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Women and Economics - A Study of the Economic Relation Between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution is a book written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and published in 1898. It is considered by many to be her single greatest work, and as with much of Gilman's writing, the book touched a few dominant themes: the transformation of marriage, the family, and the home, with her central argument: "the economic independence and specialization of women as essential to the improvement of marriage, motherhood, domestic industry, and racial improvement." The 1890s were a period of intense political debate and economic challenges, with the Women's Movement seeking the vote and other reforms. Women were "entering the work force in swelling numbers, seeking new opportunities, and shaping new definitions of themselves." It was near the end of this tumultuous decade that Gilman's very popular book emerged.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was a prominent American feminist, sociologist, novelist, writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, and a lecturer for social reform. She was a utopian feminist during a time when her accomplishments were exceptional for women, and she served as a role model for future generations of feminists because of her unorthodox concepts and lifestyle. Her best remembered work today is her semi-autobiographical short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" which she wrote after a severe bout of postpartum psychosis.
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