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Analysis Of Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique

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Written for the average American housewife, author Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique is a true feminist novel. The piece of work was published in 1963, almost two decades after the end of WWII, at a time when a woman’s expected role was to be a housewife and a mother. It was during the war, however, that it was seen as socially acceptable, and even patriotic, for a woman to work and have a career outside of the home, being that the men were away at combat. With the demand of women in the workforce at an all time high, images of strong, ambitious, working women emerged throughout the media and press. Marketers capitalized on the theme of war and on this newfound sense of patriotism for women, and used it to sell their products. For women…show more content…
With this being said, this idea and understanding of female dissatisfaction described in Friedan’s piece is made out to be a serious epidemic and a social condition that is more severe than it actually was. In this essay I argue that Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique serves to highlight the crucial part the media, magazine editors, and marketers played in establishing female societal roles post WWII and in ultimately constructing what became known as the feminine mystique, but the lives of housewives during this period could have been much worse. To describe this unequal treatment of women as progressive dehumanization and as a comfortable concentration camp is absurd, dramatic, and offensive. These women were by no means imprisoned in their homes or forced to live as housewives. Yes, it was seen as a social norm to be a housewife and devote one’s life to marrying and starting a family, but it was not absolute law. With The Feminine Mystique, women were able to realize the answer to their problems as housewives and seek an alternative happiness, but to equate this lifestyle to a form of torture or hell on Earth is ridiculous (Friedan