Why is "The Yellow Wallpaper" popular among feminists?

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story "The Yellow Wallpaper" was written in response to Gilman's own experiences after having a baby and suffering from postpartum depression. At the time, 1892, there wasn't much known about women's health issues--no doctors specifically dedicated to women's gynecological concerns. When women had physical or mental issues, doctors assumed the generic explanation of 'hysteria' and suggested women take the rest cure, which included no physical or intellectual exertion, and recommended isolation and rest. Gilman disagreed with this treatment and believed women who had such issues should socialize, have activity, and be outdoors. In writing this story, then, she protested the patriarchal society and its treatment of women at that time--she felt that it was a type of oppression and wrote "The Yellow Wallpaper" to show the damaging effects of treatments like Dr. Weir Mitchell's rest cure.

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