15 Days of Feminism: Day 7 (lie) The Feminine Mystique

(“The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries … she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question — ‘Is this all?'”)

For her 15th Smith College reunion,  Betty Friedan interviewed her former classmates – most of them now housewives- and found that a shocking number of them (herself included) were sincerely unhappy with the choice they had made. This was 1957, a time where being a houswife was not only the norm, but ideal for women. The idea that housewives felt “trapped” in this life was unthinkable.

(Betty Friedan; the adorable activist, who wrote Mystique and co-founded the National Organization for Women)

It was because of this that, in 1963, Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique; a book that would later become a major source text for second-wave women’s liberation. I could go into a long-winded recount of each chapter and the impact Mystique on women’s lib, but this video does a better job of all that, so I’ll just leave you too it.

(I like everything about this video except the use of Donna Reed and a particular episode The Donna Reed Show, which means that there is a bonus post about that in the future)

And now I will sleep,

Jess

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One thought on “15 Days of Feminism: Day 7 (lie) The Feminine Mystique

  1. Pingback: 15 Days of Feminism: Day 13 (CAUGHT UP!)- Just A Housewife « Nerdy and Fabulous

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