The Feminine Mystique is the title of a book written by the late Betty Friedan
who also founded The National Organization for Women (NOW) to help US women gain
equal rights. She describes the "feminine mystique" as the heightened awareness
of the expectations of women and how each woman has to fit a certain role as a
little girl, an uneducated and unemployed teenager, and finally as a wife and
mother who is happy to clean the house and cook things all day. After World
War II, a lot of women's organizations began to appear with the goal of bringing
the issues of equal rights into the limelight.
The stereotype even came down to the color of a woman's hair. Many
women wished that they could be blonde because that was the ideal hair color.
In The Feminine Mystique, Friedan writes that "across America, three out of
every ten women dyed their hair blonde " (Kerber/DeHart 514). This serves as
an example of how there was such a push for women to fit a certain mold which
was portrayed as the role of women. Blacks were naturally excluded from the
notion of ideal women and they suffered additional discrimination which was even
greater than that which the white women suffered from.
In addition to hair color, women often went to great lengths to achieve
a thin figure. The look that women were striving for was the look of the thin
model. Many women wore tight, uncomfortable clothing in order to create the
illusion of being thinner and some even took pills that were supposed to make
them lose weight.
The role of women was to find a husband to support the family that they
would raise. Many women dropped out of college or never went in the first place
because they we...
... middle of paper ...
... becomes apparent
that there have been great advances through history. Lesbian women were forced
to repress their sexuality and get married in order to live a "normal" life.
Even after homosexuality began it's emergence in the 1970s, lesbianism
was often forgotten somewhere among the controversy. In the words of feminist
author Kate Millett in her book, Sexual Politics which was written in 1970,
"'Lesbianism' would appear to be so little a threat at the moment that it is
hardly ever mentioned… Whatever its potentiality in sexual politics, female
homosexuality is currently so dead an issue that while male homosexuality gains
a grudging tolerance, in women the event is observed in scorn or in silence (pt.
3, ch. 8)." There seems to be no distinction made between homosexual men and
homosexual women in the media and this causes another form of separation.
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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.... [tags: Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, Gender role]
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- The impact of “The Feminine Mystique” By Betty Friedan During the 1960s, a woman’s world was highly restrictive in almost all areas, from home life to the work field. A woman’s role was bound to homemaking, raising children and serving their husbands. If they chose to go into the professional world, their options were limited to subservient roles as nurses, teachers and secretaries, as not to disrupt the social hierarchy during the time. Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique transformed this patriarchal dominated society and changed the way middle-class white women viewed their roles and identities in society post-World War II and throughout the 1960s.... [tags: Feminism, Gender role, Sociology, World War II]
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- The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan, London, Victor Gollancz LTD, 1963, 410 pp., ISBN 0-575-00951-9 ‘The Feminine Mystique’, first published in the year of 1963, is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential books in the 20th century as well as in the history of feminism. (Fox, 2006) The book signals the beginning of the second wave of the feminist movement as feminism literature to illustrate and analyse female problems in 1960s America. (Fox, 2006) At the same time, it is a declaration to proclaim an era in which American women strove towards the equality that females refused to be subordinate to patriarchal ideology anymore.... [tags: Book Review, Literary Analysis]
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- Most often, throughout history, the intersectionality of gender, race, class, and power creates a hierarchical system by isolating minority groups rather than unifying them. The idea of intersectionality is relatively new, and so this essay will explore five different texts that either showcase the inequalities between minority groups, or the effort of people or groups that have tried to change the status quo. As this complicated concept is dissected and understood more and more in recent history, we are able to see that some movements, such as third wave feminism and communism, start to revolve its goals and ideologies around equity instead of equality.... [tags: Feminism, Sociology, Communism, Karl Marx]
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- Essay 1 Most people were taught about the 19050’s and beyond either in middle or high school history classes, and are most likely still in American history text books today. One would think that they have learned all that needed to be learned about such an era from said American history courses. However, after recently watching the first season of Mad Men, reading The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, and the essay, The Problem that Has No Name from the book The Feminine Mystique, the cultural behaviors and customs of the fifties and sixties has become all the more intriguing.... [tags: Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, Marriage]
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- Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique and Sue Kaufman's Diary of a Mad Housewife Bettina Balser, the narrator of Sue Kaufman’s Diary of a Mad Housewife, is an attractive, intelligent woman living in an affluent community of New York City with her successful husband and her two charming children. She is also on the verge of insanity. Her various mental disorders, her wavering physical health, and her sexual promiscuity permeate her diary entries, and are interwoven among descriptions of the seemingly normal and easy routine of a housewife.... [tags: Friedan Kaufman Diary mad Housewife Essays]
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- Betty Friedan wrote many books, however, “It Changed My Life”, “The Second Stage”, and “Beyond Gender” will be mentioned in my paper. Friedan fought for many things such as the perspective of the change in school, home, and workplace, women’s rights, and women’s right to choose whether it is how they want to live their life or how they take care of their bodies such as abortion. The mindsets of women from her novels between the1960s to the 1980s changed drastically, from the time of women having plenty of free time, to women not having enough free time.... [tags: Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, Rights]
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- Overall, Betty Friedan was a writer and women’s rights activist. After graduating “summa cum laude from Smith College in 1942” and completing her one year fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley for Psychology, Friedan “moved to New York to become a labor reporter.” She married and “after having her first child, she continued working;” however, she lost her job after she became pregnant with her second child and became a housewife. She became restless and eventually started freelancing articles for magazines.2 Friedan helped create and co-found multiple women’s organizations, such as the “National Organization for Women (NOW), National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL Pro... [tags: Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique]
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