Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935)
DOI link for Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935) book
This chapter discusses life history of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a feminist thinker. "The personal is political" was an important motto of the second wave of the US women's movement, but in numerous ways it also motivated one of the key thinkers of the first wave: Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The challenges of her personal life deeply informed her efforts to reform conventional understandings of femininity, masculinity, domesticity, marriage, work, religion, literature, and society. Charlotte demonstrated considerable talent as an artist but eventually scorned art as a possible career due to its limited social utility. She had already vowed to embark on a life of social service when in 1882 she met a significant obstacle in the shape of Charles Walter Stetson, a brooding, romantic artist with fairly traditional understandings of women's roles. Her increasingly strained relationship with her in-laws tested her patience along with her resolve to live above personal concerns.