Portrait Gallery

The Grand Forks Herald, Grand Forks, N.D., December 19, 1916

Here's Some Advice for You Girls;
Wed an Apollo or Scorn Mere Man

Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
(© Harris & Ewing)

Chicago, Dec. 19.—Speaking before the Chicago Woman's club, Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, writer, lecturer and suffragist, urged another great sacrifice upon women. She said that women should scorn all except the perfect fathers when it came to marriage.

“Don't scold them,” said Mrs. Gilman. “Don't find fault with them. Don't preach to them. Simply don't marry them.”

The members of the club, a large number of whom are grandmothers, cheered. Mrs. Gilman said that in the past women have made a miserable failure in selecting their mates.

“Women have got to marry a different sort of men,” she said. “It is going to reduce the number of marriage licenses. The choice of a husband should be from the biological and psychological standpoint and not on economic grounds. Young women should be trained to know what constitutes a safe paternity. We have absolutely failed in the choice of fathers, because we have had no, choice.”

Mrs. Gilman in her advocacy of “kitchenless homes” “community dining rooms” and “socialized motherhood” as a means of emancipation for the modern woman, has evoked a storm of protest from the more conservative of many nations. Even Ellen Key, the Swedish feminist whose writings and teachings are considered by many the last word in radicalism, has challenged Mrs. Gilman's theory of &lduqo;socialized motherhood,” or motherhood which gives over to trained specialists the care, education and training of children from the time of birth. Mrs. Gilman, however, answers Miss Key and other opponents thus:

“Never once,” she says, “in writing, or from platform or pulpit, have I denied the right and duty, the joy and pride, of every normal woman to be mother. What I do deny absolutely is that the individual mother is, or ever can be, all sufficient as the educator of humanity. The human child needs first and always his mother's love, but he needs in ever increasing addition to this the love and care and service of those socially specialized to this great end.”

Mrs. Gilman was born in Hartford, Connecticut. She is a granddaughter of Lyman Beecher, the clergyman, and a niece of Henry Ward Beecher.

Here's Some Advice for You Girls;, Grand Forks Herald, December 19, 1916, Page 6. (PDF)