Charlotte Perkins Gilman


During the 1920’s she was discouraged by what she saw as a national preoccupation with sex, which seemed to her only to increase women’s “sexuoeconomic bondage.” She found repugnant the growing acceptance of Freudian psychology, and lectured against it. She believed demons should be battled, not coaxed into the daylight.

She held her own at bay all her life, but in the early 1930’s came a new enemy, one she could not fight. When, in 1935, her cancer became too painful to bear, she made her choice, composed a calm note, and took chloroform. “All pain is personal,” she had written years before. “It is between You and the Thing that Hurts. You may not be able to move the Thing—but You are movable.”