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betty friedan and the feminine mystique

Informative to read Friedan's comments about the 1950s/60s and compare to today. Friedan argues that women should develop themselves and their intellectual abilities and fulfill their potential rather than making a “choice” to be just a housewife. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 August 2019, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 May 2012. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan is an iconic book that relentlessly changed the way the American woman saw herself, until its first publication in 1963. Information on the rise and fall of gender equality and sexuality. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 December 2018, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 November 2016, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 August 2015. Burning the Books: RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK: A History of Knowledge Under Attack, The Selected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Collins Classics). Situating her study of women in the post-World War II era, Friedan argued that when men returned home after the war, women—who had stepped in to fill the jobs men had left in order to fight in the war—were expected to return to the home and to perform more-suitable “feminine” activities. The number of women in college dropped from 47 percent in 1920 to 35 percent in 1958. Its arguments, broadly speaking, were less relevant, because twice as many women were in the workforce as had been during the 1950s. Unable to attain the feminine mystique, many women spent years with psychologists who tried to help them adjust to their “feminine role,” or they took tranquilizers or drank alcohol to ease their feelings of emptiness. by Friedan, Betty, Collins, Gail, Quindlen, Anna (ISBN: 9780393346787) from Amazon's Book Store. Feminists of the 1960s and 1970s would later say "The Feminine Mystique" was the book that “started it all.”. An essential feminist text. When Friedan interviewed housewives, however, she found that behaviours suggested in magazines and home economics textbooks—such as having dinner on the table when her husband returned from work and making him comfortable by taking off his shoes and offering him a drink—did not always prove fulfilling for women and that most women could not live up to that idealized feminine behaviour. Betty Friedan, co-founder of National Organization for Women (NOW), speaks during the Women’s Stirke for Eqality event in New York’s Central Park on Aug. 26, 1970, the 50th anniversary of woman suffrage. Friedan, however, noted that many housewives were unsatisfied with their lives but had difficulty articulating their feelings. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Feministic in a good way, without the morbid extravaganza other reads of that type hold, it's relevant even now and if you don't choose to believe so, at least you can appreciate it as a historical document. Please try again. Friedan further contended that a woman could have a successful career as well as a family. From: Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.) Seller Rating: Add to Basket. Author of. £ 35.86. Approved third parties also use these tools in connection with our display of ads. Try again. Quantity Available: 1. She had been a leftist radical activist from the time she was at Smith College. It is the most famous of Betty Friedan’s works, and it made her a household name. Friedan also argued that the feminine mystique hurt women both personally and professionally, and she held that, for women as well as for men, identity was largely cultivated through a sense of personal achievement, primarily through a career. Please choose a different delivery location. For years, Friedan toured the United States speaking about "The Feminine Mystique" and introducing audiences to her groundbreaking work and to feminism. There's a problem loading this menu at the moment. She touched the lives of ordinary readers.--Louis Menand, Women, Race & Class (Penguin Modern Classics). Linda Napikoski, J.D., is a journalist and activist specializing in feminism and global human rights. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. 1-Click ordering is not available for this item. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Despite the ensuing criticism, the book undeniably galvanized many women to think about their roles and identities in society. Used. In" The Feminine Mystique," Friedan explores the unhappiness of mid-20th century women, describing women’s unhappiness as “the problem that has no name.” Women felt this sense of depression because they were forced to be subservient to men financially, mentally, physically, and intellectually. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. Part social chronicle, part manifesto, The Feminine Mystique is filled with fascinating anecdotes and interviews as well as insights that continue to inspire. Updates? Friedan deemed that unhappiness and inability to live up to the feminine mystique the “problem that has no name.”. 1921-2006. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. Bought to educate my parents who had never heard of this book, absolutely love it. Please try your request again later. Buy The Feminine Mystique 50th Anniversary ed. Wish We Knew What to Say: Talking with Children About Race, Black and British: A short, essential history, Brilliant...[Friedan] succeeded where no other feminist writer had. Relegating women to the “perfect” housewife or happy homemaker prevented much success and happiness, among the women and, consequently, their families. However, when she tried to publish the results of her study, women’s magazines refused. The Feminine Mystique. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). She coined the term feminine mystique to describe the societal assumption that women could find fulfillment through housework, marriage, sexual passivity, and child rearing alone. Betty Friedan. Furthermore, feminists of colour, notably bell hooks, found Friedan’s manifesto both racist and classist, not at all applicable to African Americans and other working-class women who joined the labour force from necessity. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Unable to add item to List. She continued working on the problem, the result of her extensive research being "The Feminine Mystique" in 1963. About this Item: W W Norton & Co Inc, 1997. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Betty Friedan noted the unhappiness of many housewives who were trying to fit this feminine mystique image, and she called the widespread unhappiness "the problem that has no name." © 1996-2020,, Inc. or its affiliates. Here are some memorable passages from the book: 'The Feminine Mystique': Betty Friedan's Book 'Started It All'. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Convert currency. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Excellent seminal work, important to go back to the classics and take on board what has changed and more importantly what is still frustrating and unchanged. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Human-potential psychologists such as Abraham Maslow, popular during the late 1950s and early ’60s, influenced Friedan’s claim that the feminine mystique denied women their “basic human need to grow.” Because that basic need for development was stunted, Friedan maintained, women would remain unhappy, and children would grow up with unfulfilled and neurotic mothers. It was, he concluded, a necessary fiction if both she and her feminist ideas were to be given a chance to take root. Education, in her estimation, had less to do with reinforcing the feminine mystique than with the outright emancipation of women. The feminine “mystique” was the idealized image to which women tried to conform despite their lack of fulfillment. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 August 2017. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness. The media perpetuated the notion that women went to college only to land a husband—the “Mrs. It has sold more than a million copies and been translated into multiple languages. However, the 1950s were a time of regression: the average age at which women married dropped, and fewer women went to college. It is a key text in Women’s Studies and U.S. history classes. Landmark, groundbreaking, classic these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Omissions? Previous page of related Sponsored Products, W. W. Norton & Company; 50th Anniversary ed. During the mid-1950s, 60 percent of female students dropped out of college to get married or to cease their higher education before they became “undesirable” on the marriage market. This item cannot be shipped to your selected delivery location. Friedan writes in the first pages of her book that housewives were asking themselves, “Is that all?”. This, Friedan says, was a failed social experiment. ", The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off: Thoughts on Life, Love and Rebellion, The Second Sex (Vintage Feminism Short Edition) (Vintage Feminism Short Editions), Female Eunuch (Harper Perennial Modern Classics), The Problem that Has No Name (Penguin Modern), The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, Stories and Essential Recipes for Midwinter, The Hedgerow Apothecary: Recipes, Remedies and Rituals. Middle-class white women in particular were considered warriors in that battle, because, in representing idealized femininity, they showed the superiority of the American capitalist consumer society. Very progressive for its time. The American housewife who properly performed her domestic duties was deemed by the American media to be the envy of women throughout the world. This 50th anniversary edition features an afterword by best-selling author Anna Quindlen as well as a new introduction by Gail Collins. By the end of the 1980s, however, its flaws had been clearly identified. Friedan used statistics and interviews to illustrate women’s desire to achieve the feminine mystique. Since its first publication, it has been reissued numerous times with additions—by Friedan and other feminist writers and scholars—that provide further context. This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. From U.S.A. to United Kingdom Destination, rates & speeds. "The Feminine Mystique" became an international bestseller as it launched the second-wave feminist movement. Shipping: £ 7.60. It wasn't as if it had never occurred to women over the years to seek personal fulfillment. Degree.” From touting women’s natural role as mothers and caregivers to advocating how to properly take care of one’s husband, the media and the education system helped perpetuate all aspects of the feminine mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of the problem that has no name: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women s confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 September 2016., Jewish Women's Archive - "The Feminine Mystique". The Feminine Mystique was one of many catalysts for the second-wave feminist movement (1960s–80s). Writing in a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives. She cited research that showed that women's fatigue was the result of boredom. American feminist, activist and writer. "The Feminine Mystique" explains that in post-World War II United States life, women were encouraged to be wives, mothers, and housewives—and only wives, mothers, and housewives. edition (29 Oct. 2013), Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 April 2019. Women have repeatedly described how they felt when reading the book: They saw that they were not alone, and that they could aspire to something more than the life they were being encouraged or even forced to lead. Social historian Daniel Horowitz, in Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique (1998), revealed that Friedan had been dishonest about her vantage point, which she claimed was that of a suburban mother and housewife. Something went wrong. Allows an insight into the average white middle-class American woman's dissatisfactions, but largely excludes other societal groups. For instance, by the end of the 1950s, 14 million girls were becoming engaged by age 17, and the average age of marriage had dropped to 20. She coined the term feminine mystique to describe the societal assumption that women could find fulfillment through housework, marriage, sexual passivity, and child rearing alone. By the early 1960s the media had recognized that suburban women were often unhappy with their roles. Magazine articles further suggested better ways to find fulfillment through sex. Friedan was inspired to write "The Feminine Mystique" when she attended her Smith College 15-year reunion in the late 1950s. Further, prevailing attitudes held that “truly feminine” women had no desire for higher education, careers, or a political voice; rather, they found complete fulfillment in the domestic sphere. The Feminine Mystique, a landmark book by feminist Betty Friedan published in 1963 that described the pervasive dissatisfaction among women in mainstream American society in the post-World War II period. Some 5,000 marchers paraded up Fifth Avenue in the women’s march for equality. Prime members enjoy fast & free shipping, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video and many more exclusive benefits. Our latest podcast episode features popular TED speaker Mara Mintzer. Best known for starting the "Second Wave" of feminism through the writing of her book "The Feminine Mystique" – an account of housewives’ lives in which they subordinated their own aspirations to the needs of men; bestseller was an inspiration for many women to join the women’s rights movement. Furthermore, largely because of the escalating Cold War during the 1950s, the cultivation of the American nuclear family and the idealized domestic space was part of an ideological battle against Soviet Russia. As readable and relevant now as it was 50 years ago. Some attributed that unhappiness to education; they contended that the more educated a woman was, the more likely she was to be unfulfilled as a housewife. Highly recommended. The Feminine Mystique, a landmark book by feminist Betty Friedan published in 1963 that described the pervasive dissatisfaction among women in mainstream American society in the post-World War II period. Post-war consumer culture spread the myth that fulfillment for women was found in the home, as a wife and mother. Assistant Professor of History, University of Central Oklahoma. That expectation inspired the feminine mystique. In addition to case studies of 1950s women, the book observes that women in the 1930s often had education and careers. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Still other critics noted that she based some of her theories on studies that have since proved inaccurate. The idea Friedan expresses is that if women escaped the confines of “traditional” notions of femininity, they could then truly enjoy being women. Lasting Effects of 'The Feminine Mystique', Biography of Betty Friedan, Feminist, Writer, Activist, Quotes From Feminist Founder Betty Friedan, Simone de Beauvoir and Second-Wave Feminism, Key Events of United States Feminism During the 1960s, Biography of Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize Winning Writer, Our Shared Shelf: A Different Kind of Book Club, The Women's Movement and Feminist Activism in the 1960s, 27 Black American Women Writers You Should Know, Georgia Douglas Johnson: Harlem Renaissance Writer, B.A., English and Print Journalism, University of Southern California. Betty Friedan. Sorry, there was a problem saving your cookie preferences. … We use cookies and similar tools to enhance your shopping experience, to provide our services, understand how customers use our services so we can make improvements, and display ads. Men returning from war looked to their wives for nurturing. She surveyed her classmates and learned that none of them was happy with the idealized housewife role. "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan, published in 1963, is often seen as the beginning of the women’s liberation movement. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. Friedan’s own solution to the problem differed greatly from those in mainstream American society. She rejected the feminine mystique and suggested that women develop a new “life plan.” Rather than being treated as a “career,” housework was to be finished as quickly as possible. Published by W W Norton & Co Inc (1997) ISBN 10: 0393040496 ISBN 13: 9780393040494. You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.

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