Feminism is the advocating for social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men (Random House College Dictionary). This story depicts just that. It is about a society made entirely of women with no need for men. We see the perspective of men through the eyes of our narrator. He gives us the point of view from three different men about women. Herland takes the traditional stereotypes about women and reverses them entirely. Everything that was once regarded by feminine and masculine standards was taken away. The women had short hair and athletic bodies. Their clothing was not provocative but built for comfort and convenience. They were not coy and flirtatious. They did not need men. Their daily living and whole lives did not depend on a man in any way shape or form. They were builders, farmers, scholars, and most importantly mothers. They lived together, harmoniously. The women of the land do not understand the gender biases of the world because they simply do not make sense. “There was no accepted standard of what was “manly” and what was “womanly”………….Jeff said, ‘a woman should not carry anything,’ Celis asked ‘Why?’ with the frankest amazement”(93). And why shouldn’t a woman carry anything. To her it was the funniest idea. If none of them carried anything, nothing would get done!
The men who “invade” Herland are filled with typical boyish fantasies of wild maidens in waiting. Their ideals about this place are comical. They expect to find a collection of wild women that are waiting to be tamed by men. They imagine a world of pure, untainted women. They cannot imagine a civilized world without the presence of men. “ They would fight amongst themselves, Women always do. We mustn’t look for any sort of order and organization” (10). This statement was made by Terry, as we come to know him. ...
Herland Charolate perkins Gilman