Charlotte Perkins Gilman - Herland
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was known as a crusading feminist intellectual, concerned especially with gender inequality within marriage. Most married women of her time had little chance of participating in any creative or professional career - an enforced domestic slavery that was, for Gilman, not only patently unjust, but made neither partner happy or content. In 'Herland', Gilman weaves these themes into an adventure story of three young men, schooled in the then-current view of women as weak and timid creatures. They discover Herland, an all-female society of rationality, equality and compassion composed solely of strong, athletic women, where even reproduction requires no male input! Gilman uses this utopian fantasy with skill and humour, gradually bringing the three male adventurers from an initial arrogant confidence in their own culture, to a realization that life in Herland is infinitely preferable to the war-torn, poverty-stricken male-dominated nations they have left. And that the supposed inferiority of the weaker sex is, in fact, nothing more than a product of cultural indoctrination.