benefactor and a pioneering women’s educationist founded Sakhawat Memorial School for Girls in 1911 in Kolkata, West Bengal, India and a vocational training institute for women.

Ltd., 1 RK Mission Road, Dhaka-1000. Text by Begum Rokheya Sakhawat Hossain and illustrations by Durga Bai for ‘Sultana's Dream.’ Original Edition ©️Tara Books Pvt Ltd, Chennai, India Rokeya makes several attempts at engaging the female reader and reminding them of their own worth and question the patriarchal power that confines them to the domestic realm. Maybe, that is why many of the American universities like the Illinois State University has included Rokeya’s texts as part of its feminist studies” (Rifat, 2010). As Rose writes: “Feminist science fiction creates a privileged space—a sort of dream laboratory.”. In this regard, Syed Manzoorul Islam, the veteran professor and litterateur of English at Dhaka University in an interview mentioned, “She [Rokeya] is one of the earliest feminist writers of the twentieth century, who came up with a holistic approach to feminism both in its theoretical and pragmatic dimensions. Rokeya was one of the founders of the women’s rights movement in Bengal, a movement that demonstrated how women were crucial to the political advancement of the nation and its liberation from colonial powers. Here lies Rokeya’s concept of gender equality.

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And Rokeya’s dreams did, in part, come true. In 1905, “Sultana's Dream,” a science fiction short story of feminist utopia, appeared in the pages of The Indian Ladies' Magazine. In India man is lord and master…. Her mother, the first of her father’s four wives, strictly followed the practice of purdah, whereby women were secluded inside a separate part of the household—called the zenana. She questions her friend with the similar patriarchal assumptions about women being unfit to work rationally and outside the house. In the fictional dream, religion is given attributes of ‘Love and Truth’ in which killing of another human being is considered a crime. Lady Science is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivatives 4.0, A Feminist Foremother: Critical Essays on Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, Astrophysicist Kim Arcand is Helping Everyone Experience the Universe, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivatives 4.0. A world without patriarchal oppression and gender binaries which is beyond the violence gender itself produces within the lives of people, a feminist utopia imagines a world without gender binaries and gender discrimination. Rokeya was encouraged by her civil servant husband to continue with her education after marriage. In addition to this, Rokeya through this story, quite successfully ridicules patriarchal oppression faced by Muslim women. Around the world, military budgets continue to surge, while many nation’s civilian science budgets stagnate. She focuses on women’s need to attain more education and challenge customs like child marriage and Purdah system. The queen of this kingdom explains how women won and kept their peace against men and their war-like ways. She dreamt of an inclusive democratic society envisioning a world with both men and women contributing to peace and progress.

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