The Relationship Between Women, By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1174 Words 5 Pages
Charlotte Perkins Gilman wanted to spend her life actively “living” (xv). She was devoted to work and public service, especially that of the women’s suffrage movement, and she viewed her life as an ongoing verb, in which she needed to be constantly moving forward and working. She was an exceptionally prolific writer, publishing “nearly 500 poems, several dramas, roughly 675 fictional works, and over 2,000 works of nonfiction” in her lifetime (xii). Because of her abundance of literary work, Gilman was “hailed as the brains of the woman’s movement” of her time (202). The most notable of her works are Herland, Women and Economics, and The Yellow Wallpaper. Women and Economics is notable, because it promoted economic independence for women. The …show more content…
I would think that there would be no need to defend the relationship if the feelings were not something different from friendship. I find it to be very possible that Charlotte Perkins Gilman, along with other women like Susan B. Anthony and Frances Willard, were likely attracted to women in a way that was too intense to be considered purely friendship. I do accept, however, that intense friendships between women did exist. From Davis’ description of this relationship between Charlotte and Martha, I am skeptical that it was only a …show more content…
This first and unhappy marriage ruined Charlotte’s views on the traditional model of marriage – which she coined as “the sexuo-economic relation” – in which the husband worked and the woman stayed at home, cooked, cleaned, and bore and raised children (210). In her own personal experiences, Charlotte found this model of marriage to be damaging to women, and her personality conducive to action allowed her to write a book about how to amend this model of marriage for herself and for other women who feel the same way she does. Women and Economics hailed economic independence and a combination of career and marriage as the solution to the problems, especially the emotional and mental problems, that women of the time faced. Suffrage leaders, like Carrie Chapman Catt, loved the book and lauded it as a book that was “utterly revolutionizing the attitude of mind in the entire country, indeed of other countries, as to woman’s place”

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