In Women and Economics, Gilman talks about differential socialization. She argues that boys and girls are different not because of biology but because of how they were raised in society. Society shapes the way each gender behaves and ultimately makes them different from one another. However, this leads to gender inequality. Society demands that the women stay at home and take care of the children, while the men work and provide for the family.This creates a gender inequality because the men are the ones who are in power. Therefore, the women are dependent on men.
Gilman says that women are not recognized for their work at home even thought they should. She thinks that poor women do the most work, while rich women do the least amount of work. The rich women can afford to pay someone to take care of their house and their children. Nevertheless, this makes them more dependent on men. The women have to wait for the men to give them money. They are not able to make a means for themselves so they become economically dependent on men.
Another issue Gilman points out is that because women are dependent on men, they spend their time looking for a good husband. Since women are not able to provide for themselves they then have to look for a man that will be able to provide for them. Gilman says that instead women should be expanding their capabilities so they will be able to provide for themselves. Society is perpetuating inequality by emphasizing the need for women to be taken care of by men.