Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Birthday Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Feminist and labor activist Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born on this day in 1860 in Hartford, CT.

Gilman is best know for two pieces of writing.   First, the short story The Yellow Wallpaper, "regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women's physical and mental health." (Wikipedia)

The Yellow Wallpaper was first published in New England Magazine.   That version is online in PDF from NIH.

The power of the work continues as evidenced by the production of "Yellow WallPaper" by Pallas Theatre Collective.   The productions runs through July 6.   Read the WaPo review here.

Second, Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution was published in 1898.   The study was a "theoretical treatise which argued, among other things, that women are subjugated by men, that motherhood should not preclude a woman from working outside the home, and that housekeeping, cooking, and child care, would be professionalized." (Wikipedia).   Union Communication Services describes the work as a "landmark study" and highlights two radical ideas: the financial independence of women and urged a network of child care centers.

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