Women’s History: April 29

29 Apr

Today I would like to honor Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  Gilman was a social reformer, poet, and novelist of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. She is, perhaps, best known for her semi-autobiographical story, The Yellow Wallpaper. The Yellow Wallpaper was one of the first published stories of its kind that addressed women’s health.  Today we would call it a pioneering work of feminist literature.  The main character in the book is referred to as “hysterical.”  I remember working as a therapist in Atlanta many many years ago and found the word “hysterical” to be most misogynistic.  Many of the female patients were called hysterical while NEVER did any of the psychiatrist refer to the male patients as such, another reason why I re-read The Yellow Wallpaper.  The Women’s Movement and women’s health have much to be grateful to for the work of our Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Quote of the day:

It is the duty of youth to bring fresh new powers to bear on Social progress. Each generation of young people should be to the world like a vast reserve force to a tired army. They should life the world forward. That is what they are for.  —Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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