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Synopsis: In this probing critique of "androcentric culture," pioneering feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman analyzes with wit and insight the many negative effects of male domination, not only on women in particular but on the welfare of the human race as a whole. Society's long history of male hegemony and female subservience has not enhanced the natural qualities of the human race but rather distorted them, says Gilman, as can be seen in many of society's institutions. In separate chapters she discusses family, art, literature, games and sports, ethics and religion, education, fashion, law and government, crime and punishment, politics and warfare, and industry and economics. In each case she shows how the domineering male influence has caused grievous problems.
For example, in regard to family, she notes, "We live to-day in a democracy. . . the man-made family is a despotism. . . . The male is esteemed 'the head of the family.'. . . A normal home, where there was human equality between mother and father, would have a better influence. . . . Friendship does not need 'a head.' Love does not need 'a head.' Why should a family?"
Critiquing politics and warfare, she observes, "The inextricable confusion of politics and warfare is part of the stumbling block in the minds of men. As they see it, a nation is primarily a fighting organization; and its principal business is offensive and defensive warfare. . . . Fighting, when all is said, is to them the real business of life." By contrast, for women, "Service and love and doing good are the spirit of motherhood, and the essence of human life. Human life is service, and is not combat. There you have the nature of the change upon us."
In conclusion, Gilman looks to a more egalitarian age, when the "change upon us" will be more fully realized: "Women are human beings, as much as men, by nature; and as women, are even more sympathetic with human processes. To develop human life in its true powers we need full equal citizenship for women."
For anyone who cares about a more fair-minded society where every individual can flourish, The Man-Made World is truly an inspirational volume. This superb new edition is enhanced with an introduction by Gilman scholar Mary A. Hill, Presidential Professor of History and Women's Studies at Bucknell University.
About the Author: Largely self-taught, Gilman supported herself through writing and lecturing. She was at one time a settlement house leader and an active member of the American Sociological Society. Her wide sociological circle included lasting friendships with Jane Addams, Edward A. Ross, and Lester F. Ward.
Title: Man-Made World
Publisher: Prometheus Books, Publishers
Book Condition: Good
Book Description Humanity Books, 2001. Book Condition: Very Good. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP93427524
Book Description Prometheus Books, Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Appearance of only slight previous use. Cover and binding show a little wear. All pages are undamaged with potentially only a few, small markings. Bookseller Inventory # G157392959XI4N00
Book Description Prometheus Books, Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear and the pages have only minimal creases. Bookseller Inventory # G157392959XI3N00
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New! We ship daily Monday - Friday!. Bookseller Inventory # 1EY7SO002RMM
Book Description Humanity Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Very Good. Light use, clean with no marks or inscriptions. Minor shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # 027410
Book Description Prometheus Books, Publishers. Book Condition: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 42769904
Book Description Humanity Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG157392959X
Book Description Prometheus Books 20/10/2001, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: Like New. Book. Bookseller Inventory # 009986-3
Book Description Book Condition: Very Good. Book Condition: Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # 97815739295923.0
Book Description Humanity Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX157392959X