SOCI 1110-04/ Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Who is Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Quick Overview

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, is mostly known for her work as an author and poet in the late 1800's. Writing poems, as well as short stories such as "The Yellow Wallpaper", she was an exceptional woman who pushed the boundaries and expectations of a women's role in society at that time. A leading activist in the realm of feminism, Gilman progressed into many other forms of social advocacy, particularly for her part in the feminist movement.

Early Life

Later Life

Her Work

Major Points and Conclusions

Gilman lived in a time where the common role of women was subordination to men, and where their isolation from the social world was prominent. Depression, psychological stress, and mania was not unexpected in women, and was often dismissed as it was usual, in that day. As a wife to Charles Walter Stetson from 1884 to 1888 (legally divorcing in 1894), Gilman suffered from depression and did not fit well into the conventional position of a housewife. The various experiences that Gilman lived with growing up, became some of the main points in her work as an author, lecturer and social reformist. Being a compelling feminist, her focus had a large part in gender stratification; the disproportionate division of what is known as the three Ps: power, prestige and property. This goes hand in hand with her ideology that women also need these conditions, much like men, to remain mentally sound. This is evident in her story titled, "The Yellow Wallpaper". Housework simply is not productive work. She advocated for professionalization of traditional female jobs such as cooking and childcare, thus calling for economic independence for women.