From Eve to Evolution

From Eve to Evolution

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From Eve to Evolution provides the first full-length study of American womena€™s responses to evolutionary theory and illuminates the role science played in the nineteenth-century womena€™s rights movement. Kimberly A. Hamlin reveals how a number of nineteenth-century women, raised on the idea that Evea€™s sin forever fixed womena€™s subordinate status, embraced Darwinian evolutiona€”especially sexual selection theory as explained in The Descent of Mana€”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 womena€™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.For additional analyses of the role of evolutionary theory in Charlotte Perkins Gilmana#39;s thought, see Carl Deglera#39;s ... and the Woman Question: The Evolving Views of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a€ in Critical Essays on Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ed. ... Allen provides a comprehensive overview of the scholarship regarding race and Gilmana#39;s thinking on pages 335a€“42. ... cite Darwin directly, African American leaders tended to do so in positive ways, for example, as evidence of monogenesis.

Title:From Eve to Evolution
Author:Kimberly A. Hamlin
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2014-05-08


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