Herland: hypocrisy, abortion, and a 1915 feminist utopia novel

Search “fake feminism” into Google. You’ll find endless think pieces on privilege, Ivanka Trump and Taylor Swift. But the thing that all those articles have in common is highlighting the way feminist rhetoric—any rhetoric—is used by those who promote causes that oppress women.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was one of history’s most prominent “fake feminists.” Her 1915 novel, “Herland,” is considered the first feminist utopian story, and is the most rhetorically prophetic book I’ve ever read.

“Herland” follows three male sociology students who create an expedition party to explore a land rumored to consist of only cisgender women. The trio eventually find Herland, a pacifist paradise of pagan women who reproduce through parthenogenesis. “Herland” contains no acknowledgement of the complexities of gender or sexuality; all of its characters are cisgender, and for a novel about female separatist society, it is aggressively straight. “Herland” follows the three as they learn to adapt to their new home, find wives in Herland, and eventually face repercussions for attempting to rape a Herland citizen…

Continue reading here.