Blog 2 GIlman’s Women and Economics

Charolette Perkins Gilman wrote Women and Economics in an attempt to explain the division of labor between men and women. Gilman explains that women are economically dependent on men and they receive their status from their husbands rather than their own personal labor. This idea shows the contradiction that men and women are equal in society when they actually are not because women do not get wages for their work in the home as they do a substantial amount of housework. A woman must spend the majority of her time attempting to find a man to support her and care for her rather than furthering her education and contributing to society. Daughters are raised to become the type of woman that a man would want to marry and are told, ” marry a rich man so you wont have to work”. Similarly through Marx theory, it is explained that bourgeois women are priviledged because of their economic status. Instead of men and women having equal roles in a marriage which is what we see today, women are considered inferior to men and incapable of anything other than child-bearing and household duties. These duties would never be performed by men because they are of such high status and their abilities would be lowered and their gender roles would be compromised.


One response to “Blog 2 GIlman’s Women and Economics

  1. Although what Gilman wrote was true at one time, however since then, things have improved tremendously. Of course women are still not compensated as much as a man nor is a women taken seriously in certain professions, however, there are more women CEOs then there has ever been. In fact, there are now 20 female CEOs running America’s largest companies. That paltry number (4%) is actually a record. And more than half (11) landed the top job between 2011 and 2012. So even though things are still not equal, there have been vast improvements. In colonial American families, the family worked together as a unit and was self-sufficient. Beginning with the Industrial Revolution, large-scale production replaced home manufacturing; this shift, coupled with prevailing norms governing sex or gender roles, dictated that the father become the breadwinner and the mother the caregiver. When affection-based marriages emerged in the 1830s, parents began devoting more attention to children and family relationships became more open. Beginning during World War II, many women entering the workforce out of necessity. Women reassumed the caregiver position after the war, but their new-found sense of independence changed the traditional family structure together with cultural shifts leading to the feminist movement and advances in birth control. Some women opted to return to the care giver role. Others chose to pursue careers. When women chose to work outside of the home, alternative childcare became a necessity. If childcare options were too costly, unavailable, or undesirable, the stay-at-home dad became a viable option.

    The number of stay at home dads began gradually increasing in the late 20th century, especially in developed Western nations. Though the role is subject to many stereotypes, and men may have difficulties accessing parenting benefits, communities, and services targeted at mothers, it became more socially acceptable by the 2000s. How ironic is that that men have been shut out of many parenting benefits, like women have been shut out of certain professions that men dominated over. The stay at home dad was more regularly portrayed in the media by the 2000s, especially in the United States. However, in some regions of the world the stay at home dad remains culturally unacceptable.

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