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Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Writers - Literature - Read! / Listen!

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman (USA. 1860-1935)

CPGCharlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's work has not been translated into Spanish (but for her scifi novel "Sheland" and the novella "The Yellow Wallpaper"), which is indicative of the fear there is of feminist analysis. This socially committed writed created a magazine, "The Forerunner," and someone has managed to scan all the issues of Volume 1 external link! Send him or her a thank you note!She also wrote what is presented as a masterpiece of psychological terror, but which is also a brilliant metaphor of what patriarchy has been doing to women century after century worldwide.

The Yellow Wallpaper worddoc (8 pages) (1892). How gender roles for women in patriarchy destroy a woman psycologically. It is more often presented as a psychological thriller. It is spooky!
Listen! Listen! The Yellow Wallpaper external link read /red/ at Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast

Charlotte's article "Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper" pdf (1 page) - Listen! Listen to this story external link at the TP Podcast

The Yellow Wallpaper Site external link at Scribbling Women, which includes an audio drama version of the story among other things.

She was a brilliant thinker. You can read her essays, too: Charlotte Perkins Gilman's works online external link Examples: Believing & Knowing, On Ethics & Religion. From Our Androcentric Culture, or the Man-Made World external link

Short Stories - to be recorded at the Talking People Podcast (2012)

If I Were a Man (1914) worddoc (3 pages). Before you read: brainstorm a bit of what you would be like if you had been born the opposite of your being a Man o a Woman. Then read the story a couple of times, at least, trying to acknowledge what being a man or a woman was like in Charlotte Perkin Gilman's times. After reading, try this: write your own story, changing your gender role. Write an adaptation in English and send it in! :)

Turned (1911) worddoc (5 pages). Think about the story and what happens in life nowadays in your context.

The Cottagette worddoc (4 pages). Were you wary of any of the characters? Why (not)?


She was a suffragette, though she knew that voting per se wouldn't change the world. She wrote Suffrage Songs and Verses! external link

From In This Our World, a feminist song/poem:


The female fox she is a fox;
The female whale a whale;
The female eagle holds her place
As representative of race
As truly as the male.
The mother hen doth scratch for her chicks,
And scratch for herself beside;
The mother cow doth nurse her calf,
Yet fares as well as her other half
In the pasture far and wide.

The female bird doth soar in air;
The female fish doth swim;
The fleet-foot mare upon the course
Doth hold her own with the flying horse–
Yea and she beateth him!

One female in the world we find
Telling a different tale.
It is the female of our race,
Who holds a parasitic place
Dependent on the male.

Not so, saith she, ye slander me!
No parasite am I.
I earn my living as a wife;
My children take my very life;
Why should I share in human strife,
To plant and build and buy?

The human race holds highest place
In all the world so wide,
Yet these inferior females wive,
And raise their little ones alive,
And feed themselves beside.

Thre race is higher than the sex,
Though sex be fair and good;
A Human Creature is your state,
And to be human is more great
Than even womanhood!

The female fox she is a fox;
The female whale a whale;
The female eagle holds her place
As representative of race
As truly as the male.

A Celebration of Women Writers external link

Read her SciFi novel Herland external link (1915). Another e-text version external link An example of feminist utopias.

Related Links:

Read Margaret Piercy's 2003 article Utopian Feminist Visions external link which you can download in a pdf format.