Sara Jeannette Duncan/Lily Lewis Archive

The Marriage of Lutfullah (Washington Post, August 16 1885)

Duncan talks more about the autobiography of Lutfullah, the “Mahomedan gentleman”. She finds his “matrimonial experiences” quite funny. He didn’t spend much time with Mrs. Lutfullah before marriage and didn’t realize how “pettish and hypochondriacal” she was. Lutfullah can only have one wife because he doesn’t have much money. She talks about how Lutfullah thinks that women in polygamous relationships only have themselves to blame  for not making herself “dear” enough to her husband. She talks about how the female “Moslem mind” is too feeble to realize the foolishness of this statement, which Muslim men like Lutfullah obviously pray in thanks for every day. Duncan believes his wife did work hard to endear herself to Lutfullah, only talking about how he suffers sarcastically. She moves on to more generally discussing the “emancipation of women”. Duncan states that sex is not a condition of thraldom. As always, she seems to be speaking in sarcastic, exaggerated tones, talking about a devoted husband who works eight hours a day could not possibly be oppressing his wife. She returns to Lutfullah, who, apparently, stated that English women had great freedom compared to Muslim women. She talks about not being that interested in women’s suffrage because she doesn’t want to be mistaken for a stereotypical suffragist. She talks about how Gail Hamilton, author of Women’s Wrongs, argued that women should simply reject the right to vote due to their first obligation as mothers. Duncan, sarcastically, states that giving women suffrage rights would unfairly tempt them


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