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Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: I wish this book was a non-fiction read, unfortunately it was not and the value of it was essentially lost on me. I appreciated the attempt to critique society, gender, motherhood, individuality, and marital norms that we have come to accept as the de facto standard throughout history. With that said, I would have received this read more openly if it were written as an actual commentary of these topics and not a fictional account of what could be. Rather than coming out and clearly stating what may be wrong with the standards of the era this work was writing in, the author hides behind what ifs” and the make believe. Perhaps I am simple minded and need things to be blatantly communicated, but I felt that the approach to Gilman’s social commentary and critique masked both its importance and potential impact. I’m in absolute support of what the author may have tried to achieve in this work but feel that a better job could have been done in explicitly calling out what needed to be said.

April 11, 2021 2021 gender reviews books

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