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Lecture 6

ENGL 111W Lecture 6: ENG 111W Herland

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Stephen Collis

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Herland - A classic feminist literature - Perkins Gilman (author)was a well-known journalist, editor, poet, social critic and novelist who focused throughout her career on the status of women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Scientific Approach - Herland only has women, they reproduce asexually - Parthenogenesis: reproduction without an ovum - Darwinian evolution: “the most prolonged and careful selection” (42) and “the law of mutation” (66) - With Darwin we get the idea of the “mutability” of species—that nothing in nature is what it is forever; that everything is changeable, changing, and conditioned by its environment Stereotype Jeff - stereotype gentlemen Terry - stereotype dominant male Van- middle-ground, person that readers will most emphasize with - Rape culture: acceptance of abusing women - Jeff and Terry remain static, did not change their attributes - Terry is the poster boy for rape culture - “Poor old Terry!”–”he honestly believed, that women like it” (112). Blind spots in Gilman's Vision - Believes they were all Aryan, superiority of aryan race like nazis - No sexuality in Herland, seems unbelievable - Acceptance of colonization - Lacks intersectional thinking: thinking of multiple social frames such as race, gender, class, sexuality, age etc - Inequality is rarely the result of one single factor, but rather, typically results from an intersection of forces, power relations, and experiences. Herland as a Utopia - Utopia specifically for women - Women were not considered property, had autonomous control of themselves - Life is geared towards motherhood Social reproduction - In wage paying economic system, you are only paid money for the hours you worked - Generally women did unpaid labour such as cooking, taking care of children and housework - Rich women do the least work (have servants) and poor women do the most work Gender as a Construct - Suffragette: no rights - Every part of herland is used to be sustainable (such
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