Friedan discusses early American feminists and how they fought against the assumption that the proper role of a woman was to be solely a wife and mother. The Feminine Mystique drew large numbers of white, middle-class women to the feminist cause. Law and custom have much to give women that has been withheld from them, but the position of women will surely be what it is: Friedan originally intended to write a sequel to The Feminine Mystique , which was to be called Woman: Friedan ends her book by promoting education and meaningful work as the ultimate method by which American women can avoid becoming trapped in the feminine mystique, calling for a drastic rethinking of what it means to be feminine, and offering several educational and occupational suggestions.
She notes that they secured important rights for women, including education, the right to pursue a career, and the right to vote. This page was last edited on 20 May , at She discusses the conflicts that some women may face in this journey to self-actualization, including their own fears and resistance from others. Friedan criticizes functionalism , which attempted to make the social sciences more credible by studying the institutions of society as if they were parts of a social body, as in biology. Women’s history Feminist history Timeline of women’s rights other than voting. NOW demanded the removal of all barriers to “equal and economic advance”.
For each conflict, Friedan offers examples of women who have overcome it.
Women Girls Mothers Femininity. They received the award from the Illinois State Historical Society. Significant numbers of women mystque angrily to the book, which they felt implied that wives and mothers could never be fulfilled. She states, “Anatomy is woman’s destiny, say the theorists of femininity; the identity of woman is determined by her biology.
Friedan notes that the uncertainties and fears during World War II and the Cold War made Americans long for the comfort of home, so they tried to create an idealized home life with the father as breadwinner and the mother as housewife.
An Interview with Stephanie Coontz”. Friedan interviews several full-time housewives, finding that although they are not fulfilled by their housework, they are all extremely busy with it. Friedan states that the editorial decisions concerning women’s magazines at the time were being made mostly by men, who insisted on stories and articles that showed women as either happy thesiw or unhappy careerists, thus creating the “feminine mystique”—the idea that women were naturally fulfilled by devoting their lives to being housewives and mothers.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. InFriedan was asked to conduct a survey of her former Smith College classmates for their 15th anniversary reunion; the results, in which she found that many of them were unhappy with their lives as housewives, prompted her to begin research for The Feminine Mystiqueconducting interviews with other suburban housewives, as betth as researching psychology, media, and advertising.
Friedan discusses Abraham Maslow ‘s hierarchy of needs and notes that women have been trapped at the basic, physiological level, expected to find their identity through their sexual role alone. Yet as Friedan shows, later studies found that overbearing mothers, not careerists, were the ones who raised maladjusted children. Friedan ends her book by promoting education and meaningful work as the ultimate method by which American women can avoid becoming trapped in the feminine mystique, calling for a drastic rethinking of what it means to be feminine, and offering several educational and occupational suggestions.
In fact an employee under the alias “L M” wrote in a two-page memo that  Friedan’s theoretical views were “too obvious and feminine”, as well as critiquing her approach by suggesting it to be unscientific. Retrieved January 12, Friedan discusses the change in women’s education from the s to the early s, in which many women’s schools concentrated on non-challenging classes that focused mostly on marriage, family, and other subjects deemed suitable for women, as educators influenced by functionalism felt that too much education would spoil women’s femininity and capacity for sexual fulfillment.
Mass Media and the Shaping of American Feminism, Friedan points out that the average age of marriage was dropping, the yhe of women attending college was decreasing and the birthrate was increasing for women throughout the s, yet the widespread trend of unhappy women persisted, although American culture insisted that fulfillment for women could be found in marriage and housewifery. This page was last edited on 20 Mayat Timeline First-wave Second-wave timeline Third-wave Fourth-wave.
The statement called for “the true equality for all women”. Views Read Edit View history. She also advocates a new life plan for her women readers, including not viewing housework as a career, not trying to find total fulfillment through marriage and motherhood alone, and finding meaningful work that uses their full mental capacity.
Despite these criticisms, her “language aimed at white American middle-class women won large numbers of supporters to the feminist cause,” implying perhaps that Friedan’s decision to exclude other groups was deliberate in mobilizing a group of women that had in some cases not thought of the improvement of their rights.
Friedan also states that this is in contrast to the s, at which time women’s magazines often featured confident and independent heroines, many of whom were involved in careers. It discusses the lives of several housewives from around the United States who were unhappy despite living in material comfort and being married with children.
Daniel Horowitz, a Professor of American Studies at Smith College points out that although Friedan presented herself as a typical suburban housewife, she was involved with radical politics and labor fwminine in her youth, and during the time she wrote The Feminine Mystique she worked as a freelance journalist for women’s magazines and as a community organizer. Norton publishing house, where Betty Friedan’s work was initially circulated to be published mmystique a book also generated some criticism.
Politicians began to recognize the frustrations of women due in part to Betty Friedan. Now I discover I’ve been miserable and friedxn sort of monster in disguise—now out of disguise.
Association for Women in Mathematics. Institutions were studied in terms of their function in society, and women were confined to their sexual biological roles as housewives and mothers as well as being told that doing otherwise would upset the social balance. Retrieved 19 Fekinine In the final chapter of The Feminine MystiqueFriedan discusses several case studies of women who have begun to go against the feminine mystique.