Betty Friedan, after experiencing feelings of depression, self-loathing, and dissatisfaction as a mother and housewife, published The Feminine Mystique in 1963. The book, which focused on the “problem that has no name,” promoted awareness of society’s pressure on women to be seen in a certain way, especially in advertising. As Joyce Hart points out in her essay, this propaganda told women that being a wife and mother was all there was to their lives, and that they had to find meaning by standing in their family’s shadow. Hart states, “As young wives, women sought recognition through their husbands. As mothers, women promoted themselves through their children.
The feminist writers of the 1960s and 1970s were making sure that the woman was suffering emotional and psychological stress on having assumed roles traditionally feminus, and were setting the women up to have their own professions and change there positions and rolls of the woman in society. Women, especially those who had a formal education, were not happy with there housewive roles. These women, who were possessing aptitudes to carry out professions out of the house, were meeting doing vulgar tasks that were very far from satisfying the husbands desires. Between the resultant problems it enumerates: emotional crisises, alcoholism, marriages adolescents and illegitimate pregnancies. The feminine mystique turned into the springboard for the movement of liberation of the woman and that it bloomed at the beginning of the 70s.
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.
At the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries, a series of events occurred that would be known as the feminist movement. During this time, many woman were starting to change the way they thought of themselves and wanted to change their social roles. In his views on feminist analysis Donald Hall says, “Feminist methodologies focus on gender…and explore the complex ways in which women have been denied social power and the right to various forms of self-expression the many perspectives that fall under the heading ‘feminism’ vary wildly”(Hall 199). Since women were denied social power and self-expression, they went against what society saw as acceptable, a patriarchal world. In the stories The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, “Story of an Hour” also by Chopin, and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman we see just how woman’s expected gender roles affect these woman.
Shashi Deshpande received a good deal of attention of the critics, scholars and media . She exercises her focus on the plight of social conditioning of woman. Projecting woman as a protagonist, Deshpande tries to reveal the problems of women that is gender discrimination, lack of identity, fruitless rebel against the subordinate position in the family and finally her helpless submission before the male domineer .Woman becomes only the object of love, marriage and sex .Through this age-old oppression she loses her birth right of gender equality . Ultimately the tradition bound family restricts the flowering of
Participants in these movements were uniformly deemed leftists or radicals or revolutionary bums by the mainstream. This oversimplification obscured the true linkages that existed between the different movements. From the inception of the Women's Rights Movement, it has drawn on ideas originating in the Civil Rights Movement. In particular, the Civil Rights Movement played a significant role in sparking the Women's Rights Movement, and it continued to influence the women's movement because of their shared ideologies. By the early sixties, older women had grown increasingly frustrated with their domestic duties, resulting in the formation of associations like the National Organization for Women (NOW) that focused on changing discriminatory laws (Bloom and Breines, Taking It To The Streets, 460).
These occurrences can be defined in the social change aspect and attributed to an array of social organizations that fought for equality and self-determination of women in societal pe... ... middle of paper ... ..., 2004). Contrary to early studies on the roles of mothers as perceived by the American society that regarded women as inferior and incapable (Wright, 1977), modernism and post modernism has resulted to varied and informed revelations of these roles that mothers play in the family context. Confining a woman to solely being a sexual object and child bearer is not only perceived as obscene, but also as wrong by constitutional terms. The established policies on the acknowledgement of women’s role in the society have propelled women to excel more in academic and career fields. The traditional ideology of mothers as purely housewives and the confinement of those mothers to motherhood have shifted to perspectives of quite capable individuals who the domestic grounds are not the limiting factors in the achievement of goals by the woman model in the society (Cherlin, 2004).
“In fact, the movement was deeply divided between young and old, upper-class and lower-class, conservative and radical.”(“The 1960s-70s American Feminist Movement: Breaking Down Barriers For Women”). This diverse group of females all began to question traditions, and even beliefs in which they had been raised to conform to. This era of protest slowly, but surely began to change the roles of women in society as double standards were exposed and gender discrimination prohibitions were added into the Civil Rights Acts. Such double standards consisted certain ac... ... middle of paper ... ...., n.d. Web.
There has been a significant shift in this generation when it comes to gender roles and identity. In her book, Peril examines advertisements and propaganda from the 1940s to 1970s, when gender roles apparently influence stereotypes and societal pressure on women in America. In one of her examples, Betsy Martin McKinney told her readers of Ladies’ Home Journal that the sexual role of women is to have intercourse and complete it with pregnancy and childbirth and denying it would be denying her femininity.2 It is not right to take one person’s word and speak it fo... ... middle of paper ... ...xample, the sitcom Who’s the Boss? that is about a single mother who lives in a nice neighborhood with male nanny that takes care of her children. This show tells the audience how it is in reality as well.
In essence, the 1950s and 1960s harbored essential events and changes in society such as the Women’s Feminist movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the emergence and containment of communism which have had a huge influence on the societal customs of today. In the 1950s and 1960s, although women had received voting rights in 1920, certain aspects of societal customs were still not equal. For example, women of the 1960s were often anticipated to follow an early 1900s domestic lifestyle and were expected to care for the children and manage the cleanliness of the home itself. Additionally, if women decided to partake in the workforce they were often paid miniscule wages in regards to the earnings of their male counterparts. From this point, working women created the American feminist movement, in which most women with careers began to strive for total equality.