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The home: its work and influence

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .oom, wherein we may hold the enemy in play, cover the retreat of non-combatants, and keep some inner chambers still reserved; the armour above mentioned—costume and manner, not for the home and its inmates, but meant to keep the observer from forming an opinion as to the real home life; and then all the weapons crudely described in rural regions as "company manners," our whole system of defence and attack; by which we strive, and strive ever in vain, to maintain our filmy fiction of the privacy of the home.

The sanctity of the home is another dominant domestic myth. That we should revere the processes of nature as being the laws of God is good; a healthy attitude of mind. But why revere some more than others, and the lower more than the higher?

The home, as our oldest institution, is necessarily our lowest, it came first, before we were equal to any higher manifestation. The home processes are those which maintain the individual in health a. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Old SDMB recommendation - got it via ILL from IU Indianapolis.

Written in 1903 - Gilman considers the domestic situation of most women to be the the single worst thing to have happened to human society since Cain & Abel. Women's skills - child care & to a lesser extent, food prep - are not exposed t