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Quotes of the day: Charlotte Perkins

Published Sunday, August 17, 2014 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Aug 17 2014

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (July 3, 1860 – August 17, 1935) was a prominent American feminist, sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist during a time when her accomplishments were exceptional for women, and she served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. Her best remembered work today is her semi- autobiographical short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" which she wrote after a severe bout of postpartum psychosis. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man's honor always seems to want to kill a woman to satisfy it.

But reason has no power against feeling, and feeling older than history is no light matter.

Death? Why this fuss about death. Use your imagination, try to visualize a world without death! . . . Death is the essential condition of life, not an evil.

Eternity is not something that begins after you are dead. It is going on all the time. We are in it now.

Habits of thought persist through the centuries; and while a healthy brain may reject the doctrine it no longer believes, it will continue to feel the same sentiments formerly associated with that doctrine.

In a sick society, women who have difficulty fitting in are not ill but demonstrating a healthy and positive response.

In our steady insistence on proclaiming sex-distinction we have grown to consider most human attributes as masculine attributes, for the simple reason that they were allowed for men and forbidden to women.

It will be a great thing for the human soul when it finally stops worshiping backwards.

Love grows by service.

Only as we live, think, feel, and work outside the home, do we become humanly developed, civilized, socialized.

Patriotism is largely pride, and very largely combativeness. Patriotism generally has a chip on its shoulder.

Patriotism, red hot, is compatible with the existence of a neglect of national interests, a dishonesty, a cold indifference to the suffering of millions.

The first duty of a human being is to assume the right relationship to society- more briefly, to find your real job, and do it.

The labor of women in the house, certainly, enables men to produce more wealth than they otherwise could; and in this way women are economic factors in society. But so are horses.

The mother as a social servant instead of a home servant will not lack in true mother duty... From her work, loved and honored though it is, she will return to her home life, the child life, with an eager, ceaseless pleasure, cleansed of all the fret and fraction and weariness that so mar it now.

The mother- poor invaded soul- finds even the bathroom door no bar to hammering little hands.

The softest, freest, most pliable and changeful living substance is the brain -- the hardest and most iron-bound as well.

The women who do the most work get the least money, and the women who have the most money do the least work.

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

There should be an end to the bitterness of feeling which has arisen between the sexes in this century.

Through it (literature) we know the past, govern the present, and influence the future.

To attain happiness in another world we need only to believe something, while to secure it in this world we must do something

To be surrounded by beautiful things has much influence upon the human creature: to make beautiful things has more.

To swallow and follow, whether old doctrine or new propaganda, is a weakness still dominating the human mind.

To-day there is hardly a woman of intelligence in all America... who is not definitely and actively concerned in some social interest, who does not recognize some duty besides those incident to her own blood relationship.

Two persons love in one another the future good which they aid one another to unfold.

We have built into the constitution of the human race the habit and desire of taking, as divorced from its natural precursor and concomitant of making.

When all usefulness is over, when one is assured of unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one.

Where young boys plan for what they will achieve and attain, young girls plan for whom they will achieve and attain.

'Woman' in the abstract is young, and, we assume, charming. As they get older they pass off the stage, somehow, into private ownership mostly, or out of it altogether

Woman should stand beside man as the comrade of his soul, not the servant of his body.

Categories: Charlotte Perkins, Quotes of the day


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