Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s core idea was regarding gender inequality. This was very influential for feminists and is still relevant to this day. Women were almost programmed and set up in society as inferior to men due to the fact that in a traditional family the man was the breadwinner and the woman was the stay at home mother. The structure of this family is inherently exploitative because the economic compensation of women bears absolutely no relation to her labor. Regardless of the amount of work that is put in the home, the wife’s social and economic standing comes from her husband.
Society has molded and given us a preconceived notion of what is right and what is wrong in regards to gender roles and gender inequality. We see pink and blue at baby showers, girl toys and boy toys at the toy store, and mothers take their daughter’s to ballet class and their son’s to karate. In this day and age, there have been many strides to shy away from the prominent gender differences. In the media for instance, many television shows have successful women in white-collar jobs. There has also been television shows and movies in which there was a “Mr. Mom” who did the regular daily duties that are said to be “maternal” and the woman was out making the money to support the family. When my brother and I were growing up my father stayed home with us, picked us up from school, and took us to after school activities. My mother was the parent who worked full-time yet still was the one to cook and clean and ensure we were always content in every way possible. Who is really to judge which role should be played by which parent?