Charlotte Perkins Gilman

July 3, 1860 - August 17, 1935

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Gilman as a Feminist


  • She grew up with no father, and was surrounded by her feminist aunts (Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin; Cahterine Beecher, feminist; and Isabella Beecher Hooker, feminist)
  • During her youth she considered herself a "tomboy" and did not have many female friends
  • She believed that the environment naturally oppressed women and addressed Darwinism, stating that it only focused on male evolution
  • In 1988, she published Women and Economics, which stated that women are subjugated by men and that common household duties such as cooking and cleaning should be professionalized
  • She became a well known feminist and spoke on subjects such as educating women to be independent at a young age, young men splitting the housework with the women, and women working outside of the home
  • Other major works that include feminist ideas are "The Home," Human Work, and The Man-Made World

"There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver."

-Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Life of Charlotte

  • Gilman was abandoned by her father after birth
  • Her mother was not affectionate in hopes of her daughter not being dependent upon human affection later in life
  • She supported herself in her 20's but soon married artist Charles Walter Stetson
  • They had a daughter together, but Gilman soon was overtaken by postpartum depression
  • She soon got a divorce and moved to California
  • Gilman become more active in the feminism movement and began her career as an author

Works Cited


"Gilman, Charlotte Perkins." Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995. Literature Resource Center. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.


Stone, Les. "Charlotte (Anna) Perkins (Stetson) Gilman." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.