Women and Economics and Other Writings
  • Publication Date: January 19, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554814978 / 1554814979
  • 328 pages; 5½" x 8½"

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Women and Economics and Other Writings

  • Publication Date: January 19, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554814978 / 1554814979
  • 328 pages; 5½" x 8½"

Banner reading Teaching the survey? Learn more about The Broadview Anthology of American Literature, with covers of the available volumes

This new edition of Women and Economics highlights the importance of Charlotte Perkins Gilman as a leading public intellectual of the Progressive Era. It contains Gilman’s most influential economic analysis, including her signature idea that the relationship between men and women is at core “sexuo-economic.” Gilman applies ideas and techniques from evolutionary science to the study of marriage and the family. Her highly original approach reveals that female dependency is not a natural but rather a cultivated phenomenon. Women and Economics proposes wide-reaching social and economic reforms that were radical at the time and, as numerous twenty-first-century feminist economists continue to argue, are yet to be achieved today.

Related literary works by Gilman and historical documents allow readers to situate Gilman’s ideas in relation to larger debates concerning labour relations, the family, and women’s role in society.


“Anyone interested in women’s incisive—but still often overlooked—contributions to the history of economic and social thought will profit from this informative edition of Women and Economics. Well researched and reader-friendly, it situates Gilman’s classic within broader historical contexts, while demonstrating its astounding relevance for contemporary debates about gendered and economic inequality. Comprehensive additional material testifies to Gilman’s versatility and productivity as a writer and thinker, inviting modern readers to rediscover the value of literary texts for social analysis. This edition is not only an enlightening contribution to the growing corpus of works on women’s intellectual history, struggles, and defiance—it also provides inspiration for rethinking economic relations in the twenty-first century.” — Joanna Rostek, University of Giessen

“This beautifully curated collection offers a modern window into the mind of a pioneering feminist. Charlotte Perkins Gilman succumbed, at least partially, to the racial biases of her era. She was, nonetheless, one of the most creative and versatile thinkers of her day—an inspiration to the burgeoning field of feminist economics.” — Nancy Folbre, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Texts

Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution

Selected Poems from In This Our World and Other Poems

  • The Rock and the Sea
  • Heaven
  • Where Memory Sleeps
  • What Then?
  • Baby Love
  • For Us
  • “We, as Women”
  • To the Young Wife
  • Mother to Child
  • The Survival of the Fittest
  • An Obstacle
  • The Cart before the Horse
  • “The Poor Ye Have Always with You”
  • Waste
  • Nationalism

Selections from Suffrage Songs and Verses

  • The Socialist and the Suffragist
  • The Malingerer
  • The Anti-Suffragists
  • The “Anti” and the Fly
  • Women Do Not Want It
  • Song for Equal Suffrage

Something to Vote For

Appendix A: Socialism, Feminism, Humanism

  • 1. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Masculine, Feminine, and Human,” Woman’s Journal (9 July 1892)
  • 2. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Women as a Class,” Impress (7 November 1894)
  • 3. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “When Socialism Began,” American Fabian (November 1897)
  • 4. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Socialism and Patriotism,” American Fabian (May 1898)
  • 5. From Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Economic Basis of the Woman Question,” Woman’s Journal (1 October 1898)

Appendix B: Early Reviews of Women and Economics in the United States and Abroad

  • 1. “Women and Economics, by Charlotte Perkins Stetson,” Book Buyer (1 March 1898)
  • 2. “Women and Economics,” Literary World (24 December 1898)
  • 3. Mabel Hurd, “Women and Economics,” Political Science Quarterly (December 1899)
  • 4. “Women and Economics,” Independent (26 January 1899)
  • 5. Advertisement for “Women and Economics,” Living Age (30 September 1899)
  • 6. From “Women and Economics,” The Bookman [London] (September 1899)
  • 7. From Vernon Lee, “The Economic Dependence of Women,” North American Review (July 1902)

Appendix C: Women, Work, and the Home

  • 1. “Penalizing Parenthood,” Independent (20 March 1913)
  • 2. “The Edgell Case: May a Married Woman Be a Teacher?” Independent (8 May 1913)
  • 3. “The Case of the Teacher Mothers,” Outlook (6 December 1913)

Appendix D: Nineteenth-Century Sociological Thought

  • 1. From William Graham Sumner, What Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1883)
  • 2. From Lester Frank Ward, Dynamic Sociology of Applied Social Science (1883)

Works Cited and Select Bibliography

Rachel Elin Nolan is Lecturer in American Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University.