From Eve To Evolution: Darwin, Science, And Women's Rights In Gilded Age America by Kimberly A. Hamlin

From Eve To Evolution: Darwin, Science, And Women's Rights In Gilded Age America

byKimberly A. Hamlin

Paperback | September 11, 2015

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From Eve to Evolution provides the first full-length study of American women’s responses to evolutionary theory and illuminates the role science played in the nineteenth-century women’s rights movement. Kimberly A. Hamlin reveals how a number of nineteenth-century women, raised on the idea that Eve’s sin forever fixed women’s subordinate status, embraced Darwinian evolution—especially sexual selection theory as explained in The Descent of Man—as an alternative to the creation story in Genesis.
           
Hamlin chronicles the lives and writings of the women who combined their enthusiasm for evolutionary science with their commitment to women’s rights, including Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Eliza Burt Gamble, Helen Hamilton Gardener, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These Darwinian feminists believed evolutionary science proved that women were not inferior to men, that it was natural for mothers to work outside the home, and that women should control reproduction. The practical applications of this evolutionary feminism came to fruition, Hamlin shows, in the early thinking and writing of the American birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger. 
           
Much scholarship has been dedicated to analyzing what Darwin and other male evolutionists had to say about women, but very little has been written regarding what women themselves had to say about evolution. From Eve to Evolution adds much-needed female voices to the vast literature on Darwin in America.

About The Author

Kimberly A. Hamlin is associate professor of American studies and history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She lives in Cincinnati.
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Title:From Eve To Evolution: Darwin, Science, And Women's Rights In Gilded Age AmericaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:September 11, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022632477X

ISBN - 13:9780226324777

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Table of Contents

Introduction  Evolution and the Natural Order

Chapter 1 Eve’s Curse

Chapter 2 “The Science of Feminine Humanity”

Chapter 3 Working Women and Animal Mothers

Chapter 4 “Female Choice” and the Reproductive Autonomy of Women

Conclusion

Acknowledgments

Notes

Index

Editorial Reviews

“It may come as a surprise to many that Darwinian theory was a potent resource for feminism in America in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Hamlin traces the work of authors and activists Antoinette Blackwell, Elizabeth Stanton, Charlotte Gilman, Eliza Gamble, Helen Gardener and Margaret Sanger, all of whom drew inspiration from evolutionary writings in the watershed period before science became professionalized and ‘masculinized’….  In this well-researched and clearly written study, Hamlin examines these varied contributions to a ‘reform Darwinism’ or ‘Darwinian feminism’, and the possibilities they helped to open for women and men to forge new identities and social relations.”