Document 6A: English translation of preface to Charlotte Perkins Gilman, A nő gazdasági helyzete : tanulmány a férfi és nő közötti gazdasági viszonyról, mint a társadalmi evolució tényezőjéröl [The economic situation of women: study of the economic relationship between male and female as a factor of social evolution]

   The Hungarian literature of late treats social science as an orphan. The topic that suffers the most is one of the greatest and most important: the question of women, the women's movement.

   This has hardly any Hungarian literature. And what exists is only about some cursory details. But the women's movement in the last decade has spread even in our own country, its practical battles draws more and more of an audience to it. What could be more natural, than that more people are interested in the theory behind the women's movement.

   In world literature we come across countless works, that describe the women's movement's origins, history, and its intellectual and economic base. No end to how many works there are that are excellent, radical, and thorough, that have been written in English, German, French and several other languages. Today's writer hardly has any new aspect about the problem of the women's movement to discuss.

   For us, who just now are beginning to make this literature our own, new directions for research do not present themselves. We can only consume what others before us have created with multidirectional laborious, scientific work.

   There has not been anyone who thought through more clearly and matter-of-factly the women's movement's problems than Charlotte Perkins-Gilman; none has uncovered so simply, but inexorably too the problems that stem from the relationship of mankind's sexual and economic interconnectedness. And so far none has pointed out so compellingly the economic and emotional changes, without which women can never be free, can never rise up to the clean and strong height of humanity, to where she must rise for the benefit of all humanity.

   "One does not have to predict and recommend the change in my work; it is accomplished, it is spreading in front of our eyes. We just need to recognize, thinking consciously, that finally we are done with the unnecessary and useless resistance" says the writer and she leads us with a strong hand to the clarity of recognition.

   With the ammunition of natural science she arms us to fight for women's economic and social change. She doesn't organize battles, or warfare, but recognition: according to the laws of nature and economics, because "for us there is no other work but to understand change and help progress to happen."

   I don't think that any other work could lead us better to this understanding, and that is why I could not have chosen any other, but this one that has been translated into eight languages "Women and Economics", which could be considered the women's movement's standard work.

   Translated into English by Katalin Spang

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