By Charlotte Perkins 1860-1935 Gilman
A liberal feminist textual content. instead of contemplating what's applicable masculine or female behaviour, we should always examine what it truly is to be human. [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]
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See for instance the English wife staying with her husband in India and sending the children home to be brought up; because India is bad for children. See our common law that the man decides the place of residence; if the wife refuses to go with him to howsoever unfit a place for her and for the little ones, such refusal on her part constitutes "desertion" and is ground for divorce. See again the idea that the wife must remain with the husband though a drunkard, or diseased; regardless of the sin against the child involved in such a relation.
The woman, bound, has not so grown; and the child is born to a progressive fatherhood and a stationary motherhood. Thus the man-made family reacts unfavorably upon the child. We rob our children of half their social heredity by keeping the mother in an inferior position; however legalized, hallowed, or ossified by time, the position of a domestic servant is inferior. It is for this reason that child culture is at so low a level, and for the most part utterly unknown. Today, when the forces of education are steadily working nearer to the cradle, a new sense is wakening of the importance of the period of infancy, and its wiser treatment; yet those who know of such a movement are few, and of them some are content to earn easy praise—and pay—by belittling right progress to gratify the prejudices of the ignorant.
From this same viewpoint, equally essential to the proprietary family, comes the requirement that the woman shall serve the man. Her service is not that of the associate and equal, as when she joins him in his business. It is not that of a beneficial combination, as when she practices another business and they share the profits; it is not even that of the specialist, as the service of a tailor or barber; it is personal service—the work of a servant. In large generalization, the women of the world cook and wash, sweep and dust, sew and mend, for the men.