Sultana’s Dream, Feminism or Misandry?

“Men, we find, are rather of lower morals and so we do not like dealing with them.” (Sultana’s Dream, page 17)

For me, this line from Sultana’s Dream exemplified the message of the story. In Sultana’s Dream,  the position taken seems to be that a world run by women would be infinitely superior to a world run by men. If read at face value, the story seems focused on proving that women are better than men. This seems subversive and rather hypocritical, because it takes the sexism suffered by women and turns it backwards. In short, the victims become the bullies. When in read in this context, the story leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Instead of spreading a positive message about equality, the story merely redirects hatred and ignorance. However, if one views Sultana’s Dream as a satire, the message becomes a little more centered around equality. Perhaps Hossain’s intent in writing Sultana’s Dream was to shame those who enforced the system of purdah. The goal in this context is about spreading awareness and promoting empathy. Due to the many ways in which a story can be interpreted, Sultana’s Dream walks a fine line between promoting equality and merely reversing a dark position.

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