8 Feminist Quotes by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was a novelist, poet, and social theorist whose ideas were quite provocative during her heyday as a lecturer, around the early 1900s. Get to know this thoughtful and prolific writer, best known for the novella, The Yellow Wallpaper, the treatiseWomen and Economics, and the feminist utopian novel, Herland. Sample some of her best-known feminist quotes.

“It is not that women are really smaller-minded, weaker-minded, more timid and vacillating, but that whosoever, man or woman, lives always in a small, dark place, is always guarded, protected, directed and restrained, will become inevitably narrowed and weakened by it.”

“The first duty of a human being is to assume the right functional relationship to society – more briefly, to find your real job, and do it.”

“A house does not need a wife any more than it needs a husband.”

Charlotte Perkins Gilman at her desk

Here are more quotes by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“In a sick society, women who have difficulty fitting in are not ill but demonstrating a healthy and positive response.”

“And woman should stand beside man as the comrade of his soul, not the servant of his body.”

“In our steady insistence on proclaiming sex-distinction we have grown to consider most human attributes as masculine attributes, for the simple reason that they were allowed for men and forbidden to women.”

“The labor of women in the house, certainly, enables men to produce more wealth than they otherwise could; and in this way women are economic factors in society. But so are horses.”

“There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. As well speak of a female liver.”

Charlotte Perkins Gilman quote

You might also like: Charlotte Perkins Gilman on Feminist Ideals

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through, The Literary Ladies Guide receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to The Literary Ladies Guide weekly newsletter

Celebrating women’s voices
with inspiration for readers and writers

  • Find your next great read
  • Get writing advice from authors you love
  • Enjoy fascinating facts and quotes
  • Discover women’s literary history

... and lots more (look for a bonus in your welcome letter!)
Email address
Secure and Spam free...