Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Genre: Classics - Feminism
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Perpetual (Feminism); Reading Assignment; Popsugar - About Feminism
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was an American sociologist, writer, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist. Her best remembered work today is her short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper".
"Herland" (1915) describes an isolated society comprised entirely of women who reproduce via parthenogenesis. The result is an ideal social order, free of war, conflict and domination.
I've read and loved Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", but somehow I never picked this one up. Thankful that I did as it's an interesting bit of feminist history. I immediately fell for the account of this utopian society populated only by women. Gilman allows the reader to feel the wonder and confusion along with her three main male characters. Her thoughts of motherhood and societal worth are interesting if a bit outdated. But reminding myself that she wrote this in 1915 gives me the correct lenses to read it through. I don't expected 21st feminist critique from her, but am fascinated by her early 20th century approach.
Next up on the TBR pile: