Women and Economics

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Cosimo, Inc., Nov 1, 2007 - Business & Economics - 180 pages
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Startling in its observations and radical in its conclusions, this classic of women's rights literature, this work-by pioneering American feminist CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN (1860-1935)-was a phenomenon when it was first published in 1898, and was eventually translated into in seven languages and reprinted around the world. From her characterization of women as virtual economic, social, and sexual slaves, dependent on men for everything from food to friendship to protection, to her call for women to free themselves from these shackles, Women and Economics electrified Victorian readers. It remains a foundational work of feminist theory, essential reading for anyone wishing to understand women's struggle for full and self-determined personhood.
 

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User Review  - whitewavedarling - LibraryThing

Readable, and often interesting, but also somewhat repetitive at points and dated, particularly in early chapters. If you're interested in the subject as applicable to early twentieth century American ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
12
Section 3
21
Section 4
30
Section 5
39
Section 6
50
Section 7
61
Section 8
73
Section 9
84
Section 10
99
Section 11
111
Section 12
123
Section 13
134
Section 14
146
Section 15
157
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Page 13 - There is the moral of all human tales ; 'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past, First Freedom, and then Glory — when that fails, Wealth, vice, corruption, — barbarism at last And History, with all her volumes vast, Hath but one page...
Page 9 - Driven off these alleged grounds of women's economic independence; shown that women, as a class, neither produce nor distribute wealth; that women, as individuals, labor mainly as house servants, are not paid as such, and would not be satisfied with such an economic status if they were so paid; that wives are not business partners or co-producers of wealth with their husbands, unless they actually practise the same profession; that they are not salaried as mothers, and that it would be unspeakably...
Page 7 - The labor of women in the house, certainly, enables men to produce more wealth than they otherwise could; and in this way women are economic factors in society. But so are horses.
Page viii - To show how some of the worst evils under which we suffer, evils long supposed to be inherent and ineradicable in our natures, are but the result of certain arbitrary conditions of our own adoption, and how, by removing those conditions, we may remove the...
Page v - We are the only animal species in which the female depends on the male for food. the only animal species in which the sex relation is also an economic relation.
Page 5 - From the day laborer to the millionnaire, the wife's worn dress or flashing jewels, her low roof or her lordly one, her weary feet or her rich equipage — these speak of the economic ability of the husband. The comfort, the luxury, the necessities of life itself, which the woman receives, are obtained by the husband, and given her by him. And, when the woman, left alone with no man to "support...
Page viii - ... resultant — To point out how far we have already gone in the path of improvement. and how irresistibly the social forces of to,day are compelling us further. even without our knowledge and against our violent opposition. — an advance which may be greatly quickened by our recognition and assistance — To reach in especial the thinking women of to,day. and urge upon them a new sense. not only of their social responsibility as individuals. but of their measureless racial importance as makers...

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About the author (2007)

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born in 1860 in Hartford, Conn. Her traumatic childhood led to depression and to her eventual suicide. Gilman's father abandoned the family when she was a child and her mother, who was not an affectionate woman, recruited relatives to help raise her children. Among these relatives was Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Due to her family situation, Gilman learned independence, but also became alienated from her many female relatives. Gilman married in 1884 and was soon diagnosed with depression. She was prescribed bed rest, which only seemed to aggravate her condition and she eventually divorced her husband, fearing that marriage was partly responsible for her depressed state. After this, Gilman became involved in feminist activities and the writing that made her a major figure in the women's movement. Books such as Women and Economics, written in 1898, are proof of her importance as a feminist. Here she states that only when women learn to be economically independent can true equality be achieved. Her fiction works, particularly The Yellow Wallpaper, are also written with feminist ideals. A frequent lecturer, she also founded the feminist magazine Forerunner in 1909. Gilman, suffering from cancer, chose to end her own life and committed suicide on August 17, 1935. More information about this fascinating figure can be found in her book The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: An Autobiography, published in 1935.

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